Port Louis Travel Guide

Planning a trip to Port Louis? Check out our comprehensive guide including places to visit, things to do, where to stay, and more.

A Comprehensive Guide to Port Louis: Everything You Need to Know Before You Visit

Located in the East African Islands, Port Louis is the capital city of Mauritius. This vibrant city is famous for its bustling markets, historical landmarks, and beautiful waterfront views. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what to see, eat, drink, and do in Port Louis.

Introduction to Port Louis

Port Louis was founded by the French in 1735 and has since been transformed into the business and cultural hub of Mauritius. The city is situated on the northwest coast of the island and is home to some of the country’s most iconic landmarks, including the Champ de Mars racecourse and the Aapravasi Ghat, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

List of Places to Visit in Port Louis

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Aapravasi Ghat – This former immigration depot was used to house indentured laborers in the 19th century and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Blue Penny Museum – This museum houses one of the rarest and most valuable stamps in the world, the “Post Office” stamp.
  • Chinatown – The vibrant and bustling district is the perfect place to immerse yourself in Chinese culture. Be sure to check out the food stalls and street vendors selling traditional Chinese souvenirs.
  • Fort Adelaide – This historical fort was built by the British in the 19th century to protect the city from any potential invasions.
  • Jummah Mosque – This iconic mosque is one of the oldest and most important mosques in Mauritius.

Natural Attractions of Port Louis: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Le Pouce Mountain – This mountain is the third-highest peak in Mauritius and is a popular destination for hiking and trekking enthusiasts.
  • Champ de Mars racecourse – As the oldest horse racing track in the Southern Hemisphere, a visit to Champ de Mars is a must-do for sports enthusiasts.
  • Port Louis Waterfront – This picturesque area is home to the famous Caudan Waterfront, a shopping and entertainment center featuring restaurants, bars, and casinos.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Port Louis

  • Le Pouce Mountain Trail – A moderate 3-hour round trip trek that leads up to the summit of the mountain.
  • Black River Gorges Trail – A 14-kilometer trail that takes you through the lush greenery of the Black River Gorges National Park.

Best Things to Do in Port Louis: Activities and Tours

  • Street Food Tour – A must-do for foodies, this tour takes you through the streets of Port Louis, visiting food stalls and trying out the local delicacies.
  • City Tour – Explore the historic landmarks of the city on a guided tour.
  • Boat Tour – Take a boat tour around the harbor and enjoy the stunning views of Port Louis from the water.

Week-Long Itinerary for Port Louis

Day Activities
1 Visit the Blue Penny Museum, Aapravasi Ghat, and Fort Adelaide
2 Hike up Le Pouce Mountain or explore the Black River Gorges National Park
3 Spend the day shopping and eating at the Caudan Waterfront
4 Take a city tour and visit the Jummah Mosque and the Central Market
5 Visit Chinatown and try out some traditional Chinese food
6 Take a boat tour around the harbor
7 Relax and sunbathe at the beach

Food and Drink Scene of Port Louis

Must-Try Dishes

  • Dholl Puri – A popular street food, this savory pancake is stuffed with yellow split peas and served with a variety of chutneys and curry.
  • Gateau Piment – Spicy fritters made with split peas and chili.
  • Rougaille – A tomato-based sauce often served with fish or chicken.

Local Beverages

  • Phoenix Beer – A popular brand of beer brewed in Mauritius.
  • Alouda – A sweet milkshake-like beverage made with milk, vanilla, and basil seeds.
  • Rhum Arrangé – A locally-distilled rum that is infused with a variety of fruits and spices.

Where to Stay in Port Louis: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

  • Le Suffren Hotel & Marina – A luxurious hotel located in the heart of the Caudan Waterfront.
  • LGM Hotel – A comfortable and affordable hotel located just outside of the city center.
  • Chez Pat – A charming guesthouse located in a quiet neighborhood just a short walk from the beach.

What to Buy in Port Louis: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

  • Textiles – Local fabrics such as silk and cotton are popular souvenirs to bring back home.
  • Spices – The markets of Port Louis are famous for their variety of spices such as cinnamon, ginger, and turmeric.
  • Jewelry – Mauritius is home to many talented artists, and jewelry made from local materials such as seashells and stones are a popular souvenir.

Local Culture and Customs of Port Louis

Mauritians are known for their welcoming and friendly nature. Visitors should dress modestly and respect the local customs, especially when visiting religious sites.

Best Time to Visit Port Louis

The best time to visit Port Louis is from May to December when the weather is dry and sunny, making it ideal for hiking and outdoor activities.

Do’s and Don’ts of Port Louis


  • Respect the local culture and customs.
  • Try out the local street food.
  • Visit the historic landmarks of the city.


  • Wear revealing clothing, especially when visiting religious sites.
  • Get too comfortable with stray dogs that may roam the streets.
  • Be loud and disruptive in public places.

Safety and Health

Safety in Port Louis

Port Louis is a relatively safe city to visit for travelers. Visitors should be aware of their belongings in crowded areas and avoid walking alone at night.

Health in Port Louis

Mauritius has a well-developed health care system, and visitors should take necessary precautions such as wearing sunscreen and drinking plenty of water to prevent dehydration.

Getting to Port Louis: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Port Louis

Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport is located 30 kilometers from Port Louis.

Bus Stations Near Port Louis

Victoria Station in Port Louis is the main bus terminal for the city.

Other Options

Taxis and car rentals are also available for visitors who prefer private transportation.

How to Get Around in Port Louis

The best way to get around Port Louis is by foot or by taking a taxi. There are also bus services available for visitors who prefer public transportation.

Where to Go Next from Port Louis: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

  • Moka Mountains – Located just a few kilometers from the city, the Moka Mountains offer scenic views and hiking trails.
  • Grand Baie – A seaside town located a short drive from Port Louis that is famous for its beautiful beaches and luxury resorts.
  • Savanne District – This district is located in the southern part of Mauritius and is home to a variety of natural attractions such as waterfalls and hiking trails.


Port Louis may be a small city, but it is packed with history, culture, and adventure. Whether you want to explore the historic landmarks, indulge in local street food, or hike up the Moka Mountains, Port Louis has something for everyone. Plan your trip well and immerse yourself in the vibrant local culture of this beautiful city.