The Port Louis Market is definitely a popular attraction in Mauritius, however, tourists tend to visit only a small part of it.
This guide will help you to discover the hidden corners of it, with mostly local people buying local products.
Being already at the Central Market you can also extend your visit to a few attraction around the small city. A handy map of the attractions in Port Louis is also included.
And you know what is the best?
It’s all updated (there is no old stuff)
Table of Contents
But why is the Port Louis Market so busy and popular?
Because it is a fascinating place to discover the local products and the local people looking for the best deals.
It is not a market dedicated exclusively to the tourists, in fact, the people working there do not even bother asking you if you need anything.
I guess the main reason is that most of the tourists stay in resorts where they have a wide choice of fruit and veggies.
I was there with Mauritian friends and I was really surprised to discover that people come from all over the island because this market has the best quality and price you can find in Mauritius.
By the way, I read on few guides that there is not much else in Port Louis to see and I strongly disagree.
You can spend easily a day in the capital without getting bored. You can even walk up to an incredible viewpoint where, on a good day, you can almost see all of the west coast down to the Le Morne peninsula.
Let’s see some of the points of interest and at the bottom of the post a full map with the walking direction
Port Louis Market
This is the most famous attraction in Port Louis, where you will most likely find a good number of tourists mixed with the locals that are bargaining for the best deal.
Why coming here?
The best answer is just to wander around and discover that exotic fruits and vegetables that are hard to find at home (unless you live in La Reunion of course).
There is also plenty of photography possibility. I did ask every time before taking a photo and I was never said no. Everybody looks pretty cool.
There are three important tips for the Port Louis Market:
- you can eat street food at the market. There is a section where they make sandwiches, roti (a flat Indian bread rolled with veggies or meat inside, usually spicy), dholl puri (another flatbread) and so much more.
The price is ridiculously low (50c of an Aussie dollar each) and the quality is just great. The vanilla drinks are phenomenal.
Which vendor is better? I decided to queue up where most of the locals were, it always paid off. You can easily have a lunch in 2 people for $5. There are available free to seat tables on the 1st floor
- take the stairs to the first level for a different viewpoint. There are plenty of balconies where you can take panoramic photos too or just admire the local life
- go to the meat and fish market. This is a different building across the road, towards the sea. It looks like a bike depot from outside but it is indeed a market.
It does look dodgy from outside and this can explain why there are no tourists inside. It is instead a great place to see a completely different kind of action.
Stop and talk with the sellers before taking a photo, they all love to have a chat. They do not see many tourists there
You can spend easily 2 hours at the Port Louis Market or even 3, including a break for your lunch
The Port Louis Mosque – Jummah Masjid
The Jummah Masjid mosque was another highlight for me, and just a stone away from the Central Market.
I had the possibility to visit most of the accessible rooms including the rooftop which was quite spectacular.
Once in, I was approached by one of the elderlies of the mosque which explained to me how the mosque works (I am quite ignorant in religions I must say).
I asked him if I could make a few photos and he took me on a private tour to visit every corner of the mosque. I was the happiest man in Port Louis.
I had really a great time, listening, learning and understanding the local customs. Moreover, I could take some great photos, probably some of the best documentary pictures I took on the island
There is nowadays a Chinatown in any major city in the world and Port Louis has a Chinese area as well. No more Latin letters and somehow different architecture.
It is just a few hundred meters long though, nothing to write back home about
Port Louis Waterfront – Caudan
The Caudan waterfront is the touristy area of Port Louis. Most of the people visiting the area are tourists coming from the Mauritian resorts here to buy some gifts.
You will find also an art market with impressive local artworks, no mass production made in China stuff here. It is definitely worth a walk in the area.
There are also a few clothing outlet stores, similar to others scattered around Mauritius.
Do they have better prices than at home?
Well, the production is made locally and the quality is really good. Price wise I found it similar to Australia or Europe, so probably you will not find the bargain but just some honest buy made in Mauritius
Les Jardins De la Compagnie
It is the most attractive garden in the city with huge banyan trees all around, some quiet benches and a fountain.
Most definitely a cool place to have a break and a drink
The Supreme Court
The building is very British and old style. Why having a walk here? Because it is the Supreme Court of Mauritius. Ask and you will be let in, no worries. Actually an interesting and unusual walk
St Louis Cathedral
The Saint Louis Cathedral is one of the oldest church in the island. It was finished to built in 1814/15 and promoted to Cathedral in 1847.
The construction of the church has however a long history that goes back to the year 1736 when the original plans were made.
The church building was completed in 1756, but it was never used for worship.
The edifice was actually used by the army during the Seven Years’ War (1756 – 1763) and it was severely damaged by two violent cyclones.
It was than rebuilt in different phases and completed in 1815
Have a look at the definitive guide to the best places to stay in Mauritius, also based on the beach you are looking for. It will immensely help to book a hotel or resort without surprises (like rain and wind)
My tip here is to book your resort well in advance, especially in December and January.
Travel and photography tips
- In the Port Louis Market use the lowest f/stop available on your lenses. I used an f/1.8 and ISO 400 in most of my photos and it was just great, no need of flash which is quite annoying in this kind of photography
- Visit the fish & meat section of the Port Louis Market. Plenty of opportunity for some great photography
- Walk up at the first floor of the Port Louis Market for some panoramic photography
- Have a talk with the elderlies of the mosque and you may be offered a private tour
- The cheapest and best food for lunch is at the Port Louis Market
- If you come by car, parking may be a pain in the a%$. The city has a scratch card system that you need to leave on the front of the car. You better park in Caudan for a flat fee or around the Champs de Mars where it is free and unlimited (see map below)
- Just wander around the city to have a look of the local life, the local shops and the local people
- Walk on top of the Signal Mountain Road for an incredible view of the city and the west coast of Mauritius. It is a 4km walk/climb
- I did not see or search for any accommodation in the city and honestly, there are so many dreamy places in the island that I would not suggest to sleep in the city
More info about Mauritius
- Top Mauritius attractions and excursions
- The 12 best beaches in Mauritius to visit
- Where to stay in Mauritius (a guide to the areas)
- Pictures of Mauritius – The ultimate photo collection