The Capital of Mauritius, Port-Louis is rich in yesterday’s treasures merging beautifully with our present. Port Louis (por loo-ee), the island's capital and largest city, can feel like a kaleidoscope of countries and cultures, with flashes of India, Africa, Europe, China and the Middle East. Unless you've essential business to transact here, though, or you're in the country for a prolonged visit, there aren't that many reasons to come – there are numerous other day excursions that we'd rank above Port Louis.
If you are here, it can be a good place to take the pulse of the country and get an alternative slant on the island's rarefied world of resorts and private beaches. Most interest lies amid the bustle of the downtown streets, the tangle of ethnic quarters and some wonderfully preserved colonial buildings. Apart from Le Caudan Waterfront, it all shuts down after dark, when countless commuters rumble out of town en route to their homes on the Central Plateau.
The city of Port Louis is home to the biggest harbor of Mauritius (the Port Louis Harbor), and is where large businesses and little trades co-exist together, all this forms the unique atmosphere of Port Louis.
History of Port Louis in Mauritius
The history of Port Louis first starts at the eighteenth century when the French took possession of the island. As a tribute for their King, Louis XV, the French settlers named the region as “Port North- West” and with time, it was renamed as “Port Louis”.
Under French colonization when Mauritius was known as “Ile de France”. The French governor at that time, Mahé de Labourdonnais contributed enormously to the development and growth of the city. The governor put emphasis both on the architecture and economics.
Since Port Louis was well protected from the strong winds by the Moka Mountain Range, Port Louis was thus chosen as the fort and main harbor of the island. Following this, Port Louis undertook important changes to become the trading center of Mauritius and the main naval base.
Today, with its free trading zone and big harbor, Port Louis has developed into a fiscal paradise and is a real hive for trades, banks and enterprises. Most big businesses operate in Port Louis and hence it has developed a high business culture. Therefore many Mauritians from the suburbs and nearby villages have to come to work in the capital daily which makes Port Louis the busiest city in Mauritius.
With its daily heavy traffic, humidity and heat, Port Louis is not the ideal city to live in and to spend your holiday, but definitely worth the visit to have a glimpse of the Mauritian culture.
Moreover, you will also see the ancient architecture of basaltic rocks which the French and the British have left as a legacy of their colonization.
Next to these ancient buildings, you will see new modern skyscrapers which show the rapid development of Mauritius as one of the fastest developing countries in Africa.
The past and the present of Mauritius in the same city is a beautiful and interesting sight worth the visit!
Places to Visit in Port Louis in Mauritius
- Mauritius National Botanical Garden
The Mauritius National Botanical Garden is one of the most interesting and enriching places to visit in Port Louis. Spread over a sprawling lush green landscape, this magnificent garden houses 85 varieties of palms from Central America and from the adjacent islands of the Indian Ocean.
It is also home to 650 variations of flowers and medicinal plants. You can also see the unique Baobabs trees, the Palmier Bouteille and the signature flower of the garden- the Giant Water Lilies.
- The Blue Penny Museum
The Blue Penny Museum is a must-see in your list of Port Louis Sightseeing spots. This museum was inaugurated in 2001 and it is one of the most historically significant museums exhibiting the cultural diversity of the island.
- Citadel Fort
Citadel fort is also popularly known as Adelaide Fort which was named after the wife of William II. You will also get a chance to have stunning and breath-taking views of the entire city of Port Louis. The Citadel fort has been constructed in Moorish style. Rectangular blocks have been used to construct the Citadel fort. All the arches are horseshoe shaped.
- Jummah Masjid
The Jummah Masjid Mosque is an important landmark and an integral part of your Port Louis Sightseeing tour. Apart from the natural serenity of the place, one of the most unique features of this structure is the architecture of the mosque.
- Le Caudan Waterfront Casino
The specific theme of the casino is what sets it apart from the other casinos. It has a historical setting and the entrance set up is like a pirate ship. The amazing backdrop that this casino provides makes it a must visit place for all the travellers who visit Mauritius. It has reel machines, poker, electronic roulette, Black Jack, Roulette, Poker and has double bars too.
How to Reach Port Louis in Mauritius
To reach Port Louis location from India, airway is the only means in and out. Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport, SSR Airport in short, is well connected with several major destinations across the globe via airlines like Air France, British Airways, Emirates, Turkish Airlines, Air Asia and more.
The airport is 47 kilometres away from the city centre as per Port Louis, Mauritius map. There are three regular bus routes – 9, 10 and 198 that run via the airport to the important parts of the city like Mahebourg Bus Station and Port Louis Victoria Square. From these bus stations, there are buses to and from nearby cities like Cassis and Plain Verte.
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