Port Louis was founded by the French in the 1730s and is the capital of the island country of Mauritius. It is the main port of the island and it is well sheltered by a semi circle of mountains, and it is at heart of all the import and export trade of the country. With an area of 46.7 sq. km, and situated on the western part of the island, the city is connected by a good network of roads to the rest of the country. Transport to and from the city is done mainly by road, and also by the new light rail transport system, the ‘Metro Express’.
There is an estimated number of 147,000 inhabitants living in Port Louis and, on weekdays, the city welcomes between 100,000 and 200,000 people from all over the island on a daily basis, coming to work in the capital or for business or tourism. Over the years, Port Louis has developed into the main commercial, business and administrative centre of the island.
Port Louis has a colonial past which is reflected in the local architecture with a mixture of French, Indian and African influences. Visitors will enjoy touring around the city centre, going through the bustling Central Market to see the display of local fruits and vegetables as well as the foodcourt for the Mauritian street food; the Caudan Waterfront with its Blue Penny Museum, shops and marina; the National History Museum for the local flora and fauna; the Aapravasi Ghat World Heritage Site which was the landing point of Indian immigrants; the ‘Citadelle’ fort with a magnificent view over the Champ de Mars horse racing track; Chinatown with its restaurants and shops.