Capital and main port of Mauritius, Port Louis was founded by the French governor, Mahé de Labourdonnais, in 1735. The harbour lies sheltered in a semi-circle of mountains.
The town has plenty of character, and shows off its past elegance. Off the Place d'Armes main square, there are some particularly fine French colonial buildings, especially the Government House (eighteenth century) and the Municipal Theatre, built around the same time. There are two Cathedrals, Anglican and Catholic, a Mosque, a Chinese Casino, a fine Supreme Court, some 18th century Barracks, and a Natural History Museum.
The Central Market is one of Port Louis most memorable attractions. The restaurants in Port Louis and throughout Mauritius are quite diverse and the new Caudan Waterfront is considered by many to be the main tourist attraction in Port Louis. It has become the hub of the city with plenty of trendy shops, cinemas, restaurants and a casino.