Shopping In Mauritius - A Complete Guide For a Shopaholic
A trip is incomplete without a lot of pictures as well as many shopping bags. A traveller would like to go shopping whenever they visit a new place and try to bring back as many souvenirs with them as possible. Mauritius is one such place which doesn't disappoint its guests in this matter as it showers them with a unique shopping experience. Populated by street markets and shopping malls, the island of Mauritius becomes the instant favourite among tourists who like to explore the trading dimension of any place.
Without further ado, let's dive into this fiesta of Shopping in Mauritius:
1. Port Louis Central Market
Famous for being one of the most crowded and most visited markets in all of Mauritius, the Port Louis market is the best stop for buying local products and getting a taste of the local food as well. The relatively low prices of the market make it the hub for the locals and an ideal location for the tourists-locals interactions.
The market is divided into two parts, the open half on the streets and the closed half under the roof. The various sections of the market have a varied range of products for sale starting from fruits and vegetables, seafood and meat, an emporium for souvenirs and clothes as well.
All these sections are spread out inside the main market building and yard and also along the street. The Port Louis market is a spectacle of bargaining and persuasive sellers, especially the ones who deal with textile, who try and woo their customers by claiming their products to be of genuine brands coming directly from the factories, which are the fake ones. However, their smooth talking skills have proved to be pretty convincing for the tourists at times.
A herbalist's stall in one of the sections catches the eye of most tourists as the vendor puts his oratory skills in practice and talking about the number of diseases his herb can cure.
Often the tourists are seen to be asked by the locals to try their luck out in the lottery before entering the market. It is believed to be a tradition and honour of the oldest market.
It is also the centre for buying religious artefacts, local handcrafted good as a souvenir for the tourists, artisanal sculptures, t-shirts and figures of the famous Dodo bird and various exotic spices. A brand of local rum with the Dodo bird's imprint on the bottle is also for sale. Various kinds of food like biryani, haleem, dhol puri and other local dishes can also be found.
A refreshing milk-based drink known as Almond alouda and a wheat flour pancake called a Farata is a must try.
Timings and Open days
Monday to Saturday: 5.30 AM to 6 PM
Sunday: 5.30 AM to 12 PM
2. Quatre Bornes Market
Specializing in textiles and clothing products, the Quatre Bornes is very popular among the locals as well as the tourists. If you want a fantastic shopping experience and observe local trading in Mauritius up-close, this is the right place for you to be at. Continuous bus services and a bus station right in front of the market make it convenient for transportation which is cheap as well. The market is divided into two parts with shops on both sides of the road. The narrow alleys are packed with customers and merchants shouting at the top of their voices to grab their attention with various offers, and it is a slow walk to cover the entire market.
Different types of souvenir t-shirts, casual wears, fabrics and many more are the main attractions here. Traditional Indian wear and sportswear also find its place in this market. Furthermore, stalls for items like kitchenware, carpets, makeup and sunglasses are also spread out across this vast market area. The market is also the place for things like jewellery accessories, eclectic objects like Chinese chalks to avoid cockroaches
The food market displays many stalls of fresh fruits and vegetables along with delicious local food specialities as well.
Quatre Bornes has a commercial side as well situated near the Trianon Shopping Park which includes cinemas, a pharmacy, a bookstore, a food court and several other restaurants and an area for children to play.
Bargaining is a must here as most of the times the sellers are willing to negotiate are drastic offer. Every item is negotiable here.
Timings and Open Days
Textile market on Thursdays and Sundays: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Food market on Wednesdays and Saturdays: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
3. Flacq Market
Standing on the largest district by size in Mauritius and also being a large village by the same name, it has earned its reputation as the biggest open-air market in Mauritius. The vibrant and colourful stalls are the major source of attraction for the people.
An assembly of fresh local vegetables and fruits, fresh seafood and fish, and herbal tea and vanilla are the specialities of the Flacq market. Along with this, stalls with vivid clothing accessories are a mesmerising display of hues all throughout the marketplace. A few coconut juice stands with vendors breaking open the hard-shelled coconuts to pour fresh water for the customers in front of them is a refreshing way to cool off the senses in between the rigorous shopping experience. The tourists are also attracted to the market from the strong aroma of exotic spices being sold in the market.
Timing and Open Days
Wednesdays and Sundays: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
4. Mahebourg Market
Famous by the name of the Monday market, it is unique for its one day of business per week. Every Monday, the Mahebourg waterfront area is transformed into a huge flea market for fantastic Mauritian souvenirs and local handcrafts making the heart of the town alive with its fragrant and vibrant ambience. The Mahebourg market is mostly limited to the locals rather than tourists because of its high bargaining rate.
It exhibits a wide range of Indian and Chinese wares along with electronics, fruits and vegetables, local spices and many other things. Silk collection and other textile items also constitute this market's focus among the buyers.
It is the ideal place to try out some local snacks. Chilli cakes, dhal puris and samosa stalls can be seen catering to the shoppers as well as box laden bikes buzzing down the streets carrying out delivery services. For the food lover, it is a haven of delicious biryani, noodles and homemade Mauritian dishes.
Timing and Open Days
Only Mondays: 8 AM to 5 PM
5. Grand Baie Market
A hotspot for shopping lover tourists, the Bazaar de Grand Baie is a hidden marketplace filled with plenty of stalls and shops in an alley near the Royal Road. It has the ambience of a typical local market and lifestyle of the people.
It is the right place to find local arts and paintings, handcrafted stones, gold and silver jewellery and ornaments available in different shapes, sizes, designs and colours. Due to the exclusive craftsmanship and lots of effort put in to produce these objects, the price tends to be a little higher. However, one the other hand, the Grand Baie is well known for its low price ranged t-shirts and bags and an array of colourful fabrics. The mock-designer wear has a decent enough quality and comes at a meagre price which can be handy for rough use for domestic purposes.
Tourists can take a break from the shopping and treat themselves with some fresh snacks from the long line of food stalls.
Timing and Open Days
Monday to Saturday: 9.30 AM to 4.30 PM
Sunday: 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
6. Le Craft Market
As the name suggests, this 36 stalls clustered market boasts its unique craft collection. From exquisite woodwork to intricately detailed baskets to beautiful glass souvenirs, this two storey building puts the most beautiful artworks of the island in a display. Also, items made from seashells and conch items can be seen too.
It has a comfortable and spacious atmosphere, and the aromatic ambience of teak and mahogany tickles your sense to the core.
In most cases, the items on the counter are sold by the person who made it, and the stall belongs to them as well. Tourists can interact with these artists and artisans and learn about the skill and appreciate their talent which builds a good rapport.
However, the fragility of the items makes them prone to damage during rigorous travel and must be handled with utmost care. Meanwhile, boxes of ground spices and embroidered linen catch the attention too.
Special Tip Try to get your hands on the special locally made Mauritian rum which is a delicacy in this market.
Timing and Open Days
Monday to Saturday: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Apart from the street markets, Mauritius also has some excellent shopping centres and malls. Tourists are often seen exploring them and buying according to their needs.
7. Bagatelle Mall
If there is a place where you can be sure you will not be able to resist your temptations, then this is it. With over 155 outlets of world-famous luxury brands and chains, this mall is a one-stop shopping destination for all your needs. Located centrally in the area of Moka, it is easily accessible due to being right next to the M1 highway. Bagatelle mall is not only known for being a place of luxury but also one of convenience suiting the everyday lives of people. A wide range of retail and lifestyle options attract a diverse demographic of enthusiastic shoppers. At the same time, everyday speciality shops and vendor outlets cater to the daily needs of the locals.
Bagatelle Mall is also highly appreciated by locals and tourists alike for operating on convenient timings. Few other shopping malls have such respect and regard for their customer's time.
Special Tip The in-house brewed beer at the flying dodo pub is a crowd favourite. Be sure to try it. Timing and Open Days
Monday to Thursday: 9:30 am - 8:30 pm
Friday to Saturday: 9:30 am - 10 pm
Sunday - 9:30 am: 3:00 pm
8. Grand Baie La Croisette
Situated in the northern region of Mauritius, the Grand Baie La Croisette is one of the most beautiful shopping malls of the island nation. Here, a plethora of retail and lifestyle outlets offer the best contemporary shopping experience coupled with the calmest of ambiences in any mall from around the world. A pleasant atmosphere fills the complex each day atypical of most famous shopping hotspots. Movie lovers will appreciate that the mall has the only multiplex cinema in this region.
Special Tip The Korean and Indian cuisines offered in the food court are a must try. The Italian wine at the bar is a cheeky little option too.
Timing and Open Days
Monday to Thursday: 9:30 am to 7:30 pm
Friday to Saturday: 9:30 am to 8:30 pm
Sunday: 9:30 am to 4:00 pm
9. Le Caudan Waterfront
A picturesque shopping complex situated at Port Louis, the Le Caudan Waterfront is a sight worthy of a James Bond classic. One of the oldest malls of Mauritius, Le Caudan is famously known for being a tax-free haven for shopaholics. Local souvenir shops are mainly what attracts tourists throughout the year. Special Bazaar sale events, where local vendors selling home-made goods, from across the island come to participate in are held during the peak holiday season. Two luxurious business hotels - Le Labourdonnais and Le Suffren, are also situated here which host various elite people in business and bureaucrats and oversee the stay of high profile business events throughout the year. For the history buffs, a museum having two of the oldest and rarest stamps in the world is present in the premises of this mall.
Special Tip The hotels provide free transportation by boat to and from the mall's dock area. Be sure to use it as per your convenience.
Timing and Open Days
Monday to Saturday: 9:00 am to 8:30 pm
Sunday: 9:00 am to 2:30 pm
10. Phoenix Mall
The Phoenix mall is the ideal shopping destination for families. The mall has more than 70 shops starting from local retailers to international brands and food outlets. Whether it is for clothes, fun or some great food, this shopping complex remains the best one-stop destination for families and large groups looking to satisfy their hunger and shopping indulgences on the same day.
Timing and Open Days
Monday to Thursday: 9:00 am to 08:30 pm
Friday to Saturday: 9:00 am to 10:00 pm
Sunday: 9:00 am to 7:00 pm
Top Local Souvenirs You Cannot Miss
Hold your horses!! There is more. No trip is ever complete without something to remember the destination by. Memories and photographs are important but nothing beats souvenirs. So, here is a list of some of the most memorable souvenirs which Mauritius has to offer.
Pink Pigeon Rum
A souvenir which probably doesn't even make it out of the country in most situations, the locally distilled Pink Pigeon Rum is a hot item sought after by tourists. Infused with vanilla, this special rum is sure to detoxify (or toxify!!) the soul of anyone who drinks it.
Tea from Mauritius is very famous and is among the world's most highly consumed beverages since 1892. Different blends of local tea are available, and prior taste tests are available to those who wish to sample each blend before purchasing them. Bois Cheri tea factory, the largest tea manufacturing facility is the most preferred location where tourists go to sample some of the best tea Mauritius has to offer.
The Dodo Bird
The now extinct dodo bird was native to Mauritius. It is no surprise that a lot of items have the emblem of the dodo bird on them. These items serve as great souvenirs and are always in demand by tourists who visit the island.
So, for those who have seen enough of the beaches and oceans and are ready to set foot into the busy streets of Mauritius, these are the few places that you just can't ignore. Studded with all kinds of artefacts, clothing, souvenirs and delicious food; these markets and malls are waiting to be explored by you!