Shopping in Mauritius is an experience in itself. You can experience the Mauritian buzz in the various markets of the country. There are stalls upon stalls of fruits, vegetables, medicinal herbs and spices. Spices were introduced in Mauritius by Pierre Poivre in 1750 and these have gained popularity over the years. Spices and herbal teas are very popular with tourists and figure on the must-buy list for most visitors.
Other than this there is basketwork, embroidery, cut stones, recycled glass and pottery work which are in demand.
Read our Mauritius shopping guide below for tips on the best places to pick up a bargain. And after a day of shopping, grab a bite to eat in one of the colourful Mauritian restaurants.
Just as cuisine, literature and art are enriched when people of different ethnic origins form part of a culture, the same is true for the richness which has resulted in Mauritian handicrafts. Jewellery, that is made by immigrant Indian and Arabic master craftsmen, has the most impeccable finish.
Handicrafts, in particular, which reflect a civilization's progress, are diverse and maintain a high standard in quality. These handicrafts also tell you the story of the journey of the civilization and culture during the course of history. For instance, the marine carpenters who landed in Mauritius in the first sailing ships were the ones who built the first timber colonial dwellings. These ship models were later adapted as handicrafts and nobody could imagine the boost it gave to the thus far lethargic industry. These miniature wonders have every detail of the original model. You can find these miniatures in the Le Caudan Waterfront Arts and Crafts Market.
In recent years, the number of duty-free shops for tourists has increased. All you need to show are your passport and air ticket and you can buy quality branded luxury goods for reasonable prices. There are jewellery shops and consumer electronics appliances at discounted prices. In addition, you can indulge yourself and buy clothes, hand tailored suits, knitwear and swimwear from leading brands.
For people who want to pamper their taste buds, they can take home fruit jellies, pickles, spices and bits of raw vegetables soaked in oil, spice and chillies. The vanilla tea and rum is also something you should take home with you. Payment can be made in foreign currency or in Mauritian Rupees. The goods are delivered at the airport at the time of departure.
This is the main market in the picturesque city of Port Louis. A typical Mauritian loves to spend time here by eating some cari (curry) and drinking dithé (tea). This market was built in 1844, and is now being renovated. Here you will find everything from local craft to food such as dholl purris, herbal tea and spices.
The market is also great for fabrics, tablecloths, basketwork and of course, the famous Mauritian T-shirts, which are sold at bargain prices. Indian clothes, such as beautiful saris, are also sold at this market.
Quatre-Bornes Market is a place in the town of Quatre-Bornes close to Port Louis where local craft is available. Here you can buy necklaces and bracelets made from shell.
The China Town in Port Louis is a picturesque, interesting and affordable place to visit. Try the boiled chow mien and fish balls in this market.
In the past few years, the Caudan Waterfront is on the must see list of every visitor to Mauritius. This area offers more than just shops. It houses the expertise of Mauritius, ranging from gourmet cooking to local craft and jewellery. At the Le Caudan Waterfront Arts and Crafts Market, you can find a wide variety of wares from the famous model ship miniatures, paintings, and sculptures to baskets and hats.
Domain les Pailles
Domain les Pailles is a stone's throw away from Port Louis. This is a nature park spread over 3000 acres, nestled in the Pailles Valley. Here you can experience the old way of living in Mauritus. Enjoy a special gastronomic experience in the classy ‘Fouqet's Mauritius', ‘La Cannelle Rouge', a less formal restaurant, 'Indra' an Indian restaurant, and 'Fu Xiao', an exclusive Chinese restaurant.
In all the main Mauritian cities shopping hours are from 9.30 am to 7.30 pm (Monday-Saturday).
A few shops are open till noon on Sundays and on public holidays. No shops are open on Thursday afternoon in Rose-Hill, Curepipe and Quatre-Bornes.
Modern shopping centres such as Caudan, Happy World House, Floréal Square, Orchard Centre and Curepipe offer a wide range of products.