Shopping in Mauritius is an experience in itself. You can experience the Mauritian buzz in the Central Market which is located in the Mauritian capital of Port Louis near the harbor on Farquhar Street and is a vibrant spot. This market is very energetic market with stalls piled high with tropical fruits and vegetables and also mountains of spices. This place is always crowded with locals and tourists. The market is open every day, from 6am, and it’s a good idea to go early so that you avoid the hot atmosphere and bad smell in the market.
You can experience the local life in the traditional Port-Louis Central Market. Everything can be found in there from vegetables to meat to clothes. It is well represented in terms of the Mauritian population with Indians, Chinese and Africans going about their business. During the holiday times in December it is practically impossible to walk around because of the number of people hovering about but the beauty of the market is that it has a festive atmosphere all year long.
The products and services are unlimited in central market. Â A part of the market sells food products such as fruits; vegetables etc and you find a pungent smell in the air. You will find an open space with numerous vendors selling fresh and appealing vegetables and fruits. There is also a snack area where all sorts of Mauritian snacks are sold from the common dhal puri to chicken sandwiches, fresh bread, tea, coffee and the typical Mauritian refreshing drink Alouda. In the market an automatic staircase is installed for your ease.
You will also find all types of pulses, rice, dried sea foods, religious materials, medicinal herbs, lotteries and even birds (mostly pigeons). Apart from all this you will also find Vacoa based baskets, purses, bags, shirts, dresses, bed sheets etc. If you’re looking for souvenirs, a wide variety of Mauritian handicrafts, antiques and costume jewelery is available. Along with souvenir you will get polo T-shirts of different Brands. The level of hustling here can be tiresome, however, and you’ll have to bargain hard as the price of a particular product may vary from one stall to another stall you can quote the price by reducing the price by 30%. In one corner of the market you will get traditional herbs stall which displays all kinds of herbal teas meant to cure you from various aches and ailments.
Central Market has lost some of its edginess after a renovation in 2004 from its 1844 construction – the marketplace’s original ironwork gates are dedicated to Queen Victoria – but it’s still a great place to spend a few hours for its many people, sights, sounds, and smells.