The night owls among you will know how to appreciate Saint-Denis by night. A must ! Why not start the evening at the bowling alley or in a bar downtown for drinks ? Later, the different restaurants available will surprise even the most jaded tastebuds with an endless variety of experiences for the senses: creole-style, indian, japanese, moroccan, lebanese, chinese and even vegetarian.Those feeling adventurous will dare to try their luck at the casino before heading to one of Saint-Denis’ nightclubs to listen to funk or techno, international or local artists and DJs, or even to one of St-Denis’ hostess bars. No matter your choice, the night promises to take you all the way till dawn.
During the day, take a guided tour with the tourist information center, along the Rue de Paris, birthplace of some of Reunion’s most celebrated people and monuments. The city of Saint-denis welcomes a third of the 130 historical monuments of the island. Take a stroll down memory lane and finish the day with a visit of Maison Carrère to understand what creole bourgeois life in the 19th century might have been like.
Looking to escape the heat and cool down for a moment ? Head towards La Montagne in the mountain for a game of Golf or a walk in the garden called Jardin des Affouches. Or, in a different part of the island, you could choose to go for a mountain-bike ride around Le Brûlé, or simply to learn more about the wonderful endemic plants in the typically creole garden of La Vallée Heureuse.
The capital offers a great wealth of traditions and beliefs, and during your stay you will cross paths with a chinese temple, a Tamil temple, a mosque and a church. To help you better understand the various cults of La Réunion, a guided visit of its different places of worship takes place every saturday morning. You can register at your tourist information center.
Located on Rue de Paris, the Maison Carrère offers a permanent exhibition on creole-style “art de vivre” or way of life, during the 19th century. It isn’t a museum, but rather a house from the past with its doors open to all who wish to learn more. It also shelters the tourist information center for the northern part of the island.
The Léon Dierx museum is dedicated to modern art, and is famous for its collection of master paintings that once belonged to Ambroise Vollard, one of the most well-known art dealers. Right next to it, the Artothèque has a permanent exhibition of local and contemporary paintings and sculptures, as well as temporary exhibitions (paintings, sculpture, photography and more)
The museum of natural history, located in the Jardin de l’Etat, offers both temporary ( on the ground floor) and permanent exhibitions on the fauna and flora of the islands of the indian ocean (1st floor).
Less known, the Museum “de la vraie fraternité” (of true fraternity) is dedicated to catholic religion and the charities of the holy sisters. Automatons portray scenes of the sisters’ lives such as attending to the lepers. A quite unique museum.
Tressage de coco sans frontières ( literally Coco Weaving Without Borders) is a workshop of coconut palm weaving that takes place every saturday at the Maison Carrère. If creole gardens are what you’re after, you can go to either the Jardin des Affouches on the mountain side or to the Jardin de la Vallée Heureuse situated on the Brûlé. Each garden visit ends with a tasting of local products. Register at your tourist information center.