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Saint-denis Travel Guide, Reunion

Saint-Denis, the capital of Reunion, is a sadly overlooked tourist destination despite its pleasant atmosphere. Reunion is a French overseas department, and perhaps many tourists believe that Saint-Denis might be too European to warrant a longer stay. Even if the city might resemble a generic town in the French countryside, the city’s Creole roots are plainly visible if you take a closer look.

There is more to Saint-Denis than pastry-shops, cafes and fancy restaurants. Even if you’re merely passing through Saint -Denis on your way to the island’s more exotic locations, do take some time to marvel at the magnificent colonial architecture, impressive religious buildings (a mix of mosques, Buddhist temples and churches). This Saint-Denis Travel Guide will help you plan your holiday to this beautiful and underappreciated city.

Saint-Denis Travel Guide - Transport

The closest international airport to Saint-Denis is Roland Garros Airport, named in honor of the famous Saint-Denis born aviator. While there are several direct flights from Europe to Reunion through Air France, if your point of departure is in the UK, US or Australia, you will have to take a connection flight to Paris and fly to Saint-Denis from there.

Another option would be to fly to Antananarivo, Madagascar’s capital. Ivato Airport in Antananarivo has connections with several cities around the world: Guangzhou, Bangkok, Johannesburg, and a score of African capitals. If you’re travelling from the UK to Reunion, you should fly to Mauritius and take a short connection flight to Reunion from there.

The city of Saint-Denis is not overly large, so there is not much point in using the public transport system to get around. If exploring the city on foot does not appeal to you, you can take a taxi, but keep in mind that taxi fares in Saint-Denis are far from cheap.

Saint-Denis Travel Guide - Accommodation

Saint-Denis doesn’t have a huge selection of hotels, but the few hotels in the city are almost all pleasant and comfortable. If you would like to spend a few nights in a beautiful Creole building, this Saint-Denis Travel Guide recommends Le Juliette Dodu, a cozy little hotel in a peaceful part of the city. Rooms are large and charmingly old-fashioned, and the breakfast buffet is delicious. The hotel’s restaurant is open on Sundays, when most eateries in Saint-Denis are closed.

Mercure Creolia hotel is an upscale establishment with beautiful rooms that have a great view of the city. Although the hotel is a bit far from the city centre, it has all the necessary amenities and an excellent French-Creole restaurant. Concorde Bellepierre is one of the best hotels in the city, and also one of the most expensive. However, the location of the hotel is excellent, the rooms are well-furnished and beautiful, and the hotel’s restaurant serves the best Creole food in Saint-Denis.

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