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A holiday in Saint-Denis, with its brasseries and bistros, cafes and Creole character, is a great jumping-off point for exploring this island paradise while absorbing the town's architectural beauty, lively ambience, shopping for souvenirs (especially spices) and sampling its many good restaurants. Anyone who is seeking a tropical getaway with the added bonus of French flair, will enjoy a holiday in Saint-Denis. The city is usually just a pit stop on a Reunion itinerary, as the island's main attractions are not actually in Saint-Denis, but the city is rather charming and worth a day or two of exploring.

Tourist attractions in Saint-Denis include the Parc du Colorado, a park and playground which is ideal for a picnic or a barbeque and boasts beautiful views; the Jardin de l'Etat, a pretty little garden in the heart of the city; the Musee Leon Dierx, with its impressive modern art collection; and the Natural History Museum, where visitors can learn about the animals, plants and geology of Reunion. Of course, there are many glorious excursions possible from Saint-Denis, which is best used as a travel hub for explorations of the natural wonders of the island.

Leon Dierx

Musee Leon Dierx

The Musee Leon Dierx, in Saint-Denis, houses an impressive collection of modern art, with works by some of the great masters of the genre such as Gauguin, Matisse, Picasso, Vlaminck and Morisot. Much of the collection was once that of the French art dealer,...  see full details



Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum

The Museum d'Histoire Naturelle (Natural History Museum) of Saint-Denis opened its doors in 1855 and was the first of its kind in the Indian Ocean. The museum houses fascinating exhibits of the region's creatures, from shells to rare birds and mammals, as well as...  see full details



Saint-Gilles-Les-Bains marina

Saint-Gilles-les-Bains

Close to Saint-Paul, on the northwestern side of the island, Saint-Gilles-les-Bains is a highly popular weekend destination, offering a beautiful 12-mile (20km) lagoon and gorgeous white-sand beaches. Saint-Gilles was once a sleepy fishing village, but now it is Reunion's most popular resort, attracting crowds...  see full details