Saint-Denis, Reunion

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Saint-Denis, Reunion

Region: Reunion

Geographic Coordinates: -20.878900, 55.448100
Temperature Range: 20.0°C to 30.0°C (68°F to 86°F)
Climate: Tropical climate with two distinct seasons: wet and hot from November to April, and cooler and drier from May to October.
Population: 315080
Language: French

Saint-Denis is the capital city of Reunion Island, A French overseas department located in the Indian Ocean. The city has a rich history dating back to the 17th century and is known for its blend of Creole and European architecture. Visitors can enjoy stunning views of the Indian Ocean from La Barachois, A promenade along the seafront. Saint-Denis also boasts several museums showcasing Reunion’s unique culture and history, Including contemporary art at Léon Dierx Museum and flora and fauna at Natural History Museum.

For foodies, There are plenty of restaurants serving traditional Creole dishes such as rougail saucisse or cari poulet, As well as bustling markets offering local delicacies like samosas or bouchons. Nature lovers can explore nearby natural wonders like Piton de la Fournaise volcano or La Roche Ecrite Nature Reserve with its endemic species. And throughout the year, Visitors can enjoy cultural festivals celebrating everything from music to literature such as Miel Vert held every January. Overall, Saint-Denis offers an exciting mix of culture, History, Nature, And cuisine that make it a popular destination for travelers to Reunion Island.

Important Landmarks

  1. Basilique-Cathédrale de Saint-Denis: This cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a stunning example of Gothic architecture and serves as the final resting place for many French and Reunionese historical figures.
  2. Jardin de l’Etat: Visitors to this botanical garden can explore the island’s unique flora and fauna, including giant tortoises and rare bird species.
  3. Le Barachois: A popular promenade along the coast that features restaurants, shops, and stunning views of the Indian Ocean.
  4. Musée Léon Dierx: This museum showcases contemporary art from Reunion Island as well as works from other parts of France and Europe.
  5. La Roche Ecrite: A challenging hike that rewards visitors with breathtaking views of Saint-Denis and its surroundings.
  6. Marché Forain de Saint-Denis: This vibrant market offers fresh produce, spices, handicrafts, clothing, and more in a bustling atmosphere.
  7. Musée d’Histoire Naturelle de La Réunion: Located in an 18th-century mansion, this museum explores the natural history of Reunion Island through interactive exhibits and displays.
  8. Temple Tamoul Narassingua Perournal: One of several Hindu temples in Saint-Denis that showcase the island’s multicultural heritage through their colorful architecture and religious practices.
  9. Le Grand Marché Couvert de Saint-Denis: Another lively market where visitors can sample local foods like samosas or buy souvenirs such as vanilla beans or rum bottles.
  10. Parc du Colorado: An urban park with hiking trails that wind through lush vegetation to reach panoramic viewpoints over the cityscape below.

Primary Industries

  1. Tourism
  2. Agriculture
  3. Fishing
  4. Manufacturing

The city is home to several large companies:

  • Air Austral (airline)
  • Bourbon (marine services)
  • SFR Réunion (telecommunications)

There are also many small businesses in the city that cater to tourists and locals alike, including:

  • Restaurants
  • Hotels
  • Souvenir shops
  • Tour operators

The agricultural industry in Saint-Denis produces crops such as:

  • Sugar cane
  • Vanilla beans
  • Fruits and vegetables

Fishing is also an important industry with a large port located in the city.

Noteable History

  1. Saint-Denis is a city situated on the island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean. It was founded by French colonizers in 1669.
  2. In 1810, Saint-Denis was briefly occupied by the British during the Napoleonic Wars.
  3. Later, in 1848, slavery was abolished in Reunion, which had a profound impact on the island’s economy and society.
  4. During World War II, Nazi Germany occupied Saint-Denis from 1942 to 1945. However, after the war ended, life returned to normalcy.
  5. Roland Garros was born in Saint-Denis in 1888. He was an aviator who made history by completing the first solo flight across the Mediterranean Sea.
  6. Joseph Hubert served as mayor of Saint-Denis from 1959 to 1995 and as president of Reunion’s regional council from 1983 to1998. He played a crucial role in shaping modern-day Reunion.
  7. Edouard J.Maunick (1931-2018) lived for many years in Saint-Denis before moving to Mauritius later on. He wrote extensively about colonialism and its legacy globally.
  8. Daniel Vaxelaire (born1954), who has published numerous novels set on Reunion and other islands of Indian Ocean,is also based out of St Denis.
  9. The Piton de la Fournaise volcano located near St Denis has erupted several times throughout history including major eruptions between May-August this year (2021).

Museums and Things To See

  1. Musée Léon Dierx: The museum boasts a collection of paintings, sculptures, and other works of art from the 19th and 20th centuries.
  2. Jardin de l’État: The botanical garden is home to a variety of plants such as palm trees, orchids, and medicinal plants.
  3. Le Barachois: Visitors can explore this historic waterfront area which features several monuments and landmarks including the Saint-Denis Cathedral and the statue of Roland Garros.
  4. Maison Carrère: A colonial-era mansion that has been transformed into a museum showcasing Reunion Island’s history and culture.
  5. La Roche Écrite: This mountain peak provides breathtaking views over Saint-Denis and the surrounding countryside.
  6. Le Grand Marché de Saint-Denis: A bustling market where visitors can buy local produce, spices, handicrafts, and souvenirs.
  7. La Maison du Coco: A small museum where visitors can learn about traditional uses of coconuts in Reunionese culture.
  8. Musée des Arts Décoratifs de l’Océan Indien: Located in nearby Saint-Paul, this museum showcases traditional crafts from across the Indian Ocean region.
  9. Les Makes Observatory: Astronomy enthusiasts will enjoy visiting this observatory to learn about the stars above Reunion Island’s highlands.
  10. Piton de la Fournaise volcano: Although not located in Saint-Denis itself (it’s on the eastern side of Reunion), this active volcano is one of the island’s most famous attractions – visitors can hike up to its crater or take scenic helicopter tours over it instead!

Sports Teams

Sports in Saint-Denis, Reunion

Saint-Denis, Reunion is not known for having any major sports teams or significant sporting history. However, there are some local clubs and associations that participate in various sports such as:

  1. Football (soccer)
  2. Rugby
  3. Basketball
  4. Handball
  5. Volleyball

These teams compete at a regional level within the island of Reunion. Some notable clubs include:

  • Saint-Denis FC: A football club founded in 1948 that plays in the Réunion Premier League.
  • Rugby Club de Saint-Denis: A rugby union club founded in 1969 that competes in the Réunion Rugby Championship.
  • Basket Club Dionysien: A basketball club founded in 1975 that plays in the Regional Basketball League of Reunion Island.
  • Handball Club de Saint-Denis: A handball club founded in 1986 that participates in the Regional Handball League of Reunion Island.
  • Volley-ball Club Dionysien: A volleyball club founded in 1990 that competes at a local level within Reunion Island.

Overall, while there may not be any major sports teams or significant sporting history associated with Saint-Denis, there are still opportunities for locals to engage and participate competitively within their community.

Cultural Events

  1. Festival Liberté Métisse: Celebrated in December, this festival is a celebration of freedom and cultural diversity. It features music, dance, and food from different cultures.
  2. Fête de la Musique: This annual music festival takes place on June 21st each year. It features live performances by local musicians across the city.
  3. Festival du Film Court de Saint-Denis: A short film festival held annually in November that showcases the best short films from around the world.
  4. La Fête des Lumières: A religious festival celebrated in December where locals light candles and lanterns to honor Saint-Denis.
  5. Marché de Noël: A Christmas market that takes place every year in December featuring local crafts, food, and gifts for sale.
  6. Carnaval de Saint-Denis: An annual carnival held during February or March with colorful parades featuring costumes, music, and dancing.
  7. La Nuit Blanche à Saint-Denis: An all-night cultural event held once a year where visitors can explore museums, galleries, and other cultural venues for free throughout the night.
  8. Festival Sakifo Musik : Held every June on Reunion Island’s west coast this is one of the biggest music festivals in Indian Ocean region that attracts international artists to perform alongside local musicians over three days of non-stop entertainment.


  • Chez Noé – a restaurant that serves traditional Creole cuisine such as cari poulet (chicken curry) and rougail saucisse (sausage stew).
  • Le Comptoir du Miel – a honey-themed restaurant that offers dishes made with honey, such as honey-glazed duck breast.
  • La Belle Etoile – a seafood restaurant that serves fresh fish caught off the coast of Reunion Island.
  • Le Jardin de l’Estagnol – a vegetarian restaurant that offers healthy and organic dishes made with local ingredients.
  • L’Epicerie du Sud Sauvage – a small shop that sells homemade jams, spices, and other products from the South of Reunion Island.
  • La Varangue sur Morin – a fine dining restaurant that specializes in French cuisine with an Indian twist.
  • Ti Kaz la Caze Mamao – a family-run Creole restaurant known for its delicious samosas and other street food specialties.
  • Le Bistrot de la Marine – an upscale seafood brasserie located on the port of Saint-Denis offering fresh fish dishes in an elegant setting.
  • L’Oasis Bar Restaurant – A beachfront bar/restaurant serving delicious cocktails & snacks perfect for those looking for some relaxation time by the sea while enjoying great food & drinks!

  • Parks and Recreation

    1. Jardin de l’Etat: This is a beautiful public garden that has been around since 1773. It features a variety of plants, trees, and flowers from around the world.
    2. Parc du Colorado: This park offers stunning views of the city and ocean. It has hiking trails, picnic areas, and playgrounds for children.
    3. La Barachois: This is a waterfront park that features a promenade along the Indian Ocean coast. It’s perfect for jogging or taking leisurely walks while enjoying the sea breeze.
    4. Le Petit Marché de Saint-Denis: This market is open on Sunday mornings and offers fresh produce, local crafts, and food stalls where visitors can try traditional Reunionese dishes.
    5. Aquanor Parc: This waterpark has several pools with different water attractions such as slides and fountains.
    6. Cilaos Adventure Park: Located in nearby Cilaos village (a 45-minute drive from Saint-Denis), this adventure park offers zip-lining, climbing walls, rope courses among other outdoor activities in an incredible natural setting surrounded by mountains.
    7. Le Musée Léon Dierx – An art museum showcasing contemporary works by artists from Reunion Island as well as international artists like Picasso or Matisse
    8. Le Grand Marché – A bustling market selling everything from clothes to spices to souvenirs where you can experience local culture firsthand


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