The capital of Reunion Island, St. Denis is very attractive and has retained its 18th-century French colonial look. Although the city has few attractions, it's worth at least half a day to stroll along its streets, which are lined with historic wooden houses painted white.
The Barachois seafront promenade has restaurants and cafes to linger in. Keep your eye out for a cathedral, Chinese and Tamil temples, two mosques and Buddhist pagodas—evidence of the varied resident cultures. Spend some time at the Artoteque (modern art on display), the Natural History Museum (open weekdays) and Musee Leon-Dierx (impressionist art and cultural displays, open daily except Tuesday). Afterward, shop along Rue du Marechal-Leclerc, Rue du Jean-Chatel and Rue du Juliette-Dodu—the three streets are full of fascinating little boutiques.
St. Denis also has a botanical garden and a horseback-riding center, and it's well known on the island for its exotic restaurants, stylish bars and a lively nightlife.
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