8 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Pointe-à-Pitre
Pointe-à-Pitre, on the island of Grand-Terre, is the largest city and economic center of Guadeloupe with a sheltered cruise ship port five minutes from town. Founded in the mid 1600s, this busy market town is still small enough to cross in 15 minutes. Well-preserved 19th century buildings line the older streets such as Rue Achille and René-Boisneuf, and the bustling markets are a great place to soak up some local color with their tropical produce piled high, aromatic spices, and vendors dressed in flamboyant attire. One of the main tourist attractions in the city is the Place de la Victoire, a park surrounded by lovely homes and restaurants. Near Pointe-à-Pitre, the commune of Le Gosier, with its large marina and many tourist facilities, is a gateway for excursions to the islands of Marie-Galante and Les Saintes.
1 Place de la Victoire
A large park dotted with mango trees and royal palms, Place de la Victoire, is the focal point of Pointe-à-Pitre. Visitors can relax at the sidewalk cafes lining the Rue Bébion on the west side of the park and stroll past the charming old homes along the Rue de Comdt Mortenal on the east side.
Accommodation: Where to Stay in Pointe-a-Pitre
2 Markets and Shopping Streets
The colorful and bustling markets of Pointe-à-Pitre exude all the culture and color of this vibrant town. Tropical fruits, fragrant spices, local crafts, and brightly-hued flowers are a sensory feast at the harborside market along La Darse, the inner harbor road. Fishing boats tie up here to sell their catch. Other markets around the town include Saint-Antoine, Saint-Jules, and the Flower market. Shopping hot spots include the Center Saint-John Perse, and the boutiques and jewelry shops of Frébault, Nozières and Schoelcher Streets. Shoppers will also find many smaller stores and stalls on the noisy, animated side streets.
3 Museum Saint John Perse
The Museum Saint John Perse (Musée Municipal Saint-John Perse) honors the islands' renowned poet and Nobel Laureate, who was also known as Alexis Saint-Léger. The museum is housed in a carefully restored two-story colonial house dating from the 19th century. On the ground floor, visitors can explore an authentic period Creole residence, while the top floor contains exhibits on the poet's life, a library, and videotheque. The poet's house of birth is nearby at 54 Rue de Nozières.
Address: 9 Nozières Street, Pointe-à-Pitre
4 Iron Cathedral
The curious Cathédrale de St Pierre et St Paul in Pointe-à-Pitre features arches constructed of riveted iron girders, reflecting the influence of past hurricanes and earthquakes.
Address: Rue du Général Ruillier, Pointe-a-Pitre
A commune of Pointe-a-Pitre, Gosier is a picturesque seaside town with a large marina, tourist accommodations, and many shops. Boats to Marie-Galante and Les Saintes leave from here. Nearby, at Fort Fleur d'Epé lie the ruins of a French garrison built in 1759 to guard against English raids. Photographers will enjoy the flowering trees, rusting cannons, and views out to sea.
From Gosier, visitors can take a boat to Isle of Gosier, a small island just offshore with a beach and old lighthouse.
6 Aquarium de la Guadeloupe
Rated among the best French aquariums, Aquarium de la Guadeloupe in Gossier showcases the region's rich marine life. The museum is about 11-minutes by car from Pointe-à-Pitre. More than 60 species of tropical fish, as well as sharks and turtles, are contained in numerous ponds. The snorkeling tours are popular with children and adults alike.
Address: Place Creole, La Marina, Gosier 97190, Guadeloupe
7 Museum Schoelcher
The Museum Schoelcher, in Pointe-à-Pitre, is dedicated to the life and works of Victor Schoelcher, a major activist who helped abolish slavery in Guadeloupe. Housed in a beautiful colonial building, the museum displays exhibits and artifacts of the slave trade as well as works of art belonging to Monsieur Schoelcher.
Address: 24 Rue Peynier, Pointe-a-Pitre
8 Fête des Cuisinières
Fête des Cuisinières or Festival of the Women Cooks, in Pointe-à-Pitre, is an annual event held in August. During this time women dress in colorful costume, and celebrations take place throughout the day and into the evening with entertainment, dancing, and food. Tickets sell out almost instantly for the festival's five-hour feast, which many consider is some of the best Creole cuisine in the Caribbean.