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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN St. Denis

There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Réunion each year. The main ones are listed below.

January 1: New Year's Day (national holiday)

January or February: Chinese New Year (local event)

The Chinese New Year is celebrated in Réunion to mark the start of a new lunar year. Dragon parades and lion dances take place amid general merry-making.

March or April: Easter Monday (national)

May 1: Labour Day (national holiday)

On the first of May, it is customary to offer a sprig of lily-of-the-valley to close ones. Many vendors occupy the pavement on that occasion!

May 8: Victory Day (national holiday)

Commemorates the Allied victory in Europe that ended World War II on this day in 1945. Various ceremonies are held around town.

June 21: Fête de la Musique (celebrated nationwide)

Also celebrated internationally as World Music Day, for this festival many free concerts featuring all types of music are held in the streets and at various venues around Réunion, with the revelry continuing late into the night.

July 14: Bastille Day (national holiday)

This holiday celebrates both the storming of the Bastille prison in 1789, the key event marking the beginning of the French Revolution. It plays as a symbol of the end of the privileges enjoyed by the clergy and the aristocracy. In Réunion, it is commemorated with a variety of events. Highlights include parades, dances and fireworks, all in a festive atmosphere.

August 15: Assumption Day (national holiday)

This celebration, still very popular in Réunion, is marked by several religious ceremonies. The most popular takes place in Piton Sainte-Rose, where the Vierge au parasol (Virgin with the sunshade) stands, in front of Notre-Dames des Laves Church. Miraculously, the volcanic eruption that happened in Piton Sainte-Rose in 1977 left the building untouched.

Third weekend in September: European Heritage Days (celebrated nationwide)

The aim of the European Heritage Days is to open up, free of charge, numerous sites and monuments, many of which are normally closed to the public, such as castles and private collections. A perfect occasion for a stroll and the discovery of architectural gems.

November 11: Remembrance Day (national holiday)

On this day, French citizens gather at war memorials to commemorate the signing of the 1918 Armistice officially bringing an end to the First World War.

December 20: Abolition of Slavery Day (local holiday)

The abolition of slavery in Réunion on this day in 1848 is commemorated each year with a number of official ceremonies, cultural events and much music and dancing.

December 25: Christmas (national holiday)

December 31: New Year's Eve (national event)

On the night of December 31st, the atmosphere is particularly festive on the streets of Réunion, with families and friends celebrating the new year.

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN St. Denis

Réunion has a humid tropical climate overall. As a mountainous island, various regions experience a range of vastly different microclimates. For example, the eastern coast records high rainfall and is very exposed to trade winds blowing from east to west. In contrast, the western coast, which is protected by the relief, remains relatively dry. There are also considerable temperature differences: the weather can be quite warm along the ocean and relatively cool in the higher elevations.

Month Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Average Rains (MM) Best Time to Travel
January 23/73 30/86 279/11.0 Good period to go Good period to go
February 23/73 30/86 351/13.8 Good period to go Good period to go
March 23/73 30/86 232/9.1 Good period to go Good period to go
April 22/72 30/86 154/6.1 Good period to go Good period to go
May 20/68 27/81 98/3.9 Good period to go Good period to go
June 19/66 26/79 77/3.0 Good period to go Good period to go
July 18/64 25/77 58/2.3 Good period to go Good period to go
August 18/64 25/77 58/2.3 Good period to go Good period to go
September 18/64 25/77 50/2.0 Good period to go Good period to go
October 19/66 27/81 43/1.7 Good period to go Good period to go
November 20/68 28/82 70/2.8 Good period to go Good period to go
December 22/72 29/84 188/7.4 Good period to go Good period to go
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Réunion Roland Garros Airport

The Réunion Roland Garros Airport is located about 9 kilometres (6 miles) east of Saint-Denis.

  • One terminal

Getting from the airport to Saint-Denis and back:
  • By car
    • The N2 road connects the airport to Saint-Denis.
    • 2 parking facilities are available: short-term (P1, EUR 1 for 30 minutes, EUR 3 for 1 hour) and long-term (P4, EUR 30 for 24 hours then EUR 5 per extra day).
    • Several car rental companies have counters at the airport.
  • By bus
    • The T bus route connects the airport with the main bus station in Saint-Denis, every day of the week. The trip takes 15 minutes and the fare is EUR 5 each way.
  • By shuttle bus
    • A shuttle bus service connects the airport to the Saint-Denis town hall in about 30 minutes. Buses run daily from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. The fare is EUR 4 each way.
  • By taxi
    • Taxis are available at the ranks outside the terminal. The trip to the city centre costs about EUR 25 (EUR 35 at night).
  • Services: shops, bars and restaurants, free Internet access (Wi-Fi) available in the airport.
  • Telephone: +262 (0)2 62 48 81 81
  • Website: https://www.reunion.aeroport.fr/en

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GETTING AROUND St. Denis

Getting around Réunion is very easy. The island has an efficient bus network serving all municipalities, including Saint-Denis, Saint-Pierre, Le Tampon, Saint-Benoît, Saint-Leu, Salazie, Saint-Paul and Saint-André. In addition, the island's roads are well maintained and make it possible to reach any point of interest by car or motorcycle.

By bus

Réunion's public bus network (https://www.carjaune.re) consists of a large variety of routes, mainly offering connections between municipalities. The following routes are among those most useful for visitors:

  • Bus line 02 (Saint-Denis - Saint-Pierre via Saint-Paul, Saint-Gilles and Saint-Leu along the coast)
  • Bus line S1 (Saint-Denis - Saint-Benoît via Grande Anse and Sainte-Rose along the coast)
  • Bus line S2 (Saint-Pierre - Saint-Benoît via Le Tampon, with a special stop at the Piton des Neiges bus station)

A single ticket costs EUR 2, and a weekly pass is available for EUR 15.

By taxi

Saint-Denis and most of the other larger towns have taxi ranks. Expect to pay around EUR 15-20 for a 5-kilometre (3-mile) trip during the day.

By bicycle

Using a bicycle to get around Réunion is not really recommended. Elevations rise rather abruptly as you head inland and traffic is always heavy on the coastal road, which lacks designated cycling paths.

By car and motorcycle

Cars and motorcycles are a convenient way to get around Réunion. The infrastructure is excellent and Réunion has a large number of secondary roads. Car rental agencies are very easy to find in all towns. Due to considerable competition, rates are not very expensive.

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Visitor information

Upon your arrival in Réunion, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organise your stay.

Regional tourism authorities in Réunion

The tourism authorities listed below offer practical information and useful recommendations specific to their regions (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).

Office de Tourisme Intercommunal du Nord de La Réunion - Antenne de Saint-Denis

Office de Tourisme Intercommunal du Nord de La Réunion - Antenne de Sainte-Suzanne

Bureau d'Accueil et d'Information de Saint-Leu

Office de Tourisme de Saint-Pierre

  • Address: 1 Capitainerie du Port de Plaisance Lislet Geoffroy, place Napoléon Hoareau, 97410 Saint Pierre
  • Telephone: +262 (0)2 62 25 02 36
  • Website: https://visit.sudreuniontourisme.fr/

Office de Tourisme Intercommunal de l'Est de La Réunion - Antenne de Saint-André

  • Address: Maison Martin Valliamée, 1590 chemin du Centre, BP 91, 97440 Saint André
  • Telephone: +262 (0)2 62 46 16 16
  • Website: https://visit.reunionest.fr/

Further information available online for visitors to Réunion

The official website maintained by the Comité Régional du Tourisme de La Réunion provides a wealth of information on all of the island's destinations.

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Currency and Exchange Rates

The currency used in France is the Euro (EUR).

1 SEK = 0,10 EUR

1 EUR = 10 SEK

The above exchange rate is given for information because is variable.

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Medical information

In order to travel in the best conditions and for your health and safety, we invite you to check all information regarding preventive measures and best practices to be respected, available on the official website of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs: https://www.gouvernement.fr/info-coronavirus

Your comfort, well-being and health are at the heart of Air France's concerns, and we want to help you prepare for your trip in the best way possible. Find out more about the measures taken to ensure safe travelling on our website: https://www.airfrance.fr/FR/en/common/page_flottante/information/coronavirus.htm#notre-engagement-sanitaire

See your doctor before you travel. It is also recommended to take out insurance covering medical expenses and repatriation before your trip. Réunion counts several hospitals and medical institutions, as well as quality medical practitioners and health specialists.

Vaccinations

There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to Réunion. For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:

Water

Tap water is safe to drink in Réunion.

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Administrative formalities

Entry requirements for Réunion

Entry requirements for the French overseas departments (Réunion, Martinique, Guadeloupe, French Guiana and Mayotte) are different from those applicable in mainland France. Citizens of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or the Swiss Confederation do not need to carry a visa. To view the list of other countries whose citizens or nationals may travel to Martinique without a visa, or for information on the types of travel documents required, visit the website of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/coming-to-france/

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Directory of foreign embassies and consulates in France

Contact information for the embassies and consulates of your country is accessible in the directory of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs: www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/le-ministere-et-son-reseau/annuaires-des-ambassades-et-consulats-etrangers-en-france

To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in Réunion, visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country.

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Essential phrases

Here are a few basic French phrases that will make your stay in Réunion a little easier:

Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon: Bonjour (morning) Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon: <em>Bonjour (morning)</em>

Good evening: Bonsoir Good evening: <em>Bonsoir</em>

Goodbye: Au revoir Goodbye: <em>Au revoir</em>

Yes: Oui Yes: <em>Oui</em>

No: Non No: <em>Non</em>

No, thank you: Non, merci No, thank you: <em>Non, merci</em>

Thank you very much: Merci beaucoup Thank you very much: <em>Merci beaucoup</em>

Please: S'il vous plaît Please: <em>S'il vous plaît</em>

I don't understand: Je ne comprends pas I don't understand: <em>Je ne comprends pas</em>

Could you repeat?: Pouvez-vous répéter ? Could you repeat?: <em>Pouvez-vous répéter ?</em>

What time is it?: Quelle heure est-il ? What time is it?: <em>Quelle heure est-il ?</em>

Sorry: Pardon
Excuse me: Excusez-moi Sorry: <em>Pardon</em><br />
Excuse me: <em>Excusez-moi</em>

Airport: Aéroport Airport: <em>Aéroport</em>

Train station: Gare Train station: <em>Gare</em>

Taxi: Taxi Taxi: <em>Taxi</em>

Hotel: Hôtel Hotel: <em>Hôtel</em>

Hospital: Hôpital Hospital: <em>Hôpital</em>

Bank: Banque Bank: <em>Banque</em>

Telephone: Téléphone Telephone: <em>Téléphone</em>

I'm (…): Je suis (…) I'm (…): <em>Je suis (…)</em>

I'm looking for (…): Je recherche (…) I'm looking for (…): <em>Je recherche (…)</em>

How much is (…)?: Quel est le prix de (…) ? How much is (…)?: <em>Quel est le prix de (…) ?</em>

Do you have (…)?: Avez-vous (…) ? Do you have (…)?: <em>Avez-vous (…) ?</em>

Where can I find (…)?: Où puis-je trouver (…) ? Where can I find (…)?: <em>Où puis-je trouver (…) ?</em>

Where can I buy (…)?: Où puis-je acheter (…) ? Where can I buy (…)?: <em>Où puis-je acheter (…) ?</em>

I'd like (…): Je voudrais (…) I'd like (…): <em>Je voudrais (…)</em>

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Good to know

+262
+ phone number (without 0)
2 : 00
of time difference with
Stockholm
There is no daylight saving time in Réunion

BANKS

Usually open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
GOVERNMENT OFFICES

Usually open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
230 V / 50 Hz

Tipping
In Réunion like elsewhere in France, a service charge is always included in the bill. If you are particularly pleased with the service, you may certainly leave a few extra euros on the table. But this additional tip is neither expected nor necessary.

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