The captivating city of Fort-de-France combines history, culture and a laid-back lifestyle. Popular with cruise ships, luxury yachts and European sunseekers, the lively capital is a great base for exploring Martinique. Stroll around the flower-filled town centre, bask on the picturesque beach and dig into the flourishing restaurant scene.
Things to do in Fort-de-France
Fort St-Louis towers over the city and traces its roots to the 1600s. Guided tours take you behind the scenes of the stronghold, which continues to operate as a French naval base. Enjoy spectacular views across the bay and look out for green iguanas basking in the sunshine. Plage La Française is directly in front of the fort and is great for swimming and sunbathing.
Swaying palms and leafy fig trees line La Savane, a sun-drenched public park in the heart of Fort-de-France. The western edge of the park is fringed by cafes, bars and restaurants. In the high season, the park moonlights as a venue for outdoor concerts, markets and festivals.
The shopping in Fort-de-France is excellent, with a bevy of gift and souvenir shops to choose from. Marché Local et Artisanal on the waterfront is brimming with stalls selling colourful handicrafts, while Grand Marché is another great place to pick up trinkets.
From casual bistros to upscale restaurants, Fort-de-France boasts one of the best culinary scenes in the West Indies. The flavours are unique and combine elements of French and Creole cuisine. Chatrou, a dish featuring octopus cooked in tomatoes and spices, is an island specialty.
Getting around Fort-de-France
Fort-de-France is pedestrian-friendly and easy to get around on foot, while local buses are an affordable way to get around the city. Ferries known as “vedettes” run between Fort-de-France and the Pointe du Bout resort district. Rental cars offer the freedom to explore the island at your own pace.