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Practical A to Z

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Practical A to Z

Eating out

Opening times

Restaurants are open from 11.30am-1.30pm and 7-9.30pm. Many restaurants are closed on Sunday. It is best to call beforehand.


Not customary but welcome nonetheless.

Street vendors

Local specialities (samoussas, bouchons, sarcives, sandwiches, caris…) can be bought from snack trucks, often parked along the seashore. Poulets-gasoil or poulets-la-route (roast chicken).

Tables d’hote and country inns

These pleasantly decorated establishments are often found in the highland regions serving a set, local menu. Bookings essential.


The voltage in La Réunion is 220V and sockets are for standard European two-pin plugs. Some cottages run on solar power, in which case ask about the voltage.

Embassies and consulates

British Honorary Consulate – t 0262 34 75 76 - http://ukinfrance.fco.gov.uk

Getting around

By bus

A dozen bus lines operate on the island, but some regions remain very poorly served.

By collective taxi

Less expensive and more widespread than normal taxis, they are used mainly for the highland regions. Departures and information from bus stations.


Also see Know before you go.


Mosquitoes carry the chikungunya disease, malaria and dengue fever. Make sure you protect yourself carefully.


If stung by a venomous fish (scorpion or stone fish), call a doctor and immerse the part of your body stung into water as hot as you can bear.


The tap water is drinkable, but should not be drunk after heavy rainfall or cyclones.


Police – t 17

Fire brigade – t 18

Ambulance – t 15

Sea rescues – t 0262 43 43 43

Mountain rescues – t 0262 930 930.



The currency of La Réunion is the Euro (EUR), subdivided into 100 centimes.

Banks / Exchange

Banks are generally open Monday-Friday from 8am-12.30pm and 2-4pm. Money can be changed at airports and the main banks. Some hotels accept payments in foreign currencies.

Traveller’s cheques

Although not very widespread, they are accepted by the main banks.

Credit cards

Most credit cards are accepted. ATMs (gabiers) are widespread in town centres, but few and far between in the highland areas.

Budget / cost of living

A double room in a chambre d’hôte will cost around €40-60 and a meal at a table d’hôte around €18, bicycle rentals cost around €12 per half day and museum entrance fees from €2 to 8.


Postal rates are the same as those in France (€0.65 for a letter or postcard to Europe).

Post offices are generally open Monday-Friday from 8am-5pm, Saturday 8am-12noon. In villages and small towns, they close between 12noon and 2pm.

Public holidays

1 January – New Year

April – Easter Monday

1 May – Labour Day

8 May – 1945 Victory Day

May – Ascension Thursday

14 July – National Holiday

15 August – Assumption Day

1 November – All Saints’ Day

11 November – Armistice of 1918

20 December – Freedom Day (Abolition of Slavery in La Réunion)

25 December – Christmas


Opening times

Shops are generally open Monday-Saturday from 9am-12noon and 2.30-6pm. Some grocery stores are open on Sunday morning.


With the exception of markets, bartering is relatively uncommon and may well cause offence.


Local and Madagascan arts and crafts – Wooden sculpture, embroidered tablecloths, clothes and wickerwork.

Groceries – Bourbon vanilla, spices, achars (pickles) and spicy chutney. Beverages: punch or rum punch, litchi or combava liqueur, vintage rum.

Plants – Orchids and exotic trees (ask for air packaging).


Museums and sites are generally open from 9am-5pm. Many are closed on Monday and at lunchtime.


To call la Reunion from abroad

Dial 00 + 33 + 10-digit number of the person (without the first 0).

To call home from la Reunion

Dial 00 + country code (UK 44 and Ireland 353) + the number of the person (without the first 0).

Calls in the island

Dial the 10-digit number of the person.

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