Destination Guide: Cayenne
Cultural diversity, lively markets and prime people-watching
Discover a dash of French flavour stirred into a heady mix of Creole, Maroon, Laotian and
more, in French Guiana's culturally diverse capital. Sample spicy local dishes or Asian rice
noodles, then take home exotic oddments from Cayenne’s Caribbean-style market.
Food and Drink
Taste the world, from French fare to Vietnamese favourites. Fresh and succulent
seafood is best enjoyed at Montjoly beach, or follow your nose down the alleys of the
main town, north of Canal Laussat, to find enticing Gallic brasseries, Creole cafés
and pho noodle soup bars. The stalls at Cayenne’s Place du Coq market sizzle
with eclectic eats.
Sightseeing and relaxation
Colonial charm and spooky specimens. Find Cayenne's French roots around Place
Léopold Héder – the city's oldest enclave is home to ramshackle Franco-Caribbean
houses, the pastel-yellow Hôtel de Ville and 17th-century Fort Cépérou, with
views right over the city. Shady Place des Palmistes is where to watch the world go
by, while the Musée Départemental Franconie has a large collection of pickled snakes.
Buy indigenous art and curious nibbles. Amble Avenue du Général de Gaulle for
Cayenne's upscale boutiques. In the old city, look for cooperatives selling Amerindian
handicrafts, where proceeds go directly to locals, and bookshops stocking
detailed French Guiana maps – essential for would-be explorers. For unidentifiable edibles,
head to Place du Coq market in the morning.
Nightlife and Entertainment
Fine wine and fiestas. Sip vin rouge at a bar on Place des Palmistes, which
takes its name from its swathe of exotic palm trees. Live music is almost everywhere
and many bars and restaurants host bands playing everything from French ballads to Afrobeat.
Visit pre-Lent and join locals for their biggest party of the year - the Cayenne