Reunion Island nightlife

  • 12 June 2014 | By Roy Barford
reunion island nightlife

Success perform at Coco Beach in L'Ermitage

reunion island nightlife

Reunion Island has surprisingly good nightlife; it’s much more vibrant than you’d expect.

If you like a good party, the best place to base yourself on the island appears to be Saint-Gilles, on the west coast. I had a weekend here and thoroughly enjoyed the evening entertainment options I explored.

The music scene includes a fantastic mix of electro, rock, Creole music and more. Live performances are very much part of the nightlife culture, and the acoustics at all the venues I visited were very impressive.

My visit to the island began just a few days after the conclusion of the Safiko Music Festival, and one of the headline acts, Success, performed live at Coco Beach in L’Ermitage, a few kilometres from Saint-Gilles.

Coco Beach is just one of the fantastic venues to consider in the L’Ermitage area alone. Here you can have cocktails as you watch the sunset, enjoy Creole tapas and dance the night away on weekends.

Below is the scene that greeted me when I arrived at Coco Beach.

And then the lead singer went crowd surfing!

reunion island nightlife

If that isn’t really your scene, you may prefer the idea of the music and dancing in the video below, shot at the same venue on a Sunday night.

If you enjoy tango dancing, La Moulin in L’Ermitage is a fancy venue worth checking out.

Right next door to La Moulin is Casino de Saint-Gilles, which is open every day from 10am to 2am.

Most restaurants and bars on the west coast of Reunion Island offer free wifi. Simply ask for the password at the entrance, if one is required.

While Saint-Gilles may be the island’s nightlife capital, there are several venues to check out in Saint-Denis and Saint-Pierre.

See a list of restaurants accredited with Reunion Island Tourism, and ask locals for advice about where to get good local food when you are there.

A seafood platter at Kabanon in L'Ermitage, near Saint-Gilles

If you are going to have a few drinks, don’t drive, same as anywhere else. Public transport and taxis don’t really exist after hours in Reunion, but there is a system where a barman will arrange you a ride back to your accommodation, probably for around €2.

Probably everyone you meet on a night out will be French-speaking, so it’s easiest to start social conversations with “Parlez-vous anglais?” (“Do you speak English?”) and take it from there. Most barmen speak English, and you can always use your fingers to show how many beers you need. The local beer is called Bourbon by label, but just ask for "la Dodo".

A rough guide of what things cost:

A beer or glass of wine: Between €2.50 and €6
Buffet/à la carte dinner: Between €20 and €45
Entrance to most bars and clubs is free
Ride home: €2

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