French is the official language used in schools and throughout Réunion’s cities and towns. However, Réunion Creole is the most widely spoken language on the island. English is taught as a second language in schools, but fluent English speakers are not common.
Even though the island is nowhere near Europe geographically, it uses the euro (€) as its official currency. ATMs can be found at post offices, banks, and shopping malls around the largest towns. If traveling outside the primary cities of Réunion, ATMs become less ubiquitous, so tourists should carry cash with them. Visa and MasterCard are accepted by hotels, restaurants, and shopping centers. However, some places do not accept credit cards, or require a minimum spend before purchases can be made with the plastic. Trying to exchange money while in Réunion is difficult, if not close to impossible, so ATM withdrawals are the most common way to get cash.
Réunion is four hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC +4).
Alternating at 50 Hertz, electricity in Réunion is supplied at 220-230 Volts. This makes it much higher than voltages in America, so tourists need to prepare themselves accordingly. A travel adaptor and voltage converter are recommended. The electrical plugs have two rounded pins.
The country code for international dialing is +262. Within the island, tourists calling to a mobile phone will incur a higher cost than calling to landlines. Even though Réunion is technically part of France, it is located within a different roaming service. Therefore, tourists will need to find mobile roaming coverage specifically for Réunion. Internet can be found in the major cities around Réunion, and post offices are located in Saint-Denis, Saint-Andre, and Saint-Gilles.
Passengers over 17 may bring a limited amount of duty-free products into Réunion. 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars are allowed, in addition to two liters of wine and spirits under 22 percent alcohol. However, if spirits are more than 22 percent alcohol, passengers are restricted to one liter. 50ml of perfumer can also be brought into Réunion.
Réunion Island Tourism Board, Saint-Denis: http://www.Réunion.fr/en/home.html or +262-418-300.
Embassies in Réunion
British Consulate, Saint-Denis: +262-347-576 Norwegian Consulate, Saint-Denis: +262-433-048 German Consulate, Saint-Denis: +262-216-206 Belgian Consulate, Saint-Denis: +262-979-910 Swiss Consulate, Saint-Denis: +262-455-574
Emergency services: 112