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There's really no avoiding Victoria. Seychelles' tiny capital acts as the transportation hub for all of Mahé — the airport sits a mere 6 miles southwest of town, while many bus and ferry services originate in Victoria. Plus, the city's numerous transport services make it a convenient layover point for those en route to Praslin or La Digue, as well as to other points of interest on Mahé. But recent visitors and travel experts alike recommend taking a day or two to experience the city. Home to one third of the nation's population, Victoria has an air of hustle and bustle, but not enough to break the city of its provincial ambiance. You can join in the action at the Sir Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke Market where vendors have been selling fish and fruit since 1840; or you can brush up on the history and culture of the islands at the National Museum of History (entry is 15 SCR — approximately $1.25 USD — for adults). But for many, the highlight of a visit to Victoria is the time spent at the Seychelles National Botanical Gardens.
You won't need anything but your own two feet to get a feel for Victoria. In fact, you can walk from the western edge of the city through downtown to the harbor (a distance of less than a mile) in roughly 15 minutes. While you're wandering, keep your camera handy so you can snap photos of the town's old colonial buildings and beloved clock tower (a replica of a clock that once stood on Victoria Street in London, which former Seychelles governor Sir Ernest Bickham Sweet-Escott admired). You'll also find a smattering of local mom and pop restaurants serving up fresh seafood and Creole cuisine.
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