Castries is the capital city of Saint Lucia. Founded by the French in 1650, Castries now has a population of just over 11,000.
Of itself, Castries doesn't have a huge amount to offer visitors, and it's usually just a place that you'll pass through on your way to the more obvious attractions of Saint Lucia.
Even though Castries doesn't have much to offer, you can usually find a fair number of tourists wandering about the place, as the cruise ships that visit Saint Lucia dock at Pointe Seraphine, in the northern part of the city.
There is a tourist information office, a 15 minute walk from the town centre in the cruise ship dock at Pointe Seraphine.
Free maps are available from the information desk in the La Place Carenage mall on Jeremie Street, just along from the St.Lucia Fire Service building.
Many visitors will come into Castries on the cruise ships that dock at Point Seraphine.
For details on the ferries that operate from Castries, see the Saint Lucia#Get_in section.
There is actually an anchorage for sailing boats in Castries harbour, although most visitors on sailing boats tend to dock at Rodney Bay Marina, just outside of Gros Islet and then get a bus or taxi in.
These provide a cheap and fun way of getting around:
There are duty free shops in Pointe Seraphine, where the cruise ships dock, and also in La Place Carenage mall on Jeremie Street.
For more local goods, the busy market on Jeremie Street is worth a visit.
There are cheap local eatries in a small alley that runs alongside the market and down to Jeremie Street.
A friendly and cheap cafe selling local food is on the first floor of a building on Derek Walcott square.