Roseau (rose-oh) is Dominica’s compact, noisy, chaotic but vibrant capital, situated on the coast and the Roseau River. Reggae music blares through the narrow streets while people zip around in the daytime, but at night the city all but empties. Roseau’s streets are lined with historic stone-and-wood buildings in states ranging from ramshackle to elegant. Look closely and you’ll spot a blend of French, English and Spanish architectural elements, such as porticoes, louvers, hurricane shutters and overhanging verandas.
Roseau is best explored on foot, especially since many sights are clustered around the cruise-ship dock along Dame Eugenia Charles Blvd (also known as Bayfront). The most historic section is the French Quarter, south of bustling King George V St. Just south of the center, along the coastal road, are the ‘suburbs’ of Newtown, Citronier and Castle Comfort.