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Philipsburg: an open-air shopping center

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For shopping, Philipsburg is the place to be! This great city is the capital of the Dutch side of Saint Martin's island. The other part of the island is French and his capital is Marigot.Ready for shopping? Head for Philipsburg and its open-air shopping center. Park your rental car along the lagoon or in one of the public car parks, and head to the tax-free paradise open from 9 am to 6 pm, every day.

1- Shopping in Philipsburg

The capital of the Dutch part of the island is a guarantee of good business. To get there by car, avoid the center of Philipsburg and park along the pond. Two main streets are considered to be the shopping temple of choice: Front Street and Back Street, where you will find colorful shops, modern hotels, and family homes.On Front Street, you'll find mainly jewelry. And Back Street, there are more shops for shoes and clothes. The range of shops is very wide, so there is something for everyone. Computers, HI-FI, mobile phones, and cameras are some of the high-end electronics on offer.The latest models of sportswear from the United States are available on the shop shelves at unbeatable prices. This makes it possible to come back to France with the latest sneakers, unknown in France, which moreover do not cost much!Sint Maarten is the duty-free destination par excellence. The prices of the products sold are free of any tax or customs duty, which makes them truly unbeatable. It is the ideal place to buy sunglasses, luxury watches, and jewelry, elegant textiles, cosmetics and perfumes, alcohol, and tobacco, according to your desires. Faced with the rightly tempting offers, even those who hate shopping are eager to indulge in window-shopping with a smile on their face.The majority of Philipsburg stores are generally open from 9 am to 5 pm or 6 pm, 7 days a week, from Monday to Sunday.

2- Places to visit in Philipsburg

In addition to shopping and its wonderful bay, Philipsburg offers its visitors some interesting sites to explore.Starting with the Courthouse. The Courthouse was built in 1793 and has been renovated several times since then. It is easily spotted thanks to pineapple on the roof as a welcome sign. This white building with green shutters, typical of the Caribbean, has been used as a prison, fire station, post office, and court of justice over the years.

philipsburg-court-house

The museum of Sint Maarten or Philipsburg City Museum allows the visitor to immerse himself in the history of the island through pottery objects made by the Arawaks, artifacts from the settlement period, as well as underwater archaeological fragments and objects from the frigate HMS Proselyte, which was wrecked off the coast of Fort Amsterdam in 1801.Sint Maarten National Heritage Foundation is another Philipsburg museum. This one traces the origins of the island from the arrival of the Arawaks to the agreement for the division of St. Martin between Holland and France. Various objects are on display to illustrate the episodes that marked the history of the people of St. Martin.A superb botanical garden and a charming zoo with almost 80 animal species complete the offer of places to visit in the Dutch capital of the island, providing a schedule for busy days.

3- Ancillary activities 

Philipsburg is also a popular place to stroll along the boardwalk on foot, by bike, or even on a tripod. The proximity to the pier where cruise ships dock, allows meeting tourists from all over the world, allowing friendly exchanges. On this promenade which runs along almost the entire waterfront of Great Bay, you should take the time to sip a cocktail in one of the beach bars and linger to encourage the endearing street musicians who perform with talent.Nearby, there are many restaurants with a nice menu. There's something for every taste and budget; it's just as much possible to enjoy specialties with a Dutch or Indonesian influence as it is to eat on the go.In the local specialties section, a special mention must be made of the Guavaberry Emporium. This attraction is very popular with tourists, as it offers an opportunity to get to know the favorite drink of the inhabitants of the island of St. Maarteen: Guavaberry. This typical fruit of the region is mixed with cane sugar and aged rum to make tempting nectar if consumed in moderation. You should not leave Philipsburg without a bottle of Guavaberry in your luggage.The evening can continue in one of the casinos to enjoy the thrill of the roulette and other slot machines. You can choose between the Coliseum Casino or the Red and Black, both located at the east end of Front Street.

After a busy day of shopping, strolling and good food in an idyllic setting under ideal weather conditions, it's time to pick up your rental car and head back to your hotel for a well-deserved warrior's rest. The next day and the following days are indeed many opportunities to enjoy the natural beauties of the island between water sports, swimming, and idleness.

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