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Useful Tips to know before coming in Saint Martin and Sint Maarten

The island has a small surface area of 93 km², which makes it easy to get around the island in a short period. The ideal solution for this is to rent a car before your arrival, to guarantee its availability at Grand-Case airport. Depending on whether you come as a couple, with family or friends, you can opt for a compact or city car, a sedan or a family car, a minivan or a station wagon. And why not let yourself be tempted by a cabriolet model in these lands not often visited by rain? All models are available upon request.


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1- Language in St. Martin's island

This jewel located between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean is a real cosmopolitan island. Different cultures meet there every day since a border separates the island into two parts: a French side and a Dutch side. French and Dutch are therefore the two official languages. But it is English, a reminder of the British occupation, that is most commonly spoken. To add to the charm of the place, it is not uncommon to hear the charming accents of the Creole language.


2- Calling to Saint Martin

To call the French side of Saint-Martin from France, you need to dial the two digits of the international call: 00, followed by the code 590, and the number of your local correspondent. Or, more simply, you can dial 0590, followed by the corresponding local number. To call the Dutch side of Sint Maarten from France, you need to dial the two digits of the international call: 00, followed by the code 1721, and the number of your local correspondent. Or, more simply, you can dial +1 721, followed by the corresponding local number. Please note, if you need to call Sint Maarten from Saint Martin, you have to dial 00 1 721 54, followed by the 5 digits of your correspondent's landline, or 00 1 721 55 followed by the number if you are calling to a mobile phone. Conversely, to call Saint-Martin from Sint Maarten, you must dial 00 59, followed by the 7 digits of the number called. Or, more simply, you can dial +590, then the digits of the number called.


3- Airports

The island has two airports. The one that welcomes large aircraft, and especially flights from metropolitan France, is Princess Juliana International Airport, which is located on the Dutch side of Saint-Martin but also serves the French side of the island. However, the French side of the island has its terminal, Grand-Case Espérance Airport, which is reserved for small aircraft, especially those coming from Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Saint Barthélémy.


4- Accommodation

There is a wide choice of accommodation available on Saint-Martin's island. Charming hotels or luxury hotels, holiday residences, or villas with their feet in the water,... The hotel facilities and services are of excellent quality. The people of Saint Martin, who are renowned for their hospitality, always welcome you with open arms and a broad smile.


5- Money and rates of exchange

On the French side of the island, the Euro is the official currency, while the Netherlands Antilles Florin, or Guilder, in the area belonging to the Netherlands. But it is still the US Dollar (USD) which is king and which serves essentially as a currency of exchange. There are several exchange offices and banks on the island. You can check in there the current exchange rates. International credit cards are accepted in most commercial establishments, restaurants, and hotels.


6- Electrical plugs

There is a difference between both sides of the island. On the French side, the plugs are European adapting on 220 Volts and 60 Hertz, while in the Dutch zone, the plugs are American working on a 110 Volts and 60 Hertz system. Adapters and transformers are nevertheless available to remedy the problem.


7- Driving in Saint Martin

The best way to get around Saint Martin and Sint Maarten, with complete freedom, is to rent a car. Driving complies with the regulations of the French Highway Code. All you need is a French or international driving license to be allowed to drive on both parts of the island. A coastal road encircles the territory, to be able to go quickly and safely to any point, and small roads link the towns together.


Wild or lively beaches, water sports or idleness, museums or cultural outings, restaurants or lolos (food trucks), casinos or nightclubs, zouk or reggae, ... In Saint-Martin and Sint Maarten, everyone can have fun. In Saint-Martin, one forgets everything while enjoying every moment. One last recommendation so that your pleasure is not spoiled: make sure that you never leave any valuables things in your rental car, so as not to attract covetousness.

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