Attractions in Philipsburg

Photo Credit: © Thomas Pavlick CC BY

Philipsburg is the main town and most popular tourist destination in St. Maarten.  It is especially known for its duty and sales tax free shopping, boardwalk, and beach, but there is plenty more to know about this Dutch-town.  Cultural attractions are plentiful, parks and zoos provide a glimpse of island-wide natural sites, and casinos add a bit of glitz that your typical entertainment offerings simply cannot provide.  


Great Bay

You will find an abundance of beaches to enjoy in and around the area. You can click on the name of each beach for detailed information about that beach.

Great Bay: Great Bay is easily accessible from Little Bay Road. Taxis and buses also travel throughout the area.

A second alternative for beach-goers to consider is Back Bay. Back Bay is situated on the east coast of the island and features dramatic hills and exciting waves splashing against the coast. Visitors head to area to admire the geological formations and natural feel rather than swimming in the sea, which can be quite dangerous. Swimmers can choose instead to head toward the natural pools.

Geneve Bay: Located on the east coast of the island and a short distance from the capital city of Philipsburg, Geneve Bay features a small, secluded beach area. Black sand makes the area less ideal for sunbathing, but the beautiful isolation and exciting waves from the Atlantic give the area an exciting atmosphere.

These examples are only a few of your choices. Readers can find out more here.

Landmark Attractions

St. Maarten Museum

If you are looking to do some sight-seeing, visit St. Maarten Museum. It is located within Philipsburg. When the St Maarten National Park Foundation and the St Maarten Museum foundation merged in 1993, the St Maarten National Heritage Foundation was created. This foundation created the St Maarten Museum, which aims to protect and promote the rich heritage of the island of St Maarten.

A second choice is Yoda Guy Movie Exhibit. It's a museum near the center of Philipsburg. Exhibits include proprietor Nick's personal collection of movie relics and collectibles, with a focus on Sci-Fi franchises like Star Wars, Highlander, and Superman.

The Courthouse: Since it was originally constructed as the home of Commander John Philips (the founder of Philipsburg) in 1793, this historic building has been a great many things. A home, a jail, a fire station, and a post office.

That's not all -- you can find a nice selection of other choices. To learn more about other interesting landmarks in Philipsburg, go to this page.

Natural Attractions

St. Maarten Zoo

Wathey Square is one of the better known outdoor tourist attractions. Set in the heart of town, Wathery Square is a bustling port, shopping center, and more that serves as the unofficial town center.

St. Maarten Zoo is another site you should consider visiting. In December of 1991, the St. Maarten Zoo opened its doors to the public, and today it is the largest zoo and playground in the Caribbean. Families love to explore the hundreds of animals that live on property, including birds, reptiles, and mammals.

Philipsburg has plenty of additional choices too. To read our complete guide to natural attractions in and around Philipsburg, read this page.


In the mood for some action? Visitors hoping to try their luck on the slots will have plenty of opportunities to do so in this area.

Coliseum Casino is situated in Philipsburg. A friendly casino that offers more than just gaming, Coliseum Casino is a favorite in Dutch St. Maarten.

If you're simply looking to play a few slots, consider heading to Golden Casino. Located at Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Golden Casino is offered as a perk to guests, and a fun place to hang out for a night for local residents and tourists staying nearby.

Diamond Casino offers a selection of games for patrons to enjoy, including Blackjack and Roulette. At 4,000 square feet, Diamond Casino is is one of the smaller casinos in St. Maarten.

Fortunately, there are some other choices too. You can read this extended discussion regarding gaming in Philipsburg if you'd like to find out additional information.


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