Shopping in Sint Maarten

St. Maarten is the Caribbean's only truly duty-free, tax-free port

Photo credit: © Mamaï
 

About 50 years ago, St. Maarten became a duty-free, tax-free port, changing the face of tourism on the island forever. Today, cruise ships dock, and passengers descend upon the island, scooping up top-of-the-line products at bottom-of-the-barrel prices.

Taxes, Duties, and Tips

With one of the only true duty-free and tax-free ports around, and the great deals that abound, you won't want to pass up a chance to stop up on high end goods on this island. Savings are typically between 15 and 50 percent, if not higher, and no paperwork is required of you to avoid paying duties and taxes.

Travelers from the United States should note, however, that in order to take advantage of this, you must be on the island for more than 48 hours and spend less than $600(USD).

As you're shopping in St. Maarten, you'll find that while the Netherland Antilles florin or guilder (NAf ) is the official form of currency, the U.S. Dollar is widely accepted. On the French side of the island, the Euro (€ ) is firm, however, you can use a credit card almost everywhere. This is a great option for those who want to avoid the hassle of exchanging currency, especially if they'll be going back and forth between the two nations frequently. You can learn more about currency in St Maarten by clicking here.

Gifts and Souvenirs

Most islands in the Caribbean are great for shopping when it comes to rustic, hand crafted gifts, but when you're shopping in St. Maarten, you’ll want to stick to the designer duds. You'll be hard pressed to find better deals on items like cashmere, house wares, perfume, crystal, flat ware, and high fashion clothing.

If you do prefer to buy local, there are several art galleries with regional artists on display, and souvenir shops sell wood carvings, guava better liquor, jams, and even hammocks.

If you enjoy shopping for souvenirs or gifts consider heading to St. Maarten Museum Gift Shop, which is found within Philipsburg, Sint Maarten. Most of the products in the gift shop were made by local artists and some were even made by volunteers of the museum. The gift shop also sells books, maps and small publications about St Maarten's heritage. Customers can contact them at (599) 542-4917.

Another possibility is Shipwreck Royal Palm, which is found three and a half miles (five and a half kilometers) to the west of St. Maarten Museum Gift Shop. With the widest selection of gifts and souvenirs in one location on the island, Shipwreck is the one place that tourists should check out for items to commemorate their visit. The property is located on Welfare Road.

Still another option is Shipwreck St. Rose Arcade. The "second shop on Front Street," this is just one branch of the most popular souvenir and gift shop on the island. Featuring a wide selection of high-quality options, if there is a particular item you're hoping to find, you can bet it is available here. Guests can find them on Front Street.

Glance through the table below for a listing of gift and souvenir shops serving this area.

Gifts and Souvenirs In Sint Maarten
Name Phone Location
Aladin (721) 545-4199 0.8 mi. South of Central Point Pirouette
Patricia's Caribbean Floral Baskets By Alta (721) 522-9017 Simpson Bay
Rima Beach World (721) 542-1424 Philipsburg
Shipwreck Airport Road (721) 542-5358 2.2 mi. South-Southwest of Central Marigot
Shipwreck Flamingo Resort (721) 542-5358 0.7 mi. South of Central Simpson Bay
Shipwreck Great Bay Resort (721) 542-5358 Philipsburg, Central Sint Maarten
Shipwreck Harbour Village (721) 542-5358 0.8 mi. South-Southeast of Central Philipsburg
Shipwreck Island Living (721) 542-5358 Philipsburg, Southern part of Sint Maarten
Shipwreck Little Bay (721) 542-5358 0.9 mi. West-Southwest of Central Philipsburg
Shipwreck Maho Beach (721) 542-5358 1.5 mi. West of Central Simpson Bay
Shipwreck Main Store (721) 542-2737 Philipsburg, Southern part of Sint Maarten
Shipwreck PJI Airport (721) 542-5358 1.0 mi. West-Northwest of Central Simpson Bay
Shipwreck Pelican Resort (721) 542-5358 0.7 mi. South-Southeast of Central Simpson Bay
Shipwreck Royal Palm (721) 542-5358 2.5 mi. South of Central Marigot
Shipwreck St. Rose Arcade -- Philipsburg, Southern part of Sint Maarten
St. Maarten Museum Gift Shop (599) 542-4917 0.4 mi. East-Southeast of Central Philipsburg
Tantie Pearl Unique Gifts (721) 542-4069 1.7 mi. North of Central Philipsburg
The Dutch Blue Delft Blue Gallery (721) 542-5204 Philipsburg, Southern part of Sint Maarten
The Gift Box (721) 542-5433 Central Sint Maarten
The Present Collection (721) 543-2695 Central Sint Maarten

Specialty Shops

If you've been putting off the purchase of a particular electronic, now is the time to grab it. Home entertainment and office electronics, plus high value camera equipment are all available on the island as well.

One of the more interesting specialty retailers in the area is The Scuba Shop at Captain Oliver's Marina. This store is located in Oyster Pond, in eastern Sint Maarten. Specializing in a whole host of watersports apparel and equipment, The Scuba Shop at Captain Oliver's Marina is more than your typical dive operation. If you want to call ahead, you can do so at (721) 586-5339.

Another good option is The Scuba Shop, which is located easily reached by taxi to the west of The Scuba Shop at Captain Oliver's Marina. As the larger of the two Scuba Shops in Sint Maarten, the Scuba Shop at Palapa Bay offers a wide range of watersport equipment and apparel. They are located at 16 Airport Boulevard.

Pandora Front Street: Pandora manufactures, designs and markets jewelry that is hand-finished, modern and made from genuine materials. They are located at 12-2 Front Street.

Many of the specialty shops in Sint Maarten are shown right below.

Specialty Shops In Sint Maarten
Name Type Phone Location
Art Agency Foundation Art Gallery (721) 542-0554 Philipsburg
Artists Of The Island Art Gallery (721) 545-3367 Maho Reef
DI Watch & Design Watch Store -- 0.8 mi. South-Southeast of Central Philipsburg
DI Watch & Design Watch Store -- 0.1 mi. East-Southeast of Central Philipsburg
Diamonds International Jewelry Store -- 0.2 mi. East-Southeast of Central Philipsburg
Diamonds International Jewelry Store -- 0.3 mi. East-Southeast of Central Philipsburg
Frodes East African Art Art Gallery (721) 545-3379 Simpson Bay
Greenwith Galleries Art Gallery (721) 542-3842 Philipsburg
Ikemba Art Gallery (721) 542-7646 Philipsburg
Mahogany Shop And Painting Art Gallery (721) 542-5224 Philipsburg
Milano 13 Jewelry Store (721) 527-2250 3.7 mi. Southeast of Central Marigot
Milano 14 Jewelry Store (721) 542-2259 3.7 mi. Southeast of Central Marigot
Mosera Gallery Art Gallery (721) 542-0554 Philipsburg
Mounette Radot Gallery Art Gallery (721) 544-2391 Central Sint Maarten
Nanette Bearden Fine Arts Gallery Art Gallery (721) 543-1540 0.2 mi. East-Southeast of Central Philipsburg
Pandora Front Street Jewelry Store (721) 542-1109 0.3 mi. East-Southeast of Central Philipsburg
Rudy Bufe Art Circle Gallery Art Gallery (721) 548-3080 Dutch Cul de Sac
Simpson Bay Art Gallery Art Gallery (721) 544-3464 Simpson Bay
The Scuba Shop Dive Shop (721) 545-3213 2.1 mi. Southeast of Central Point Pirouette
The Scuba Shop at Captain Oliver's Marina Dive Shop (721) 586-5339 0.3 mi. East-Northeast of Central Oyster Pond

Clothing and Apparel

St. Maarten specializes in jewelry. There are dozens of shops on the island that sell jewelry alone, with everything from loose diamonds to handcrafts pieces available. You can even order custom pieces or go in and get your own pieces resized or upgraded if you have them on hand.

When they aren't stocking up on jewelry, high end fashion is a top choice. Recognizable names like Lacoste, Hermes, Burberry, Robert Cavalli, Versace, and MaxMara are all available in abundance and for more than half off.

Where to Shop

There is quite an array of high-end boutiques along Front Street in Philipsburg, which is known as one of the top shopping centers in the Caribbean.  Stretching out for a full mile, shops include everything from Ralph Lauren to Cartier, but the majority of them are jewelry emporiums.  Nearby Old Street is a great place to go for art galleries, and Back Street has souvenir shops, clothing stores, and local markets.

Simpson Bay also offers a handful of high end boutiques, and if you need to get in some last minute souvenir shipping, there are plenty of shops housed within the Princess Juliana International Airport.

Enjoy looking for interesting clothing? You might want to try Nautique -- it's situated in Simpson Bay. The store is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. You will be able to find them at 25 Waterfront Road.

Another shop to consider is Lacoste Philipsburg -- which is found three and a half miles (six kilometers) to the east-southeast of Nautique. Lacoste sells a variety of brand products, though are most famous for their men's polos and intense colognes. Shoppers will also be able to year-round clothing including jeans, skirts, shorts, and light sweaters. To talk to them, call (721) 542-2094.

A third clothing shop to consider is Fifth Avenue Philipsburg. Names such as Gucci, Versace, and Prada line the shelves along with other designer brands brought to you from around the globe. Shop for them all at the Fifth Avenue store in Sint Maarten where already low prices are compounded by duty free shopping. You can find them on Front Street.

Be sure to look through this table to learn more.

Clothing and Apparel In Sint Maarten
Name Type Phone Location
Anaberny's Fashion Boutique (721) 522-3958 2.3 mi. South-Southwest of Central Marigot
Beach Avenue Boutique (721) 542-1314 Philipsburg, Southern part of Sint Maarten
Calvin Klein Boutique (721) 542-7546 Philipsburg
Crocs Front Street Shoe Store (721) 542-1077 0.2 mi. East-Southeast of Central Philipsburg
Crocs Harbour Shoe Store (721) 642-9364 0.8 mi. South-Southeast of Central Philipsburg
Endless Summer Swimwear, Beachwear and Sportswear Store (721) 542-1510 Philipsburg
Faconnable Boutique (721) 542-2444 Philipsburg, Southern part of Sint Maarten
Fifth Avenue Philipsburg Boutique (721) 542-3401 Philipsburg
Girasole Men & Women Fashion Boutique (721) 545-4120 0.8 mi. South of Central Point Pirouette
La Galleria Boutique (721) 545-4354 1.9 mi. West of Central Simpson Bay
Lacoste Philipsburg Boutique (721) 542-2094 Philipsburg, Southern part of Sint Maarten
Longchamp Boutique Philipsburg Boutique (721) 542-1839 Philipsburg
MCM Boutique Boutique (721) 545-5470 Simpson Bay
Nautique Swimwear, Beachwear and Sportswear Store (721) 544-3134 Simpson Bay
Raj Fashions Boutique (721) 542-6922 Philipsburg
Reasonable Boutique (721) 542-8859 Philipsburg
Sea Breeze Boutique Boutique (721) 542-4060 Philipsburg
Select Boutique Boutique (721) 543-7837 Philipsburg
Street Vibes Boutique (721) 542-2580 Philipsburg
Style Boutique (721) 545-2573 1.5 mi. West of Central Simpson Bay

Food and Grocery

Hungry? Zee Best Bakeshop is located in western Sint Maarten. Zee Best Bakeshop has an extensive menu of baked goods, breakfast and lunch sandwiches, wraps, paninis, pizzas, salads, and desserts, all great items to take on the go. This is also a great spot to get a coffee or fruit juice. You can find them at 100 Airport Road.

You might want to look through the following table for more information about your options.

Food and Grocery Stores In Sint Maarten
Name Type Phone Location
Airport Liquor Center Beer, Wine, and Liquor Store (721) 545-2830 1.0 mi. West-Northwest of Central Simpson Bay
Baharani & Sons N.V. Beer, Wine, and Liquor Store (721) 545-3656 Simpson Bay
C' Liquor Store & Fine Tobacco Beer, Wine, and Liquor Store (721) 543-7739 Philipsburg
Cake 'R Us Bakery (721) 542-1750 Central Sint Maarten
Cannegie Enterprises Beer, Wine, and Liquor Store (721) 543-0177 Philipsburg
Cannegie Liquors Beer, Wine, and Liquor Store (721) 542-2937 Philipsburg
Grand Marche Cole Bay Grocery Store (721) 544-3118 1.8 mi. South of Central Marigot
Grand Marche Philipsburg Grocery Store (721) 542-4400 Saunders, Central Sint Maarten
Grand Marche Simpson Bay Grocery Store (721) 545-3055 Simpson Bay
J & H Liquors Beer, Wine, and Liquor Store (721) 545-3176 Simpson Bay
Philipsburg Liquor Store Beer, Wine, and Liquor Store (721) 542-2312 Point Blanche
Price Club Beer, Wine, and Liquor Store (721) 542-3357 Philipsburg
Simpson Bay Fish Market Fish and Seafood Market -- 2.3 mi. South of Central Marigot
The Market Beer, Wine, and Liquor Store (721) 545-4333 2.2 mi. West-Northwest of Central Simpson Bay
Zee Best Bakeshop Bakery (721) 522-1030 0.8 mi. Southeast of Central Simpson Bay

Whether you're looking for a locally crafted souvenir, or want to stock up on designer goods, the sales and deals in St. Maarten are almost unheard of. You won't be sorry for taking advantage of shopping opportunities during your trip.

 

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