PhilipsburgSint Maarten

4/5Top Destination

Experience romantic Philipsburg: its beaches, island views, live music, and more!

As the capital, the town of Philipsburg is one of the main commercial and cultural hubs of Sint Maarten. It has a shopping street, a thriving port and an array of white-sand beaches. Wander along the beachside roadway for captivating sights, great shopping opportunities and excellent views of the Caribbean Sea.

Get a sense of the local culture and history with a trip to the Museum of Sint Maarten. Learn through the intriguing exhibits about the island’s past slavery, its salt industry and its first inhabitants, known as the Arawaks. A few blocks northwest is the Cyrus Wathey Square in the heart of the waterfront shopping district. Relax on a bench to rest your feet and watch people going by.

The main attraction of the square is the historic Philipsburg Courthouse. Gaze up at the pineapple that marks the top of the building. The structure is part of the national flag. Admire the colonial style of the off-white façade, which serves as a scenic backdrop in photos of the plaza.

Stroll along the famous Front Street and browse the many quaint and independent shops lining the streets. Note that much of the shopping on the island is duty free.

Enjoy the year-round hot weather with a trip to the beach. The dry season runs from January through June. Choose from the main urban beaches and Little Bay Beach, a little southwest of Philipsburg. Despite its name, this beach is particularly long and serene. Travel to the town’s eastern outskirts to reach Guana Bay Beach via nature trails.

The town is on the Dutch southern half of the island of Saint Martin in the eastern part of the Caribbean. Fly to the Princess Juliana International Airport, which is one of the busiest transportation hubs in the Caribbean. Travel in the town on minibuses and vans, which can take you around the entire island in about 90 minutes.

Philipsburg is a Caribbean treat, with busy shopping avenues and excellent beaches.

Known for

Shopping, Beaches and Islands

Explore map

Where to stay in Philipsburg

Fort William
Sint Maarten showing a coastal town and a beach

Fort William

Known for

If you're spending some time in Fort William, Great Bay Beach and Leeward Islands are top sights worth seeing.

Vineyard
Museum of Sint Maarten featuring art and interior views

Vineyard

Known for

If you're spending some time in Vineyard, Leeward Islands and Museum of Sint Maarten are top sights worth seeing.

Madame's Estate
St. Maarten Zoo showing zoo animals and bird life

Madame's Estate

Known for

While visiting Madame's Estate, you might make a stop by sights like Sint Maarten Zoo and Leeward Islands.

Top Hotels in Philipsburg

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Divi Little Bay Beach Resort
Divi Little Bay Beach Resort
4 out of 5
Little Bay Road, Philipsburg
$155
per night
Oct 15 - Oct 16
3.9/5Good! (984 reviews)

"The staff was great snd the rooms were very nice. Wish we had more time to stay longer."…"

Reviewed on Oct 9, 2019

Divi Little Bay Beach Resort
Holland House Beach Hotel
Holland House Beach Hotel
3.5 out of 5
Front Street 43, Philipsburg
$157
per night
Oct 15 - Oct 16
4.3/5Excellent! (534 reviews)

"This hotel is situated right on the beach. It's the nicest one along the boardwalk. The staff were extremely friendly and helpful. The room we were in had a weird smell in it, but the front desk moved us to another one without issue. I would highly recommend this property."…"

Reviewed on Oct 7, 2019

Holland House Beach Hotel
Sea View Beach Hotel
Sea View Beach Hotel
3 out of 5
#85C Front Street, Philipsburg
$70
per night
Oct 15 - Oct 16
3.4/5Good! (285 reviews)

"Location was great! Beautiful beach front however a little bit noisy at night."…"

Reviewed on Sep 21, 2019

Sea View Beach Hotel

Popular things to do in Philipsburg

Sint Maarten Zoo
Image for Sint Maarten Zoo

Sint Maarten Zoo

4/5(9 reviews)

Meet the local birdlife, see rare snakes and lizards or relax as the kids play on the island’s biggest playground in this animal park in Philipsburg.

Guana Bay Beach
Image for Guana Bay Beach

Guana Bay Beach

4/5(7 reviews)

The picturesque shores of this tranquil bay provide a great opportunity to escape the crowds and jump in the crystal clear water for surfing or swimming.

Fort Amsterdam
Image for Fort Amsterdam

Fort Amsterdam

2/5(2 reviews)

The remains of the first Dutch military base in the Caribbean offer stunning views across the ocean and over the town of Philipsburg behind it.

Top activities in Philipsburg

Sky Explorer, Sentry Hill Line and Schooner Tour
Image for Sky Explorer, Sentry Hill Line and Schooner Tour

Sky Explorer, Sentry Hill Line and Schooner Tour

$90

Three exciting experiences in one excursion! Each adventure begins in the restored plantation house originally built in the 1700s. The Museum tells the powerful story of Trace Wilson, who was born into slavery, and her direct descendant Emilio Wilson.

Ultimate Prickly Pear and Anguilla Experience
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Ultimate Prickly Pear and Anguilla Experience

$129

Join Eagle tours for ONE EXCLUSIVE SAIL and SNORKEL and SIGHTSEEING tour leaving from Simpson Bay. The destination will be Prickly Pear Keys, with a second stop in Anguilla at Meads Bay or Cove Bay, depending on the wind direction “Because we are sailing“.

Sky Explorer & Schooner Ride
Image for Sky Explorer & Schooner Ride

Sky Explorer & Schooner Ride

$79

A top-to-bottom tour with two exciting experiences in one excursion. Take in the amazing views as you glide to the top of one of St. Maarten’s highest mountains on the Sky Explorer. Then hop back on the Sky Explorer to the Schooner Ride where you’ll surf down the mountain in an inner tube.

Sky Explorer + Flying Dutchman + Schooner + Sentry Hill Line
Image for Sky Explorer + Flying Dutchman + Schooner + Sentry Hill Line

Sky Explorer + Flying Dutchman + Schooner + Sentry Hill Line

$139

The most exciting new thrill rides in St. Maarten!Each adventure begins in the restored plantation house originally built in the 1700s. The Museum tells the powerful story Trace Wilson who was born into slavery and her direct descendant Emilio Wilson.

Sky Explorer & 360 Views
Image for Sky Explorer & 360 Views

Sky Explorer & 360 Views

$43

Experience St. Maarten’s newest attraction, the Sky Explorer chairlifts. Take a tranquil ride up two lifts spanning a total of 2,997 ft. as the landscape unfolds below. A spectacular panoramic view on top of one of St. Maarten’s highest mountains await you.

Private Sunset Cruise in St Maarten
Image for Private Sunset Cruise in St Maarten

Private Sunset Cruise in St Maarten

$63

Your crew will greet you at the Skipjack's dock (Simpson Bay) at 4:45pm and take you to the yacht via tender. Once on board you will be offered drinks and hear a brief safety talk. The First Mate will let the boat off the mooring and the Captain will motor out of the Bay.

Reviews of Philipsburg

4

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
36
5 - Excellent 29.508196721311474%
4 - Good
58
4 - Good 47.540983606557376%
3 - Okay
22
3 - Okay 18.0327868852459%
2 - Disappointing
4
2 - Disappointing 3.278688524590164%
1 - Terrible
2
1 - Terrible 1.639344262295082%

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Oct 9, 2019

We only went at night for dinner. Its a town for cruise ships.

3/5 - Okay

Lenny

Aug 31, 2019

Didn't explore Philipsburg much, but a shoutout to Parrot Ville. Loved it - amazing sanctuary for parrots and a great experience for kids and adults alike.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Aug 23, 2019

The people were very nice and the merchandise was priced good. The only down side is it is very centered around the cruise ships. On days where there were no ships, a lot of stuff would be closed or close early.

3/5 - Okay

JoeZ

Aug 16, 2019

Philipsburg is perhaps not the best place to stay. Lots of shops during the day mainly to attract tourists arriving from cruise ships, but around 5 PM is ghost town.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Aug 12, 2019

Its a unique location and it offers opportunity to visitors to shop in convenience.

4/5 - Good

Alisa

Aug 4, 2019

It was beautiful

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Philipsburg

Romantic getaway to Sint Maarten
Image for Romantic getaway to Sint Maarten

Romantic getaway to Sint Maarten

Traveling as a couple to a Caribbean hotspot