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St Martin Shopping

St Martin is a shopaholics Mecca! The huge array of stores is unrivaled in the Caribbean. Duty-free shops offer substantial savings - about 15% to 30% below U.S. and Canadian prices - on jewelry, electronics, liquor, cigars, and designer clothing and accessories. Marigot on the French side, and Philipsburg on the Dutch side, combine to offer just about anything your heart could desire, not to mention a plethora of local arts and crafts. It's no wonder that each year 500 cruise ships make Philipsburg a port of call.

St Martin is one of the few destinations offering duty-free shopping with both European and American goods. As an island of dual nationalities, St Martin has the unique distinction of having two capitals or port cities, Marigot and Phillipsburg. Each town offers unique shopping with stores carrying the latest European fashions & jewelry. Deals can be found on many luxury items which make St. Martin a popular destination for cruise ships and bargain seekers.

Shopping on the French side is concentrated in the port city and capital of St Martin, Marigot. Here you will find many high-end retailers including Mont Blanc, Chanel, Act 1, Max Mara and Christofle along Rue du General de Gaulle. The West Indies Shopping Mall is also located in Marigot which houses 22 boutiques in an air-conditioned atrium. Marigot offers a pleasant promenade filled with stores and wonderful restaurants for an easy and casual style of shopping. Parking is relatively easy. Please note that most stores open from 10 AM to 7 PM in Marigot but close between 1PM and 3PM for lunch.

Most of the Dutch shopping is located along Front Street in Phillipsburg. Many shops line the entire street and make it a shopper's paradise. Jewelry stores are very prevalent and stores carry everything from loose gemstones to exquisite original pieces. Also among the shops on Front Street are art galleries and arts and craft shops selling native pieces. Phillipsburg has done a wonderful job renovating the streets and docks to properly cater to the cruise ship passengers that disembark at Phillipsburg. Front Street shops are open from 8 or 9 am until noon, and then again from 2 until 6 p.m. Some stores remain open during lunch as a convenience to visiting cruise ship passengers. Most shops are open every day except Christmas and Good Friday. Phillipsburg tends to offer more variety but the shopping is much more hectic than Marigot. Expect crowds and parking can be difficult.

Another shopping location on the Dutch side is Maho Plaza. This area is known for the extended hours to accommodate those late night casino winnings.

The best days to shop are when the cruise ships are NOT in for two main reasons. It is much more pleasant without the crowds and you will have a better opportunity to negotiate with the retailers. The lack of crowds means more personal attention to you and the increased desire to seal deals.

St Maarten Reservation Center can arrange for private guided shopping tours of St Martin/St Maarten. Our private shopper can navigate through the hustle and bustle and direct clients to the best shops and at the right times. Being uninformed can significantly frustrate shoppers due to the European hours of the French side and the crowded shopping plazas when the cruise ships are in. Our guides can advise on where and when to go and direct you to the best stores on St Martin. The value of a guide is priceless and will ensure a pleasant shopping experience with significant savings on purchases.

Visitors spending an extended vacation on the island will be surprised by the excellent supermarkets on both the French and Dutch side. The Dutch shopping centers tend to supply mostly American brands, and the stores in Marigot present a huge variety of European groceries with some fabulous gourmet stores.

 

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