About Philipsburg:


Philipsburg is the capital of the Dutch side, Sint Maarten. The capital holds many cultural monuments and history. Walk along the beautiful side streets and endless shopping options, from jewelry to clothing boutiques and shops. After having a diverse shopping experience you can have lunch or dinner at the various restaurants ranging from local to international cuisines. Philipsburg has three main parallel streets, famous for its combination of shoppingdining and the presence everywhere of Great Bay Beach, one of the largest St Maarten beaches and the only one in the world home to a capital.


Have a St Maarten Craft beerdo a pirate Escape Room experience, take a seat at famed Ocean Lounge, or take a sailing boat around the historical bay! 


For those who want to stay in Philipsburg longer, check out our member hotels Alicia’s InnDivi Little BayHolland House Beach Hotel Horizon View and Pasanggrahan Boutique Hotel. Want to relax in Philipsburg? Take a stroll along the boardwalk where there are bars, restaurants and entertainment. You will be able to relax along the shoreline of Great Bay Beach.


For a touch of Amsterdam visit the AMAsterdam bar!


Main Streets of Philipsburg:

The Philipsburg Boardwalk


This mile of food and entertainment stretches’ from almost from the cruise port to Walter plantz square many activities are available in the marina, as well as along this promenade along historical Great Bay.

Live Philipsburg Boardwalk webcam

If you are either a local, or a curious tourist visiting the Philipsburg Boardwalk, check out our live Philipsburg Boardwalk webcam! In conjunction with our partners of ShowMe Caribbean, Blue Bitch Bar and Taloula Mango’s , we show you a great 24 / 7 overview of the vibrant Boardwalk and Great Bay Beach where many tourists will come in every day!



Boardwalk experience

Front Street


St Maarten’s shopping haven and instrumental in St Maarten’s many awards for shopping mecca. From clothing stores to jewelry, Front street is your go to place for that special gift you wanted to buy! See our shopping segment for the best Front Street shops.

Back Street


Street where locals also go for daily errands and shopping. A cornucopia of clothing stores presents itself. 

Old Street


Old street is a small but well know St Maarten shopping street, connecting Philipsburg’s main shopping streets Front Street and Back Street. An old car in the middle of its shops and eateries is a famous and colorful St Maarten image (and selfie opportunity!)

Down street area


Walter Plantz’ square offers a plethora of bars and restaurants for those looking to get off of Philipsburgs beaten track. From vegetarian specialties to Dutch bitterballen and haring, this square amidsts the historical Downstreet area is there for everyone. Walter Plantz square marks the end of the Philipsburg boardwalk. 

Pondfill / WJ Nisbeth Road


Pondfill or WJ Nisbeth Road is Philipsburg’s main traffic artery, in between of the capital and the Great Salt Pond that is of great importance in St Maarten’s history. It derives its name from the fact that the road was built during the last century on land gained from the salt pond. Along and surrounding this road you find entities like the St Maarten government, the Central Bank of Curacao and St. Maarten (CBCS), the World Bank, the National Recovery Planning Bureau (NRPB), general electricity and water company GEBE and the St Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association (SHTA). The Pondfill is the only road on the island that has traffic lights (even though its official name here is Long Wall Road). Its landmark statues are Salt Pickers Monument (halfway) marking the start of Soualiga Road towards the main government building, and the Freedom Fighter monument (towards Oyster Pond and the AC Wathey Cruise Terminal). All bus lines come along Pondfill road, stopping at GEBE before they continue over Backstreet and Cannegieter street. It is also a good parking spot for spending a day (or night) in Philipsburg. 


Where to find Philipsburg on St Maarten / St Martin


Find the Philipsburg area on the map below!




History of Philipsburg:


The Capital of the Dutch side of our island Philipsburg was named after its first Commander John Philip(s), a Scotsman born in 1691 in Arbroth. As of 1721, he lived and worked as a merchant on several Caribbean islands until he settled down on Sint Maarten where he bought a plantation “Industry” in Cul-de-Sac and became a planter growing and cultivating sugar cane. He was appointed Commander of Dutch Sint Maarten by the West India Company in 1735, a position he held until 1746. During that time, he was able to revive the salt industry and encouraged foreign planters from neighboring islands (mostly British) to settle in Sint Maarten. As the population increased, the need for a larger town became obvious and the sand ridge between the Great Bay and the salt pond was chosen in 1733. The new town named after visionary John Philip(s) was divided in Front street and Back Street with many alleys connecting both streets, the salt pond and the bay. Advantages of the new settlement were the short distances between the pond and the bay, making transportation of the reaped salt to the waiting schooners in the Great Bay more efficient while still close enough to Fort Amsterdam to be protected from enemies. 


Of all the magnificent hikes set out by NGO EPIC, the one closest is that of the Point Blanche area. A history walk can be obtained in the Heritage Museum, and the Philipsburg mural walk app can be downloaded here.


Important Bird Area 


Philipsburg has two of the five internationally designated Important Bird Areas on St. Maarten, the Fresh Pond and the Great Salt Pond. The others are nearby Fort Amsterdam, Fresh Pond, Little Bay Pond and the Pelican Rock islet outside Guana Bay.


Best Things To Do in the Philipsburg Area:

Best St Maarten / St Martin Activities in the Philipsburg Area: 

Best St Maarten / St Martin Restaurants in the Philipsburg Area: 

Best St Maarten / St Martin Bars in the Philipsburg Area: 

Best St Maarten / St Martin Shops in the Philipsburg Area: 

Best St Maarten / St Martin Resorts in the Philipsburg Area: 

Best St Maarten / St Martin Boutique hotels in the Philipsburg Area: 

Ferry From Bobby’s Marina to St. Barth’s

Thinking about taking a day trip while on the island. It takes just 45 minutes to reach St. Barth’s aboard the high-speed ferry that departs from Bobby’s Marina in Philipsburg or book your trip online with Big B from Philipsburg.
Book Now




As it is the bustling capital of country St Maarten, seat of government, many shops and businesses and confined on its south side by majestic Great Bay Beach, parking in lively Philipsburg during daytime can be challenging if you do not know where to go.


Especially when on a day trip, we recommend to park at the parking lots along Pondfill Road / WJ Nisbeth Road. This boulevard stretching along the full length of the inner city allows for many parking spaces between its north side and the Great Salt Pond. As Philipsburg is two miles long but narrow barely half a mile, you are always close to its famed shopping streets Front Street, Back Street, the Boardwalk and Great Bay Beach.


A paid parking lot is available at centrally located Clem Labega Square, in between of the Saltpickers Monument and the landmark Courthouse.


When enjoying a celebrated St Maarten sunset or exploring itsmany evening venuesyou might want to keep the car even closer by to make your trip back from the boardwalk to the hotel even more comfortable after a cocktail (or two). Both its west end Walter Plantz Squareand east end (Philipsburg Marina near Aziana Restaurant) have paid and guarded parking spaces.


After shops and businesses close and until they reopen, you have a fair chance of finding a parking spot along Front Street or Back Street. Holland House Beach Hotel provides a separated parking space for its guests.


As with any bustling capital in the world, we recommend not to leave valuable items in the car when exploring our magnificentTown“.