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 streches 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.

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.

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 amidst the historical Downstreet area is there for everyone. Walter Plantz square marks the end of the Philipsburg boardwalk.

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: 

  • • Take a local craft beer!
  • • Learn the true history of pirates at the Rusty Parrot and have a drink with the experts (trust us, pirates are good people these days)!

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: 


Philipsburg is Dutch side St. Maarten’s capital and main center of commerce and doing business. In addition, the town is home to one of the largest cruise ports in the world.

This means that especially during the day, finding a spot to park can be challenging. Our suggested locations:
* WJ Nisbeth Or Pondfill Road
St. Maarten’s busiest avenue stretches for 2 miles  along the capital and The Great Salt Pond, parallel to Philipsburg’s main streets Front Street, Back Street and the Philipsburg Boardwalk. On the entire pond side of the avenue you find a lot of  parking opportunities. Parking here is free of charge.


* Philipsburg Marina
In the Philipsburg Marina, “Bobby’s Marina” hosts a sizable paid parking area, guarded at all times. It forms a good departure point to explore Philipsburg’s boardwalk and Front Street from its east end.
* Labega Square
In between of the Saltpickers Monument and the landmark Courthouse, one finds centrally located Clem Labega square. This paid parking square is a good base of departure for walking tours in either direction, west or east, of Philipsburg.


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