St. Maarten Museum
Housed in a traditional 19th-century house, St. Maarten’s only museum is devoted to the history of the Dutch side of the island. Exhibitions at the small museum focus on the island’s indigenous cultures, geology, and colonial history, while archaeological finds on display date back as early as 500 BC.
Visitors can explore the St. Maarten Museum on a self-guided tour and admire artifacts including old coins, model ships, and Arawak pottery. Exhibitions chronicle the island’s history, from the indigenous Arawak people through colonization by Spain, France, and the Netherlands to the island of today. Highlights include items from the 19th-century shipwreck HMS Proselyte, an exhibition on the 1995 Hurricane Luis, and an exhibit on the island’s salt industry.
Things to Know Before You Go
Entrance to the St. Maarten Museum is free, but donations are welcome.
Plan around an hour to visit the small museum.
The museum is wheelchair-accessible.
How to Get There
The St. Maarten Museum is located on Marigot Rue Fichot, just a short stroll from the beachfront in Philipsburg. It’s a 20-minute drive from Princess Juliana International Airport east to the museum.
When to Get There
The museum is open weekdays from midmorning to afternoon and is closed on weekends. As the museum is rarely busy, choose a time to visit that works best for your schedule.
Historic Sites in St. Maarten
After learning about St. Maarten’s history and heritage at the museum, pay a visit to the island’s two historic forts—Fort Amsterdam, the first Dutch fort built in the Caribbean in 1631, and Fort Willem I, built by the English in 1801. Other sites of interest include the Old Courthouse in Philipsburg and the 19th-century ruins of the Sucker Garden salt factory.