As the capital of French St. Martin, Marigot is a unique fusion of French and West Indian culture, alive in the ambiance, cafes, bakeries, wine shops, and the Creole gingerbread houses along Rue de la République. History buffs gravitate to Fort Louis, built in 1789 to overlook Marigot Bay.
Many wander Marigot’s historic streets independently, but guided tours offer a local’s perspective. Tours typically include shopping in select boutiques, a meal in neighboring Grand Case, and visits to popular attractions on both the French and Dutch sides of the island. Some tours may wind through the Dutch side’s historic capital Philipsburg, with stops at nearby beaches such as Maho Beach and Orient Beach, and the Coralita Bay nature reserve to feed iguanas.
Things to Know Before You Go
- History buffs, shoppers, and those who want a taste of French and West Indian culture enjoy a visit to Margot.
- Tours may include roundtrip hotel transfers, food and drinks. Check tours for specific details.
- Pack comfortable walking shoes, sun protection, swimwear, and water for hydration.
- The Euro is the official currency on the French side of the island.
How to Get There
Marigot sits on the west coast of St. Martin, just north of Simpson Bay Lagoon. Expect about a 20-minute drive from Philipsburg. The island’s gourmet capital is about five minutes away by car. Parking is accessible at most businesses.
When to Get There
On the French side of St. Martin, Carnival is a pre-Lenten festival, and on the Dutch side of St. Maarten, festivities happen post-Easter. Visit St. Martin/St. Maarten in spring or fall for cheaper hotel rates and a lower chance of rain. The weather is pleasant year-round, with temperatures peaking in summer.
Museum and Market
While in Marigot, don’t miss the museum Sur la Trace des Arawaks (On the Trail of Arawaks), which tells the history of both St. Martin’s pre-colonial people and European settlements. Be sure to also make an early morning stop to Marigot Market, where vendors sell fruits, spices, and handmade crafts.