Front Street is the main street and activity hub of Philipsburg, St. Maarten’s Dutch-side capital. Running along the inside of the bay, Front Street (Voorstraat) is home to some the island’s finest restaurants and shopping—including duty-free jewelry, electronics, and cigars—as well as historic wooden buildings.
Overlooking the waterfront, Front Street holds clues to the island’s colonial history, with classic wooden buildings such as the old courthouse, dating back to 1793, and the Methodist church, built in 1851. Restaurants and shops are the street’s biggest draws. For an insider look at the area, explore Front Street as part of a guided tour. Some tours focus on restaurants, stopping at hidden, locals-only spots to sample the island's best Dutch, French, and Creole cuisine.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Time spent browsing Front Street is suitable for solo travelers, couples, and families.
- Tours may include a local culinary guide, roundtrip hotel transfers, food and drinks. Check tours for specific details.
- Remember sun protection, water for hydration, and swimwear and a towel to enjoy nearby Great Bay Beach.
How to Get There
Front Street runs through the center of Philipsburg and is easily explored on foot. Expect about a 15-minute drive from Princess Juliana International Airport and a five-minute walk from the cruise ship dock.
When to Get There
Front Street is the island’s tourist mecca, popular day and night for its many attractions. The best time to visit St. Maarten is in the less busy seasons of spring or fall when cheaper rates are offered and rains less likely. The summer months are the hottest, but the weather is pleasant year-round. Humpback whales can be observed from February to June.
Enjoy Great Bay Beach
The wide white sand beach of Great Bay is just steps away from Front Street, so bring your swimsuit and have a dip. Filled with bars and restaurants along a 2-mile (3.2-kilometer) stretch, Great Bay welcomes cruise ship passengers and other travelers looking to try their luck at the casinos too.