Sint Maarten (Dutch) vs Saint Martin (French)

St. Maarten is the smallest island in the world to be divided between two nations. The northern part of the island is owned by France and the southern part of the island is owned by the Netherlands. Many tourists visit this beautiful island each year to enjoy the blend of the French and Dutch cultures as well as the unique experiences that each side has to offer.

In Saint Martin, both the French and Dutch sides of the island are united and share a similar culture as well as the same friendly and welcoming nature. However, there are distinct differences between the French and Dutch sides of the island such as the languages commonly spoken, the currency used, the lifestyle of the people, and the beaches and the available entertainment. Each side of the island has unique things to offer each traveler that would determine the type of vacation they would experience.

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It is very common for travelers who are planning on visiting St. Maarten to wonder which side of the island would be best for them to visit during their vacation. This article will discuss some of the differences between both sides of the island and highlight the best that each side has to offer. Some of the main differences between Sint Maarten (Dutch) and Saint Martin (French) are listed below.

  1. The language: The official language of Saint Martin is French, and the official language of Sint Maarten is Dutch.
  2. The currency: The official currency of Saint Martin is the Euro, and the official currency of Sint Maarten is the Netherlands Antillean Guilder. The American Dollar is also widely accepted within both territories.
  3. The capital city: The capital city of Saint Martin is Marigot, and the capital city of Sint Maarten is Phillipsburg.
  4. The general atmosphere: Saint Martin is known for having a very laid-back and easy-going atmosphere. The population in Saint Martin is lower than the population in Sint Maarten and the locals have a strong appreciation for the finer things in life such as fine food and naturally beautiful beaches. Sint Maarten has a higher population and is the most popular side of the island among tourists. Sint Maarten is known for its bustling nightlife and vast array of entertainment options such as bars, casinos, and nightclubs.
  5. The cultural influence: Saint Martin has more of a European influence than its Dutch counterpart. The locals maintain a very liberal perspective and attitude about life which is very reflective of European culture. Sint Maarten is more diverse than its French counterpart and has an animated spirit that reflects Caribbean culture.

What are the historical reasons for the division of Sint Maarten (Dutch) and Saint Martin (French)?

The border division in St. Maarten originates back to the history of St. Martin when the island was first inhabited by Dutch and French settlers in the early 1600s. Both countries saw the profitable value of the island because of the abundant natural resources. In order to avoid war, both countries mutually decided to divide the island between their two territories with the signing of the Treaty of Concordia on March 23, 1648. This beautiful Caribbean paradise has been split amicably between the French and Dutch nations ever since. There are no customs, border patrol, or fences that divide the two nations, just signs, flags, and monuments designating the border of the two independently governed territories.

Which side of St. Maarten is nicest, Sint Maarten (Dutch) or Saint Martin (French)?

Sint Maarten (Dutch) is considered by many who visit St. Maarten to be the nicest part of the island. The reason for this is because of all of the amenities and activities that are readily available on this side of the island such as fine restaurants, casinos, nightclubs, luxury hotels, water sports, hiking, and more. French Saint Martin has many of these amenities and activities as well but in a much lower volume than its Dutch counterpart.

Sint Maarten has a cruise port located in Phillipsburg that brings thousands of tourists to Dutch Sint Maarten every year. Princess Juliana airport is also located on the Dutch side as well as the majority of the businesses on the island. This part of the island caters more towards tourism, so there are plenty of activities that are available to do during the day and well into the evening for travelers from all over the world. The nicest places that can be found in Sint Maarten (Dutch) are listed below.

  1. Phillipsburg
  2. Dawn Beach
  3. Simpson Bay
  4. Lowlands
  5. Cupecoy Beach
  6. Mullet Bay
  7. Maho Beach

Which side of St. Maarten has the best beaches, Sint Maarten (Dutch) or Saint Martin (French)?

The best beaches in St. Martin are located on the French side of the island. The beaches on the French side are known to be the most natural and pristine beaches that can be found on the island of St. Martin. These beaches are relaxing and peaceful with colorful coral reefs, white sandy beaches and crystal-clear water. Many tourists love the beaches in Saint Martin (French) because they are less crowded than the beaches in Sint Maarten (Dutch). The beaches in Saint Martin (French) are usually free to enter. Some of the best beaches in Saint Martin (French) are listed below.

  1. Grand Case Beach
  2. Orient Bay Beach
  3. Friar’s Bay Beach
  4. Baie Rouge
  5. Pinel Island
  6. Tintamarre Island
  7. Burgeaux Bay Beach

Which side of St. Maarten has the best hotels, Sint Maarten (Dutch) or St. Martin (French)?

The best hotels in St. Maarten are located on the Dutch side of the island. The Dutch side of the island welcomes far more tourists than it’s French counterpart. There are a wide variety of hotels on this side of the island that can meet the needs of all types of travelers, whether you're traveling as a family, with friends, or on a romantic getaway.

Some of the amenities provided by these hotels in Sint Maarten (Dutch) are airport shuttle services, childcare, room service, rooftop bars, spas, and more. The hotels in Sint Maarten (Dutch) are also located close to the airport and most of the tourist attractions on the island such as shopping, beaches, nightclubs, casinos, restaurants, and more. Most of the hotels in Sint Maarten (Dutch) will cost from $200 to $600 (€176 to €530) per night. The best hotels in Sint Maarten (Dutch) are listed below.

  1. Sonesta Ocean Point Resort
  2. Divi Little Bay Beach Resort
  3. Oyster Bay Beach Resort
  4. Simpson Bay Resort and Marina
  5. The Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa

Which side of St. Maarten has the best drinks, Sint Maarten (Dutch) or Saint Martin (French)?

The best drinks in Sint Maarten can be found on the Dutch side of the island. This is where most of the bars and nightclubs are located on the island. The bars, restaurants, and nightclubs in Sint Maarten (Dutch) are known for having a large and quality selection of liquors, cocktails, and wine. Since so many tourists visit southern Dutch Sint Maarten many of the evening venues specialize in quality beverages made by skilled mixologists and bartenders. The best drinks made in Sint Maarten (Dutch) are listed below.

  1. Planter’s Punch
  2. Moët
  3. Cuba Libré
  4. Jenever
  5. Piña Colada
  6. Mojito
  7. Guavaberry Colada
  8. Ti’ Punch
  9. Daiquiri
  10. Dark and Stormy

Which side of St. Maarten has the best food, Sint Maarten (Dutch) or Saint Martin (French)?

The best food in Saint Martin can be found on the French side of the island. This is where the majority of the finest culinary restaurants on the island are. The European influence in Saint Martin (French) can be clearly felt and is reflected in the fine cuisine that is presented on this side of the island. Many local and European-inspired dishes are available in Grand Case, Saint Martin (French). This is so much so that the town of Grand Case is often called the “Culinary Capital of St. Maarten”. The best food in Saint Martin (French) are listed below.

  1. Callaloo Soup
  2. Locri
  3. Johnny Cakes
  4. Codfish Fritters
  5. Crabmeat-Stuffed Shells

Which side of St. Maarten has the best pools in their hotels, Sint Maarten (Dutch) or Saint Martin (French)?

The hotels with the best pools in Saint Martin are located on the French side of the island. This is where most of the luxury resorts are located on the island of St. Maarten. Many of these luxury hotels feature infinity pools that overlook gorgeous scenery as well as a poolside bar with lounge chairs and umbrellas. Some of these extravagant pools are about 30 feet (9 meters) in length and add to the luxurious experience of your stay in Saint Martin. The average price to stay in these hotels with amazing pools is from $400 to $1400 (€353 to €1,237) per night. The hotels with the best pools in Saint Martin (French) are listed below.

  1. Belmond La Samanna
  2. The Hotel Riu Palace
  3. Esmeralda Resort
  4. La Playa Orient Bay

Which side of St. Maarten (Dutch) vs. St. Martin (French) has the best restaurants?

The best restaurants in Saint Martin are located on the French side of the island. The town of Grand Case, located on the French side of the island of Saint Martin is known to be the culinary capital of Saint Martin. There are over 400 different gourmet restaurants located on the island and the majority of them are located on the French side of the island. There are all types of European and Caribbean-inspired foods that many from all over the world travel to experience. A meal at a restaurant in Saint Martin will normally cost around $24 to $41 (€21 to €36). Some of the best restaurants in Saint Martin (French) are listed below.

  1. Bacchus
  2. Le Marocain
  3. La Cigale…
  4. Cynthia’s Talk of the Town
  5. Friar’s Bay Beach Café

Which side of St. Maarten has the best tourist attractions, Sint Maarten (Dutch) or Saint Martin (French)?

The best tourist attractions in Sint Maarten can be found on the Dutch side of the island. Dutch Sint Maarten is known for being the tourist hotspot on the island of St. Maarten. Most of the people who vacation in St. Maarten stay on the Dutch side of the island because of all the tourist attractions available on the island. There are tourist attractions available for all such as fun water sports, ziplining, nightclubs, bars, casinos, museums, historical sites, rum distilleries, and so much more. Some of the top-rated tourist attractions in Sint Maarten (Dutch) are listed below.

  1. Maho Beach
  2. Topper’s Rhum Distillery
  3. The Flying Dutchman Zipline
  4. Cupecoy Beach
  5. Yoda Guy Movie Exhibit

Which side of St. Maarten has the best luxury hotels, Sint Maarten (Dutch) or Saint Martin (French)?

The most luxurious hotels in Saint Martin are located on the French side of the island. Many of the luxury hotels in Saint Martin (French) have attracted many celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Kevin Kline, and Salma Hayek. These luxury hotels feature amenities such as infinity pools, 24-hour room service, poolside bars, and more. Many of the luxury hotels in St. Maarten cost from $400 to $1400 (€353 to €1,237) per night. Some of the best luxury hotels in Saint Martin (French) are listed below.

  1. Belmond La Samanna
  2. La Playa Orient Bay
  3. Hotel L’Esplanade

Which side of St. Maarten has the best family hotels, Sint Maarten (Dutch) or Saint Martin (French)?

Dutch Sint Maarten is known for having the most family-friendly hotels on the island of St. Maarten. Many of the hotels in Sint Maarten (Dutch) feature helpful amenities for families such as childcare, a kid’s club for ages 4 to 12, onsite arts and crafts activities, snorkel gear rental, and more.  Many families choose hotels on the Dutch side of the island for their vacations because it is close to so many family-friendly tourist attractions such as the Yoda guy movie exhibit, watching the planes at Maho beach, parrot Ville bird park, and more. Many of the family-friendly hotels in Saint Martin cost from $200 to $800 (€176 to €706) per night Some of the best family-friendly hotels in Sint Maarten (Dutch) are listed below.

  1. Divi little bay beach resort
  2. Sonesta Ocean Point Resort
  3. The Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa

Which side of St. Maarten has the best boutique hotels, Sint Maarten (Dutch) or Saint Martin (French)?

The best boutique hotels in Saint Martin are located on the French side of the island. There are more of these styles of hotel on the French side of the island than on the Dutch side. These small yet fashionable hotels are the perfect choice for those who desire an authentic and “local feel” to their vacation in Saint Martin. Many of these boutique hotels are within proximity to the beach and have amenities such as full kitchens, free Wi-Fi, lounges, and umbrellas to rent for the beach, and more. These boutique hotels can range from $90 to $200 (€79 to €176) per night. The best boutique hotels in Saint Martin (French) are listed below.

  1. Le’ Petit Hotel
  2. Azure Hotel & Art Studio

Which side of St. Maarten has the best honeymoon hotels, Sint Maarten (Dutch) or Saint Martin (French)?

In Saint Martin, the best hotels for honeymoons are located on the French side of the island. This side of the island is known for having a very laid-back and relaxing atmosphere as well as being more private and secluded. The hotels on the French side reflect this trend and are known for providing the best honeymoon experience for all couples on a romantic getaway in Saint Martin. Some of the best honeymoon hotels in Saint Martin (French) feature amenities such as infinity pools, jacuzzis, poolside bars, hotel restaurants, and more. The average cost of a night in one of the honeymoon hotels in Saint Martin (French) is between $200 and $1400 (€176 and €1,237). Some of the best hotels for honeymoons in Saint Martin (French) are listed below.

  1. Belmond La Samanna
  2. Hotel Esmeralda
  3. La Playa Orient Bay

Which side of St. Maarten has the best day trips, Sint Maarten (Dutch) or Saint Martin (French)?

The best day trips in Saint Martin can usually be taken on the French side of the island. Many of the nearby islands that surround St. Martin such as Tintamarre Island, Pinel Island, and Anguilla can be accessed from the French side of the island by ferry or plane. These islands are ideal for a day of snorkeling or lounging at the beach. Day trips to these locations usually cost around $130 per person. Some of the best day trips that you can take from Saint Martin (French) are listed below.

  1. Tintamarre Island
  2. Anguilla
  3. Pinel Island

Which side of St. Maarten has the best museums, Sint Maarten (Dutch) or Saint Martin (French)?

The best museums in Saint Martin are located on the French side of the island. This is where the majority of the most popular museums and art galleries on the island are located. Many tourists enjoy exploring these museums and soaking in the island's history and culture. Those who visit can see artwork from local artists and historical artifacts from the indigenous people of St. Martin dating back to 500 B.C. Many of the museums and galleries are free to enter. The best museums in Saint Martin (French) are listed below.

  1. Museum of Saint Martin
  2. Amuseum Naturalis
  3. Silk Cotton Grove Art Gallery
  4. The Roland Richardson Art Gallery

Which side of St. Maarten has the best souvenirs, Sint Maarten (Dutch) or Saint Martin (French)?

The best place to shop for souvenirs in Sint Maarten is on the Dutch side of the island. The reason for this is that thousands of tourists pass through Dutch Sint Maarten via the nearby cruise ship ports and airport. The Dutch side of the island specializes in providing a wide variety of souvenirs for tourists to buy because of the high volume of tourists that pass that side every year. Sint Maarten (Dutch) is where the majority of tourists come to buy souvenirs for loved ones or for themselves to remember their remarkable trip to St. Maarten. The best places in Sint Maarten (Dutch) to shop for souvenirs are listed below.

  1. Front Street
  2. Sint Maarten Guavaberry
  3. Shipwreck Shop

Which side of St. Maarten has the best cafes, Sint Maarten (Dutch) or Saint Martin (French)?

The best cafes in Saint Martin are located on the French side of the island. The island of St. Martin has over 400 different cafes and restaurants for tourists to choose from. Most of the cafes on the island are located in the town of Grand Case, which is considered to be the “culinary capital of Saint Martin”. The cafes on the French side of the island have been influenced by European culture and this can be reflected in the delicious food served and the general laid back and exquisite atmosphere of most of the cafes on the French side of the island. Many who have visited one of the cafes on the French side of St. Martin feel as if they have taken a trip to France for the day. The best cafes in Saint Martin (French) are listed below.

  1. Cafe Atlantico
  2. Coffee Lounge
  3. La Sucriere
  4. Top Carrot
  5. Creperie Cape Cafe

Which side of St. Maarten has the best snorkeling spots, Sint Maarten (Dutch) or Saint Martin (French)?

The best snorkeling spots in Saint Martin can be found on the French side of the island. Saint Martin (French) is famous for having a more rugged and natural landscape, beaches with crystal clear water, calm seas, and a vibrant and colorful coral reef teeming with sea life. All of these are ideal conditions for snorkeling and seeing all of the exciting creatures underwater. The cost of snorkeling in St. Martin varies depending on how you decide to acquire the gear needed. Purchasing snorkel gear normally costs between $40 to $110 (€34 to €94) per person, renting snorkel equipment for the week can cost from $18 to $42 (€15 to €36) per person, and renting snorkel gear for a half-day snorkel tour can cost $38 to $160 (€32 to €138) per person. Snorkel gear is available to rent on most hotels and beaches throughout St. Martin. The best beaches for snorkeling in Saint Martin (French) are listed below.

  1. Baie Rouge
  2. Tintamarre Island
  3. Pinel Island
  4. Friar’s Bay Beach
  5. Happy Bay Beach

Which side of St. Maarten has the best local rums, Sint Maarten (Dutch) or Saint Martin (French)?

The best local rums in Sint Maarten can be found on the Dutch side of the island. This side of the island is popular for its locally made rum which is a staple in St. Maarten’s tradition. Sint Maarten (Dutch) has more rum manufacturers and distilleries than its French counterpart. Many of the distilleries are available to tour, where those who tour can sample different flavors of rum for free. The average price for a bottle of rum in Sint Maarten is $16.99 (€14.67). The best local rums in Sint Maarten (Dutch) are listed below.

  1. Topper’s Rhum Distilleries
  2. Guavaberry Emporium

Which side of St. Maarten has the best hiking trails, Sint Maarten (Dutch) or Saint Martin (French)?

The best hiking trails in Saint Martin can be found on the French side of the island. Saint Martin (French) is much hillier than its Dutch counterpart. The naturally rugged and pristine landscape leads to the best views on the island. There are different hikes are along the coast and some that lead you to the top of Pic Paradis, which is the highest point on the entire island of Saint Martin. Different hikes on the island vary from 45 minutes long to 3 hours long. The best hiking trails in Saint Martin (French) are listed below.

  1. The Pic Paradis Hike
  2. The Bellevue Border crossing Hike
  3. The Coastal hike from Anse Marcel to Baie des Petites Cayes
  4. The Coastal hike from Pointe Blanche to Back Bay Pools (or Guana Bay)

Which side of St. Maarten has the best places to shop, Sint Maarten (Dutch) or Saint Martin (French)?

The best places to shop in Sint Maarten are located on the Dutch side of the island. Sint Maarten (Dutch) has a very popular cruise ship port that brings thousands of tourists into the island every year who come to enjoy the duty-free shopping that the island has to offer. The Dutch side of the island has more shops than its French counterpart with a wider array of items available for purchase such as guavaberry liqueur, clothing, Dutch porcelain, locally made hot sauce, and more. Some of the best places to shop in Sint Maarten (Dutch) are listed below.

  1. Front Street
  2. Craft Market
  3. Shipwreck Shop
  4. Maho Village

Which side of St. Maarten has the best places to explore, Sint Maarten (Dutch) or Saint Martin (French)?

The best places to explore in St. Maarten are located on the Dutch side of the island. Although both the French side and the Dutch side of St. Maarten both have a vast array of exciting places to explore, the number of different things that are available to do for fun in Sint Maarten (Dutch) far outweighs what is available on the French side of the island. There are many things to do such as going to museums, duty-free shopping, jet skiing, visiting nightclubs, visiting casinos, ziplining, hiking, lounging by the pool, visiting the gorgeous beaches, eating at delicious Caribbean style restaurants and so much more. Many of these activities on the Dutch side of the island extend well into the evening while in Saint Martin (French) many of the places to explore close before the late evening. The best places to explore in Sint Maarten (Dutch) are listed below.

  1. Maho Beach
  2. Cupecoy Beach
  3. Mullet Bay Beach
  4. Front Street
  5. St. Maarten Zoo
  6. Guavaberry Emporium
  7. The Philipsburg Boardwalk
  8. Casino Royale
  9. Fort Amsterdam
  10. Yoda Guy Movie Exhibit

Which side of St. Maarten has the best real estate, Sint Maarten (Dutch) or Saint Martin (French)?

In St. Maarten, the best side of the island to buy real estate is on the Dutch side of the island. The entire island of St. Maarten has a well-established real estate market. However, the Dutch side of the island is the best part of the island to buy real estate because there are no annual property taxes in Sint Maarten (Dutch). There is also more opportunity to buy real estate and a more diverse range of property for sale on the Dutch side of the island including condos, villas, and apartments on the waterfront. The best places to buy real estate in Sint Maarten (Dutch) are listed below.

  1. Guana Bay
  2. Simpson Bay
  3. Cupecoy
  4. Maho
  5. Oyster Pond

Which side of St. Maarten has the best nightclubs, Sint Maarten (Dutch) or Saint Martin (French)?

The best nightclubs in Sint Maarten can be found on the Dutch side of the island. Not only does Sint Maarten (Dutch) have the majority of the nightclubs on the island but it is also the most modern and luxurious and nightclubs are. The Dutch side of the island is known for being the most festive side of the island and many of the nightclubs on this side of the island have live music, live entertainment, and delicious cocktails to enjoy while dancing the night away.  A night out at a nightclub in Sint Maarten will normally cost around $15 to $35 (Euros) per person. The best nightclubs in Sint Maarten (Dutch) are listed below.

  1. Mykonos
  2. Bar Bamboo
  3. The Red Piano Lounge

Which side of St. Maarten is safer, Sint Maarten (Dutch) or Saint Martin (French)?

The Dutch side of St. Maarten is considered safer by many who visit the island. Although the entire island is viewed as safe and not many crimes occur except petty crime, theft, and car break-ins. The French side is where most of these incidents have occurred in the past. As when traveling to any other tourist destination, safety precautions should be taken such as being aware of your surroundings, traveling in groups, and traveling around the island with a minimum amount of jewelry, cash, and other valuables.

Which side of St. Maarten is more fun, Sint Maarten (Dutch) or Saint Martin (French)?

The Dutch side of the island of Sint Maarten would be considered by many as being more fun. The reason for this is because most of the exciting and fun activities that tourists like to do, such as visit the beaches, go to museums, eat at delicious Caribbean style restaurants, enjoy water sports, go to nightclubs, and casinos that are located on this side of the island. Sint Maarten (Dutch) also has many different types of evening entertainment and festivals that are held annually that have live music, dancing, and delicious local cuisine on display. Sint Maarten (Dutch) provides a truly fun experience for all who decide to visit.

Last Updated on January 12, 2022