Philipsburg: Main Town on the Dutch Side of St. Maarten

Philipsburg is the most highly populated area in St. Maarten and is the top place on the island where tourists come to shop, eat and enjoy the beautiful beaches. St. Maarten is an island that is divided between two governments. Philipsburg is the capital of the Dutch side of Sint Maarten and is governed by The Netherlands. Philipsburg was founded in 1763 by John Philips, a Scottish captain in the Dutch navy. Philipsburg is 5.6 miles (9.1 km) away from Princess Juliana International Airport and 0.8 miles (1.2 km) away from the Port of St. Maarten.

The town of Philipsburg has a vibrant and happy culture and is full of locals and tourists soaking in the beautiful views, taking advantage of all the nearby activities, and generally just having a good time. The main street of Philipsburg is called Front Street and it’s a place where most of the important and popular shops are located on the island. All the things that tourists can buy at Front Street are duty-free. In fact, St. Maarten is a duty-free island, which means that the things are sold without an added tax fee, which makes shopping in St. Maarten cheaper than in most other countries.

Philipsburg has two main beaches, Great Bay Beach and Little Bay Beach. Both beaches have spectacular views of the Caribbean Sea and the port of St. Maarten. Along with the beautiful sunsets, tourists who visit Philipsburg are sure to see many cruise ships docking near the port. The town of Philipsburg is sure to leave anyone who visits with a smile on their face whenever they think about their trip to St. Martin.

Where is Philipsburg located?

The town of Philipsburg is located between Great Bay Beach and the Great Salt Pond, on a narrow stretch of land. Philipsburg is the capital of Dutch Sint Maarten. The coordinates of Philipsburg are 18.0296° N, 63.0471° W.

Which country governs Philipsburg?

Philipsburg is governed by The Netherlands. This is because Philipsburg is located on the southern end of the island of St. Maarten, which is Dutch owned.

What does the St. Maarten Philipsburg map cover?

The map of Philipsburg below shows the location of the town of Philipsburg which is located on the southern coast of Sint Maarten. Philipsburg is located on the Dutch side of the island of Sint Maarten. The map below also depicts nearby locations to Philipsburg such as Pond Island, Great Salt Pond, Front Street, Great Bay Beach, Little Bay and SXM Catamaran Charters.

Map of Philipsburg in Sint Maarten

What are the ways to go to Philipsburg?

There are a few ways to reach the town of Philipsburg. The ways to go to Philipsburg are listed below.

  1. By driving a car: Most travelers choose to rent a car during their stay in Saint Martin. This is a good option if you are planning to stay in St. Maarten for an extended time and would like to explore more parts of the island independently, including the town of Philipsburg. Renting a car would not be very practical if you are traveling to St. Maarten via cruise ship.
  2. Several car rental companies are available for tourists at both Princess Juliana International Airport in Dutch Sint Maarten and at Grand Case Airport in French Saint Martin. These rental car companies usually charge around $30 (€25) per day. The ride to Philipsburg should take about 1 hour at most from any point on the island of St. Martin depending on traffic.
  3. By taxi: Tourists also can take a taxi from the Princess Juliana International Airport or every other place on the island to Philipsburg for $4 to $45 (€3.5 to €40) depending on the distance and timing of the trip.
  4. By walking: Tourists who are coming from the cruise port of St. Maarten can walk 0.8 miles (1.2 km) until they reach the town of Philipsburg.
  5. By bus: The bus is the cheapest form of transportation on the island with the cost of a one-way ticket ranging from $1 to $3 (€0.86 to €2.50) per person. This is a method of transportation that many tourists rely on during their stay in St. Maarten. The buses in Saint Martin have frequent routes that stop at major cities on the island such as Philipsburg. Each bus has an identifying marker that states the driver’s route which is usually a sign in the front window that indicates the starting and ending point of the route.

Is Philipsburg close to Princess Juliana International Airport?

Yes, Philipsburg is close to Princess Juliana International Airport. Philipsburg is located 6.9 miles (11.1 km) away from Princess Juliana International Airport.

What are the weather conditions in Philipsburg?

The weather in Philipsburg is usually warm and sunny with average daily temperatures ranging from 25°C to 28°C (78°F to 82°F). The climatic characteristics of Sint Maarten are sunny days and warm temperatures throughout the year, except for September and October due to the hurricane season. In the table below you can see the average daily temperature, average rainfall and average sunshine per month in Philipsburg, St. Maarten.

MonthAverage Daily TemperatureAverage RainfallAverage Daily Sunshine Percentage
January77.9°F (25.5°C)2.60 inches (66.0 mm)73.5%
February77.7°F (25.4°C)2.00 inches (50.7 mm)72.7%
March78.3°F (25.7°C)1.78 inches (45.2 mm)72.2%
April79.7°F (26.5°C)2.52 inches (64.0 mm)70.6%
May81.3°F (27.4°C)3.67 inches (93.3 mm)62.4%
June82.8°F (28.2°C)2.43 inches (61.8 mm)62.0%
July82.9°F (28.3°C)2.82 inches (71.6 mm)63.2%
August83.5°F (28.6°C)3.89 inches (98.8 mm)67.7%
September83.3°F (28.5°C)5.50 inches (139.6 mm)62.8%
October82.8°F (28.2°C)4.45 inches (113.0 mm)67.0%
November81.1°F (27.3°C)5.88 inches (149.3 mm)68.3%
December79°F (26.1°C)3.69 inches (93.8mm)71.4%

Did Hurricane Irma affect Philipsburg?

Yes, Hurricane Irma had a great effect on the town of Phillipsburg. Hurricane Irma was a Category 5 hurricane that affected a few Caribbean islands in the year 2017. The town of Philipsburg and the entire island of St. Maarten were severely affected by Hurricane Irma. In fact, all the businesses in Phillipsburg suffered strong damage from the catastrophic winds of Hurricane Irma.

Many of the hotels, restaurants, and beaches in Philipsburg were badly damaged by Hurricane Irma. Many of the businesses in Philipsburg have since made a full recovery from the Hurricane and are operating efficiently today.

Hurricane Irma affected Philipsburg on September 6th, 2017. There were other hurricanes that struck St. Maarten such as Hurricane Luis in 1995 which destroyed some properties in Philipsburg. There was also Hurricane Jose in 2017, which caused a lot of damage at the Great Bay Beach Resort in Philipsburg.

What are some of the facts about Philipsburg?

There are many different things tourists should know about Philipsburg before visiting the island of St. Maarten. There are many different fun facts about St. Maarten that including the city of Philipsburg. Some interesting facts about Philipsburg are listed below.

  1. Philipsburg was founded in 1763 by John Philips, a Scottish captain in the Dutch navy.
  2. Philipsburg is the Dutch capital of Sint Maarten.
  3. Phillipsburg is the main tourist destination on the entire island of St. Maarten.
  4. The cruise ships dock at the port of St. Maarten which is located in Philipsburg.
  5. Philipsburg is located between Great Bay and the Great Salt Pond.
  6. The most popular beaches in Philipsburg are Great Bay Beach and Little Bay Beach.
  7. Philipsburg is known for its plethora of duty-free shopping opportunities. Front Street is the principal duty-free shopping street in St. Maarten and is located in Philipsburg.

What is the size of Philipsburg?

The size of Philipsburg is approximately 6561.68 feet (2,000 m) from one side to the other. Philipsburg is larger than Grand Case and smaller than Cole Bay, which are both cities in St. Maarten.

What is the population of Philipsburg?

The last census conducted in 2017 showed that Philipsburg has a population of 1,894. The population of St. Maarten is estimated to be around 77,000 people on both the French and Dutch sides of the island.

What are the popular destinations of Philipsburg?

The popular destinations in Philipsburg are listed below.

  1. Front Street
  2. Great Bay Beach
  3. The St. Maarten Zoo
  4. Fort Amsterdam
  5. The Boardwalk
  6. Little Bay Beach
  7. The Amsterdam Cheese and Liquor Store

Which beaches are in Philipsburg?

There are two beaches in Philipsburg, Great Bay Beach, and Little Bay Beach. Great Bay Beach is one of the best beaches in St. Martin. Great Bay Beach extends nearly 2 miles (3.2 km) along Philipsburg and has bars, restaurants, hotels, and casinos. Little Bay Beach has a calm and turquoise sea that allows tourists to relax and enjoy the stunning views. Great Bay Beach is located just 0.7 miles (1.1 km) from Front Street, the duty-free shopping area. Tourists who are taking a cruise love spending the day in Philipsburg when stopping at St. Maarten.

Other beaches near Philipsburg are listed below.

  1. Indigo Bay
  2. Guana Bay
  3. Maho Beach
  4. Simpson Bay Beach
  5. Dawn Beach

What are the historical buildings to be seen in Philipsburg?

History is everywhere to be seen on the island of St. Maarten. Tourists who are looking to find out about the history of St. Maarten have a vast array of historical buildings to see while in Philipsburg. Some historical buildings that tourists can see when visiting Philipsburg are listed below.

  1. Fort Amsterdam
  2. Fort Willem
  3. Phillipsburg Courthouse
  4. Saint Martin of Tours Church

Are there any museums in Philipsburg?

There are a few museums located in Philipsburg. Some of the museums in the town of Philipsburg are considered the best museums in Sint Maarten and are a must-see for those visiting the island. The museums that are in Philipsburg are listed below.

  1. St. Maarten Museum is a museum about the island’s heritage.
  2. Yoda Guy Movie Exhibit is a museum about the special effects that were used by the designer Nick Maley who helped create the Star Wars movies. There are plenty of props & costumes from several different movies as well as a gift shop.

What are the shopping areas of Philipsburg?

Philipsburg’s most popular shopping area is Front Street. Front Street is considered one of the best places to shop in St. Martin/Sint Maarten.  Front Street is the main shopping district on the island of St. Martin. Some of the best things that tourists can buy on Front Street in Philipsburg are listed below.

  1. Designer clothes
  2. Fine China
  3. Watches
  4. Liquor
  5. Crystal products
  6. Bags
  7. Jewelry
  8. Cigars
  9. Perfumes

What are the best clubs in Philipsburg?

Philipsburg is one of the top places that tourists looking to enjoy the nightlife should visit during their trip to Sint Maarten. The town of Philipsburg has some of the best clubs in Sint Maarten. Phillipsburg is known for its vibrant and youthful energy, and for being the party capital of the island of St. Maarten. The best clubs in Philipsburg are listed and described below.

  1. Sint Rose Beach Bar is a bar and cafe located on Front Street at Philipsburg. Tourists rave about the delicious quality food served that is available at an inexpensive price.
  2. Dirty Sanchez Crew Bar is located on the Boardwalk which is a street that runs parallel to Front Street which is right next to Great Bay Beach. Many tourists love the location of the Dirty Sanchez Crew Bar because it’s possible to see the beautiful views of the beach. Many who visit Dirty Sanchez Crew Bar also say that the prices are quite reasonable, a drink price can start at $5 (€4.79).
  3. Juggie’s Place is a bar located in Philipsburg. Many who visit Juggie’s Place say that they have a blast. Many raves about the inexpensive prices of food and drinks and the friendly staff and service that can be found at Juggie’s place.

What are the best restaurants in Philipsburg?

The town of Philipsburg has a wide variety of dining options for tourists to enjoy. In fact, some of the best restaurants in St. Maarten are located in Philipsburg. Philipsburg not only offers tourists wonderfully delicious food but also the perfect ambiance to enjoy with family, and friends, or even to soak in on your own. The best restaurants in Philipsburg are listed and described below.

  1. The Original Fat Boy BBQ Jimmy’s Kitchen & Grill serves delicious Caribbean food that is full of flavor. The Original Fat Boy BBQ Jimmy’s Kitchen & Grill is located in Philipsburg just 1.4 miles (2.2 km) from the Cruise Port of St. Maarten. Tourists rave about the fresh Jhonny Cakes and all the comfort food that is served at The Original Fat Boy BBQ Jimmy’s Kitchen & Grill. The prices at The Original Fat Boy BBQ Jimmy’s Kitchen & Grill range from $1 to $15 (€0.96 to €14) per plate, credit cards are accepted.
  2. Caribbean Blend is located at Philipsburg just 1.5 miles (2.5 km) away from the Cruise Port of St. Maarten. The Caribbean Blend is a restaurant where tourists can try foods from all over the Caribbean such as Jamaican, Puerto Rican, and Trinidadian food. Some of the popular cuisines featured at the Caribbean Blend is seafood and barbeque. There are also vegetarian and vegan options available at Caribbean Blend. The prices at the Caribbean blend range from $2 to $25 (€1.92 to €23) per meal, only cash is accepted.
  3. Shell’s Kitchen is located at Philipsburg just 1 mile (1.6 km) from the Cruise Port of St. Maarten. Shell’s Kitchen is a restaurant that specializes in both Caribbean and international food. Shell’s Kitchen is open from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM from Monday to Thursday, as well as on Fridays from 8:00 AM to 12:00 AM. The prices at Shell’s Kitchen range from $5 to $25 (€4.80 to €23) per plate.
  4. Freedom Fighter’s Ital Shack is located just 0.7 miles (1.1 km) from Great Bay Beach in Philipsburg. Freedom Fighter’s Ital Shack serves local and organic vegetarian food and fresh local juices made daily. There are also vegan and gluten-free options available at the restaurant. Freedom Fighter’s Ital Shack is open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM from Monday to Saturday. The prices at Freedom Fighter’s Ital Shack range from $12 to $15 (€11.51 to €14.39) per plate.
  5. Ocean Lounge is located at Philipsburg just 1 mile (1.6 km) from the Cruise Port of St. Maarten. Ocean Lounge has exquisite local Caribbean and European cuisine. There are also gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian options available at the Ocean Lounge. The prices at Ocean Lounge range from $22 to $37 (€21 to €35) per meal. Ocean Lounge is open every day of the week from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM.

What are the best resorts in Philipsburg?

The town of Philipsburg is the most tourist frequented area in St. Maarten, because of this some of the best resorts of St. Maarten are located in Philipsburg. The best resorts in Philipsburg are listed and described below:

  1. Divi Little Bay Beach Resort: Divi Little Bay Beach Resort is an all-inclusive resort located just 5.4 miles (8.6 km) away from Princess Juliana International Airport. Divi Little Bay Beach Resort offers stunning beach views and excellent staff service.  The price at the Divi Little Bay Beach Resort is $179 to $262 (€165 to €241) per night. The online rating for Divi Little Bay Beach Resort is 4 out of 5 stars.
  2. Horizon View Beach Hotel: Horizon View Beach Hotel is located right in the heart of Sint Maarten, between Front Street and Great Bay Beach. The price at the Horizon View Beach Hotel ranges from $106 to $122 (€101 to €116) per night. Tourists say that the Horizon View Beach Hotel has an amazing location and that the staff offers a really good service. The online rating for Horizon View Beach Hotel is 3.5 out of 5 stars.
  3. Royal Palm Beach Resort: The Royal Palm Beach Resort is located in the heart of Philipsburg and is a great place for families to stay while on vacation in St. Maarten. The price per night at the Royal Palm Beach Resort is $279 (€258). Tourists love the spacious rooms and the engaging children’s activities that the resort provides.

What are the tours for Sint Maarten Philipsburg?

Philipsburg is a wonderful place for tourists to take a tour of the island of St. Maarten. Booking a tour allows those who visit the island to see many different points of interest on the island within a short period of time. There is a diverse array of activities that tourists can enjoy in the town of Philipsburg. In fact, some of the best tours in St. Maarten begin in the town of Philipsburg. Some of the best tours in Philipsburg, St. Maarten are listed and described below.

  1. Captain Bob Speed Boat, Snorkeling, Beach Tour in St. Maarten by Power Boats is a 6-hour speed boat tour that takes tourists to some of the most beautiful golden sandy beaches along the coast of St. Maarten including the popular Great Bay Beach in Philipsburg. Tourists will receive snorkeling equipment, lunch, drinks, and unlimited snacks on this excursion. The price is $129 (€121) per adult.
  2. The Guided ATV Island Tour is a 4-hour adventure that allows visitors to ride an automatic transmission ATV and explore the streets of Philipsburg, St. Maarten with a professional staff. The ATV Island Tour has an online rating of 5 out of 5 stars. The average price of riding an ATV is $95 (€83) per person, $70 (€61) for 2 riders using one ATV, and $102.57 (€98.23) per group.
  3. The Private Custom St. Maarten Nightlife Tour allows tourists to experience the vibrant nightlife in Philipsburg by visiting different bars and nightclubs. This tour is perfect for a group of friends or family. The price for the Private Custom St. Maarten Nightlife Tour goes from $266.67 (€255.84) for groups up to 6 people.

What should you wear in Philipsburg?

Those who visit the town of Philipsburg commonly do a lot of walking. There are popular streets such as Front Street and Back Street that have shops where tourists can shop and explore. There is also a beach located nearby those streets that tourists can enjoy. Many who are visiting Philipsburg may wonder what clothes to pack and wear in St. Maarten. Considering the unique town of Philipsburg, some of the things tourists should wear are listed below.

  1. Pants with a light fabric
  2. Shorts
  3. Sundresses
  4. Airy Blouses
  5. T-shirts
  6. Sunglasses
  7. Hat
  8. Sandals
  9. Sneakers
  10. Swimsuit

What activities can be done in Philipsburg?

Some activities that can be done in Philipsburg are visiting Front Street and Fort Amsterdam. There are so many different activities in Philipsburg for tourists to enjoy. Some of the activities available for tourists to engage in in Philipsburg are some of the most popular things to do in St. Maarten/Saint Martin. Some other activities that can be done in Philipsburg are listed and explained below.

  1. Take a bike tour of Philipsburg: Tourists can explore Philipsburg during a 3-hour guided cycling tour. Tourists can learn about the city’s history by visiting historical sites. Some of the places that tourists can visit are the Passangrahn Hotel which is the oldest inn in St. Maarten, the Philipsburg Courthouse on Front Street, Captain Hodge’s Wharf, and Little Bay Hill which offers views of the whole town of Philipsburg from the top of the hill. This tour includes a bicycle and safety gear. The Historical Philipsburg Bike Tour in St. Maarten is priced at $50.26 (€48.22) per adult.
  2. Visit WISP: WISP is a water park located in Philipsburg, just 15,069 sqft (1400 sqm) from the Caribbean Sea. The price per day is $20 (€19) per person. There is a minimum age accepted of 6, and all children from 6 to 12 years need to be with an adult at all times. WISP is open every day from 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM.
  3. 2-People-QUAD & Chairlift Ride: This 2-People-QUAD & Chairlift Ride is a 4-hour tour where tourists can discover St. Maarten on an ATV tour from Philipsburg through the island’s rainforest to Sentry Hill. Tourists can also travel up the hill by chairlift to enjoy panoramic views of St. Maarten and its neighboring islands. The price for the 2-People-QUAD & Chairlift Ride is $190.71 (€182) per group. Prices may vary depending on the size of the group.

What are the evening activities in Philipsburg?

There are plenty of evening activities for tourists to enjoy during their visit to Philipsburg St. Maarten. People who travel to St. Maarten often visit Philipsburg because it is often filled with activities like live entertainment, dancing, beach barbecues, etc. There are many popular evening venues such as Juggie’s Place, The Red Piano Lounge, and The Hole in the Wall that are popular for their nightlife activities. Some of the evening activities that can be enjoyed in Philipsburg are listed below.

  1. Dancing at Nightclubs
  2. Visiting Casinos
  3. Visiting Bars
  4. Beachside parties and Barbeques
  5. Taking an evening sunset sail

Is Philipsburg safe?

Yes, Philipsburg is considered a safe place to visit on the island of St. Maarten. Some tourists may wonder if St. Maarten is safe to visit and the answer is yes, it is safe to visit. As with any tourist destination, there are a few precautions one must take such as avoiding walking alone at night, keeping a minimal amount of valuables and cash on hand, and traveling in groups.