Paris Permenter & John Bigley's
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Shopping in St. Martin

French St. Martin

On the French side, the best shopping is in the capital city of Marigot. A crafts market near the cruise terminal offers jewelry, T-shirt, souvenir items, carvings, and paintings (we were especially taken with the Haitian artwork available here). We’ve bought lots of inexpensive children’s gifts in this market: wooden turtles that open to hold jewelry or small treasures for $10, painted wooden animals from Haiti for $3, and for teens inexpensive silver jewelry starting at about $10 and pareos for about $10.

Marigot also is home to boutique shops open 9am to 12:30pm and 3 to 7pm.

Dutch Sint Maarten

In Philipsburg, shops line Frontstreet, the narrow boulevard nearest the waterfront. In these duty-free stores, electronic goods, leather, and jewelry are especially good buys. (For the best prices, shop on days when the cruise ships are not in port.) No duties are charged in or out of port (one of the few such ports in the world), so savings run about 25-50% on consumer goods at this popular duty-free stop. Shop carefully, though, and know prices on specific goods before you leave home. Some items are not such bargains.

Most shops are found on Philipsburg’s Frontstreet. Typically, shops open at 8 or 9am and remain open until noon, then reopen from 2 to 6 daily. When cruises ships are in port, most shops remain open through the lunch hours.

You'll also find two inexpensive markets just off Frontstreet; look for used license plates, kids' t-shirts, and other inexpensive souvenirs (and plan to bargain).

Back to St. Martin with Kids


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