St. Martin/St. Maarten Shopping, Boutiques
FRENCH ST. MARTIN
Because St. Martin / St. Maarten is a duty-free port, shopping is a very popular activity for visitors. Famous name perfumes, crystal, china, jewelry and designer fashions sell for considerably less than in the US. The same is true for fine liqueurs, cognacs, wines and tobacco products. Chic resortwear is available in the distinctive boutiques of Marigot and in many hotel shops. Prices are quoted in dollars and Euros. With so many American visitors, English is widely spoken.
Galleries throughout St. Martin exhibit and sell works by the island’s many renowned painters and sculptors. Local handicrafts can be found at numerous markets and shops.
In Marigot, where the majority of shops and boutiques are found, store hours are generally from 9:00 to 18:00 or 19:00, Monday through Saturday (although some establishments close for the traditional two or three hour lunch). If cruise ships are in on Sundays and holidays, some of the larger shops reopen.
DUTCH ST. MAARTEN
Cameras and electronics as well as Dutch imports (Delft china, cheeses and beer) are good buys, as are crystal, china, jewelry and watches, designer fashions, leather, perfumes and cosmetics, tobacco products, imported wine and spirits, plus linens and flatware, all of which sell for substantially less than in the US. English is widely spoken.
The main shopping areas are in Philipsburg which is well known for its duty-free values. When the big cruise ships are in, crowds can be intense in this part of the island. Other shopping options include the Maho plaza and Plaza del Lago near the Simpson Bay Yacht Club. Most shops are open Monday - Saturday from 9:00 to 18:00, and some may open on Sunday for cruise ship passengers.
Local handicrafts can be found at numerous markets and shops, while paintings, lithographs and prints by island artists can be purchased at galleries located in Philipsburg and Simpson Bay.
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