"The Caribean shopping mall" Philipsburg by pencho15
Philipsburg Travel Guide: 18 reviews and 54 photos
Philipsburg was our fourth destination in a seven days cruise aboard the Adventure of the Seas. After some research about the place I arrived with low expectations, and after leaving this was the place I liked the least of all We visited.
I don't have much information about the history of the place, it is the biggest, and maybe only, town in the dutch part of the Sint Maarten island, the other part as You probably already know belongs to France. The city was founded in 1763 by John Philips, a scotchman working with the dutch navy, He must had not been a modest fellow as he called the new village Philipsburg after his name. Due to it's small size and the imposibility to grow much more the city has always have a small population, even today it only has a few thousands of inhabitants.
Today Sint Maarten depends almost completely on tourism, and the city is devoted to selling all kind of products to the many visitors arriving each week in cruise ships and to the few independent travelers on the island. Everywhere on the "Front Street", Philipsburg main avenue, you'll see hundreds of stores and little else. I suppose this is great for some kind of people traveling in search of shopping opportunities and souvenirs, but for me, traveling in search of different cultures and experiences, this place has little to offer. There is nothing unique or special about this place, it is a city built for visitors and You can find similar artificial places in other places of our planet.
There is a big handicap about traveling in cruises, You only get eight hours to know each place and so I couldn't visit Sint Maarten outside this city, being so I'll stick to my travel motto "everywhere there is something to see" maybe the two almost abandoned forts I read about in VT or the salt lagoons recomended by lonely planet may do a visit to this place worthy.
Appart from the two forts I couldn't visit the Courthouse stands as the only historic building in Sint Maarten, and so... more travel advice
This one is another church in front street, I can tell you much less about this one that about the catholic church, I... more travel advice
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