About Sint Maarten

Photo of Philipsburg Harbour Sint Maarten on All Things Sint MaartenI can write pages and pages about this beautiful island, but I decided to give you some practical info and a summary of the Island story. Enjoy the read…

Time Zone

Sint Maarten and Saint Martin time zone is GMT-4 hours. There’s no daylight-saving time, it’s just light when it’s light and there is more fun when it’s dark. So, one less thing to worry about.


The Antillean Guilder or Florin is the official currency in Sint Maarten. US dollars are accepted at the majority of businesses (or let’s say all) on the Dutch side of the island. On the French side, the Euro is the official currency.​ US dollar is accepted as well.

Power / Electricity 

Saint Martin (the French side) uses 240-volt electricity supply and power plugs are the same as you’d find in Europe.

Sint Maarten (the Dutch side) uses 120-volt, and those power plugs are the same as used in the US.

The Island

Sint Maarten is a picturesque island located in the northeastern Caribbean Sea, known for its stunning natural beauty and vibrant culture. It also has the unique status as a constituent country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The island is often referred to as “the friendly island” and is divided into two distinct territories: the southern portion, Sint Maarten, which is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the northern part, Saint-Martin, which is an overseas collectivity of France.

Sint Maarten and Saint Martin together cover an area of approximately 34 square miles, which is 87 square kilometers. It’s situated within the Leeward Islands of the Caribbean. The island’s geographical location makes it a popular destination for tourists from around the world, because it offers a perfect blend of Dutch and French influences. This unique duality is reflected in the island’s culture, language, and cuisine.

Sint Maarten – Dutch side

The island’s Dutch side, Sint Maarten, is the more populous of the two territories. Philipsburg, its capital, is a bustling hub of activity, featuring a beautiful waterfront and a wide range of shops and restaurants. Visitors can explore the charming streets of Philipsburg, which are lined with colorful colonial buildings and offer excellent shopping opportunities, particularly for duty-free goods.

Photo of Orient Bay Beach in Saint Martin on All Things Sint MaartenSaint Martin – French side

In contrast, the French side, Saint-Martin, is known for its relaxed ambiance and charming, smaller towns. Marigot, the capital of Saint-Martin, boasts a picturesque harbor and an array of French boutiques and cafes. The French influence is evident in the cuisine, with delectable pastries, fine wines, and exquisite cuisine widely available throughout the region.

Sint Maarten & Saint Martin Beaches

Sint Maarten’s beaches are a major attraction for visitors. The island features a variety of breathtaking beaches, including Orient Bay Beach, Maho Beach, and Mullet Bay Beach. These pristine, white-sand shores offer the perfect backdrop for sunbathing, water sports, and snorkeling.

Photo of a landing plane at Maho Airport Beach Sint Maarten on All Things Sint MaartenNightlife

The island is also famous for its vibrant nightlife. There are numerous bars, clubs, and casinos that stay open well into the night. The bustling casino scene, in particular, makes Sint Maarten a haven for those seeking entertainment after the sun goes down.


Sint Maarten is a diverse and multicultural destination. It’s home to a population of approximately 44,000 people on the Dutch and 32,000 on the French side. People who speak a variety of languages, including Dutch, English, French, and Creole. This diversity is reflected in the island’s rich cultural heritage, which is celebrated through various festivals and events.

The island’s economy heavily relies on tourism, with cruise ships making regular stops at the bustling port in Philipsburg. Visitors often explore the island’s lush interior, where hiking and nature trails lead to magnificent viewpoints and secluded spots.

Sint Maarten is not only a popular tourist destination but also a significant transportation hub, thanks to Princess Juliana International Airport, one of the busiest airports in the Caribbean. The airport is renowned for its short runway that extends onto Maho Beach, allowing plane spotters to witness low-flying aircraft landing just above their heads.

Sint Maarten’s unique blend of European and Caribbean influences, coupled with its natural beauty and vibrant culture, continues to draw visitors seeking an unforgettable vacation experience. Whether you’re looking for relaxation on the beach, water sports, or a taste of Dutch and French Caribbean cuisine, Sint Maarten offers a diverse range of activities and experiences that cater to a wide range of tastes and preferences.

More SXM...

All about SXM food – restaurants for breakfast, lunch or dinner

All about SXM beaches – French and Dutch side – our favorites

All about SXM activities – sunshine or rain – we got you covered

All about SXM transportation – flights, rentals, public transport

All about moving to SXM – some practical tips included

All about SXM seasons – best times to visit and weather stuff