One day in Sint Maarten

“I’m on a cruise and will be in Sint Maarten/ Saint Martin just for the day. I would like to see and experience the island. Where should I go?”

Photo of Orient Bay Beach Saint Martin on All Things Sint MaartenFirst, if you want to see a lot, but don’t want to drive or pay for a driver: book a tour! And if you want all that, and you’re a German: book a Zauber der Karibik tour! This is a German spoken, 6,5 hours tour around the island, so you’ll cover Sint Maarten and Saint Martin! Above all, you’ll have a fun day, full of SXM highlights!

So, I’m assuming you have somewhere between 5 and 8 hours to spend here and that you’ll rent a car or find yourself a (taxi) driver for the day. Here we go with the must-see highlights:

Orient Bay

Starting in Philipsburg, I would drive directly to Orient Bay on the French side, where you can see the most famous beach of the French side of the island and have a cup of coffee and a delicious French croissant. (If you wish to spend the day here, make a reservation at Aloha Beach Bar for beach chairs and lunch. Incredibly nice people and the food is phenomenal.

Photo of Grand Case Saint Martin - the old pier on All Things Sint MaartenGrand Case

Next stop would be Grand Case. Check out the beach, find the old pier and make photos on it, but also under it. Have a drink at one of the many bars. Maybe have a swim, and if it’s your lunch time, have a local BBQ lunch at Cynthia’s Talk of the Town – the most famous lolo (locally owned and operated business) of the island. So, Grand Case is also a place you could decide to spend you whole day at. It’s your vacation and you’ll get to choose!

Photo of the Marigot Marina view in Saint Martin, taken from Fort St. Louis on All Things Sint MaartenMarigot

Continue the trip towards Marigot, where you can do some shopping at the West Indies Mall, but most important: go to Fort St. Louis. Climb a ‘few’ stairs or park higher so you can climb less stairs. The view is worth it, so don’t skip this one.

Mullet Bay Beach

Depending on how much time you have, you can visit the Mullet Bay Beach. This is the most popular beach on the Dutch side, so you know it’ll be packed.

Photo of the landing Air France airplane above the Maho Beach in Sint Maarten on All Things Sint MaartenMaho Beach Experience

The next stop is a must-must-must-see, so let’s move on! Maho Beach and the landing planes! You probably know what’s going on here, but if you don’t exactly, then this video could be helpful. This is a unique place, so don’t even think about skipping it if you want that SXM experience! 😉

Photo of Philipsburg, Sint Maarten - beach chair on the Great Bay on All Things Sint Maarten

Simpson Bay Beach

From here, you could visit Mary’s Boon, Karakter or Dinghy’s for a drink, so you can see the beautiful Simpson Bay Beach. Dighy’s has a plane spotting deck, so if you end up there, check it out. It’s up to you if you want to see the Simpson Bay Beach and the time you have left. Don’t be late for your ship, they won’t wait! 😉


Drive back to Philipsburg, have a walk over the Boardwalk, do some shopping and get yourself a nice drink. You deserved it, because you just drove around the entire island of Sint Maarten and Saint Martin! Spend the rest of your time on the Boardwalk and then go back to your ship.

I hope you’ll have a wonderful day and that you will let me know how it was! Enjoy!