Bargains by Duty and Tax Free Island Shopping
Bargain hunting on St. Maarten & St. Martin
More products with potential bargains on St. Maarten and
Beside the items mentioned under the tab jewelry, watches, and gems, some more products carry lower price tags than found in most other countries. This is especially true for all products, where high extra 'sin' taxes apply, e.g. for tobacco and alcohol. If you come from another country with high sales (VAT) taxes, you also may find the prices for cameras, electronics, cosmetics and perfumes attractively low.
Duty Free - Tax Free
Neither duties nor taxes are imposed on both parts of the island, when buying products.
Tobacco and Alcohol
These products can be found on the Dutch side at attractive prices. Cigar Aficionados find a large choice including Cuban cigars. Cigarettes cost less than in airport duty free shops. Liquor has a price advantage, too, but wine is not worthwhile to buy on the island as the price difference is minimal. The sales stores for these products are mostly in side streets of Front Street in Philipsburg or in the Backstreet area.
Philipsburg - St. Maarten Shooping area
Shopping for Fashion, Designer Clothing, and Beachwear
The Dutch side (Philipsburg) has some nice stores for beachwear and boutiques for fashion items. The French side is quite suitable for designer clothing with several trendy boutiques and the Royal West Indies Mall with a dozen of designer label shops. Keep in mind, many stores on the French side close between noon and 3PM and most shops are closed on Sundays.
Royal Weest Indies Mall in Marigot, French part
Perfumes & Cosmetics
Some shops on Back Street in Philipsburg have rather low prices for perfumes of well known brands, in most cases cheaper than at airport duty free shops.
Gifts, Souvenirs, Accessories, and local Art
If you are into buying such merchandise, you will find a range of interesting and low priced items in Philipsburg, for example at the Shipwreck Store on Front Street, and in various art shops on both parts of the island. Good places for bargain hunting are the street markets in Philipsburg, near the townhall and in Marigot on the market square at the harbor (Wednesday and Saturday).
Street market booths in Philipsburg
Art Scene and Galleries
The island enjoys a very active art scene with dozens of artists living and working on the island. The most famous painter of the island is Sir Roland Richardson, whose art gallery and atelier can be visited in Marigot, Rue Independence. He is known for his beautiful paintings of flamboyant trees.
Flamboyant trees blossoms by Roland Richardson
Galleries for specific or a range of painters can be found in Marigot, Grand Case, and in Philipsburg.