St Maarten vs St Martin (Which Side Is Better?)

In this article, we will take a look at St Maarten vs St Martin, the most important factors to consider when deciding which side of the island is better for you. Visiting one of the two sides of St Maarten or St Martin can be an enjoyable experience.

Each has its own qualities that make it special, with very few negatives to either one. There are so many options, however, it may be difficult to choose.

St Maarten vs St Martin Comparison

When it comes to the two different sides of the island, there are a lot of people who have their own opinion on which side is better. Some people prefer the Dutch side, St Maarten, because it is more developed and has more amenities.

Others prefer the French side, St Martin, because it is more relaxed and has a more Caribbean feel. There are pros and cons to each side of the island. The Dutch side is more developed and has nicer beaches, shopping, restaurants, and casinos.

However, it can be very crowded and touristy. The French side is less developed and has fewer amenities, but it is much quieter and more relaxed. It also has some beautiful beaches.

1. Casinos: Another big difference between the two sides of the island is that St Maarten has casinos, while St Martin does not. So if you’re looking to try your luck at the casino, head to Sint Maarten.

2. Beaches: If you are looking for amazing beaches, then you will want to head to St Martin (French side). This side of the island has some of the most beautiful white sand beaches in the world, and they are definitely worth exploring.​​​​​​​

There are more beaches to choose from, and they tend to be less crowded than the beaches on the Dutch side. The water is also warmer and clearer on the French side. 

Maho Beach, on the Dutch side of the island, being known for its great spot to watch airplanes take off and land at the nearby Princess Juliana International Airport. This beach is definitely a must-see for plane enthusiasts.

3. Nightlife: The nightlife is another big difference between the two sides of the island. The Dutch side is known for its vibrant nightlife, nightclubs and casinos, while the French side has a more relaxed atmosphere with wine bars and restaurants.

If you’re looking for a party atmosphere, then the Dutch side is definitely your best bet, but if you’re looking for a more relaxed evening out, then the French side is better suited for you.

4. Activities: Some people might say that the Dutch side is better because there are more activities to do, like gambling and shopping. The French side is known for its luxury resorts and beaches. But others might say that the French side is better because it’s more romantic and has better food.  

In the end, it really depends on what you are searching for. If you want more nightlife and activities, then go to the Dutch side. If you’re looking for a relaxing vacation with beautiful beaches and amazing food, then go to the French side.

5. Cost: One big difference is cost. St Maarten is generally much cheaper than St Martin, especially when it comes to food and drinks. If budget is a concern, then St Maarten may be the better choice.​​​​​​​ 

St. Martin, the French side of the island, is known for its food and wine culture. There are many great restaurants serving up locally sourced food as well as world-renowned wines from Bordeaux and Burgundy.​​​​​​​

6. Weather: The truth is, the weather on both sides of the island is exactly the same. The only difference is that one side has a French influence, while the other has a Dutch influence. So it really comes down to personal preference as to which side of the island you prefer.

7. Shopping: If you’re looking for some shopping, the Dutch side is definitely the better choice. There are several large malls where you can find everything from clothes to electronics.

Shoppers will find that St Maarten offers a wider range of stores and products than what is available on St Martin. In addition, prices tend to be lower on St Maarten than they are on St Martin.

8. Language: The French side of the island speaks French, while the Dutch side speaks Dutch and English. If you want to learn a new language, the French side would be a better choice. If you want to be able to converse with more people, the Dutch side would be a better choice

9. Crime: Both sides are relatively safe but, as with all places, there is crime.

10. Location: The island of St Maarten is divided into two parts, the Dutch side and the French side. The two sides are very different, with the Dutch side being more commercial and the French side being more touristy. So which side is better?

Well, it depends on what you’re looking for. If you want a more authentic Caribbean experience, then go to the Dutch side. If you want to be in the heart of all the action, then go to the French side.

11. Resorts: The Dutch side is home to the famous Maho Beach, where planes fly right over your head as they land at the airport. The French side is more upscale with beautiful resorts like La Samanna.​​​​​​​

Which side is better St Maarten or St. Martin?

There are many factors to consider when trying to decide which side of the island is better: St. Martin or St Maarten?. The two sides of the island offer different experiences, so it can be hard to decide which one is right for you. 

On the one hand, St. Martin offers a more cosmopolitan experience, with a wide variety of restaurants and nightlife options. If you’re looking for a party atmosphere, this is the place to be. 

On the other hand, St Maarten is home to some of the best beaches in the Caribbean. If you’re looking for a more relaxing vacation, this may be the better choice for you.

Why is St Maarten divided?

The island of St. Maarten is divided into two parts: the Dutch section and the French section. The division is the result of a treaty that was signed on March 23, 1648, after the Spanish and Dutch fought for control of the island. The treaty gave the island to the Dutch, but allowed the French to continue to live there.

Today, the two sections of the island are very different. The Dutch section is more developed, with modern infrastructure and resorts. The French section is more rural, with small villages and few amenities.

The division of St. Maarten has led to some tension between the two sections of the island. There have been disputes over language, culture, and even taxes. However, most people on St. Maarten seem to accept that the island is divided and that each side has its own unique strengths and weaknesses.

Is there a border between Sint Maarten and Saint Martin?

On one side is the French overseas collectivity of Saint Martin, and on the other is the Dutch constituent country of Sint Maarten. As a result, there are two different sets of immigration controls and customs regulations in place.

There have been attempts to unify the island under a single government, but these have failed due to disagreements between the two sides over things like taxation and social welfare.​​​​​​​

Do you need a passport to go from St. Martin to St Maarten?

Many people do not realize that the border between St. Martin and St. Maarten is an open one, and people can move back and forth without any problems.

This is a great advantage for those who want to enjoy the best of both worlds, as they can easily visit each island on a day trip. There are no passport or customs checks required when travelling between the two sides, so it is very easy to move around.​​​​​​​

What is special about St Maarten?

There are many things that make St Maarten a special place to visit. Perhaps the most notable is its location – the island sits in the middle of the Caribbean Sea, making it an ideal spot for travelers looking to enjoy some sunshine and tropical beaches.

In addition, St Maarten is a melting pot of cultures, with Dutch, French, and Caribbean influences all coming together to create a unique and vibrant atmosphere.

Visitors can find a variety of activities to enjoy on the island, from shopping and dining to swimming and snorkeling. Plus, with both a Dutch and French side, there is always something new to explore on St Maarten.

Can you go to the French side of St Maarten?

Yes, you can go to the French side of St Maarten. The two sides of the island are quite different – the Dutch side is more developed, while the French side is more rural. If you want to experience both sides of the island, it’s easy to do – just take a car, taxi or bus from one side to the other.

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  • Karin K

    Meet Karin, the passionate author and founder of My love affair with St. Maarten began in 1994 during a memorable trip. The island's allure was so captivating that I decided to make it my permanent home. Since then, I've been committed to sharing the beauty and wonders of St. Maarten through my adventures and insights. Join me on this incredible journey!

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