St. Martin – Shopping and Duty-Free
It’s hard not to think about shopping when you think of St. Martin. Many other destinations claim to be duty-free, but St. Martin is the only destination in the Caribbean that is legitimately so. There are no customs or VAT to be paid, which guarantees unbeatable prices on many purchases. A 4% sales tax (TGCA) applies to the entire French side of St. Martin island.
Marigot, St. Martin’s Fashion City
Marigot, the capital of St. Martin, is full of cozy, chic boutiques. You’ll certainly find what you’re looking for among the many clothing, shoes, accessories, and cosmetics shops at the Marina Royal or on Rue du Général de Gaulle. The West Indies, an air-conditioned shopping center on the Marigot sea front, also offers a grand selection of shopping and restaurants.
Hope Estate, a commercial and industrial area a bit further along, has continued to expand over the last decade, and offers more clothing, cosmetics, liquor, and home goods stores.
A French-Style Shopping Experience
While you’ll find international brands like Levis and Etam on St. Martin / St. Maarten island, the shopping experience is very French, with a number of notables from mainland France like Pain de Sucre, L’Occitane, Yves Rocher, and Banana Moon.
You’ll recognize the local savoir-faire in the shops as well. Whether you’re a tourist or a St. Martin local, everyone seems to have a t-shirt boasting a map of the island. Many brands have also designed collections with pride for the “Friendly Island,” like One Love by K., L.O.V.E., La Petite Saint-Martinoise, and more.
Philipsburg, a Luxury Paradise
Philipsburg, on the Dutch side of St. Maarten, has luxury written all over it. Untaxed prices of jewelry, perfume, clothing, and stereo equipment make these items among tourists’ favorites. In the streets of the capital, luxury products at affordable prices are sold within meters of colorful boutiques selling inexpensive souvenirs.