Getting around the island
The bus service is provided mainly by mini-bus according to the main roads without a fixed schedule. The bus stops are more or less respected… Most often, for taking a bus in St. Martin, you just have to signal the driver, who will stop at your level.
There are several transportation links available between Marigot, Philipsburg, other villages and the airports.
- Grand Case Airport: 0590 97 53 03
- Marigot: 0590 87 56 54
- Philipsburg: 1-721-542-2359
- Princess Juliana Airport: 1-721-545-5757
- French Quarter: 0590 87 31 44
Driving is on the right and road signs with international standards, even if you do not find here grade crossings and very rarely traffic lights…
It is relatively complicated to navigate on an island, as throughout the Caribbean, the indications are often very vague and do not be surprised if your hotel is “just right after the palm tree…”. Don’t worry, you’ll just have to ask your way.
To fully enjoy your stay in St. Martin and visit the island, it is highly advised to rent a car. St. Martin offers a wide selection of international and local car rental agencies. While the park car rental is very important, it is advisable to book your vehicle in advance.
French side: 220 V, 60 Hz. European plugs.
Ducth side: 110 V, 60 Hz. American plugs.
On both sides of the island, the electronic shops offer home appliances, stock transformers and adaptors for European and American plugs. So electrical appliances can be used on both sides of the island.
The international codes for Saint Martin are +590 (French side) and +1 721 (Dutch side).
- To call Mainland France or the French side of the island from the French side, simply dial the 10 digit number of your correspondent.
- To call the Dutch side from the French side, dial: 00 1 721 and then the 7 digit number of your correspondent.
- To call the French side from the Dutch side, dial: 00 590 then the 6 digit number (to call a mobile phone: 00 690 then the 6 digit number).
Jetlag – Local time
Compared to Metropolitan France:
-5 hours in winter (from the end of October to the end of March) and
-6 hours in summer (from the end of March to the end of October).
Compared to New York:
+1 hour in winter (from the end of October to the end of March)
Compared to universal time (GMT): -4:00 hours
Do not forget that under the tropics the sun rises early (between 5:00am and 6:00am) and also sets early (between 5:30pm and 6:30pm).
As the island has no natural spring or river, water is supplied from desalination plants exclusively. Many mineral waters are also available in grocery stores and supermarkets. The water is here scarce and expensive. We count on your action to preserve it and avoid waste.
The Euro on the French side and the Netherlands Antillean florin (NAF) or guilder on the Dutch side are the official currencies but the US dollar is accepted on both side of the island. Travellers checks and major credit cards are accepted everywhere. Many change offices are available on the island. In contrast, off-site checks are often refused.
Thanks to bilinguism, the French side of the island speaks French as well as English. The Dutch side speaks English. In addition, the Dutch, Creole or Papiamento are also spoken.