Sint Marteen, which is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, encompasses the southern 40% of the island Saint Martin in the Caribbean Sea. The northern 60% of the island is the French overseas collectivity of Saint-Martin. This is the only place in the world where the Netherlands borders France.
On the island, Sint Marteen is often referred to simply as “the Dutch side” while Saint-Martin is known as “the French side”. This prevents misunderstandings since the names Sint Marteen and Saint-Martin are so similar.
The official languages in Sint Marteen are Dutch and English. School children also learn French, and understanding Spanish is quite common too.
What’s the official currency in Sint Marteen?
Despite being a part of the Netherlands, Sint Marteen has the Netherlands Antillean guilder (ANG) as its official currency instead of the Euro. The ANG is also the official currency for Curaçao.
Sint Marteen is a popular holiday destination with plenty of resorts and well-developed tourist infrastructure. Also, quite a few people from the Netherlands, the United States and other parts of the world own holiday homes here.
Most of the cruise ships that come to the island dock in Philipsburg, which is the capital and commercial center of Sint Marteen. When it comes to shopping, Philipsburg is hailed as one of the best spots not just on the island but within this part of the Caribbean.
Some of the most popular beaches are found in the Maho area, and this part of the Sint Marteen is also known for its vibrant nightlife.
If you want to explore the island, a 4×4 is a fun way to do it, but remember to follow the rules to prevent damaging the wildlife. Guided excursions are available.
Visiting “the French side”
Travelling from the Dutch side to the French side and vice versa is no problem, and many visitors to the island do this. There is not really any border control within the island, just monuments and signs that point out where the border is.
The official currency on the French side is Euro, not ANG.
As you leave the Dutch side and enter the French side, you are also leaving the 110/120V at 60Hz power system (with US sockets) and entering the 230V at 50Hz system (with Europlug sockets).
Generally speaking, the “French side” have a less developed tourism infrastructure but is great if you want to enjoy nature and don’t mind a more rustic experience. Orient Beach has a stretch where clothing is optional, and this is where you find the nudist resort Club Orient. For excellent restaurants, visit the towns Marigot and Grand Case.
Casino gambling in Sint Marteen
Gambling is legal in Sint Marteen and there are several casinos to chose among. Some are included in big resorts. The legal age for gambling is 18.
- Casino Royal, Located in the Maho area, in the north-western part of Sint Marteen.
- Sonesta Maho Beach Resort, Casino & Spa. Located in the Maho area, in the north-western part of Sint Marteen.
- Hollywood Casino, between Simpson Bay and Lay Bay on the western coast of Sint Marteen.
- Paradise Casino
- Tropicana Princess Casino
- Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa. Located just a tad west of Philipsburg.
- Casino Rouge et Noir Sxm in Philipsburg
- Diamond Casino Sxm in Philipsburg
Are there casinos on the French side too?
No, there are no casinos on the French side of the island.
Good to know about Sint Marteen
Size: 37 km2 (14 sq mi)
Population: Circa 41,000 at the 2017 estimate
Most populous city: Lower Prince’s Quarter
Official currency: Netherlands Antillean guilder (ANG)
Official languages: Dutch & English
Time zone: UTC -4 (Atlantic Standard Time)
Driving side: Right
Internet top level domain: .sx
ISO 3166 code: SX