Willemstad

The Penha building is both a clothes store and an example of colonial architecture

Willemstad is the capital and largest city of Curaçao. The city center and the waterfront is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Understand

Willemstad is mostly a destination for cruise ship tourists who usually spend one, max. two days there. Prices in bars, restaurants and shops tend to be very high and the originality and quality of products sold is often questionable - especially in the main tourist district Punda. But by comparing prices and using happy hours (usually 1h per bar, sometimes between 4pm and 8pm) costs can be reduced considerably.

Cocaine and cannabis is offered to tourists pretty openly, but a friendly "no, thank you" is sufficient to be left alone.

Get in

By boat

Cruise ships moor either at Otrabanda's mega pier or at the entrance to the harbor - all mooring locations are within easy walking distance to the main tourist attractions.

By bus

Since Willemstad is the capital of Curacao one can take a bus from any part of the island.

By plane

Hato International Airport is a 10 minute car ride from the city center. Buses from the airport leave roughly every hour during daytime; taxis cost between USD20 and USD60, depending on time of day, ability to haggle and destination.

Get around

The main tourist destination, the district of Punda, can be covered on foot easily (and much faster than by car).

Regular buses are cheap but they don't serve many points in Willemstad.

Shared taxis are inexpensive and flexible about the route they take. The main shared taxi spot in Punda is just behind the floating market.

Regular taxis are expensive, renting a car is usually the cheaper option if one wants to visit the various beaches in and around Willemstad.

While it is possible to get to all places by bicycle it is not advised for inexperienced riders since dedicated bike lanes are rare, cars tend to speed and the always blowing wind and slight but long elevations can be strenuous for untrained people.

See

Do

Sleep

Budget

Other

Connect

Free WiFi is omnipresent; some networks require a signup with a social media account or an email address.

Go next

All of Curacao: Every possible destination on Curacao can easily be done as a day-trip. With your own car or a taxi you can reach the southernmost point in 20 minutes, the northernmost point in 40 minutes.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, January 06, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.