Dive or snorkel around tropical reefs, discover the island’s fascinating colonial past and share stories over rum with locals in this idyllic town.
Steeped in the history of the sugar and slave trades, Christiansted is a captivating place to spend a few days. Admire the colonial-era architecture and learn about what life was like here in the era of Danish rule.
Start your explorations at King’s Wharf. During colonial times, this was where ships loaded up with sugar and molasses to carry back to Europe. Nowadays, the waterfront is lined with classy bars and restaurants. Inquire with the quayside operators here about dive trips and fishing excursions.
Also on the waterfront is the imposing Fort Christiansvaern, built in 1749. Venture beyond the high yellow walls and find the old soldiers’ living quarters inside. Go down into the spooky dungeon and up to the ramparts, which offer fantastic sea views.
Just a short stroll inland from the fort is the neighboring 18th-century Steeple Building. Originally a church, the building now functions as a museum. Step inside and explore exhibits tracing the history of the sugar plantations and slave trade on the island.
Wander around town and discover even more examples of fine colonial architecture. Look for the Scale House, where sugar and other taxable imports and exports were once inspected and weighed. Nearby is the Government House, a mansion where a grand entrance and lavish furnishings reflect the wealth enjoyed by the colonial rulers during the peak of the sugar trade.
Board a boat at King’s Wharf and travel to Protestant Cay, a small island about 600 feet (180 meters) offshore. Unwind in the shade of gently swaying palm trees or rent kayaks and cruise over the calm, tropical water.
To get to Christiansted fly directly to Henry E. Rohlsen Airport. From there, the town is just a 20-minute drive east. If possible, try and come here during one of the four annual Jump Ups. These lively festivals incorporate an exciting blend of music, dancing, food and lots of rum.