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St. Maarten Museum

Discover where the native population originally came from and learn about major events in the island’s colonial, social and natural past.   

The St. Maarten Museum is a small building, almost hidden in one of Philipsburg’s side streets. This little gem is certainly worth a visit and makes for a nice break from lazing on beaches. The exhibits give visitors insight into local history and place local customs and languages in a social context.

St. Maarten’s first museum opened its doors in 1989. Thanks to the tireless efforts of the St. Maarten National Heritage Foundation, it has continued to expand ever since. The museum’s exhibits reveal the island’s social, political and natural history.

The museum’s permanent exhibits include relics dating as far back as 500 B.C., including tools, sculptures and tombs. Learn about the early days of life on the island. The Arawak people came here circa A.D. 1000, all the way from the jungles of South America. 

Learn about the role of colonialists in the Caribbean and the four nationalities that ruled over St. Maarten: Dutch, Spanish, English and French. See exhibits about sugar farming and salt mining, which provided the main livelihood until tourism took center stage. The museum also touches on the dark days of slavery, when Africans were brought in to work in the mines and on the plantations.

See relics recovered from the HMS Proselyte shipwreck. The navy ship belonged to the Dutch before a mutiny. The ship was then part of the British Royal Navy fleet until it sunk off the coast of St. Maarten in 1801. The wreck became a popular dive site and many of the relics discovered on the ocean floor can be seen at the museum.  Don’t miss the pre-Colombian pottery and artifacts discovered from the area of the Hope Estate on the French part of the island.

St. Maarten Museum is tucked away in a side street off Front Street in central Philipsburg. Those arriving by car will find parking lots nearby. 

The museum is open on weekdays. While entry is free, donations for the upkeep of the museum are welcomed.


Top Museum of Sint Maarten Flight + Hotel Deals

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Horizon View Beach Hotel $82
Horizon View Beach Hotel

Horizon View Beach Hotel

Front Street, 49, Philipsburg
     
    3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Philipsburg, this beachfront hotel is in the city center, just steps from Cyrus Wathey Square and Great Bay Beach. Philipsburg Courthouse and Yoda Guy Movie Exhibit are also within 5 minutes.

    Alicia's Inn $88
    Alicia's Inn

    Alicia's Inn

    Backstreet 42, Philipsburg
       
      2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated in a shopping district, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Cyrus Wathey Square and Great Bay Beach. Philipsburg Courthouse and Yoda Guy Movie Exhibit are also within 5 minutes.

      SEA View ! Philisburg Beach ! NEW !!
      SEA View ! Philisburg Beach ! NEW !!

      SEA View ! Philisburg Beach ! NEW !!

      Philipsburg, Sint Maarten
         
        0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Nestled on the beach, this Philipsburg apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Museum of Sint Maarten and Great Bay Beach. Cyrus Wathey Square and Philipsburg Courthouse are also within 10 minutes.

        The Pasanggrahan Royal Boutique Hotel
        The Pasanggrahan Royal Boutique Hotel

        The Pasanggrahan Royal Boutique Hotel

        19 Front Sreet, Philipsburg
           
          3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Nestled on the beach, this Philipsburg hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Museum of Sint Maarten and Great Bay Beach. Cyrus Wathey Square and Philipsburg Courthouse are also within 5 minutes.

          Joshua Rose Guest House
          Joshua Rose Guest House

          Joshua Rose Guest House

          Back Street #7, Philipsburg
             
            2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in the heart of Philipsburg, this guesthouse is within a 10-minute walk of Museum of Sint Maarten and Great Bay Beach. Cyrus Wathey Square and Philipsburg Courthouse are also within 10 minutes.

            Holland House Beach Hotel $141
            Holland House Beach Hotel

            Holland House Beach Hotel

            Front Street 45, Philipsburg
               
              3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Philipsburg, this beachfront hotel is in the city center and within 9 mi (15 km) of Orient Bay Beach, Marigot Market, and Fort St. Louis. Pinel Island and Maho Beach are also within 9 mi (15 km).

              Divi Little Bay Beach Resort $179
              Divi Little Bay Beach Resort

              Divi Little Bay Beach Resort

              Little Bay Road, Philipsburg
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Nestled on the beach, this Philipsburg resort is within 1 mi (2 km) of Fort Amsterdam and Great Bay Beach. Little Bay Beach and Yoda Guy Movie Exhibit are also within 1 mi (2 km).

                Apartment With 4 Bedrooms in Philipsburg, With Wonderful sea View, Pool Access, Furnished Terrace
                Apartment With 4 Bedrooms in Philipsburg, With Wonderful sea View, Pool Access, Furnished Terrace

                Apartment With 4 Bedrooms in Philipsburg, With Wonderful sea View, Pool Access, Furnished Terrace

                Eagle Rd., Philipsburg
                   
                  3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Vineyard, this apartment building is within a 15-minute walk of Museum of Sint Maarten and Great Bay Beach. University of St. Martin and Cyrus Wathey Square are also within 15 minutes.