If you've noticed a language change, you've probably arrived on the French side of the island. Sint Maarten and Saint Martin are separate countries that share the island and offer double the culture, cuisine, and capital. Marigot is the capital of the French side.
Marigot was named after its environmental characteristics. Originally a fishing village situated on a swamp, the name Marigot translates to "swamp" in French. Due to its rapid economic growth, Marigot became the official capital of the French, making it the administrative centre. In 1970, part of the lagoon was filled to extend the village. It was filled in again in 1990, allowing a road to be built along the lagoon front. Today, Marigot is a charming capital that embodies French influence on the Caribbean lifestle, with its gingerbread houses and sidewalk bistros.
Walk Along History Marigot is a popular tourist destination in the French Caribbean, known for its exceptional architecture and rich history. One of the most iconic attractions of Marigot is Rue de la République, which has preserved its 19th-century houses and architecture. The design of the buildings showcases iconic elements of that time, including stone walls mortared with lime, wooden second floors, street-facing patios, balconies adorned with friezes or gingerbread trims, and finely crafted railings.
For the best view of Marigot, you can climb up to the peak of Fort Louis, where you can stroll among the remains of the famous French Fort while enjoying panoramic views of the entire Marigot capital and Marina. The fort is located on a hill overlooking Marigot Bay and played a significant role in the island's history. From the top, you can see the entire city and its surroundings.
If you want to experience the culture of Marigot, you must visit the Marigot Market, which is open from Wednesday to Saturday, from 8:30 AM to 1 PM. The market is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the local culture and try local food and drinks. You can find fresh produce, spices, seafood, and local handicrafts in the market, and it's an excellent opportunity to interact with the locals and learn more about their way of life.
In conclusion, Marigot is a gem in the Caribbean, and it's worth exploring its rich history and unique architecture. Whether you are interested in history and culture or enjoying the scenic views, Marigot has something to offer everyone.
As you explore the capital of the French Side, prepare your taste buds for a delightful culinary journey. The food scene here is diverse and exciting, offering various options for every palate. From European cuisine to local delicacies, the choices are endless. One of the most popular dining experiences you can have is at the open-air grills by the lagoon, where you can savour fresh red snapper cooked in Creole stle or freshly grilled lobster. For those with a sweet tooth, quaint French cafes serve mouth-watering buttery croissants and your favourite French pastries.
If you're looking to discover the local cuisine, visit the "Spice Lady," famous for her assortment of local and international spices. Alternatively, head to Guavaberry Columbier Tradition to sample the unique Guavaberry Liqueur. The French Side is a blend of cultures and flavours that will awaken your senses and provide an unforgettable experience.