Shopping is one of the big attractions on St. Maarten. The island's completely Duty Free status and the complete absence of any Red Tape for importing goods, guarantees great bargains for cosmetics, jewelry, liquors, cigars, electronics and much more.
Most cruise ship visitors enjoy a stroll up and down Front Street in Philipsburg, where a huge number of stores boast competitive prices. The capital of the French side, Marigot, has some very elegant shopping with original boutiques offering the sophisticated designs of Parisian couturiers.
Visitors spending an extended vacation on the island will be surprised by the excellent supermarkets on both the French and Dutch side. The Dutch shopping centers tend to supply mostly American brands, and the stores in Marigot present a huge variety of European groceries with some fabulous gourmet stores.
If you are looking for local products to bring home as souvenirs, consider the unique Ma Doudou Rum, the perfect island souvenir. There are also several local musicians offering their own CDs, and artists with unique paintings to remind you of your stay on the island. And finally, don't miss the colorful Marigot market - excellent for locally made souvenirs and gifts.