The quaint Gallic town of Marigot is the administrative center of French St. Martin. Both the French/European and Caribbean cultures are represented here and create that unique blend of the French Caribbean, with the castle of Fort Louis overlooking town and creating a permanent sense of history.
French St. Martin has never shown an extreme eagerness to attract the large cruise ships, which has turned so many Caribbean ports into shopping malls, without much civic activity. Marigot has been spared that fate and today, fancy boutiques and charming restaurants line the streets.
The Marina Royale is one of the anchors of downtown, where a wide selection of restaurants is framing the waterfront and moored yachts.
On the opposite end of the town's center is the West Indies Shopping Mall – a beautiful piece of eccentric architecture, inviting you to sample the goods of elegant stores in air-conditioned comfort. The mall is located next to the ferry terminal for the boats shuttling passengers to the neighboring island of Anguilla.
The present economic climate has not been favorable to Marigot; the Euro is the currency of the French side and for years the exchange rate to the US-Dollar has made life difficult for merchants on the French side of the island. This does not mean that there are no bargains to be found – Marigot is definitely worth exploring.