Willemstad

The two sides of Willemstad

Willemstad

The two sides of Willemstad

Punda

Willemstad is the capital of Curaçao, the Island I was borne on. It is the only city on the Island. The other places on the Island are called villages or neighborhoods. Willemstad lies in the center of the Island at a natural harbor of the St. Anna bay. This harbor is big enough that some cruise ships can enter. It is a beautiful sight to see ships enter and leave the harbor. You can stand really near and watch the ships enter and leave.

Cruise

Ponton bridge

The harbor St. Anna bay divides Willemstad in two parts Punda (Point) and Otrobanda (The other side). There are two bridges which connects the two parts. A unique ponton bridge, Emma bridge and a really high bridge which ships as big as cruise ships can go underneath, the Juliana bridge. The Ponton bridge sails open when ships need to pass. It’s a nice sight to see. It is also called The swinging old lady.

 

 

Punda

Of the two parts of Willemstad Punda is the most visited one. Punda is known for its authentic buildings full of color. You can shop in Punda, admire the old buildings and visit one of the many museums. The buildings are on the UNESCO list. Don’t forget to visit the floating market and Marche Bieu and Marche Nobo.

Punda

Floating market

The floating market is a market on the water side. Market stalls has been made with behind the stall a boat. These boat are from Venezuela and come to Curacao to sell fruits and vegetables. It’s a unique market, that looks very colorful. It’s worth a visit. It’s open during the day.

Marche bieu & Nobo

Marche bieu means old market and Nobo means new. These are two markets near each other, both covered. In the Marche Nobo you can get local products, handcraft, snacks, veggies and fruits. In the  Marche bieu local food is sold and served till 2 O’clock in the afternoon. It’s the place to taste local food and eat with locals.

Otrobanda

Otrobanda has been renewed the last few years and are on the UNESCO list. Also, the mega cruise ships that cannot enter the harbor dock at the new mega pier in Otrobanda. This has brought more tourist to this part of town. You can walk through the authentic neighborhood and admire some street art. Don’t forget to stop at the museum Kura Hulanda and learn about the slave history of Curaçao. There are also some shops in the nearby streets. Between the mega pier and the harbor there is also Riffort. The fort was redeveloped and has a hotel and restaurants. You can still admire the cannons and with a bit of imagination how it protected the bay in the old days.

Otrobanda

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