A mix of Dutch charm and Caribbean sunshine is something you may not have realised you needed until you stepped into Philipsburg, the capital of the Dutch side of St Martin. The stereotypical view of the turquoise sea lapping up on palm tree lined sandy beaches is juxtapositioned with the busy downtown area of the city which sits directly on the seafront. In Philipsburg, the proximity of beach and city means that you can spend part of your day lounging in the sun, sipping on cocktails and topping up your tan, and the other part wandering through the quirky streets and browsing the shops. If you have some time to spare after a spot of retail therapy, head to the Sint Maarten Museum or the Sint Maarten Archaeological Museum which both contain interesting collections and artefacts chronicling the history of the island.
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