The heart of Willemstad is formed by Punda and Otrobanda. With its brightly colored facades, the Handelskade is the symbol of this district.
A quay where you can relax. The huge ships that pass by now and then are a true spectacle and give you the feeling that the island is moving. Punda is a popular area nice for tourists and locals. The picturesque streets are filled with shops and eateries and there is enough monumental splendor to effortlessly fill a part of the day.
Thursday is the best day to visit Punda, especially after 6 p.m. there are activities every Thursday to breathe new life into the city center. Not to be missed are Fort Amsterdam, Marshe bieuw and the unique pontoon bridge that Punda with the neighborhood Otrobanda connects.
TIP: Explore Punda with an experienced guide!
“Otro banda” which literally means “other side” is reached after a short walk from Punda over the pontoon bridge.
For years, this side of the center had to contend with decay, poverty and criminality, but thanks to the necessary investments, the neighborhood has been refurbished and worth visiting again.
The main shopping street is the Breedestraat which is enclosed between the Riffort on the coast and the more inland Kurá Hulanda. Both are very nice to visit. You will find cozy restaurants and plenty of opportunities for a drink. The atmosphere is very touristy but pleasant in the Friday night “Nettobar” is definitely recommended around 6 p.m.
Pietermaai is a characteristic neighborhood that is slowly being restored after years of decline. Pietermaai is again a popular place to go out for locals and tourists alike, thanks to the establishment of a number of renowned restaurants and places to go out.
With fun and hip tents authentic buildings it is wonderful to have a bar-hopping here on a weekend evening. Pietermaai is the first extension to the originally walled city center of Willemstad, which burst at the start of the 18th century. It was only when the city wall was demolished in 1860 that Pietermaai was given the function of a nightlife area and that function has been able to retain it until today.
However, there has been a lot of decline in the district over the years, especially at the end of the 20th century. Thanks to many investments in the restoration of the characteristic buildings, this pearl of Curaçao is restored to its full glory. Pietermaai is now a nice and safe area to discover. Start your exploration from Theaterstraat and then continue to Nieuwestraat. In this street are cozy locations next to each other and these offer good entertainment for a night out.
Parallel to the Nieuwestraat is the Penstraat. In addition to nice bars and hotels, you can also find beautiful architecture in this street that lies directly along the rocky coast.
TIP: Pietermaai is perfect for an evening bar-hopping. You can easily hop between Bluebird Café, Miles Jazzcafé and Saint Tropez! Friday evening is the nicest evening.