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Exploring Willemstad, Curacao: 10 Things to Do

Curacao is a small Caribbean island off the coast of Venezuela with a rich history and culture. The capital city of Willemstad is a vibrant hub of activity with plenty to do for travelers. From its colonial architecture to its beautiful beaches, there is something for everyone in Willemstad. Here are 10 unique activities to explore during your stay in Willemstad, Curacao.

1. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Willemstad

The city of Willemstad is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it’s easy to see why. Its unique architecture, a combination of Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, and Caribbean influences, is one of its most charming features. Take a stroll through the city’s cobblestone streets and marvel at the colorful buildings and churches. Then head to the waterfront for a view of the colorful harbor.

No visit to Willemstad is complete without a trip to the iconic Queen Emma Bridge. This floating bridge connects the two halves of the city and is an iconic landmark. Make sure to take a few photos of the bridge for the perfect souvenir.

The city also has a rich history that can be explored at the Curacao Museum. Here you can learn more about the island’s history and culture, and view artifacts from the island’s past.

2. Spend the Day at the Beach

Willemstad is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean. Spend the day soaking up the sun and swimming in the crystal blue waters. Klein Curacao is a popular spot for snorkeling and diving, while Cas Abao beach is perfect for swimming and relaxing.

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There are also plenty of beach bars and restaurants where you can grab a bite to eat or a refreshing drink. Many of these beach bars also host live music and entertainment throughout the day.

For a unique experience, take a boat trip to Knip beach. Here you can enjoy the stunning views of the cliffs and the Caribbean Sea.

3. Explore the Waterfront

The waterfront of Willemstad is a bustling hub of activity. Here you can find a variety of restaurants, shops, and markets. Take a stroll along the waterfront and explore the many vendors selling local handicrafts and souvenirs.

The waterfront is also home to the famous floating market, where vendors sell fresh produce from their boats. This is a great place to pick up some local fruits and vegetables to take home with you.

The waterfront is also a great place to watch the sunset. Grab a seat at one of the waterfront restaurants and enjoy a meal while watching the sun go down.

4. Visit Otrabanda and Pietermaai

Otrabanda and Pietermaai are two of Willemstad’s most vibrant neighborhoods. These two neighborhoods are full of colorful buildings, restaurants, and shops. Here you can find a variety of local art galleries and boutiques.

Take a stroll through the streets of Pietermaai and explore the many historic buildings. Then head to Otrabanda and explore the vibrant street art and architecture. Be sure to stop by the Kura Hulanda Museum, where you can learn more about the island’s African heritage.

If you’re looking for a bite to eat, head to one of the many restaurants in the area. Here you can sample some of the island’s best cuisine.

5. Visit the Fort Amsterdam

Fort Amsterdam is one of Willemstad’s most iconic landmarks. This fort was built in the 17th century and is a great place to explore the island’s history. Here you can learn about the island’s European influences and view artifacts from the colonial period.

The fort also offers stunning views of the Caribbean Sea. Take a stroll around the grounds and admire the views from the fort’s terrace.

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If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even take a guided tour of the fort’s tunnels. This is a great way to learn more about the fort’s history and explore some of its hidden secrets.

6. Go Shopping in Punda

Punda is Willemstad’s main shopping district. Here you can find a variety of shops, from local boutiques to designer stores. Take a stroll through the streets and explore the many shops. You can find everything from clothes and accessories to jewelry and art.

If you’re looking for souvenirs, head to the floating market in the waterfront. Here you can pick up unique handicrafts and souvenirs to take home with you.

For a unique shopping experience, head to the Watapana market. This market is located in an old warehouse and is full of local vendors selling handmade crafts, jewelry, and clothing.

7. Take a Day Trip to Klein Curacao

Klein Curacao is a small uninhabited island just off the coast of Curacao. This is a great day trip if you’re looking for some peace and quiet. Here you can explore the island’s deserted beaches and enjoy some snorkeling and diving.

If you’re lucky, you might even spot some of the island’s wildlife. The island is home to many species of birds and sea turtles.

Klein Curacao is also a great place to watch the sunset. Grab a seat on the beach and watch the sun go down over the Caribbean Sea.

8. Take a Tour of the Island

Curacao is a small island, but it has plenty to offer. Take a tour of the island and explore its stunning beaches, caves, and reefs. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even take a guided hike through the island’s lush jungles.

Another great way to explore the island is by taking a boat tour. Here you can explore the island’s coastline and admire the views from the water. You might even spot some of the island’s wildlife, such as dolphins and sea turtles.

For a unique experience, take a trip to the island’s salt flats. Here you can learn more about the island’s salt production and see the unique salt formations.

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9. Visit the Curacao Sea Aquarium

The Curacao Sea Aquarium is one of the island’s top attractions. Here you can explore the island’s unique marine life and learn more about the island’s ecosystem. The aquarium is home to over 500 species of fish, turtles, and other marine life.

The aquarium also offers a variety of interactive exhibits and activities. Take a tour of the aquarium’s underwater tunnel and admire the views from the underwater observatory. You can also go snorkeling or take a boat tour of the island’s coral reefs.

If you’re feeling brave, you can even take a dive with the sharks. Here you can get up close and personal with the aquarium’s resident sharks.

10. Enjoy the Nightlife

Willemstad is home to a vibrant nightlife scene. Take a stroll through the city’s cobblestone streets and explore the many bars and clubs. Here you can find everything from cozy bars to lively nightclubs.

If you’re looking for live music, head to the floating market. Here you can find a variety of live music venues, from jazz clubs to salsa bars.

For a unique experience, take a trip to the Blue Room. This unique venue is located in an old prison and is full of history and charm. Here you can enjoy live music and dancing in a unique atmosphere.

Conclusion

Willemstad, Curacao is a vibrant city full of culture and history. From its colonial architecture to its stunning beaches, there is something for everyone in Willemstad. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach day or a wild night out, Willemstad has something to offer. So grab your bags and explore all that Willemstad, Curacao has to offer.