The heart of Willemstad is formed by Punda and Otrobanda. With its cheerfully colored facades, the Handelskade is the symbol of this district. A quay where it is also lovely to relax on one of the terraces. The giant ships that pass by now and then are a true spectacle and give you the feeling that the island is in motion. Punda is a popular district for both tourists and locals and because of its small size and many car-free streets is easy to explore on foot. The picturesque streets are filled with stores and eateries and there is enough monumental splendor to effortlessly fill a day.
Thursday is the best day to visit Punda, especially after 6pm every Thursday there are activities to revitalize the downtown area. Not to be missed are Fort Amsterdam, the bars (floating fresh market) at Sha Caprileskade, Marshe bieuw and the unique pontoon bridge connecting Punda with the Otrobanda district.
TIP: Explore Punda with an experienced guide!
Otro banda', which literally means 'other side', is reached after a short walk from Punda across the pontoon bridge. For years this side of the center suffered from decay, poverty and crime but thanks to the necessary investments, the district has been well refurbished and is worth visiting again.
The main shopping street is the Breedestraat which lies enclosed between the Riffort on the coast and the more inland Kurá Hulanda. Both are very nice to visit. You'll find cozy restaurants and plenty of places for a drink. The atmosphere is very touristy but pleasant on Friday night "Nettobar" is definitely recommended around 18:00.
Pietermaai is a characteristic district that is slowly being restored to its former glory after years of decay. Especially with the establishment of several renowned restaurants and entertainment venues, Pietermaai for both locals and tourists is again a popular place to go out. With fun and trendy establishments in authentic buildings, it's great to go bar-hopping here on a night in the weekend.
Pietermaai is the first extension to the originally walled city of Willemstad, which at the beginning of the 18th century was bursting at the seams. Only when the city wall was demolished in 1860 did Pietermaai become an entertainment area and it has retained that function to this day. However, over the years there has been much decay in the district, especially at the end of the 20th century. Thanks to many investments in restoring the characteristic buildings, this pearl of Curacao is restored to its full glory. Pietermaai is now a fun and safe neighborhood to explore.
Start your exploration from Theater Street and then walk on to Nieuwestraat. On this street, cozy venues lie side by side and offer good entertainment for a night out. Parallel to Nieuwestraat lies Penstraat. In addition to nice bars and hotels, you can also find beautiful architecture in this street, which lies directly along the rocky coast.
TIP: Pietermaai is perfect for an evening of bar-hopping. You can easily hop between Bluebird Café, Miles Jazzcafé and Saint Tropez! Friday night is the most fun night.
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