Downtown

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Willemstad, Netherlands Antilles

Downtown Willemstad Reviews

Andy99 Andy99
608 reviews
Historic Willemstad Mar 28, 2017
The "Historic Area of Willemstad, Inner City and Harbour, Curaçao" is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Netherlands has been present in Curaçao since the construction of Fort Amsterdam in 1634. Punda, the oldest part of the city, grew adjacent to the fort. UNESCO characterizes Willemstad as "an exceptionally well preserved example of a Dutch colonial trading settlement".

Willemstad is very walkable and it is easy to get to know the historic area. There are examples of Dutch Renaissance and Neoclassical buildings everywhere. A historic walking tour of Punda and Otrobanda can be downloaded. (I downloaded it to my iPhone and used it as I walked the area.) Sites to see are many. Fort Amsterdam includes the Governor's Palace, the Fort Church of 1771 and the Council of Ministers. (The Palace and Council are used by the government of Curaçao today.) The striking Penha Building greets you as you step off the Queen Emma bridge. It was built as a house in 1708-1733. Two synagogues, the oldest dating to 1731 (separate review) reflect the cultural history of Curaçao. The Stadhuis (city hall) dates to 1860.

Across St. Ann's Bay, the Rif Fort was added to Willemstad's defenses in 1828. Although it has remade into a shopping area, the outline of the fort remains and the ramparts can be walked.

There are many more to explore!
Fort Amsterdam (1635).
UNESCO World Heritage marker in Pa…
Governor's Palace
Governor's Palace courtyard.
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electricapples electric…
51 reviews
Downtown Willemstad Dec 02, 2008
Downtown Willemstad is kind of a "must" if you go to the island. It's a very concentrated area of shops and restaurants. Very beautiful and colorful buildings. It's a neat place to spend an afternoon, shopping and having some lunch. It can get crowded. I would probably avoid this area if there is a cruise ship in port (unless you are on the cruise). Curacao isn't all that cheap, so make sure you have some money. American money is widely accepted all over the island. It's a great place to find a good souvenir.
The colorful buildings of downtown
Walking through downtown
The bridge you have to walk across…
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