Willemstad is a beautiful city steeped in the history of the island, one of fewer than twenty UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Caribbean, along with other historic cities such as Old Havana in Cuba, Colonial Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, and the old fortified town of St. George in Bermuda. Local residents are justifiably proud of the facts about Willemstad Curacao and the remarkable preservation of this important Caribbean port city. There are hundreds of protected buildings preserved as national monuments, including the notable Mikve Israel Emanuel Synagogue that dates to 1732 and is the oldest synagogue in the Western Hemisphere. A good portion of the harbor is protected and dominated by Fort Amsterdam, the oldest of the several forts built on the island by the Dutch West India Company in the seventeenth century. For this reason alone, Willemstad tourism draws thousands of visitors every year, making it one of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean.
Visitors come by air on flights from around the world and sail here on small yachts from nearby islands. However, the largest sector of Willemstad tourism is the Caribbean cruises market, which brings hundreds of thousands of visitor each year. Facts about Willemstad Curacao reveal an unusually well-protected natural deep water harbor that is one of the busiest and most strategically located in the world. The Willemstad cruise ship port welcomes huge ocean going liners carrying thousands of passengers each. They dock here only for one or two nights—ample time for the passengers to disembark and enjoy the other attractions of the island. The entry into the harbor on a cruise ship or smaller yacht is quite beautiful.
Willemstad is a remarkably sophisticated, cosmopolitan, and prosperous city. As part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, it enjoys many European Union privileges. Its low import duties provide a wide array of shopping bargains for world-class goods from around the world. Here, you can find designer fashions from Italy, name brand perfumes from France, crystal from Ireland and Germany, and porcelain from England. Products from the Netherlands include cheese, Delft pottery, and even tulip bulbs. Since there was also a Dutch East India Company in the colonies of Indonesia, you will find numerous products from that nation. Willemstad tourism provides access to truly classy souvenirs. For the best shopping, you want to be in the oldest part of the city: the Punda District.
The Punda District also boasts a number of elegant dining options, including a Michelin Guide-caliber French restaurant. Another of the facts about Willemstad Curacao is that you can gamble here, and you will find several casinos, as you will at some of the resorts and luxury hotels elsewhere on the island. Take tours in the suburbs of Scharloo and Pietermaai, and you will find beautifully restored old mansions. If all this isn’t enough for you, Willemstad boasts colorful festivals, regattas, and other special events nearly all year long. In fact, every time a cruise ship glides into the harbor, the merchants of the Punda District put on a Bon Bini (meaning welcome in the local Papiemento language) festival for the arriving passengers.