Willemstad is the capital of Curaçao, a country in the Caribbean that forms part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and lies just off the coast from Venezuela. Together with nearby Bonaire and Aruba islands, Curaçao forms the ABC island chain. Willemstad is home to the vast majority of the total population of Curacao, and nowadays is a cruise ship destination that is growing in popularity.
What you will instantly pick up on when you visit Curaçao is that these islands have an interestingly unique culture, with for instance both Dutch and the island's Creole language of Papiamentu (itself a mixture of Portuguese, Spanish and Dutch) being the official languages, and local cuisine being a mixture of the flavours of European, Indonesian and West-Indian cooking.
The most striking reminders of Curaçao's Dutch heritage are Punda and Otrabanda. There you will find the Handelskade (pictured), a collection of Dutch-style buildings with a colorful Caribbean front. Behind the Handelskade lies the main shopping and eating area of the city, as well as plenty of historic buildings and streets to explore. At night things can get wild here.
Of course you will not miss out on the beaches on a visit to Curaçao, and you will find the best ones (of the white-sand variety, naturally) on the southern side of the island. [Review by travelindicator]
You can find the best hotel deals in Willemstad here.
- Willemstad is a city in Curacao's region of Curacao. It has a population of 140,000, is situated at an altitude of 0ft and the best airport to fly into is CUR (Hato International Airport, Curacao)
- The currency used in Curacao is the Netherlands Antillean guilder (ANG)
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