There are many things to do in Willemstad, Curaçao for everyone in the family. For those who want to soak up the sun, the island’s many beaches beckon with smooth beaches and various activities. Avid scuba diving enthusiasts will find calm waters and an abundance of coral reefs teeming with life. And for everyone else, the Lower Antilles island city is rife with historic museums, tours and more. What are you waiting for? The white sand beaches of Curaçao await!
Willemstad is the bustling capital of Curaçao, featuring brilliantly-colored buildings and charming Dutch colonial architecture. The city’s efforts to preserve its history — dating back to 1634 — earned the Historic Area of Willemstad, Inner City and Harbour, Curaçao, a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation in 1997. This worthwhile detour for every visitor to Curaçao is brimming with stories from its past.
Notes from Willemstad’s multicultural foundation are present throughout the city. From the sight of the Dutch urban design to authentic Curaçaoan specialties available at markets such as the Marsche Bieuw, you can get a full taste of Willemstad during a day’s excursion.
Some travelers prefer the convenience of a flight to Curaçao, which is possible thanks to the island’s international airport. However, for visitors who want the full experience of this remarkable area, cruise travel can’t be beat. The colorful expanse of the city only grows more vibrant as the ship comes into view of the shoreline, all enhanced by the sparkling reflection from the Caribbean Sea. In the evening, the bright lights of the Queen Emma Bridge — a floating bridge open to pedestrians — adds to the fairytale-like quality of this majestic sight.
Hands down, one of the most fun things to do in Willemstad, Curaçao, is visiting the Curaçao Sea Aquarium. This attraction is a big hit with everyone from kids to adults. You can learn about and interact with dolphins, sea lions, and flamingoes, as well as observe plenty of other species at the aquarium. Find out all about Curaçao’s precious marine ecosystem before sailing on to your next port.
For an insightful experience, the Hura Kurlanda Museum is a top destination for those who only have a day to spend in Willemstad. The exhibits here focus on the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Although sobering, this museum has consistently ranked among one of the best things to do in Willemstad, Curaçao, for visitors and residents. Enter this eye-opening museum to learn about the beginnings and impact of the slave trade through the Middle Passage.
Live like a local and explore Willemstad’s Floating Markets! This market is actually a collection of boats made of colorful wood, stocked to the brim with prime fruits, vegetables and other produce. Each morning, the boats arrive from Venezuela to sell their wares to the shops, residents and tourists who want delightful cuisine. It’s the perfect way to keep sated on a busy day seeing all that Willemstad has to offer.