A delightful mixture of France and the Caribbean, Saint Martin's capital city of Marigot is cluttered with shops and houses serving a permanent population of about 6,000. The town stretches along Marigot Bay, its main focus being the harbour at the bottom of Rue de la Republique from where ferries depart to surrounding islands and fishing boats come and go.

Originally a tiny fishing village, Marigot became the capital of Saint Martin during the sugar boom and quickly grew. Marigot's buildings are largely colonial in style, sprinkled with several smart cafes, bistros, pastry shops and luxury boutiques reminiscent of mainland French market towns. There are also several colonial landmarks, including Fort St Louis.

The main shopping centre in Marigot is at the southern end of the town near the harbour, which is a paradise for shopaholics, with boutiques stocking the latest designer fashions and jewellery, all tax-free. More adventurous shoppers will enjoy browsing the Wednesday and Saturday morning markets, located in a kiosk area near the port.

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