Getting around Sint Maarten

Saint Martin

Saint Martin does not have a good transport infrastructure. In the belt of the largest settlement from Philipsburg through Koolbaai, Simpson Bay and the airport to Marigot and on to Grand Case, protracted traffic queues form haphazardly, leaving cars, taxis and minibuses stranded.

Public transport is provided only by small vans, which run mainly on the main roads.

By car in St. Martin

Travelling by car around the island of St Martin is the most practical form of transport, but the west and south coasts in particular encounter extremely heavy traffic. However, if you want to venture beyond the main beaches and major towns, a car is definitely highly recommended.

On St. Martin, drive on the right.

Book a car at SXM Airport

Most of the major multinational rental companies operate on the island, supplemented by a few regional Caribbean ones.

How much does it cost to rent a car on St Martin? What is the quality of the roads? What are the regulations here and how do I get gas at the pump? Read the detailed section Car rental in St Martin.

Public transport - buses and minibuses

There are buses running on regular routes in both the Dutch and French parts - but in the vast majority of cases these are small vans (minibuses).

Minibuses also run on three cross-border routes.

It is very easy to recognise a minibus: it always has a sign in the windscreen with the start and end point of the route (sometimes - a bit more logically - just the destination).

In addition, minibuses always have the letter "B" and numbers on their licence plate.

You should always greet the driver and other passengers nicely when boarding the bus.

Stops and ticket prices

Fares are only paid in cash directly to the driver. You don't get a paper ticket, you just pay.

You always pay when you get off.

  • 1,50 usd – 2 usd Depending on the distance on the Dutch side (2 usd you only pay if you go from Philipsburg to Maho or Marigot)
  • 1,50 eur – 5 eur by distance on the French side

Payments in the Netherlands are only accepted in US dollars. You cannot pay in euros or Antillean guilders.

On the French side, payment can be made in euros and US dollars.

Buses have fixed routes and although there are also marked stops in many places, the van will stop anywhere along the route.

If you are boarding, you do not need to stand at a marked bus stop, but always try to stand where the van can pull over to the side of the road and move out of the lane. Good places are at junctions or roundabouts.

When exiting, shout towards the driver "Stop, please!"

The same minibus system works on both the Dutch and French sides.

All routes run from approximately 6:45am to 8pm every day.

Minibus routes

Main minibus routes with a frequency of 5 to 10 minutes.

  • Philipsburg - Cole Bay - Simpson Bay - SXM Airport - Maho
  • Philipsburg - Cole Bay - Marigot
  • Marigot - Grand Case - Hope Estate - Baie Orientale (Soualiga) - Quartier d'Orléans (French Quarter)
    • Some services run only between Marigot and Grand Case or Baie Orientale (Soualiga)
  • Philipsburg - Madame Estate - Lower Princes's Quarter - Quartier d'Orléans (French Quarter)

Secondary routes with a frequency of 15-20 minutes run in less frequented areas.

  • Maho - Mullet Bay
  • Marigot - Sandy Ground - Baie Nettlé - Terres Basses
  • Philipsburg - Saint Peters
  • Marigot City Line (Concordia)

In the French part, there are still short feeder routes around the island from the main line, but these only run twice a day and are mainly for school children and commuters.

Comfort on the buses

The buses are 99% really just small vans for a maximum of 12 people.

The vast majority of vans have air conditioning, but you can also see older vans without air conditioning. It is common for the van to fill up to the last seat, so there are always 3 people in a row and comfort is not great.

If the van has all the seats taken, it will not stop for boarding.

If you are travelling with large suitcases, you'd better take a taxi as you wouldn't fit in the minibus.


There are no mobile taxi apps operating on St. Martin, so you have to rely only on passing taxis.

Taxis look similar to minibuses - they usually come in the form of vans for 8 to 12 people, however you may also see regular cars.

Taxis don't usually have the classic "Taxi" sign on the roof, just a small sign behind the windscreen, or even that.

On the Dutch side, you can surely recognize a taxi by the number plate, which always says "Taxi". On the French side, the taxis have normal plates and you won't know them by this.

How to catch a taxi?

Generally, there are not many taxis on St Martin and especially on days when several cruise ships arrive in Philipsburg at the same time, there is a shortage of taxis as they all head for the port.

You can flag down a taxi by waving anywhere on the street. If there's an empty seat, it will stop for you.

Your best chance of catching a taxi on the street is around the main roads between about 7:00 and 9:00 pm.

Due to the shortage of taxis, expect to often share the ride with other passengers, but you will always be taken directly to your destination.

There are also 4 taxi ranks on the island where there are always several taxis waiting.

If you want to call a taxi for the exact time, tell the front desk at the hotel.

Taxi prices

Taxi meters are not used here, however prices are fixed by decree on both the Dutch and French side.

The drivers are honest and it is very rare that they ask you for a higher price.

Payment is in cash only.

If you are travelling together as a couple, you only pay one fare (not each person separately). However, if you are sharing a taxi with strangers, each person always pays for themselves, even if you are taking exactly the same route.

Examples of prices current in 2025:

Prices from Philipsburg are from the city centre. If you travel from the boat docks, you will always pay 5 usd more.

  • Philipsburg - Maho/Mullet Bay: 20 usd
  • SXM Airport - Philipsburg: 20 usd
  • SXM Airport - Marigot: 20 usd
  • SXM Airport - Dawn Beach: 40 usd
  • SXM Airport - Simpson Bay: 15 usd
  • SXM Airport - Grand Case: 45 usd
  • SXM Airport - Orient Beach/Anse Marcel: 50 usd
  • Philipsburg - Marigot: 25 usd
  • Philipsburg - Anse Marcel/Orient Beach: 30 usd
  • Philipsburg - Dawn Beach: 15 usd
  • Marigot - Grand Case: 20 usd
  • Marigot - Grand Case Airport: 25 usd
  • Marigot - Anse Marcel/Orient Beach: 35 usd
  • Marigot - Maho: 20 usd

The preferred currency is the US dollar in both the Dutch and French sections, however the euro is also accepted by 90% of taxi drivers at 1:1 to the dollar without any problem.

You cannot pay for a taxi in Antillean guilders.

This article may contain affiliate links from which our editorial team may earn commissions if you click on the link. See our Advertising Policy page.