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La Boheme's guide on discovering the heart of Curacao

HANDELSKADE

 

The handelskade is a colourful reminder of Curacao’s heritage. At first sight, the influence of Dutch architecture is visible yet it differentiates from it by the brightly coloured buildings. The story goes that one of the first Governor’s banned the buildings from being white because the reflection of the sun caused him headaches. He thought that it could potentially damage the eyes and cause blindness. Each building was then given a specific colour which is now the unique architectural landscape we can observe today. The handelskade and all the historic buildings in the city, are a colourful reminder of why we are designated as a UNESCO World Heritage. You can not say that you visited Punda (or Curacao for that matter) if you haven’t taken an iconic photo at the handelskade. So go ahead and share your photos at this beautiful landmark!

THE BLUE EXPERIENCE

 

After taking your iconic photo, we totally recommend
you to take a walk through the handelschade and go
to Handelskade #8, the bubblegum pink building
with the sign “The Blue Experience” on. This will
certainly be an unforgettable experience you cannot
miss! Ever heard of the Blue Curacao Liqueur? At The Blue
Experience, you will be able to interact with the
history, production and flavours of Curacao’s worldfamous
liqueur. There is a free interactive guided tour, in which you
will learn about the beginning, production and
different flavours of the liqueurs. There are also fun
games and you can get a taste of the different liqueur
flavours. Such as laraha, tamarind, chocolate and
many other Caribbean flavours.

MARITIME MUSEUM

 

This museum is the place-to-go if you want to learn
more about colonial Dutch Caribbean maritime
history. However, it is also for the ones who are
looking to know more about the beginnings of the
island and its rich history, as maritime has played a
very important role in the development of Curacao.
The maritime museum is well documented and
definitely worth the visit. The museum also offers
several tours, both inside and around the building.
We encourage you to take the harbour tour by ferry
so you can marvel yourself by the natural harbour of
St. Annebaai.

FLOATING MARKET

 

Each morning, colourful boats from Venezuela align
at the canal and open their doors to help you
experience the taste of the Caribbean.
From tropical fruits, veggies and fresh wild-caught
fish, you certainly have lots of options to find a new
favourite food. The vendors will help you like family
and don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations, you
will be surprised!
This place is perfect to stroll by on sunny days and
get something refreshing to cool down. Even if you
don’t plan to get anything, you should pass by and
admire the colourful floating market and its
vibrancy.

OLD MARKET

 

Want to eat like a local? Marshe Bieu has you
covered. At Marshe Bieu you will get a unique local
experience where you can find authentic local food.
During lunch time, this is the place where locals and
tourists blend for a no-nonsense meal. Look around,
take your time, and sit in an open area in front of the
open very hot kitchen and enjoy the food.

THE SYNAGOGUE

 

The Mikvé Israel-Emanuel Synagogue is the Western
Hemisphere's oldest synagogue in continuous use. It
was founded in 1651 by 12 families from Amsterdam.
Consecrated in 1732, it offers a serene mix of the
plain and the opulent.
The synagogue has a museum inside, where you can
learn more about the history of the Jewish
community on our island. Apart from being the
oldest synagogue in use in the western hemisphere, it
is also different because it has a sand floor.

CHICHI'S SHOP PUNDA

 

This art shop is dedicated to chichi’s. We've all seen
and heard of them but what are chichi’s exactly?
Chichi's are a term of endearment which means
“older sister” or women young girl look up to. It can
be your sister, mother, aunt, nana and thruthfully
that is what makes chichis so enthralling because no
two chichis are painted the same. That is what Chichi
represents in each of their pieces.
Go and visit this little shop and learn more about art
on the island. If you are looking for a fun and
creative activity to do, you can also paint your own
Chichi. So go check it out.

WILHELMINA PARK

 

Get your camera ready and take a picture to show
the world where you have been. Wilhelmina Park,
home to the iconic and picture worthy Curacao sign.
This is also the perfect place to take a rest under the
shadows of the trees adorning the park. Take
pictures, rest and have fun in this park.

FORT AMSTERDAM

 

This fort was strategically built in 1635 by the Dutch West Indische Company. Fort Amsterdam is considered the most important of Curacao’s 8 forts. Not only did it served as a military, it was also home to the head quarters of the Dutch West Indische Company. Back in the 1630s the dutch west indisch was looking for a strategic place in the caribbean to settle their headquarters. That’s how they settled their eyes on Curacao, which at the time was under Spanish rule.
On 1634, the dutch landed on the island and attacked the spanish. The battle lasted for 3 weeks before the Spanish surrendered. In Fort Amsterdam, you will find the governor’s palace, the Ministry, several government offices, and the United Protestant Church, which includes a museum. Interestingly, in 1804, the British fired a cannonball
which hit the church. This cannonball is still embedded on the wall.

BEFORE STARTING YOUR JOURNEY

 

Curacao has tropical weather and reaches a temperature of
around 31C, in the day. Therefore, it is important to be prepared before starting your journey through the picturesque sceneries of the city. We recommend bringing your glasses, hat, sunscreen and water bottle to keep you hydrated throughout the day. You can also opt to pass by us and enjoy one of our delicious natural fruit or green
smoothies to give you an extra dose of refreshing energy before starting your adventure. Also, take a look at the map below. We have marked the locations mentioned in this guide to make your tour easier. With that in mind, you are now ready to start exploring!

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