Gustavia, St. Barts, is the capital of the island paradise in the Caribbean that has been a focal point for tourism for decades. Gustavia is where most of the main resorts are. Near several of the most famous beaches on the island, if there’s an event happening in St. Barts while you’re visiting, chances are it’s happening in Gustavia. If you’re planning on visiting St. Barts soon, make sure to take some time to wander the streets of this beautiful Caribbean city.

Table of Contents

Where is Gustavia?

Gustavia is the capital of St. Barts, located on the west coast of the island. Most flights to and from St. Barts take off and land at the airport nearby, and it’s by far the largest city on the island by population and area. The city was originally named Le Carénage (the Careening, in English) for the protection the city used to give to damaged ships. It was later renamed Gustavia after King Gustav II of Sweden.

Exploring the Charms of Gustavia, Saint Barts

Gustavia, Saint Barts is an old city that, like most dynamic cities around the world, is constantly changing, yet somehow stays the same. You can find both modern goods and the types of local trade items that have been bought and sold on the island for hundreds of years here. Be sure to visit some traditional markets on the island, most of which are found in Gustavia itself.

All types of tourists flock to spend their time in Gustavia, St. Barts, and it’s no wonder why. A large part of the local economy caters to high-class clientele, which is evident in the shopping centers that dot the island and come to a nexus in Gustavia. You can still find traditional Caribbean restaurants in Gustavia along with traditional Caribbean goods and markets. However, if you’re in the market for high-end luxury goods, you have certainly come to the right place.

Gustavia also offers a wide range of luxury accommodation for guests. Be prepared to be pampered in excellent resort rooms, villas, and more, which all offer fabulous amenities for the time between heading to the beach and visiting the shops.

discover gustavia st barths

Restaurants in Gustavia, St Barts

There is a great range of restaurants in Gustavia, St. Barts offering all kinds of fare, including French and Italian. The fine dining options here are some of the best in the Caribbean. Fresh seafood, signature cocktails, and imported delicacies, all offering fabulous outdoor dining experiences that put you next to the beach and allow you to absorb some of the beautiful surroundings that make Gustavia great. Here are a few examples of excellent restaurants in Gustavia.

  • Bonito Saint Barts – One of the finest dining experiences in Gustavia is at Bonito Saint Barts, which overlooks Gustavia’s harbor, offering expansive views of the surrounding waters and beaches. This is a perfect place for couples who want an intimate, romantic dining experience to go along with their traditional Central American food, along with several imported classics for foodies of all stripes.
  • Black Ginger – Black Ginger is a Thai restaurant right in the middle of Gustavia’s city center. The hustle and bustle is all around the building, but inside, expect a quiet ambiance and some of the finest Thai food using traditional flavors in the area.
  • L’Isola – Over many years, various owners and chefs have passed through L’Isola, but the eatery’s commitment to importing the best ingredients from Italy and to Italian culinary traditions guarantees an excellent dining experience for all.

Shopping in Gustavia

Insiders and locals know that Gustavia has maybe the finest shops in the entire Caribbean. You can find a wide range of luxury and designer goods, along with locally-made items here. The shops on the island have a grand tradition of providing anything shoppers might ask for in a beautiful, bustling setting.

You can find just about anything: wines, designer fashion and footwear, jewelry, watches, cigars, art and home decor, beauty products – it’s a shopper’s paradise! Take a stroll through the main streets here, and revel in a fabulous spot of island retail therapy.

Take an insider’s tip: do your Gustavia, St Barts shopping in the morning. Most stores open between 9am and 10 am and close for lunch around 12pm or 1pm and sometimes don’t open again until 2pm or 3pm. While the stores then stay open until 6pm or 7pm, the morning is when most of the parking spots are available. You can build a whole day around shopping if you like, visiting the stores in the morning, taking a lunch break at one of the beach bars, then returning afterward.

Visit St Barts and Enjoy Gustavia With us

Visit Gustavia, St. Barts for excellent sun, sand, dining, and shopping all year round in the stunning Caribbean.