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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)

Oranjestad

Oranjestad Holidays

There's so much to see in the Dutch Caribbean, with Oranjestad at its heart – a city of timeless treasures and coastal charm that's always popular with holidaymakers. The historic and quintessential colonial city of Oranjestad provides excellent food and entertainment, long beaches and sunshine for your holidays to Aruba.

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A touch of dutch

Oranjestad is the capital of the gorgeous arid island of Aruba, which forms what are known as the ABC Islands of the southern stretch of the Caribbean. Although Aruba has been inhabited by European colonists since 1500, the Dutch only developed the city in the more recent 18th Century, when residences and business began to cluster around the protection of colourful Fort Zoutman. Today, Oranjestad's appealing colonial architecture is similarly brightly coloured, so you can expect stunning sights as you stroll the streets of this charming city during your Caribbean holiday.

Quick Tips

  • Catholic
  • Florin
  • Dutch
  • GMT - 5

Heading downtown

Arubans understand that people from across the world want to see the individuality and appeal their island has to offer, and Oranjestad is a brilliant place to stay for just that reason whether your Aruba holidays are All Inclusive luxury or a D.I.Y Self Catering affair. The locals have made the city one that keeps its historic character, while using modern comforts to their best.

As one example, there's a tram line installed in all of the major thoroughfares in town, meaning you can step off the plane or cruise ship, trot aboard a tram and get whisked away to the heart of the downtown shopping district. Comfort and convenience in one easy package - it's a sentiment echoed across the city, from the grand plazas and malls to the cosiest of backstreet retreats.

Faultless shorelines

If you're a savvy traveller, it's likely you've sampled some of the finest coastlines in the world. If you've yet to count Eagle Beach among those, we can't recommend it enough. It's a famous stretch of flawless and unspoilt sand under a sky where the sun is always shining, and it's right here in Oranjestad. Stay here for nights in a sublime hotel, with mornings met by a short stroll to one of the best beaches on Earth.

Active after sunset

Don't think that spending your time on a rustic little island is going to get dull. It's quite the opposite all over Aruba, although it's especially lively after dark in Oranjestad, with a good atmosphere that's ideal for enjoyable nightlife.

Venues like the modern Blue Bar have a distinctive feel all of their own, with extensive drinks and cocktail menus and glowing blue lights. There are numerous bars lining the seafront as well, together with strips of downtown scenery to take in under blazing neon, the night air rich with laughter and music. With the renowned hospitality of the locals in full swing, you're going to be making new friends in no time.

Fine city dining

There's a brilliant mixture of dining options throughout Oranjestad, which blends Caribbean cuisine - think smoked meats and seafood - with old world European delicacies, as well as influences from nearby Latin America.

Take in tacos by the coast, sample the catch of the day at the marina, or go all out on fancy French restaurant experiences. Make sure you savour the local spirit too, in more ways than one - wine lists will be pretty extensive, and a stay in the Caribbean wouldn't be complete without a rum or two.

Soak in some culture

Oranjestad has played a pretty big role in shaping Aruba as it stands today, and if you take a look around, you'll find plenty of clues as to the unique story of the city. Statues, such as that of Dutch Queen Wilhemina, grace the city in testimony of times gone by. While museums of natural and artistic history, as well as tours of the old aloe processing facility that first helped the city industrialise, are well worth your time.

Yet if you want to take in the sights at your own pace, you're free to do so. Oranjestad is a laid-back city, so feel free to walk the streets under the blazing sun and see where your journey takes you.