Curacao is well-known for the colorful buildings that line the waterfront in Willemstad: as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the historic downtown and harbor has been carefully renovated and restored. And although Willemstad is fantastic, I think that Pieteramaai might be my favorite vibrant urban neighborhood in Curacao. Mostly because those colors!
The neighborhood of Pietermaai was completely run-down up until the early 2000s: dilapidated buildings that were breeding grounds for poverty, homelessness, drug use. But an incredibly successful revitalization effort started around 2008 to turn the area into the “SoHo” of Curacao: trendy bars, boutique hotels, shopping and restaurants. Although it’s not a UNESCO site, there’s been a lot of care paid to respect the historic roots of the area: buildings have been preserved but transformed with luxury details and bright paint jobs.
A few recommendations:
- Ginger for dinner (the outdoor seating is fantastic, and the Indian-Caribbean fusion is delicious)
- Mundo Bizarro for drinks (the funky decor is actually made up of the crazy things that they found while demolishing the building)
- Saint Tropez Ocean Club for drinks or dinner (the decor is super plush, and it’s right on the ocean!)