St. Barts may boast a ritzy reputation, but this Caribbean island vibe is far more chill than you can ever imagine. That’s why we’re #OBSESSED!
EU citizens need to have a valid passport. Or you can have a French visa that says “COLLECTIVITE DE SAINT BARTHELEMY ET SAINT MARTIN “valid for France except CTOM” or “DFA” (French Departments in the Americas). All visas must be issued by the French Embassy before your trip.
US citizens need to have a valid passport and proof of a round-trip ticket or proof of continuation of travel. A visa is not necessary if the intended stay on the island for less than 30 days. Your passport must be valid and not expire for at least three months from the date of entry to St. Bart’s.
Fortunately, St. Bart’s is one of the safest islands in the Caribbean and crime is incredibly rare. But it’s always good to keep an eye on your belongings and valuables.
Even though dry season is from December through May while June through November is rainy season there’s sporadic rain that will occur during any time throughout the year. Expect 22º to 30º C (72º to 86º F) temperature and hurricanes especially during September.
St. Bart’s is an hour ahead of EST (USA East Coast) so UTC-4.
French and English. But mostly French.
You’ll see that most people are incredibly nice on the island. It’s culturally very Fench and European, so a few merci or bonjour is greatly appreciated. Although the service is really slow, so don’t expect your food to come right away. But this is island life, so sit back and enjoy.
St. Bart’s uses Euros. There are plenty of ATMs throughout the island. Most places will take credit cards, so if you run out of cash you’ll be okay.
Tipping! Always a tricky question especially in Europe (and St. Bart’s) service is already included in the bill since waiters are paid in full wage. Since life in St. Bart’s is quite expensive, however, tipping around 10%-15% is recommended. If you decide to leave the tip on the card, you must tell the waiter before the card is swiped. If not, leave cash.
Just like most places in Europe, standard voltage is 220 V and the frequency is 60 Hz. You cannot use your electric appliances in St. Bart’s without a voltage converter, so make sure to bring one.
It’s best not to drink tap water, you should buy bottled water instead. Tap water is okay for tea, coffee, and brushing your teeth. You shouldn’t make ice cubes with it since tap water comes from a de-salinization plant in St. Bart’s.
Most hotels, villas, Airbnbs, and restaurants will have Wi-Fi.
Since Uber or other ride-sharing apps don’t exist in St. Bart’s, noting a few taxi drivers’ phone numbers can be very helpful. You can ask for them at the hotel, villa, or Airbnb host should be able to provide a few. This is particularly helpful during high-season when taxis are very busy, so making good connections with taxi drivers so their numbers are on your phone to call is a very good idea.
A normal rate is around 20€ – 25€ from point A to point B. If you’re taxi-ing after 8 p.m., or on Sundays, the fares will increase about 50%.
If you’re like to tour around the island with a taxi driver, the government has regulated an official fare for this service. For 1-3 passengers, it should be 45€ for 45 minutes, 44€ for 60 minutes, and 60€ for 90 minutes. For every additional passenger after that, add an extra 8€.