Tips and ploys for tip-top vacations.
Although it’s a French island, where French is the official language, everyone speaks english in St Barts: most of the visitors come from the USA, Russia, Brazil… The St Barth’s natives also speak 2 different dialects called “Creole” and “Patois St Barth”.
Saint Barts island uses Euro as official currency, but american Dollars are welcome in all hotels and most of the shops and restaurants, at rates applying on the transaction dates.
Banks & ATMs
If you need to proceed to banking transactions and/or foreign money exchange, there are 7 bank offices, 1 exchange office and 1 American Express office in St Barth:
Banque Française Commerciale – Rue du Général de Gaulle, Gustavia
+(590) 590 27 62 62
Banque Française Commerciale – Galeries du Commerce, St Jean
+(590) 590 27 65 88
B.N.P Guadeloupe – Rue du Bord de Mer, Gustavia
+(590) 590 27 63 70
Crédit Agricole – Rue Jeanne D’Arc, Gustavia
+(590) 590 52 42 83
BRED Banque Populaire – Centre la Savane, St Jean
+(590) 590 52 06 00
B.D.A.F (Banque des Antilles Françaises) – Rue Falhberg, Gustavia
+(590) 590 29 68 30
La Banque Postale – Angele des rues Fahlberg et Jeanne-d’Arc, Gustavia
+(590) 590 27 62
Change Caraïbes – Rue de la République, Gustavia
+(590) 590 27 57 57
American Express – Centre La Savane, St Jean
(+590) 590 52 97 06
The usal services are available for American Express Cardmembers, and since local ATMs do not accept American Express Cards, the bank officers can provide emergency check cashing in Euro or USD.
The island of St Barts has 3 post offices.
Main post office – rue du Centenaire, Gustavia
Open daily from 8AM to 3PM; closed on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons.
Lorient branch post office – lieu-dit Lorient
Open from 7AM to 11AM weekdays; from 8AM to 10AM on Saturdays.
Airport branch post office – Centre Commercial, St Jean
Open daily from 8AM to 2PM; Wednesday and Saturday from 8AM to 11AM.
UPS, Federal Express and DHL are all available on the island.
Phone landlines in St Barth (and in Guadeloupe) always start with 05 90 and mobile phones with 06 90. To call within the French network, dial the 10 digits that start with 05 90 or 06 90.
To call St Barts from abroad, you have to dial the Guadeloupe/St Barth’s country code +590, and then dial the 9 digits of the landline or mobile phone, removing the first 0. Example: to call the 05 90 01 02 03, from the USA, dial 011 590 590 01 02 03.
To call a foreign country from a landline in St Barts, dial 00 to access international area, then the country code and the phone you want to call.
If you want to get a local mobile phone number, Orange Caraïbes has several offers, of which buying a SIM card and credits according to your needs: SMS, MMS, vocal calls… Orange – Centre Neptune, St Jean. Open Monday to Friday, from 8AM to 11:45AM and 2:45PM to 4PM.
Several local restaurants and bar offer free wifi access while enjoying your food and drink (Maya’s to go, Le Repaire, La Cantina, Le Bar de l’Oubli…). The majority of the hotels and villas provide complimentary access to the Internet.
For a Fee – St Barth Telecom, a local private company, has installed a hotspot covering Gustavia. You need to buy a connection card to surf without limit.
The Gustavia Marina offers a free wifi access with a code to get from the harbor master.
St Barth’s Airport Gustave III provides a free wifi access in the whole airport.
Orange Caraïbes has several offers, of which buying a SIM card and credits according to your needs: speed, upload/download capacity, length of your stay… Orange – Centre Neptune, St Jean. Open Monday to Friday, from 8AM to 11:45AM and 2:45PM to 4PM.
Voltage on the island is 220 AC, 60 cycles. Some electrical devices may then require converters and/or adapters. Most of the hotels and villas can provide them, or you can find some in the local supermarkets and hardware stores.
The island is served by the Gustave III airport (SBH). Make sure to take a few minutes to attend the impressive landings on the 650-meter (710 yards)-long landing strip! The Gustavia harbor includes 2 installations: the Gustavia Marina and the Anse du Public commercial port. 40 kilometers (25 miles) of narrow, sloping and hilly roads interconnect villages and beaches. There is no public transportation in St Barth. Cars, quad bikes and scooters are the most common way to move across the island and can be easily rented. Even with a bad sense of direction, you’ll never be lost more than a few kilometers!
St Bart is on the UTC/GMT -4 hours time zone. There is no Daylight Saving Time. There is 1 hour difference between St Barts and the East Coast of the USA when Standard Time is in effect in the USA and Canada, and 5 hours between St Barts and France when Standard Time is in effect.
A hospital is located in Gustavia with several medical specialists (dentist, gynecologist, ophtalmologist, dermatologist…). There are also several doctor’s offices with different specialities spread out on the island. Located in the capital too, a medical laboratories is equipped with and X-ray. The 3 pharmacies of the island are located in downtown Gustavia and St-Jean (one near the airport and the other one in the Vaval Mall).
There are no mandatory vaccines to enter St Barts’ territory, but as for any travel, you should be up to date on routine vaccinations. Some mosquitos carry dengue fever and zika, so make sure to use insect repellent, especially at sunset, when mosquitos are most active.
Sun and sunscreen
If you plan to spend some time hiking up the hills, near the swimming pool or on the beach, snorkeling or sailing, make sure to use an SPF 50 sunscreen at least, as the sun can be really tough and you don’t want to have your vacations ruined by sunburns. You can easily find all kinds of solar protections in the Super U supermarkets, minimarts and pharmacies. Make sure to drink a lot of water too to avoid dehydration.
What to wear in St Barts?
St Barts has a warm climate all along the year. During the day, casual, comfortable and lightweight closing with open shoes are recommended. At night, as much as some will prefer to avoid ties or evening dresses and high heels, some of you will be pleased to wear their most beautiful and elegant eveningwear, while the island is getting ready for cocktails, parties and all-night dancing…
If you plan to get married in St Barts, note that it is not possible for anyone other than St Barth residents to have a civil marriage ceremony. Still, some people with a close connection to St Barth decide to have a religious wedding ceremony, or a spiritual/symbolic moment to celebrate their union: on the beach, in a villa with a breathtaking panorama, on a yatch… Take all necessary informations before you arrive to make sure this day will be possible, and unforetable!
Lots of services are willing to supervise your magical day: caterers, wedding planners, photographers, florists, musicians…
St. Bartholomew’s Anglican Church Website
Notre Dame de l’Assomption (Gustavia), Eglise de Lorient (Lorient) and Saint-Catherine de Sienne (Colombier) Catholic Churches Website
Check out our highlight selection!
The quiet time occurs during the Winter season, between July and October, at which time the number of visitors begins to expand again. Then, the pace of the island is cradled by several events, and every visitor comes in St Barth for their favorite one(s). Find your own among the ones listed below (non-exhaustive list)!
9 October 2016:
Abolition of Slavery Day celebrated in St. Barth
27 October 2016:
Fête de L’Anse des Cayes – Music, games and entertainment in the village of Anse des Cayes
03-06 November 2016:
Taste of St. Barth – Annual international food festival in the Caribbean ; this spectacular 4-day event includes some of the leading hotels preparing special menus with wine pairings, local restaurants offerinf a taste of St. Barth food with Créole influence plus a mixology competition for barmen
15-20 November 2016:
St. Barth Cata Cup Regatta – Race on St. Jean Beach
31 December 2016:
New Year’s Eve Regatta – Fun and friendly race open to all-size sailboats, and to both locals and those present for the holidays
08-22 January 2017:
St. Barth Music Festival – Jazz and chamber music in the churches of Gustavia and Lorient
24-30 January 2017
St. Barth Fun Cup – International windsurfing competition featuring pro riders as well as amateurs – St. Jean Beach
02 February 2017
School Carnival – Costume parade for children in the streets of Gustavia
28 February 2017
Carnival (Mardi Gras) – Costume parade in Gustavia (Wear your costume and join the fun!)
01 March 2017
Ash Wednesday – End of Carnival; burning of “Vaval”, King of Carnival, at Shell Beach
16-19 March 2017:
St. Barth Bucket Regatta – Three days of sailing featuring the largest, most prestigious sailing yachts plus an air show
10-15 April 2017
Les Voiles de St. Barth – Regattas that include sailboats worldwide from classic to mega-yachts; evening events; awards and fireworks on the 15th
01 May 2017
Tour of St. Barth – Around-the-island winsurfing & sailing event. St. Jean Beach.