Aruba Online Travel Guide

Oranjestad, Aruba

The capital city of Aruba, Oranjestad, surges with the movement of busy crowds, store-lined streets, nightlife, and brightly lit casinos. Don't risk a boring moment on your vacation with this non-stop city, filled with interesting sights, culture, and no shortage of places to visit and things to see.

A colorful mix of Dutch and Caribbean culture, Oranjestad takes its name from King William van Oranje-Nassau, heir to the Dutch House of Orange. The capital since 1797, it now supports a flourishing tourism industry, acting as the cruise ship terminal for the island of Aruba. For those who enjoy shopping, Oranjestad provides a haven of unique stores and malls with bargain prices. Visit L.G. Smith Boulevard, the main palm-tree lined drag downtown, for booths offering crafts and memorable island gifts. Nearby malls such as the Seaport Village Mall or the Royal Plaza Mall house endless arrays of high-end stores and cafes, selling fine jewelry, clothing, and other sought-after items. For fresh, delicious food and produce, travel to the wharf early and buy a feast directly from the boats, as well as pick up a handmade craft or two. The diverse shopping here offers the perfect souvenir for every visitor.

For entertainment, try your luck at one of the many casinos, or enjoy a night on the town hopping the many clubs, bars, and restaurants. Meet new people and tear up the dance floor into the early hours of the morning, or enjoy a quieter evening over a round of drinks or at a show. Many luxury resorts reside just outside of Oranjestad, featuring their own entertainment with fine dining restaurants, casinos, and beaches.

Oranjestad also holds some unique historical sights, including the oldest building in the city, Fort Zoutman. Built in 1796, it is now a historical museum, and includes the King Willem III Tower, which served as a public lighthouse and clock tower. Visit on a Tuesday night and enjoy the Bon Bini festival, which celebrates Aruba's culture and heritage with food, dance, and music. The Archaeological Museum of Aruba presents a snapshot of the island's early history, with preserved artifacts detailing civilizations of long ago. When you’ve had your fill of shopping and museums, catch your breath and relax in downtown Wilhelmina Park, filled with shade and lush tropical vegetation.

For visitors wishing to explore the sun and surf, beaches and water sports are only a short distance away. Visit the white sand beaches, some of the most beautiful in the world, and enjoy sunning and swimming as well as sports such as snorkeling and windsurfing.

For a vacation spot filled with non-stop action, visit Oranjestad for its booming nightlife, malls, and historical sights. One trip will create enough colorful memories to last a lifetime!

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