Gustavia Travel Guide

by our St. Barts expert Paul Baderman
Paul BadermanA French island with a capital named after a Swedish king (Gustav III)? Well the Caribbean is a bit like that with the colonial powers grabbing an island here, losing a war and their claim there, or in this case, Sweden selling it back to France when times got hard in 1878. The island itself can confusingly become just ĎSt Barthí or ĎBartísí and itís small enough to make the easiest entry point by small plane into Gustavia from neighbouring St Martin. Whoever/whatever, itís one of the loveliest, tiniest of the Leeward Islands, surrounded by fascinating relatively shallow coral reefs that make snorkelling almost as good as diving. The town is home to barely 3,000 people (plus a few pelicans) and is still a busy harbour with a few local fishermen weaving between film-star yachts. The nearest beach is Shell Beach but only a few miles away is Gouverneur, more isolated and peaceful and quite outstandingly beautiful with backing landscape that vies for spectacle with the beach itself.

360 Tour of Hilltop view over town

St. Barts Facts

National Flag: St. Barts Flag
Language(s): French
Currency: Euro
Time Zone: GMT - 4
Tourism Website:

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