The Punda side of Willemstad is where most of the famous colorful buildings along the harbor are located. There are cafes in front of the buildings. The whole street is about 400 feet long. The next street over has tourist shops and a few nice buildings. Each block further east gets more and more run down. It looks like they are trying to clean up the area, but don't expect the whole town to look like the buildings along the harbor. You'll see a nice building next to an old abandoned building that is falling apart. It was really disappointing to us.
Also, we expected the area to be more lively, especially in the evenings. It is very quiet. The early evening, people are at the outdoor cafes along the harbor, but the rest of the town seems to roll up the carpet and go home. Even the weekend doesn't seem more lively. Saturday morning after 10am things started to pick up a little. Also, a lot of tourist stuff is closed on Saturday and Sunday, including the Postal Museum, Fort Amsterdam, and the Synagogue. For a place that wants the tourist trade, this country is really not set up well for tourists. There's a tourist booth at the corner of Gouvernementsplein and Breedestraat. But all their brochures are geared toward selling you things from their boutiques or restaurants and give you very little tourist information.
Driving around town is not difficult as long as you're good with directions. There are very few street signs so you have to know the general direction you're going. I found the other drivers very good and not at all aggressive. They drive more like Europeans than Americans. Someone always let me merge in if there was a lot of traffic. There are also several places to park. Just be aware that the parking garage only takes Gilders (and you may need coins). You have to pay with the machine so there is no attendant there to help you. This was the only time we could not pay for something in dollars. One thing we did not see was abject poverty. The majority of people seem to be mostly between lower to upper middle class. The city feels fairly safe. We only saw a police car twice in our whole 5 day trip.
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