The old town of Willemstad is split by Sint Annabaai, which is actually a channel to Schottegat, a large inland bay. On the western side is Otrobanda, an old workers’ neighborhood which has a mixture of beautifully restored buildings and areas that are still rough around the edges. Follow Wan Lennepstraat uphill into a safe, historic neighborhood for great views of the city and harbor.
East of the channel – and linked by the swinging Queen Emma Bridge – is Punda, the old commercial center. Just east of Punda is an equally historic colonial area. Pietermaai is a funky mix of decaying mansions, spiffy rehabs, oddball shops and quixotic cafes. The spine, Nieuwestraat, is an obligatory nighttime destination.