Welcome to Oranjestad
Where old meets new in perfect harmony
Oranjestad is Aruba’s largest city and capital. This area has some history to it, having started as a small town surrounding Fort Zoutman, built in 1798. It was a rural community where horses were raised and exported to other countries in the Caribbean Sea. In the early 1800s, gold was discovered in Aruba, and in the 1900s, oil was discovered. The rest, as they say, is history. Oranjestad became very prosperous, and tourism was born.
Today, Oranjestad has brilliantly managed to hang on to its older Dutch colonial buildings and culture and balance that with a modern luxury lifestyle. The result? Pure charm. Downtown has kept its old charm where you can shop in the main street which we call “Caya Grandi” and also This hopping harbor city boasts tree-lined streets and a downtown area with upscale malls, luxury boutiques, international designer outlets, and posh jewelry stores.The Linear Park that runs along the coast ensures open green space with walking and biking paths. The architecture includes historic buildings in Dutch Colonial Revival style as well as modern villas, luxury condominiums and upcoming projects.
What to Love
Almost always sunny with a yearly average temperature of 84
Famous Caribbean Sea crystal-clear water and white-sand beaches
Restaurants, upscale shopping districts, art galleries, and museums
Excellent public transportation on the new tram system
Fabulous nightlife with exciting dance clubs or quiet lounges
A laid-back lifestyle focused on relaxation and culture
With the hop-on, hop-off tram that meanders down Main Street and connects the cruise ship terminal with the center of town, daily use of a car is optional. The tram makes plenty of stops at shopping districts, museums, and restaurants. Of course, water sports and activities are popular in Oranjestad, as is sunbathing on the beautiful white-sand beaches. Locals also enjoy picnics and quiet walks in tropical gardens along the waterfront in Wilhelmina Park.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
At the Yemanja Wood-Fired Grill, prepare yourself for bold Caribbean flavors, and do try the Unicorn Leatherjack Fish Filet & Garlic Shrimp. Over at L.G. Smith’s Steak & Chop House, they’re serving the best steak and craft cocktails in town, and the Porterhouse 20-oz Signature Steak is a must-have. For a fine-dining experience and the perfect date night, go to The Wine Room, where the wine list is exceptional, and the Plank Salmon is smoked on cedarwood. For downhome Canadian-style pub fare, check out Alfie’s in Aruba, grab a burger and a craft beer—then hang out and listen to the live music.
Fashionistas will love the luxury retailers’ outlets in the shopping areas, the upscale boutiques, the spas, and the independent shops. The Renaissance Mall & Marketplace will answer the prayer of even veteran shoppers. All your favorite world-famous designers are there with the latest in clothing, handbags, shoes, jewelry, and perfume. History nerds will love the Fort Zoutman Historical Museum, originally built in 1798 to defend against pirates. Learn about Aruba’s history and enjoy their Bon Bini – which translates to “welcome” – Festival every Tuesday night.
Things to Do
It’s not possible to be bored in Oranjestad. There are always jazz festivals, food festivals, and carnival parades. One such famous event is the annual Soul Beach Music Festival, which includes live music, parties, and comedy shows. On the Atlantis Submarine Aruba where you can look through your own submarine portal window onto underwater delights 130 feet below the surface.