One of the things Curacao is known for is its pontoon bridge, the bridge is named after Queen Emma of The Netherlands. It swings open to allow water traffic and container ships in and out of the Port of Curacao. My suggestion is no matter how much you may want to, don’t stay on the bridge to watch it open. Walk quickly or run to the nearest side and get off. There is a free ferry that will take you from one side to the other while the bridge is open. We were stuck on the bridge for an almost an hour. The ships just kept coming and coming. There was no way off and we kept watching the people go across on the ferry. I think we were the only two people on the bridge. We watched the sun start to set and the stores started to close. Honestly, don’t let this happen to you.
Here is the ferry going across without us. Over and over and over again. By the time the bridge finally closed and we got off on the first night we were there most of downtown was closed and all we had the chance to do was get dinner and turn around and go back across the bridge.
It was getting dark when we finally got across. Of course, the first thing we see is a heart on the other side that has locks on it, I swear there are lock bridges all over the place.
Needless to say this is a port town so once we got across really nothing was open other than restaurants. None of the stores were open and pretty much the streets were empty, except for the one free wifi spot downtown that was crowded. We went and got something to eat at Mundo Bizzaro which was a great restaurant. The food was amazing. Though I must admit as European service is this was typical. It probably took 15 minutes for us to get the check.
We did finally make it downtown before the shops closed a few of the days we were there. My husband was on the hunt for a Curacao license plate. We did almost got stuck on the bridge and had to run for it at least two times. Then make it through right before the gate closes. There are a lot of shops very touristy shops downtown. There was one place I wanted to go it was the Serena’s Art Factory or one of its shops. They sell ChiChi dolls. These are hand-made black dolls. I had seen them in a magazine and knew I wanted to get one for my sister. I ended up getting one for myself also.
They also have a floating market, the vendors (fruits, vegetables, and fish vendor) are docked in the water and their produce is set up on the sidewalk. The fish vendors will even scale and cut the fresh fish for you.
There are also two other bridges downtown, in addition to Queen Emma Bridge there is Prinses Amaliabrug which mean Princess Amalia Bridge and the Leonard B Smith Brug.
Don’t forget to get your trinkets and tourist stuff here. Remember it’s a cruise port and they have lots of stuff here to buy. Here a few more photos of downtime and the pontoon bridge.