Things to Know Before Traveling to Martinique

Things to Know Before Traveling to Martinique

This wasn’t planned at all, but my cousin and I celebrated my birthday weekend on the island of Martinique. We took Norweigan Air Shuttle from NYC for Fort de France which was a convenient and affordable option for a quick getaway.  I received a lot of questions on Instagram for first-time visitors so here’s a basic guide of what to know before traveling to Martinique.

Things to Know Before Traveling to Martinique

Visa Requirements

There is no visa requirement for US Citizens traveling to Martinique under 90 days. You just need six months validity on your passport and at least one blank page. 

Currency

It is a slight disadvantage because of the rate difference but you need to exchange your dollars for Euros. Most of the locations we went to accepted credit cards, but there’s nothing wrong with having cash on hand.

Language

Martinique is a French territory, so the official language is French. If you’re not familiar with the language, make sure to bring along a translator app or book. You can also learn basic phrases; some of them include:

  • Bonjour – Hello / Good day / Good morning
  • S’il vousplaît – Please
  • Au revoir – Goodbye
  • Merci (beaucoup) – Thank you (very much)
  • Tu parles anglais? – Do you speak English?
  • excusez-moi – Excuse Me
  • Je ne parle pas français – I don’t speak French
  • Où se trouvent les toilettes – Where is the bathroom?

How to Get There

Like most Caribbean islands, the main way to travel to Martinique from the US is via Air or cruise ship. Purchase tickets from the U.S. via American Airlines, Air France, and Norwegian Airlines. There is also Island ferry service to Fort de France via L’Express des Iles from St. Lucia, Guadeloupe, and Dominica.

Things to Know Before Traveling to Martinique

Getting Around

  • Drive – You can rent a car, but there are limited automatic cars available. If you know how to drive a manual car, you’re in luck. 
  • Taxi – There is no Uber, no flat rate to destinations and taxis are ridiculously expensive. My cousin and I pretty much spent 90-100 Euros on airport service to and from our hotel in Schœlcher. Taking a taxi should seriously be your last resort. 
  • Hire a Driver – If you rent from Airbnb, hiring a driver may be your best bet. Just contact your host to see if they offer this as an additional service. 
  • Public Transportation – There is NO public transportation available from the airport and the majority of the bus service is in Fort de France and Schœlcher. Keep in mind that there is less transportation on weekends and service ends around 6 PM daily.
  • Ferry – Ferries run in different parts of the island for around 6 Euros. Just make sure to get a round trip ticket or say aller-retour. On our last day, we took a Ferry to Pointe du Bout and walked to Anse Mitan before heading back to Fort de France.

 

Check out my video showing highlights from the weekend

 

Additional Resource

Outside of visiting the official website, and getting information from travel groups, I purchased Your Ultimate Guide to Martinique from Amazon. It has tons of information including popular attractions, where to eat, accommodation suggestions, popular beaches, diving sites and more for solo and group travelers. It is also the only travel guide for Martinique that I’ve found in English.

Things to Know Before Traveling to Martinique

Any interest in traveling to Martinique?

23 thoughts on “Things to Know Before Traveling to Martinique

  1. Toia B.

    It looks gorgeous there! I have no plans to visit but I know this info would be greatly helpful to any who do… you covered everything! Good to know my little bit of JHS & HS French would be useful should I ever venture that way!

    Reply

    1. Joanna E

      I wish I learned French when I was younger. I think it’s more helpful than Spanish for me since I have Panamanian family.

      Reply

  2. Tanay Michele

    No public trans or Uber?! Thats interesting. I never knew Airbnb offered that additional service either. I can’t wait to visit ANY island lol #passportvirgin

    Reply

    1. Joanna E

      Yeah uber is pretty scarce in the Caribbean #firstworldproblems lol

      Reply

  3. alifeofauthenticity

    It looks like you had a great time. I’m literally in the midst of planning (or starting to plan) a vacation this summer, so I will definitely look at Martinique. Thank you.

    Reply

    1. Joanna E

      Norwegian air has really affordable flights there.

      Reply

  4. Jay Colby

    Its so beautiful in Martinique I love the video you shared of your vacation. I’m definitely putting Martinique on my bucket list of places to go.

    Reply

    1. Joanna E

      Thanks Jay! It was a fun (and funny) trip.

      Reply

  5. Carissa (The Green Eyed Lady)

    Your pictures are beautiful this place looks AMAZING!!!

    Reply

    1. Joanna E

      Thanks Carissa. It was a great birthday weekend.

      Reply

  6. staciesayzso

    Beautiful pics! I’ve never been to Martinique but I thank you for the mini french lesson! 😉

    Reply

    1. Joanna E

      You’re most welcome 😊

      Reply

  7. Ngumabi

    Wow, thanks for these details
    Martinique is a very beautiful place
    I love your pictures

    Reply

  8. Mimi Green

    Martinique is beautiful, I would love to go. I had no idea about these details. These are excellent tips.

    Reply

    1. Joanna E

      Thanks Mimi. Next time I’ll stay closer to the city and do more historic tours. This was a lazy/beach bum birthday weekend. lol

      Reply

  9. feleciamonique88

    Looks like an amazing trip. So jealous!

    Reply

  10. MUAKimPorter

    Great tips! I plan on going to Martinique by catching one of Norwegian’s deals.

    Reply

    1. Joanna E

      Thanks Kim. The deals are really good off season. It makes for a nice getaway.

      Reply

  11. Cleverly Changing (@Cleverlychangin)

    Martinique is one exquisite place. I really one to go one of these days. It would make for a fabulous second honeymoon location.

    Reply

    1. Joanna E

      That’s not a bad idea. It is very beautiful and has a lot of historical sites.

      Reply

  12. Kita

    I have a friend from Martinque and her pics are always so beautiful plus the food is so good. A nice hybrid of cultures. One day I will get there.

    Reply

    1. Joanna E

      Yes. I think we stayed more on the French than local side, but it was still nice

      Reply

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