The Handelskade: A Historic Waterfront

Handelskade is the most breathtaking part of Punda. This historic waterfront strip is a vibrant reminder of Curaçao’s Dutch heritage, as well as a favorite photo-op for professional photographers and visitors alike. The collection of houses line the waters of St. Anna Bay and the 18t century buildings are reminiscent of the Amsterdam canals with one difference: they are brightly colored. Curacao’s rich history comes alive in the stunning architecture to been seen all across the island, but especially in its capital city; Willemstad.

One of the first Dutch governors decreed that all houses should be painted in colors other than white because the reflection of the sun supposedly caused headaches and could even lead to inflammation of the eyes ultimately blindness!

Grab a seat at one of Handelskade’s outdoor cafes and watch the Queen Emma Bridge, also called: “de Pontjesbrug”, swing open to let ships into the harbor or pop into one of the shops along the water.

At Handelskade’s northern point, you can find the Floating Market. Small fishing boats from Venezuela (which is only 40 miles away and a different climate from Curacao entirely) dock on the canal. The tables are laden with fruits and vegetables.

The famous colors of the Handelskade remain eye-candy, especially by night. The Handelskade provides the quintessential photo opportunity and is a must-see sight on Curacao!