Best Virgin Islands Shopping St Thomas
People flock far and wide to St. Thomas for fantastic deals. We’re often asked–“is the best Virgin Islands shopping in St Thomas?” The answer is a resounding OH YES!
Not only is the bartering fun and the deals great, but the setting is amazing. The main shopping hub overlooks the Charlotte Amalie Harbor. While you peruse numerous shops and boutiques offering an impressive array of jewelry, china, crystal, alcohol, clothing, art, watches and cameras, you’ll love the sea breeze from the water, just steps away. The stores are actually located in the old stone forts which were built in the 1800’s. The walkways are dotted with real cannons, used to protect the island and its residents from attack by swashbucklers. You truly feel like you’re in another time and place altogether–it’s fantastic.
Downtown Charlotte Amalie has an incredible density of shops offering spectacular deals. Main streets and their connecting alleys are bustling with stores, unique shops and boutiques. Small island restaurants and bars sit among the stores, offering a place for rest, food and drinks. Everything is open from 9am-5pm Monday through Saturday. Most shops are open half-day on Sunday if there are ships in port, but if not, they’re typically closed.
Between the cruise dock and the downtown shopping area, you’ll find Vendors Plaza, a colorful swap meet style shopping area filled with small booths, tables and tents. This is the place to be if you’re looking for silver jewelry, skirts, dresses, t-shirts, imitation bags and watches. Shops at Vendors Plaza start set up at 7:30am and close at 5:00pm Monday through Saturday. The number of vendors setting up shop on Sundays depends on the number of ships in port.
Havensight is a shopping area conveniently located right next to the primary cruise ship dock in Charlotte Amalie. The shopping area is the second largest cluster of stores in St. Thomas, and great for cheap jewelry, clothes, perfumes, electronics, liquor, local sauces, and souvenir items. Havensight stores are open 9am to 5pm including holidays, when ships are in port. When no ships are in port, it’s a typical St. Thomas work day–starts around 10am and ends around 3pm–give or take 20 minutes.
Now, the deals. The best Virgin Islands Shopping St Thomas deals are usually on rum, because its made right there in the Islands. Cruzan Rum and Captain Morgan’s are about 30-40% less than in the states, so stock up. Other incredible deals are on jewelry-the bigger the jewels, the bigger the savings! Another thing to know is that shop keepers expect you to negotiate–or haggle. They’ve got room to move on the prices, so be sure you take advantage of any savings you can get. You can find amazing prices on cameras as well.
The best part about shopping in St. Thomas is there’s no sales tax, so if you’re looking at jewelry or electronics, you’ll save a lot of money by simply not having to pay the tax. There are coupon books all over town, and the cruise ships will give them to you as well. Take full advantage of those coupons–they’re a treasure all in themselves! Do your homework before you come down to make a major purchase. Have a good idea of what you’ll pay for an item in the states so you know when it becomes a great deal in the islands!