Gustavia with its free port is the administrative and business “capital” as it were of St Barts.
As the only port on the island apart from the commercial port in Public, Gustavia welcomes motor yachts, luxury or more unpretentious sailing boats and small fishing boats belonging to professional or amateur fishermen.
The history of the island has had a cosmopolitan influence on its architecture and there are many French, Creole, Swedish, Dutch and Irish influences.
Most of the activities on the island are concentrated here: a beach (Shell Beach), luxury boutiques and other shops, bars, restaurants and clubs, grocery stores and administrative offices, etc.
Gustavia has everything, even some wilder areas on the high ground of the old Karl fort. It is essentially a town for meeting up and getting together after the beach, for a stroll, shopping and to enjoy an aperitif on the terrace of a bar.