Otrobanda: Where Art Beats in the Heart of Curaçao

Bunt bemalte Wand mit einem floralen Design in Otrobanda.

Street art, restaurants, and museums — Otrobanda is the cultural and artistic heart of Curaçao. The district Otrobanda, which translates literally as “the other side”, owes its name to the fact that it is separated from Punda, the opposite district, by the Queen Emma Bridge. While Punda is known for its historical buildings and numerous shopping opportunities, Otrobanda features impressive street art, great restaurants, and some exciting museums that are definitely worth a visit.

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Colorful Streets: The Inspiring Street Art of Otrobanda

A trip to Otrobanda should not be missed during your stay in Curaçao. Fascinating murals and graffiti adorn a multitude of building facades, creating a unique flair.

Staircase with colorful steps in Otrobanda in Curaçao
Painted wall in Otrobanda on which the side portrait of a woman can be seen. She is wearing a blue headdress, turquoise eye shadow and red lipstick.

Scattered throughout the district, you’ll also find various sculptures that are appreciated by tourists and locals alike, contributing to the unique atmosphere.

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Each year, the annual Kaya Kaya Festival in Otrobanda enriches the street art scene and continually brings forth new artworks to admire. Artists from all over the world gather here and create new, impressive art on the walls of Otrobanda.

The festival typically takes place in late summer. If you are in Curaçao during this time, we highly recommend visiting the festival. However, you also have the opportunity to admire the colorful street art throughout the rest of the year.

Turquoise-colored wall in Otrobanda on which the portrait of a woman can be seen. She is wearing a red turban.
Painted wall in Otrobanda showing a little girl in a blue T-shirt laughing contentedly.

Moreover, UNESCO has also recognized the cultural, aesthetic, and historical significance of the district. Otrobanda, along with three other districts — Punda, Scharloo, and Pietermaai—was declared a World Heritage Site in 1997.

Colorful wall painting of a woman in Otrobanda. She is wearing purple floral decorations in her hair and 5 pearl earrings. She is looking at a fluttering hummingbird.

Not only on the streets themselves will you find exciting art installations. In the small colorful alleys, you can discover numerous galleries, studios, and craft shops where local artists sell their artworks.

Guided Tour of the District

If you want to explore Otrobanda not just on your own but are also interested in additional background information, a guided tour of Otrobanda might be just what you’re looking for. The guides know the district inside out and will show you the most famous murals and art installations. Plus, they’re sure to have some exciting insider tips ready for you.

Exploration Tour of Otrobanda: Museums and Memories Await

Otrobanda is not only famous for its artistic streets but also the various museums that deal with the history, culture, and heritage of the Caribbean islands.

The Kura Hulanda Museum in Otrobanda

One of the most famous museums in Curaçao, the Kura Hulanda Museum, is located near the Queen Emma Bridge and the harbor. The museum focuses in Curaçao’s grim past, with a particular emphasis on the transatlantic slave trade that occurred between the 17th and 19th centuries.

At the same time, you’ll learn how African culture has influenced developments on the Caribbean island and its impact in Curaçao’s population to this day. To provide visitors with more insight into the history, the museum displays a variety of historical documents and intriguing exhibits.

The museum serves as an important source of historical education, offering insight into the island’s grim history, while also functioning as a space of remembrance for the victims of the slave trade, offering visitors the opportunity to critically reflect on the past.

The Curaçao Museum in Otrobanda

Located in the western part of Otrobanda, the Curaçao Museum is housed in a colonial building originally used as a lazaretto. Since its opening on March 7, 1948, the Curaçao Museum has been continuously operational, making it the oldest museum in Curaçao.

The museum primarily displays items, such as furniture, from the 18th to 20th centuries. Additionally, you’ll learn about the lives of the inhabitants after slavery was officially abolished. You’ll discover the professions former slaves took up after their emancipation, the prevalent religions, and the traditional dishes from that period.

A special highlight you’ll encounter during your visit is the cockpit of the Snip. This was the first airplane that took off from the Netherlands in 1934 and landed in Curaçao.

Flavors of Otrobanda: A Visit to Kura Hulanda Village

In the heart of Otrobanda, you’ll find the renowned Kura Hulanda Village, which along with some other landmarks in Curaçao, is part of the UNESCO World Heritage list. In recent decades, Kura Hulanda Village has been extensively restored and has evolved into the culinary center of the district. Besides several hotels and shops, you’ll find especially numerous restaurants and bars with a diverse offering.

To ensure you don’t miss the best restaurants during your visit to the Caribbean island, we’ve compiled our favorites below.

Caleo Crudos y Parilla

Just a stone’s throw away from the famous Kura Hulanda Museum, the Caleo Crudos y Parilla awaits with a tempting selection of Mediterranean delicacies. Here, you can look forward to a diverse menu that entices with fresh seafood and exquisite meats in various preparations. However, vegetarians are also catered for with delicious dishes such as a refreshing watermelon salad or succulently baked sweet potatoes.

Opening hours:
➤ Tuesday to Saturday: 6:00 PM to midnight

Lionfish Caribbean

As the name suggests, the restaurant features Lionfish on the menu. The Lionfish, also known as red lionfish, is an invasive species that threatens local ecosystems. Its excessive appetite for other fish and marine dwellers disrupts the natural balance of the coral reefs off Curaçao.

In response to this ecological challenge, the Lionfish is increasingly hunted and featured on menus. Known for its mild flavor, reminiscent of a mix between lobster and cod, when sautéed with garlic or lemon juice, it offers an irresistible aroma and promises a true explosion of flavor.

Opening hours:
➤ Monday: closed
➤ Tuesday: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
➤ Wednesday: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
➤ Thursday: 9:00 AM to 8:30 PM
➤ Friday: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
➤ Saturday: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
➤ Sunday: closed


Right next to the other two restaurants, the Florès awaits with its irresistible variety. The menu tempts with a refined selection of appetizers, main courses, snacks, and promising desserts. For avid fish lovers, Florès offers delicacies like tuna tartare and succulently grilled salmon.

But meat lovers won’t be disappointed either, as they can savor deliciously grilled chicken and tender beef tataki. And even for those who are vegetarian, the menu offers a tempting selection of tarte flambée, refreshing salads, and homemade ravioli.

Tip: There is great live music every Friday and Saturday from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM at the restaurant, creating a very special atmosphere.

Opening hours:
➤ Monday to Friday: 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM
➤ Saturday: 10:00 AM to midnight
➤ Sunday: 3:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Your Pocket Guide to Shopping in Otrobanda: Must-Know Tips

If you’re looking for unusual souvenirs or special clothing items, it’s worth paying a visit to the local shops in Otrobanda. Not only do you support local merchants, but you also get a unique keepsake that will always remind you of your vacation in Curaçao.

If you’re up for an extended shopping day and are particularly interested in stores of well-known brands, the Rif Fort & Renaissance Shopping Center is the ideal choice for you. Additionally, you’ll find numerous restaurants there where you can recharge during your shopping spree.

Our tip: From the historic walls surrounding the shopping center, you have a splendid view of the sea.

Otrobanda also attracts with a variety of restaurants and cafés in its alleys, inviting you to linger and offer local delicacies. Often, engaging live music is played, creating a very special atmosphere.

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Don’t Miss a Visit to “the other side”

Nowhere else in Curaçao will you be able to marvle at so many colorful buildings and cool street art, we promise. When you visit the capital city, make sure to take the time to explore not only Punda but also the opposite side.

In addition to the exciting art scene, Otrobanda also offers a variety of fascinating museums and diverse shopping opportunities. Start planning your trip now and soon discover the beauty of this vibrant district in Curaçao.

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