How Expensive Is Saint Barts (and What About Currency and Tipping)?

Most travellers wonder why St. Barts is one of the most exclusive places on earth and why only a few people are willing to spend their hard-earned money here. It usually attracts the upper class and the elites due to its size and privacy, given by just a handful of accommodations you can stay in during your visit.
How Expensive Is Saint Barts
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If you’re planning to visit or stay in St. Barts, it would be best to plan your activities and budget ahead of time. A one-day stay in St. Barts costs around €222.53 (263 USD). However, this still varies on the season you visit, the place you choose, and the food you eat. On the other hand, Euro is the official currency used on the island, and tipping is also a custom.

Is It Expensive to Vacation in St. Barts?

Because of its jaw-dropping views and villas ranging in different sizes, it is expensive to spend a vacation in St. Barts. During peak season, expect to pay at least €406.13 ($480) per night for your villa and as much as €24,537.04 ($29,000).

St. Barts offers one of the top-tier services you can avail yourself of for you and your family, with adventures you can’t find anywhere else in the world. Within its premises, you will indeed have your sought-after privacy and protection.

Why is St. Barts So Expensive?

The main reason why St. Barts is so expensive is that it caters to a wealthy clientele who can afford €16,922 ($20,000)-per-night to stay in luxurious villas. The island has 16 stunning main beaches, luxury yachts, fashionable boutiques, and high-end restaurants.

St. Barts is ranked as one of the most expensive getaways among all the travel destinations worldwide. But contrary to popular beliefs, St.Barts is also accessible to those who would like to relax and savor their strenuous efforts by availing a top-of-the-class experience.

How Much Does a Trip to St. Barts Cost?

There are no direct commercial flights to St. Barts. To get there, you’ll have to take a 10-minute puddle jumper plane for €32.97 ($39.01) or a 45-minute ferry ride that costs €60 ($70.97) from St. Maarten. You can get to St. Maarten through direct flights from New York, Atlanta, Jamaica, and others.

How Much Does It Cost to Stay in St. Barts?

If you plan to stay in St. Barts, expect to spend around €222.53 ($263) per day. That would be €1557.71 ($1,841) a week. You can double the expense for couples and if you’re going to visit with your family or friends, multiply it with your number.

Here are the average daily costs of the direct expenses in staying in St. Barts:

  • Food: €43 per day
  • Accommodation: €153 per person
  • Transportation: €18 per person, per day
  • Entertainment and activities (windsurfing lesson, diving, deep-sea fishing): €71 per person, per day

Why Do the Rich Go to St. Barts?

The rich people get their awaited vacation on this ultra-private island to avoid the public eye. In St. Barts, they can party with the locals without compromising their safety and identity.

That is why most of St. Barts’ frequent visitors are the rich and the elite, especially royalties and Hollywood celebrities, A-list influencers, and billionaire tycoons.

Is St. Barts Only for Rich People?

Locals in St. Barts are also used to seeing famous personalities in their midst, so it’s not uncommon for them to see them around. The rich and the famous can live and enjoy the island at a respectable distance from the locals.

St. Barts is also known for its party scene, which is one of its tourist-attracting features. The rich can party all they want, and they don’t have to worry about petty crimes. One of the safest islands in the Caribbean, St. Barts crime rate is little to none, and the local police are not needed 24/7 anymore.

Are There Also Poor People in St. Barts?

If you’re wondering if there is poverty and poor people on the island, you’ll be shocked that most of its citizens usually have hospitality jobs due to tourism, such as those in housekeeping, landscaping, construction, and more.

How Is St. Barts on a Budget?

Visiting St. Barts does not need to be expensive, and you can enjoy your stay while being on a budget. So here are some travel hacks to cut down your expenses while still having a lovely vacation in St. Barts:

  • Know When to Go: Visit St. Barts during the low season. This is between April and the first weeks of December. Going to the island during this time would make a massive difference with your expenses during the high season, between Christmas and New Year’s, starting from mid-December to March. During the low season, the island offers discount opportunities to visitors, particularly in hotels and car rentals.
  • Rent a Villa or Stay at Budget-Friendly Hotels: When you visit St. Barts from late August to early October, you can rent and stay in villas with super lower rates. For example, a week-stay in a one-bedroom estate starts at €1649.90 ($1950). Most luxury hotels are closed during these months, and some villas are priced half less than during the high season.
  • Rent a Car: Renting a car is cheaper than riding a taxi/cab in St. Barts. Both costs €5.38 ($30), but renting a car is paid per day meanwhile cabbing is paid per ride.
  • Visit public beaches: Public beaches on St. Barts are free of charge. That means you can enjoy the sand and the beach without paying anything. The two beaches suggested for you to visit are Saline Beach which is described by many as the prettiest beach on the island with its and the Shell Beach, as the name suggests, covered in shells. You just need to bring your own foldout chair or beach towel to avoid renting a chair.

Is St. Barts a Tax Haven?

St. Barts has no personal or even corporate income taxes and value-added tax (VAT). However, French citizens who moved to the island after 2007 under organic law must pay their mainland income tax for five years.

Those who are residents for more than five years are exempt from the income tax and wealth tax for real estate properties found on the island. In the same way, they are also not subject to other taxes such as VAT, inheritance tax, and more.

Rent on the island also benefits from lower taxes due to amortization regulations implemented.

What Are the Taxes in St. Barts?

Since the island is debt-free, people who live there pay just a few taxes for their utility consumption. This includes their use of gas, electricity, gas, and some other services. St. Barts residents don’t pay any income tax.

For travelers and visitors, there is a €4 departure tax if your next destination is a French island, and if not, you’re going to pay €8. Take note that these taxes are in your airfare. There is also no sales tax even in restaurant meals, but hotels cost 5% tourist tax.

What Currency Is Used in St. Barts?

The official currency used in St. Barts is Euro (€). As of today, 1 Euro is equivalent to 1.18 USD.

Do You Need Euros in St. Barts?

You need Euros in St. Barts since it is the official currency on the island. In case you want to buy Euros, all banks are available to do the exchange. You can ask on-island offices for the directions.

Can You Use US Dollars in St. Barts?

You can use US Dollars in St. Barts as it is widely accepted throughout the island. In restaurants, the amount is typically stated in euros, but they still accept US dollars. Credit cards are also accepted in most establishments in St. Barts.

Where to Exchange Your Currency in St. Barts?

If you want to exchange your currency before going to the island, ATMs in banks are only accessible in Gustavia and St. Jean. These banks are operating from 8:00 to 12 and 14:00-16:00 Mondays to Fridays. If you’re lucky, some are open on Saturday mornings.

Suppose you need to exchange your currency and you’re already on the island. In that case, you can go to local banks or bureaux de change (currency exchange offices) or distributeurs automatiques de billets (ATMs) in hotels.

Do You Tip in St. Barths?

St. Barths, just like the rest of the world, accepts tips from customers. It is suitable for tourists on the island to leave a pourboire, which means “for a drink,” to show gratitude and appreciation for the wait staff’s service.

How Much Do You Tip in St. Barts?

Here are some people you can give a tip to and how much is recommended:

  • Taxi Drivers: 10% of your total fare
  • Restaurants, Cafes, and Bars (Baristas, Waiters, other staff): 15% of your total payment
  • Hotels (housekeeping staff, bellman, the concierge): Any amount will do
  • Tour Guides: between 10-15% of your total payment

Although service charge is directly included in the bills, tips will be much appreciated by the staff on the island. Remember that it is perfectly fine if you don’t, mainly if you are not satisfied with the service you received.

Is St. Barts Worth the Money?

If you are looking for a peaceful trip that can give you the “healing” effect you are looking for, St. Barts is one of the island countries you should visit!

Known as one of the best Caribbean vacation places for A-list stars and celebrities, St. Barts is truly one of the islands worth every penny. It’s your dream vacation straight out of the magazines as it combines posh French hospitality culture and the West’s luxurious standards.

Relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor in the company of its beaches with white sands and turquoise sea waters that are crystal-clear and breath-taking.

To help you decide more for your dream vacation, take the time to learn more about the hypnotic mystery and glitter of St. Barts!