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Fort De France Travel Information

The Basics

Electricity

Electrical current in Martinique is 220 volts (50Hz). European round pin attachment plugs are in use.

Language

French is the official language of Martinique, but Antillean Creole (Creole Martiniquais) is mostly spoken amongst islanders. English is typically spoken only in the larger hotels and tourist areas.

Travel Health

Medical and health care facilities in Martinique are on a par with those of France and are considered to be some of the best in the French West Indies. Specialist treatment is also available. There are around 20 hospitals and clinics located on the island, the largest of them being Hospital Pierre Zobda Quikman, which has 24-hour emergency room. Travellers should be up to date on common vaccinations like Hepatitis A and B, tetanus, and measles boosters before travelling to Martinique. Medical insurance is advised.

Tipping

As in France, tips are usually included in restaurant bills in Martinique and taxes and service charges are included in hotel rates.

Safety Information

There is very little crime in Martinique but visitors should take sensible precautions and avoid isolated areas, including beaches, after dark and not carry large amounts of cash or jewellery. Valuables and travel documents should, where possible, be left in safety deposit boxes and hotel safes.

Local Customs

Unlike many tropical islands, Martinique has a thriving economy and is not solely dependent on tourism. Relaxed, informal clothing is acceptable around town, but scanty beach wear and short-shorts are considered improper in urban areas. The only officially designated clothing-optional beaches in the French islands are in Guadeloupe and St. Martin. At hotel pools and at beaches near hotels, topless swimming and sunbathing is common.

Communications

The international dialling code for Martinique is +596. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0044 for the United Kingdom). As there are no coin phones, a Télécarte (phone card) makes local and international calls easier and less expensive. They are sold at Post Offices and other outlets marked Télécarte en Vente Ici and are used in special booths marked Télécom found all over Martinique. Many phones now accept VISA, MasterCard or other credit cards for long distance calls. Instant Internet connection is not yet widely available in Martinique.

Duty Free

Those travelling to Martinique may import the following goods duty-free: 200 cigarettes/50 cigars/250g tobacco, two litres of liquor, and perfume, gifts and film in amounts reasonable for personal use. Currency must be declared on arrival.

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