When we started doing research into what to see and do in Curacao, the one thing that popped up on every single list was the Queen Emma Bridge in Willemstad. All of Willemstad is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The bridge, which swings open and closed several times per day, was built in 1888.
We hopped in our rental car and it took us about 30 minutes to reach Willemstad. We were able to park easily on the street.
When the bridge came into our line of vision, we were giddy with excitement. As you approach, there are three heart sculptures where couples attach love locks.
Unlike Paris, France where the locks were originally secured to the bridge itself (which nearly sunk it!) the Queen Emma Bridge encourages visitors to affix their locks to these beauties instead.
There's a plaque commemorating the restoration of the bridge, which was completed in May 2006. Fun fact: that's the month I graduated college.
As we stepped onto the bridge, we were surprised that it moved beneath our feet. It's a pontoon bridge, so it feels sort of like those short bridges you'd walk across at a playground as a kid. The kind that you can't resist jumping up and down on!
The bridge connects two Willemstad neighborhoods: Punda and Otrobanda.
Punda, known for its rows of candy-colored buildings, is one of the most photographed places in Curacao.
Is it just me or does this look exactly like Copenhagen?
We took tons of pictures - of the buildings, of us and the buildings, of us walking toward the buildings.
After we walked to the far end and back, we decided to sit down for a drink at one of the bars right on the water, overlooking the bridge.
There are several bars with a dedicated section beneath this canopy (which provides shade).
We picked a place called the Iguana Cafe. Two of us ordered a drink called the Secret Iguana, which was frozen cappuccino with Kahlua, Bailey's and Amaretto, topped with whipped cream. Highly recommend!
While we were sipping, we did indeed see the bridge open. It swings all the way out, basically to a 90 degree angle, lets boats through, then swings all the way back. It was actually very cool.
We already knew we liked Willemstad from our amazing dinner at BijBlauw, but hanging out by the bridge really cemented it. If you decide to plan a trip to Curacao, definitely reserve at least one afternoon and evening to hang in this area.