Kingston: Jamaica’s Capital – the Top 10 Places of Interest
Bright colors, a turquoise sea, and reggae – sounds like a relaxing adventure, right? All that and more is waiting for you in Jamaica’s capital! Kingston truly is a small paradise on this island.
In the following article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about this Caribbean island and its capital. On top of that, we’ll provide you with a list of Kingston’s most beautiful sights.
Kingston in a Nutshell
The island of Jamaica lies about 150 kilometers south of Cuba. The state is part of the Greater Antilles, and is the archipelago’s third-largest island. The Blue Mountains run through the western part of the country and have the highest peak on the island at 2,256 m. The longest river is the Black River, with a length of 70 km.
Temperatures in Jamaica vary due to the different altitudes found throughout the island. The higher zones are in the center and west, where it rains much more than on the east coast. Generally, the wet season runs from May to October, while the hurricane season is from July to October. The months of December to March get the least amount of rainfall. Temperatures are usually constant, ranging from 15 °C to 22 °C in the mountains, and reaching 30 °C near the coast.
Kingston, the capital, is located in the southeast and has a population of approximately 665,000 people. Refugees from Port Royal founded it in 1692 – initially, the town was very small, but it quickly developed into the largest city on the island. Fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, or epidemics have led to Kingston’s destruction several times in the past. In the meantime, the city serves as the island nation’s economic hub.
Jamaica’s national dish is ackee and saltfish, with the fish typically being cod. Ackee is a pear-shaped fruit that most likely originated in West Africa and is now Jamaica’s national fruit. The locals typically eat the dish for breakfast or lunch, together with peas, plantains, breadfruit, or rice.
The most common modes of transportation in the country are minibuses, cabs, and buses. Using them is definitely an exciting experience. The main airport is in Montego Bay.
Because Jamaica was the home of Bob Marley, among others, there’s a lot to discover about reggae culture during festivals in Kingston. “Reggae Month” is in February. If you’re into that sort of thing, just plan your trip around the festivals. Here are some interesting facts: Kingston is the smallest municipality, but at the same time, the most populous city on the island. Jamaica is a former British colony and a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, so it’s no surprise that it’s the third-largest English-speaking country in the Western Hemisphere, after the United States and Canada.
The Top 10 Places of Interest in Kingston
We don’t want to keep you waiting any longer, so we’re now going to show you the top 10 attractions in Jamaica’s capital.
Bob Marley Museum
This amazing museum is located on Hope Road in Kingston. It’s Bob Marley’s former residence, and his water later turned it into a museum. He bought the house in 1975 and lived there until 1981. It was also the home of the reggae record label Tuff Gong, which was founded by The Wailers in 1970. In addition to Marley’s personal belongings being on display here, there’s also an 80-seat theater and a gallery with wonderful paintings.
Devon House is one of the capital’s most famous landmarks. It was built according to the vision of the first black Jamaican millionaire, George Stiebel, who gained his wealth by mining gold in South America. Later, he was one of the few rich people in Kingston who constructed elaborate residences there. People call this part of Kingston “Millionaire’s Corner.”
The mansion is a blend of Caribbean and Georgian architecture, with antique collections from Jamaica, England, and France housed inside. Devon House is in great condition and looks gorgeous. Be sure to check it out!
As previously mentioned, the Blue Mountains region is located in the eastern part of Jamaica. The Blue Mountain Peak rises to a height of 2,256 m. Among other things, a high-quality type of coffee is grown here – the Jamaican Blue Mountain.
This region is located in a national park that makes up about 6% of Jamaica’s total land mass. It’s best accessible by bus, and over a hundred fascinating hiking trails also lead to the surrounding villages. Fog often surrounds this mountain range, giving it a mystical appearance. The bluish appearance of the mountains is due to this mist – hence the name.
Emancipation Park in Kingston
Emancipation Park is a public park in Kingston. It was opened on July 31, 2002, the day before Emancipation Day. The park serves as a memorial to the abolition of slavery. Covering an area of six acres, it features two fountains and many works of art.
At the park’s main entrance is a three-meter-high bronze sculpture that depicts a male and female figure, both looking up at the sky. The artwork, designed by Jamaican artist Laura Facey, is meant to remind people of Bob Marley’s Redemption Song.
Port Royal was an important port city until June 7, 1692, when it was destroyed by an earthquake and the ensuing tsunami. Some parts of the port sank completely into the sea. To this day, there are efforts to declare the submerged remains a World Heritage Site, but it has always been rejected so far. Today, Port Royal is home to a small fishing town.
National Gallery of Jamaica
If you are an art fan, the National Gallery of Jamaica is the place for you. However, it’s also an absolute highlight for everyone else, as well. It was founded in 1974, making it the oldest and largest public museum in the Anglophone Caribbean region.
The museum houses an incredible collection of Jamaican modern and contemporary art, as well as international works. The ever-changing exhibitions lead to the support and encouragement of young artists. You can even buy some local art in the souvenir shop, so make sure to stop by. That would make for a very special souvenir of your trip, wouldn’t it?
Kingston Night Market
The Kingston Night Market takes place every Tuesday evening on Hillcrest Avenue. Every week, you can try authentic Jamaican food, listen to great music, and see the creativity of local artisans up close! Take a leisurely stroll down the street and soak up the friendly atmosphere.
Fort Charles, originally called Fort Cromwell, was built in the late 1650s. In 1667, the stronghold had 36 guns. A century later, it had 140 guns, and a military unit of 500 men was stationed there. Visit this fascinating fort and learn more about Jamaica’s history.
Holy Trinity Cathedral
A must-see is the Holy Trinity Cathedral, an impressive Roman Catholic church in downtown Kingston. It’s right between North Street and George Headley Drive. Built in 1907, the church also serves as the archbishop’s seat. The 25-meter-high copper dome and the massive organ are particularly impressive. The interior walls are painted and ornately decorated. This beautiful building is worth seeing from both the inside and the outside.
Fort Clarence Beach
If you are looking for a place to relax, head to Fort Clarence Beach! This is one of the quietest beaches in the area. You’ll have to pay a small admission fee, though. In return, there are changing rooms, restrooms, and a great seafood restaurant. In the morning, you can even watch the fishermen return to shore and prepare their catch in the shade of the trees. It’s not something you see every day!
Are you looking for relaxation, history, museums, and a little bit of Bob Marley? You can find all of that and more in Kingston, Jamaica’s insanely diverse and colorful capital. You’ll surely have a good time here.
Kingston is the place to be if you are a fan of Jamaica’s music history. The Bob Marley Museum will take you back to the reggae era. The Devon House, on the other hand, is one of the most beautiful buildings on the entire island. The Blue Mountains are perfect for a bit of outdoor exercise, and Fort Clarence is the ideal spot for some rest and relaxation. You can take a stroll through Emancipation Park, visit the Holy Trinity Cathedral, and then go to the night market in the evening. Sounds like a great day, doesn’t it?
Kingston is waiting for you to experience all of this for yourself. Are you ready?