When staying in, or going to, the Kingston area there are various great touristic attractions to visit and enjoy. From cultural highlights like the famous Bob Marley’s Tuff Gong Studio’s to historic places like Port Royal.
Brief History of Kingston
Kingston was founded by the British in 1693 after an annihilating earthquake destroyed the previous capital, Port Royal. Fact: Spanish Town is Jamaica’s true first capital, from the 16th to the 19th century it was the Jamaican center of power under the Spanish as well as the English. In 1872 Kingston was established as the seat of government and the city kept this status after the island gained its independence in 1962.
Kingston and St. Andrew houses most Jamaican official governmental institutes and offices. The Jamaican Governor General resides in the Kings House located on Hope Road in St.Andrew which was the original residence of the Bishop of Jamaica.
Cultural Points of Interest
- Trench Town Culture Yard: The fee for this tour is around 12 USD, which will be largely donated to the community, so this is well worth it for the 45 minute tour. During this tour you will learn the history of Trench Town and all the great musicians that were born there.
- National Gallery: The admission fee for this exquisite gallery is 4 USD. The gallery features a superb collection with a special section dedicated to the Jamaican and Caribbean culture.
- Bob Marley Museum: When visiting Jamaica it is going to be difficult not to be confronted with reggae legend Bob Marley. This museum, which resides in Bob Marley’s former house, you will experience the great love for Bob Marley. It is a nice museum where you can wander around and enjoy your self for quite some time. The guides at the museum know all details and can tell you very much about the life of the reggae icon.
Historic Points of Interest
- Port Royal: Port Royal is a small harbour village on the Palisadoes promontory. Port Royal is Jamaica’s previous capital but was destroyed in a major earthquake in 1693. Admission fee is 10 USD. Majority of visitors to Port Royal Jamaica do so at night-time to have a meal, preferably steamed fish, at any of the two Gloria’s Restaurant in the town. Hands down this is one of the best places to buy steamed fish in Jamaica. People come from far as Montego Bay just to have lunch or Dinner. For quite some time it seemed like Port Royal Jamaica was only for archaeologists but now majority of tourists to Kingston will take a trip here.
- Fort Nugent: This fort was built in the North West of Harbour View. All that currently remains is the Martello Tower, built around 1806.
Beautiful Kingston Nature
Blue Mountains: If you get the chance to take a tour to The Blue Mountains, take it! because you will forever regret it, if you don`t! The Blue Mountains offer great views and you can learn all about the process involved in making one of the finest and most legendary coffees in the world, you can also buy beans in the mountains. Read more about Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee here.
- Hollywell Park: When visiting the Blue Mountains it is a must to also bring a visit to Hollywell Park. The park offers signposted nature trails with picnic and barbecue facilities.
- Blue Mountain Downhill Bike Tour: Enjoy the Blue Mountain scenery during this fast paced 9 hours downhill bike tour. More informaton here.
Fun & Leisure in Kingston
- Hellshire Beach: When driving to Portmore you will find a beautiful beach that is mostly used by local Jamaicans. You can relax on the beach and buy snacks and very good sea food dishes here.
How to get to Kingston
When staying in the more touristic parts of Jamaica like Negril, Ochi Rios or Montego Bay you can rent a car and drive the 1-3 hour road trip yourself. But probably you can find a friendly Jamaican that can drive you for just a small fee. When staying in Ocho Rios there is a Kingston day trip offered with transportation included. Read more about it here.
Kingston has its own Norman Manley International Airport, however, most flights to Jamaica will arrive at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay. From Montego Bay it is an 4 hour drive to Kingston.
How Irie do you rate Kingston? Feel free to leave a comment below!
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