Our Vibrant Cultural Capital
As you plan your visit to Jamaica, make sure to include Kingston, the cultural mecca of our island in your itinerary. It is a must-visit destination for travelers seeking an authentic taste of Jamaica. Immerse yourself in the vibrant energy of this metropolitan city, bursting at the seams with spectacular sights as busy city residents go about mixing work and play. It’s a beautiful chaos waiting to be explored as the gateway to the heart and soul of Jamaica. Kingston boasts a fascinating blend of tradition and modernity and a unique blend of cultural richness, with authentic Jamaican experiences from museums, and art galleries, to theatres and festivals, perfect for mixing business and pleasure. With its vibrant culture, rich history, and warm hospitality, the city offers a unique travel experience that will leave a lasting impression. Whether you're the strolling through the bustling streets of downtown, indulging in some retail therapy at our malls and plazas, checking out local art and history, or indulging in the flavors of the island's mouthwatering cuisine, Kingston promises an unforgettable adventure.
Food lovers will find themselves in culinary paradise in Kingston. Savour the flavors of our island and explore the diverse restaurants and eateries in the city, from street eats to fine dining. Indulge in the tantalizing flavors of jerk chicken, ackee and saltfish, and other mouthwatering dishes that define Jamaican cuisine. From roadside stalls to upscale restaurants, the city offers a diverse range of dining options that cater to every palate and budget.
Come back to the vibe that comes alive.
Kingston comes alive at night with parties, bars, and live music venues offering distinctive Jamaican entertainment so you can come back to lively! As the birthplace of reggae music, the iconic Bob Marley Museum, is a must see for a deep dive into the roots of the genre and the life and legacy of the reggae legend, that have touched hearts all over the world. Beyond its musical heritage, Kingston is a hub of art, history, and culture. Visit the National Gallery of Jamaica, home to a stunning collection of local and Caribbean art, showcasing the creativity and talent of the region. Immerse yourself in the vibrant colors and expressive brushstrokes that tell the stories of Jamaica's past and present. Explore Jamaica's history with a visit to historic Port Royal, once home to swashbuckling pirates! Tour the old fort that once defended "the richest and wickedest city on earth" and be transported back in time.
Nature enthusiasts will also find plenty to explore in and around Kingston. Take a scenic drive up to the Blue Mountains, where breathtaking vistas, lush coffee plantations, and cascading waterfalls await. Enjoy the cool climes, hiking trails, and bird watching or discover the origins of the world's most coveted coffee. Conquer the peak and witness the awe-inspiring beauty of nature at its finest as you watch the golden rays of sun rise illuminate the magnificence of the Blue Mountains.
This is the place to be if you want to experience our mesmerizing music and heady nightlife, fine art galleries, epicurean dining, amazing views in the cool hills above the city, and more. Discover the allure of this vibrant city and get ready to embark on a journey that will leave you captivated and inspired to come back to curious. There's something for everyone in this captivating cultural capital.
What To Know
Whether you want to go off the beaten path or follow the tried-and-true trail of visitors before you, we’ll get you on the right track in Kingston. Jamaica’s capital city is difficult to pin down—you just have to experience the vibe for yourself. Here are a couple of things to know, from facts and handy tips to what you shouldn’t leave without seeing.
Facts About Kingston
1. Kingston was founded in 1692 as a place for survivors of the earthquake that destroyed Port Royal.
2. Located on the southeastern coast of the island, it is both the capital and largest city of Jamaica.
3. Kingston is the seat of government in Jamaica and the island's business capital. Even with the many opportunities for business, the resort area of Kingston is also known for cultural, educational, and leisure options. There are arguably more museums, dining and nightlife, and event options than anywhere else on the island.
4. It has the largest botanical gardens in the Caribbean. At 2,000 acres, Hope Gardens is home to many indigenous plants as well as the Coconut Museum, Sunken Gardens, Orchid House, Lily Pond, Maze, and Palm Avenue. A true must-see.
5. For some of the city's best ice cream, pastry, gourmet cuisine, and Jamaican gems, visit Devon House, one of Kingston's favorite historical mansions. Simply delicious.
There are plenty of hotels in Kingston to choose from. At the heart of all the action are several first-rate international hotel chains you may know. You’ll also find many fabulous local options that offer the modern amenities of a cosmopolitan city served up with our mesmerizing Jamaican vibe. The business hub New Kingston is home to several of these accommodations that will have you mere footsteps from some of the most exquisite city attractions and exciting events.
Skirting the town are a handful of spectacular guest accommodations that offer the experience of staying on the waterfront in well-manicured affluent neighborhoods or tucked away in the cool city hills. This is an excellent way to enjoy the bustling city and its quiet beauty simultaneously.
Kingston is the place to sample every type of food Jamaica has to offer. You’ll love the array of swanky sports bars dishing up casual dining meals with a spicy Jamaican twist. The courtyard at Marketplace is one spot to treat yourself to a wide variety of Jamaica’s finest eats. Here, you’ll find Usain Bolt’s Tracks and Records, the sprint icon’s first sports bar, as well as a splendid gathering of fine dining restaurants offering dishes from Asian and European cultures. No matter what you’re craving, there’s a Kingston restaurant to satisfy your appetite.
What to Do
Golfing, beaches, fine art galleries, a bustling nightlife, colorful markets, and even more colorful people are just a few reasons to visit Kingston. There’s no shortage of things to do in Kingston and nowhere else on the island will you feel the pulse of Jamaica quite like it beats here.
To see Kingston’s star attractions, start Downtown at the heart of it all. Visit the National Gallery of Jamaica to see the cultural exhibits on show here. Then walk through streets lined with sensational murals to dine at a local cafe. Enjoy the vibrant scene of the waterfront as children frolic and music blares from somewhere nearby. Take a quick ride to Port Royal, once dubbed the “wickedest city in the west,” to visit spectacular beaches at Lime Cay or eat the best seafood at Gloria’s.
Venture uptown to visit the Hope Botanical Gardens, home to gorgeous gardens, alfresco dining, and an amphitheater that hosts regular reggae bands. The gardens are just up the road from the Bob Marley museum where he lived and recorded many of his famous songs.
Get to know Kingston, the melting pot of Jamaica’s finest offerings that will leave you wanting more.