Kingston – An Off-Beat and Alluring Gateway to Jamaica
Perched on the alluvial Liguanea Plain, Kingston is the capital and largest city of Jamaica. The city is surrounded by Red Hills, Blue Mountains, Kingston Harbour, and Long Mountain. It may not be the most popular destination for holidaying in comparison to other areas of Jamaica, such as Negril, Ocho Rios, and Montego Bay, but Kingston is more like a hidden gem of Jamaica and boasts all types of sightseeing spots a vacation destination should have. Because of the global metropolitan character it has, it’s pretty easy to blend in the city with locals and their traditions.
Without a doubt, Kingston is quite different from the other parts of Jamaica; the city is a bit more out-there. However, with each passing year, Kingston is steadily earning a reputation as a cultural tourism destination. Reggae lovers and backpackers, in particular, have always loved catching a flight to Kingston for many years now. Kingston has also been recognized as the Creative City by UNESCO in 2015. Not for nothing do music lovers flock to Kingston in droves. This Jamaican capital in tandem with other 18 cities across the world is revered as a City of Music. Having served as the birthplace of six musical genres, it’s no wonder that the city hosts music festivals throughout the year and never fails to catch the attention of globetrotters, especially music lovers.
Why people must visit Kingston?
Although film festivals, Rembrandt paintings, and lively shopping scenes downtown are reasons enough for anyone to fly to the city, Kingston serving as home to the oldest marketplace and happening music scenes is like the cherry on top of the cake. If you truly want to explore the city, Kingston is best experienced on foot. Scores of hidden alleyways lined up with restaurant patios and antique markets dot the city. Thanks to several historic sites and museums in addition to one of its kind dining and shopping experiences make the city all the more captivating. Every corner of the Jamaican capital has something new and something old to offer to travellers.
Nestled on the confluence of the renowned rivers, the lakeshore of Kingston is your best bet to indulge in world-class freshwater sailing. As the city takes pride in being one of the oldest cities in Jamaica, it boasts numerous tourist honeypots. Throw in the high-octane cultural life in the eclectic mix of history, architecture, and heritage, and there can be no better destination than Kingston for a distinct getaway. Make your way to the core of pedestrian-friendly downtown where numerous bars and restaurants await to offer lip-smacking beverages and grub to the visitors. Also, boutiques and shops galore are ideal to shop for things intrinsic to Kingston only.
Whether you take delight in watching some of the best films, connecting with celebrated authors, treating your taste buds with scrumptious cuisines, grooving in a music festival till dawn, or indulging in bar-hopping, Kingston has something for everyone – be it cinephiles, bookworms, foodies, music aficionados, or explorers!
Best places to visit in Kingston
Bob Marley Museum
Having served as the former residence of the reggae legend, Bob Marley Museum makes a must-see sightseeing spot for every tourist, especially music fiends. Various exhibits on display give an intriguing insight into the life and career of the music legend. It’s a delight to go through his personal belongings, unseen photographs, and memorabilia. Also, the museum takes visitors on the journey of the rise of reggae music.
Teeming with flora, Emancipation Park is a serene place sitting in the centre of the city. Celebrating the culture and history of Jamaica, it emphasises the themes of liberation and freedom. With strikingly landscaped gardens, aesthetic walking trails, and a remarkable sculpture named ‘Redemption Song,’ travellers and locals alike take delight in exercising, kick-backing, and picnicking.
Erected in the late 19th century, Devon House is an aesthetically restored mansion that gives a glimpse into the colonial past of Jamaica. Featuring striking architecture and boasting a collection of artefacts and period furniture, visitors love to take a tour of this vintage property. You can explore the plush gardens, treat yourself to the mouth-watering Jamaican cuisines, and savour the sought-after Devon House ice cream.
National Gallery of Jamaica
– Tucked away in Kingston downtown, the National Gallery of Jamaica is the top-notch art institution in the country. With a colossal collection of Jamaican art, such as sculptures, mixed-media installations, and paintings, on display, the gallery exhibits the works of eminent Jamaican artists besides offering an exhaustive overview of the artistic heritage of the island.
Hope Botanical Gardens and Zoo
Sprawling over 200 acres of land, Hope Botanical Gardens is a gorgeous getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. Home to an expansive bevy of tropical plants, including palm trees, exotic flowers, and orchids, travellers like to spend some me-time in the tranquil gardens. Sitting adjacent to it is Hope Zoo, which is a residence of several distinct animal species, like monkeys, lions, and reptiles. From going on leisure strolls to guided tours and enjoying picnicking with family, there are plenty of things to do.
Kingston’s Leading International Airports
Norman Manley International Airport is the leading international airport in Kingston, Jamaica. Formerly known as Palisadoes Airport, it serves as a hub for Caribbean Airlines. Situated on the thin tombolo of Palisadoes, it is the second busiest airport in Jamaica.