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Is Kingston Jamaica Worth visiting?
Top 12 things to do in Kingston

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Tourist Attractions In Kingston - Devon House JamaicaIs Kingston Jamaica Worth Visiting? | (Photo: Devon House)

by Sheree-Anita Shearer | Associate Writer

Is Kingston, Jamaica, worth visiting? It definitely is. Kingston is not known for being the most visited tourist destination in Jamaica, but you can still have a great vacation there.

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Why should you visit Kingston Jamaica?

If you are interested in the history of Reggae, Dancehall and Jamaican music and entertainment in general, there is no better place to learn more about it than Kingston.

There are cultural tours to the Bob Marley Museum and Treach Town Culture Yard which will provide a wealth of information. Also, many of the legendary music studios, responsible for some of the greatest hits ever produced in Jamaica are located in Kingston.

Is Kingston Good for tourists?

What is great about Jamaica, is that each location gives you unique experiences and Kingston is no different. Some people might not necessarily be on vacation and have all the time in the world to visit attractions but there are still a few places you can visit after work or between meetings to enjoy some of the city before your time in Jamaica ends.

Do people vacation in Kingston, Jamaica?

Not many opt for a vacation in Kingston as most tourists visit for the sun, sand, sea and endless cocktails at all-inclusive resorts. In Kingston, the accommodations are not all-inclusive and will not have the amenities of hotels in other parts of the island. But, it all depends on how you see it. I for one think the fact that there are the typical amenities at the hotel, will prompt you to explore more of the city and see a different side of Jamaica.

Is Kingston safe to walk around?

Like most metropolitans in the world, there are areas where you need to be more vigilant than others. There is no need to be fearful but you should be cautious, especially when exploring the areas downtown, when going into certain areas it is best to have a trusted guide who is familiar with the area and the people.

When you are heading out to experience the nightlife, use the many reliable taxis or other transportation services and don’t attempt to walk alone.

What is special about Kingston?

Kingston is more than just our capital city, it is the cultural epicentre of the island and where the history of Reggae and other art forms are best explored.

What is Kingston best known for?

Kingston is best known for being Jamaica's capital city and chief port. It is also known for the Kingston Harbour, the 7th largest natural harbour in the world and the Palisadoes strip which leads to the Norman Manley Airport, and the historical town of Port Royal. The Palisadoes is slowly developing into a tourist hot spot and recreational spot for locals as well.

Top 10 Things to do while in Kingston

  1. Devon House - The former home of Jamaica’s first black millionaire is a cultural museum and gastronomic centre. No trip to Devon House is complete without purchasing Devon House Ice cream or the signature square patties. There is also the Devon House Bakery and an array of restaurants on the property. It is a favourite for many Jamaicans as a hangout spot for friends and family. You can go just for the gastronomic experience or you can take a tour of the home on the property which has retained much of the furnishings and pictures from the past.

  2. The Bob Marley Museum - The former home of the Reggae legend has been converted into a museum which encapsulates the singer’s short but impactful time in the music industry. You can see some of his many awards and accolades on display as you learn about Bob Marley.

  3. The Murals in Downtown Kingston - The murals of Downtown Kingston by Kingston creatives, paint downtown Kingston into a vibrant and colourful city. Often, in a city, you will see obscene words and graphic images on every blank wall but the Water Lane murals change that narrative for Kingston. The partnership between businesses based downtown, the Tourism Enhancement Fund and Kingston Creative have produced these impressive murals. If you get a chance to see them you definitely should.

  4. Trench Town Culture Yard - It was in these affordable living spaces where the legendary Wailers first came together. Now, still surrounded by persons who knew the iconic band before fame, is their home which is now converted into a cultural tour. On the tour currently, you’ll be able to see instruments and furnishings once used by the famous trio as well as visit the Lion of Judah Café and gift shop on site.

  5. Puzzle It Escape Room - Escape Rooms have gotten increasingly popular over the years and Jamaica is definitely on trend. Very similar to most other escape rooms, you will be locked in a room and given time to try and find the key or password to unlock the door with the use of puzzles and hints hidden in the room. It is a fun activity, especially for large groups of friends as you can make it into a competition.

  6. Mash It Rage Room - Another new craze in the world are rage rooms and Mash It in Kingston provides you with an outlet and protective gear to let off some steam while you are there.

  7. JamZone Bowling - Bowling is one of the go-to friend or first-date activities and it is no different in Kingston.

  8. Emancipation Park - The highlight of the park is the statue and fountain at its gates signifying our ascent from slavery. The park is a welcomed green space in the city, perfect for picnics with friends or family.

  9. Hope Zoo and Botanical Gardens - This is Jamaica’s largest zoo where you can see native and exotic wildlife first-hand. The Hope Zoo also operates as a wildlife rescue and conservation in Jamaica which is responsible for the growing population of native iguanas which were once dangerously endangered. The gardens are also perfect for a day date or picnic with friends.

  10. National Heroes Park - The National Heroes Park is very important as this is where most of our National Heroes, Prime Ministers and other culturally significant Jamaicans are buried.

  11. National Gallery of Jamaica - For persons wishing to learn more about Jamaica through art, the National Gallery will be an important stop on your trip. They also showcase art by local creators as well as artists in the region and the rest of the world.

  12. Port Royal - Port Royal, now a quiet fishing village was once known as the wickedest city on earth. The remains from the devastating earthquake and fire in 1692 and 1703 respectively, tell a tale of a Port Royal long gone.

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References & Sources For Is Kingston Jamaica Worth visiting?

  1. Senior, Olive, Encyclopedia of Jamaican Heritage, 2003
  2. Wallace & Robinson, Creating Jamaica, Our Early Years, Carlong Publishers
  3. Black, Clinton V. History Of Jamaica, 2005
  4. Simpson, Joanne, M. Why Heritage, "A Guide To The Importance Of Our Jamaican Story"
  5. Sherlock, Phillip & Bennett, Hazel, "The Story Of The Jamaican People" (independence)

Is Kingston Jamaica Worth visiting? | Written: January 24, 2023

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