Must-see attractions if you visit Kingston – on a budget!
A lifetime wouldn’t be long enough to take in everything Kingston has to offer, with the city’s must-see attractions spanning historical buildings, music venues, architecture, restaurants and museums.
Kingston is the business capital and cultural epicenter of Jamaica. With its rich cultural and historical attractions, this is by no means an exhaustive list, but a mixture of different activities that can be done within the capital on a budget.
Here's your guide to the must-see Kingston attractions when visiting the city for the first time!
BOB MARLEY MUSEUM
The Bob Marley Museum is former residence and studio of the legendary reggae singer, Robert Nesta 'Bob’ Marley. It is located on Hope Road and was Marley’s home until his death in 1981. It was also home to Tuff Gong record label that was founded by The Wailers back in the 1970s. Today, the house is a museum and shrine and there are also features of Marley's children’s works, as well as his personal artifacts.
Devon House ice-cream has garnered a reputation for being one of the best in the world. However, with ice-cream, there is also a tour of Devon House, a restored Great House from Jamaica’s colonial past. On the property as well are various gift shops, a bakery and restaurants. The trip is worth it.
Located in one of the busiest parts of Kingston, Emancipation Park allows you to enjoy your own personal activities in a serene environment or the scenery of the park itself. Perfect for those open to spontaneity in events or want to enjoy personal time in the city centre.
HOPE BOTANICAL GARDENS AND ZOO
If you are looking to have a peaceful day without leaving Kingston, Hope Botanical Gardens and Zoo is the place for you. Hope Gardens allows you to kick back, have a picnic and relax. Occupying up to 200 acres of land, the Hope Botanical Gardens is the perfect place for a relaxing date, a family outing or even bird watching. The Hope Zoo is another draw to the area as it’s connected directly to the gardens. While the entry fee to the zoo section isn’t free, it’s also definitely worth a visit.
JAMNESIA SURF CLUB
Jamnesia is the surfing mecca of Jamaica. Located in the community of Eight Mile, just before reaching Bull Bay, the Club specialises in providing the ultimate surfing experience for locals and tourists every year. On a normal day, the unpredictable teal waves are manageable for the newbie surfer.
LOOSE CANON TOURS
If you like shimmering water, cool, ocean air, and the freedom of rocking on open water, all while enjoying the protection of a 69-foot yacht, you might be interested in booking a tour with Loose Cannon Tours. The Kingston attraction is centred in the well-known town of Port Royal. However, the attraction features two primary tour locations: a Friday night tour leaving from Ribbiz at Victoria Pier in downtown Kingston, and a Sunday tour from the Grand Port Royal Hotel in the port town. In addition to the two main tours, Loose Cannon offers chartering services for various events to various people.
One of Jamaica's most exciting social enterprise businesses, DeafCan operates this cafe to increase opportunities and visibility for Jamaica's deaf community. The coffee is excellent, the beans freshly roasted and the baristas welcoming. As well as the cafe, DeafCan operate a mobile trailer downtown, and helps train staff for other local cafes, including Cannonball and Toyota cafes.
The excellent collection of Jamaican art housed by the National Gallery is the finest on the island and should on no account be missed. As well as offering a distinctly Jamaican take on international artistic trends, the collection attests to the vitality of the country’s artistic heritage as well as its present talent.
One of the oldest and most historic regions of the country, Port Royal has maintained much of its independence as well as its heritage. Perhaps the town's best attribute is its comfortable, laid-back temperament - on any given day there are children playing in the streets, young adults gathered in groups hanging out, and older persons sitting on verandas watching the world go by.
ROCKFORT MINERAL BATH
One of the oldest public facilities on the island, Rockfort Mineral is a natural mineral bath known for its healing properties. No one is certain, but it is believed that the mineral bath appeared after an earthquake in 1907. It has been a national monument since 1992 and is known for the therapeutic mineral content. The spring is fed by a natural spring which comes from the surrounding mountains. Bath houses dot the property, both public and private.