Tucked in between the Blue Mountains and the world’s seventh-largest natural harbor, Kingston simultaneously impresses you with its setting and overwhelms you with its sprawl, noise and hustle. This is the island’s cultural and economic heart, and a place named a Creative City of Music by Unesco in 2015. Like a plate of spicy jerk washed down with a cold Red Stripe beer, a visit to Kingston is essential to taste the rich excitement of modern Jamaica.
Kingston is a city of two halves. Downtown is home to historic buildings, the courts, banks, street markets and one of the Caribbean’s greatest art museums. By contrast, Uptown holds the city’s best hotels and restaurants, largely confined to New Kingston, with its cluster of tall buildings around Emancipation Park.
Uptown and Downtown haven't always mixed well, but taken together they form a compelling and sometimes chaotic whole. Kingston is certainly never boring – we encourage you to jump right in.
These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Kingston.
Whether it’s a guided tour of a historic landmark, private tasting of local delicacies, or an off-road adventure — explore the best experiences in Kingston.