Kingston Travel Guide & Information

Kingston is the capital and largest city of Jamaica, located on the southeastern coast of the country. Founded in 1692; it is the center of government and commerce, and offers a wide variety of attractions for visitors. Jamaica's tropical metropolis is a mixture of the best of all possible travel experiences, leisure, adventure, romance and more.

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Travel to Kingston, resting on a wide plain with the world's seventh-largest natural harbor to the south, and a backdrop of the Blue Mountains. Flights to Kingston are your passport to a city often described as the hub of all commercial and finance in Jamaica. You’ll find top notch shopping; a festive night life and entertainment, soft, sandy beaches galore and lots of sightseeing opportunities.

Kingston is the heart of Jamaica's culture, Bob Marley, Buju Banton, Beenie Man and countless other reggae stars were born here. Kingston is the place to experience the best of local art, theatre and dance. Whether you are interested in taking a plunge in the crystal clear blue waters or immerse yourself in enchanting reggae, Kingston won't disappoint.

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Things to do in Kingston

Museums:

While vacationing in Kingston, visiting at least one of the great museums are a "must see" and Kingston’s museums are as world class as the destination.

Bob Marley Museum: The Bob Marley Museum is a museum in Kingston dedicated to the reggae musician Bob Marley. The museum portrays the life and achievements of this phenomenal Rastaman through artifacts, memorabilia, numerous writings and photographs, and other interesting mementos. Filled with tons of mementos and Bob Marley's personal belongings, the museum is a must for any fan. The museum was once Bob Marley's home and recording studio.

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National Gallery of Jamaica: The National Gallery of Jamaica is home to Jamaica's premier art collection. It is located in the Kingston Mall, a commercial and cultural center on Kingston harbor. The gallery houses several important works, mostly by artists from Jamaica, including Mallica "Kapo" Reynolds, Cecil Baugh, Albert Huie, Carl Abrahams, and Edna Manley and works by various international artists and traveling exhibitions.

Arawak Museum: Located in St. Catherine, this quaint little museum is dedicated to the history of the island’s first inhabitants, Arawaks’. It showcases many of the artifacts from that early civilization. The museum itself is built in the shape of an Arawak hut on the site of an Arawak village.

Prominent Attractions:

Kingston has a plethora of other prominent attractions, which add even more sightseeing opportunities for travelers.

Devon House: One of Jamaica’s most celebrated historical landmarks, The Devon House Mansion is the architectural dream of George Stiebel. The 11-acre property with its lush sprawling lawns provides a tranquil ambience and offers an enviable shopping experience for both local and travelers. The courtyard has craft shops, a few restaurants, and the most famous ice cream shop on the island.

Kingston Crafts Market: Once known as the Victoria market, this is a colorful and interesting place to visit. A wide range of straw and wooden souvenirs can be purchased; as well as t-shirts, hats, dolls and other novelties. While browsing knick-knacks, you’ll notice Reggae music in the background.

Hope Botanical Gardens: is a popular destination for garden enthusiasts, families and couples. You’ll also find a small zoo, with exotic birds and other wildlife, including local fauna, as well as flora from Latin America. In March, the gardens host the annual Jamaica Orchid Society Show. It’s a perfect place to take a leisurely stroll and get away from hustle bustle.

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Where to Stay in Kingston:

Being a premier destination, visitors looking for cheap hotels or 4-Star Hotels Under $99 will find them in Kingston, including youth hostels, bed and breakfast inns, spa resort hotels and more.

New Kingston: New Kingston is known for its gorgeous beaches, exciting nightlife, excellent cuisine, and extensive shopping. The town of New Kingston is surrounded by the Blue Mountains, Red Hills, Long Mountain and the Kingston Harbor. The area is known for being a great place to go hiking, mountain biking and mountain climbing. New Kingston is primarily a business district, which features several hotels to relax after a day of adventure.

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Uptown Area: Uptown Kingston Jamaica is the district north of Cross Roads. This part of town is where you’ll find hotels, banks, embassies and commercial offices paired with residential areas, Hope, Mona and Beverly Hills. This is a perfect choice, as the area is equipped with various hotels for all budgets.

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Passport & Visa Requirements

For US Citizens:

As per the latest travel information available to Kingston, here are the following passport and visa guidelines to assist you further.

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* All U.S. citizens must have a valid U.S. passport for all air travel, including to and from Kingston.

* Visitors to Jamaica may be asked to show onward/return tickets, proof of sufficient funds and proof of lodging accommodations for their stay.

* Visit the Embassy of Jamaica website for the most current information about Jamaican visas for Americans.

For Canadian Citizens:

* A Canadian passport is required for Canadians intending to visit the Jamaica.

* The passport must be valid for at least three months beyond the date of the expected departure from the country.

* Canadians must also have proof of sufficient funds in order to buy a return airline ticket.

This requirement applies to all travelers, regardless of age, including children.

We recommend that you check the latest travel alerts, various airlines baggage policies and travel safety tips, so that you do not miss out on any of the fun while visiting Kingston.

*Kindly note that we take the utmost care in providing you with correct information at all times. However, the passport and visa regulations are subject to change and we strongly urge you to check the requirements directly with the US passport office and, or the Canadian Passport Office before traveling.

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When to visit Kingston

With little seasonal variation in the weather, Jamaica is pleasant year-round. Mid-December through mid-April is the peak season for visitors. One can expect a higher number of people visiting. Carnival is during the month of March and April in Kingston.

Budget travelers can choose to travel during the months of May to December. One can expect considerable discounts in hotels and flights during this period.

Planning your Visit:

High season: (Mid-December to Mid April)

Low season: (May to November)

Kingston Weather

Kingston has a tropical climate, specifically a tropical wet and dry climate, characterized by a rainy season from May to November, which coincides with the hurricane season and a dry season from December to April.

* The rainiest weather occurs in May and June and later in October and November, sometimes extending through December.

* During the dry season, there is not much rainfall. However, cold fronts occur at this time and often bring heavy showers, especially in March.

Currency and Language:

Currency:

The US Dollar is widely accepted and can be exchanged in banks. Be sure to let your bank know when you’re traveling and find out what the cost is for cash withdraws.

Languages:

* The official language of Jamaica is English. However, Jamaicans also speak an English-African Creole known as Jamaican Patois.