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Are you planning a trip to Kingston Jamaica? You’ve come to the right place! Kingston is often overlooked for the more tourist locations in Jamaica like Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Negril. However, this vibrant and diverse city has plenty of exciting things to do.
Don’t have time to read the whole article? The epic Bob Marley Museum Tour with a near-perfect ⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating.
From cultural activities in Kingston and nightlife to unforgettable adventure experiences, Kingston has something for everyone. Still, trying to figure out where to start?
No worries, as I grow up in Kingston, I’ve put together the ultimate guide for exploring Kingston like a local with a list of the best things to do in Kingston Jamaica.
Best Things To Do in Kingston Jamaica
1. Bob Marley Museum Tour
No visit to Kingston is complete without visiting the Bob Marley Museum, where you will be immersed in the sights and sounds of the great reggae artist. On the museum tour, your knowledgeable guide will take you through this Jamaican Heritage site, which features the Main House, Exhibition Hall, Theatre, Gift Shop and Café along your journey.
To preserve the authenticity of Bob Marley’s home, all original rooms have been kept just as they were when he occupied them. The museum is one of the best tourist attractions in KingstonJamaica, with displays including a life-size 3-dimensional hologram from his famous One Love Peace Concert in 1978, his Grammy Lifetime Achievement award and his Recording Studio.
Visitors can also explore Bob’s bedroom filled with his favourite pieces of clothing, an array of Gold and Platinum Records awarded to him from around the world, and costumes worn by his backup singers – known as I-Threes.
This tour is one of the things to do in Kingston Jamaica as you’ll step inside the luxurious, air-conditioned theatre to witness captivating live performances of Bob Marley with modern and sophisticated projection equipment.
Then head to the “One Love Café”, where you can indulge in some of Bob Marley and his family’s beloved recipes and juices. But wait, there is more.
The Bob Marley Gift Shop offers a range of souvenirs for anyone looking to bring home a piece of reggae history, making it one of the best places to visit in Jamaica.
⭐️ RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars (16+ reviews) | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 6 hours | 🎟️ BOOK NOW
2. Explore Devon House Tour with Ice Cream
Another Kingston Jamaica things to do is to visit the historic Devon House. The Devon House Mansion is a beloved tourist attraction, a historical landmark in Kingston, and the legacy of Jamaica’s first black millionaire George Stiebel.
This architectural masterpiece stands proudly at the Millionaires Corner between Trafalgar Road and Hope Road.
Built during the late 19th century alongside two other extravagant residences by three affluent Jamaicans, only Devon House has miraculously survived modern development projects that destroyed its neighbouring homes. Stiebel’s magnificently maintained estate remains an everlasting reminder of his accomplishments.
Devon House has been designated a national monument declared in 1990 by the Jamaica National Heritage Trust and is one of the top historical sites in Kingston Jamaica to visit.
Although it may come as a surprise, the story of Devon House dates back to the mid-17th century when Britain took control of Jamaica from Spain.
Today, this historical site stands in Kingston and features welcoming ornamental fountains and palm trees on its front lawn.
Guide tours throughout the two-story property allow guests to experience louvred balconies, Venetian crystal chandeliers, and silk wall hangings with reproductions reflecting its era and is one of the best places to visit in Kingston Jamaica.
Nowadays, the house is situated on 11 acres of lush lawns in the heart of the city. The adjoining stables and kitchen have been restored into retail stores, art galleries, and restaurants.
Before you leave, take a moment to soak up the atmosphere in the courtyard – where you can pop by Devon House, I Scream and try a scoop or two of some of the best ice cream in Jamaica.
⭐️ RATING: 4.5 out of 5 Stars (3+ reviews) | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 2 hours | 🎟️ BOOK NOW
3. Bike Tour Of The Blue Mountains
One of the most fun things to do in Kingston Jamaica is to explore the majestic Blue Mountains. Where you can embark on an enriching tour of Jamaica’s Blue Mountains with hotel pick-up from selected hotels in Jamaica.
You begin the guided tour by ascending into this majestic mountainous terrain, one of Kingston’s top attractions.
The Blue Mountains peak is one of the best places to visit in Kingston Jamaica for the epic views of the city and the untouched national park.
Then arrive at the renowned Blue Mountain Coffee Company, one of the must-see places in Kingston Jamaica, to see their roasting process and learn about what makes Blue Mountain Coffee so special.
Afterwards, hop on a bicycle and coast downhill through gorgeous scenery that overlooks Kingston – you won’t want to forget your camera!
After a pit stop for lunch, take a refreshing swim underneath one of the many local waterfalls in Jamaica before returning back to your hotel. In this tour, all transportation and bicycling equipment are included.
⭐️ RATING: 4.5 out of 5 Stars (77+ reviews) | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 9 hours | 🎟️ BOOK NOW
4. Romantic Things To Do in Kingston Jamaica – Spa Treatment at Strawberry Hill
One of the most romantic things to do in Kingston Jamaica is to visit the luxurious Strawberry Hill for a spa treatment.
You can escape the hustle and bustle of daily life in style at Strawberry Hill, a picturesque mountain retreat nestled amongst Jamaica’s lush Blue Mountain Range.
Enjoy luxurious colonial-style accommodations filled with tranquil antique furnishings as you bask in nature’s beauty.
Or take advantage of their acclaimed spa treatments that offer an array of services, like massage therapy specifically designed to help visitors relax and enjoy or take a dip in their infinity pool with 360-degree views of the Blue Mountains.
5. Kingston City Tour
See Kingston like never before on this half-day heritage excursion. From National Heroes Park’s monuments to its national heroes, prime ministers and cultural icons to the ruins of the University of the West Indies Mona, and other tourist attractions in Kingston Jamaica.
You’ll gain insights into Kingston’s history, food, architecture and modern culture through engaging guided commentary.
But that’s not all get an insider’s look at locals making history when you visit Trench Town with stories from the many musicians who lived there including Bob Marley himself.
Don’t leave without stopping by the outdoor markets for lunch and a creamy ice cream treat at Devon House. This tour is excellent for first-time visitors who want to have a few cultural experiences in Kingston Jamaica.
⭐️ RATING: 4.5 out of 5 Stars (77+ reviews) | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 9 hours | 🎟️ BOOK NOW
6. Emancipation Park Jamaica
One of the best things to see in Kingston Jamaica, is Emancipation Park in New Kingston, a spectacular public park that opened on July 31st 2002.
This beautiful 6-acre park features fountains and art exhibits, including Redemption Song: an 11 ft. tall bronze sculpture crafted by Jamaican artist Laura Facey.
It depicts a male and female figure gazing up to signify their resilience after enduring slavery. Bob Marley’s iconic song of the same name inspires this powerful piece of artwork at the main entrance of Emancipation Park.
7. Fun Places To Go in Kingston Jamaica – Coronation Market Kingston
Coronation Market is one of the best places to visit in Kingston Jamaica. The Market, otherwise known as ‘Curry’, is the largest and most lively market in Jamaica. Situated in Downtown Kingston, it reflects an accurate image of everyday life for a typical Jamaican.
Vendors from across the country come here to sell their merchandise at wholesale prices or lower costs; plus, you can’t find fresher goods anywhere else on the island. It is one of the best attractions in Kingston Jamaica.
The energy that fills this space is unmistakable: men pushing carts around bustling stalls. At the same time, vendors attempt to get top dollar for each product they have on display – no wonder Curry has become such an iconic spot amongst locals and tourists and is great for shopping in Kingston Jamaica.
Fridays and Saturdays are the busiest days at Coronation Market, with a bustling crowd of locals arriving to buy fresh produce. It’s an excellent display of Jamaica’s unique culture.
Jamaica Travel Tip: You should bring someone or a local guide who knows their way around the market with you. If you want to take photos of a stall, ask the stall owner first; if they say no, respect their wishes and keep it moving. Also, leave any valuables in your hotel for safekeeping and do not touch or unnecessarily fondle the fresh produce if you will not buy it.
8. Explore Port Royal
One of the top tourist attractions in Kingston Jamaica and once known as the “wickedest city in the world,” Port Royal was a notorious pirate and shipping hub for the Caribbean during the 17th and 18th centuries.
Legendary buccaneers such as Captain Henry Morgan, Blackbeard, and Calico Jack often visited this lawless port to stock up on supplies for their next escapade or evade capture from authorities.
Unfortunately, much of Port Royal sank into the sea after an earthquake destroyed it in 1692. Yet, vestiges of its pirating legacy remain from ancient architecture to corroded cannons at Fort Charles that keep a vigilant watch over what remains today. Visiting Port Royal is amongst the top activities in Kingston Jamaica to do for history buffs.
9. Jamaica National Gallery
As the largest and oldest public art gallery in the English-speaking Caribbean, the National Gallery of Jamaica is a must-see for art lovers.
Since 1974, it has presented modern, contemporary and early works from Jamaica and other countries in surrounding regions, from Pre-Colombian creations by indigenous communities to celebrated Jamaican artists like Edna Manley and Mallica ‘Kapo’ Reynolds.
The National Gallery features five permanent galleries offering an extensive range of artistic displays. And if that’s not enough, each year sees a series of special temporary exhibits too.
Visiting the National Gallery of Jamaica is one of the best landmarks to visit in Kingston Jamaica, if you are interested in Jamaica’s culture and history.
10. Trench Town Culture Yard Museum
One of the top things to do in Kingston Jamaica is visit Trench Town the birthplace of Reggae music, birthing icons such as Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, The Abyssinians and more.
Consequently, the Jamaican National Heritage Trust deemed Culture Yard a Protected National Heritage Site in 2009 – making it Jamaica’s first Inner City Tourism product.
Four years later, in 2016, this site and attraction were also granted an official Jamaica Tourist Board Licence. Visiting Trench Town is one of the top cultural tours in Kingston Jamaica.
This tour is great for sightseeing in Kingston Jamaica and takes you through Jamaica’s music history, offering 45 minutes or 1 to 2 hours of exploration.
Visit six rooms filled with Wailer’s memorabilia, including Bob Marley’s ‘single bed’ where he and Rita slept. Enjoy drinks at Casbah Bar while you converse with locals in this vibrant community before ending your tour.
Experience firsthand why Trench Town is one of the top places to see in Kingston Jamaica and has become an iconic destination for fans of reggae music worldwide.
⭐️ RATING: 3.5 out of 5 Stars (7+ reviews) | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 3 hours | 🎟️ BOOK NOW
11. Rockfort Mineral Bath
Escape the stress of everyday life and journey to Jamaica’s renowned Rockfort Mineral Baths, is one of the top activities in Kingston Jamaica to do for relaxation.
Boasting slightly saline, warm water that is rumoured to carry therapeutic benefits due to its radioactive properties, it is no wonder this gem was declared a national monument in 1992.
The property even contains the historical remains of an old fort constructed in 1694 as part of island defence after Port Royal’s earthquake in 1692.
Whether you are looking for massage or reflexology treatments at their Stress Management Centre or simply soaking up some peaceful vibes surrounded by tropical beauty – The Rockfort Mineral Bath is one of Jamaica’s top mineral baths and spas to visit.
12. Fort Charles
Developed as Fort Cromwell in the middle-1650s, Fort Charles was one of the few buildings that endured a major earthquake in 1692 which sunk much of Port Royal into the sea.
The fort was reconstructed after this seismic event and kept on being used by British forces. Presently, it holds the renowned Fort Charles Maritime Museum.
13. Lime Cay
Lime Cay is one of the best things to see in Kingston Jamaica. Jamaica is encircled by some of the clearest, bluest sea water in the Caribbean, yet most Jamaican are not big swimmers.
Usually, in Jamaica, beach days are saved for weekends, and Kingston residents take a canoe trip or ferry out to Lime Cay if they want an escapade.
Lime Cay is one of the hidden gems in Kingston Jamaica situated close to Norman Manley International Airport this small cay can only be reached through hired boats at Morgan’s Harbour or Y-Knot so make sure you carry your own food, dry bag, sunscreen, water and supplies since there aren’t any vendors on it.
The tranquil surrounding water makes it an idyllic spot for anyone longing for some restful downtime while visiting Kingston. If you are looking for things to do in Kingston Jamaica this weekend, then Lime Cay should be at the top of your list.
14. National Heroes Park
One of the free things to do in Kingston Jamaica is visit National Heroes Park. In Kingston, National Heroes Park is the largest green area that spans 50 acres and used to be a horse track.
It now includes monuments honouring numerous historical figures and a war memorial for Jamaicans who passed away during World War I. Additionally, Bob Marley’s iconic 1976 Smile Jamaica concert was held here.
15. Hellshire Beach
Another one of the free things to do in Kingston Jamaica is to visit Hellshire Beach Jamaica. This beach offers locals a pristine white-sand beach in Kingston with a hint of black sand due to the ocean tides.
Situated close to Portmore, this popular public beach allows you to indulge in its signature fried fish while having fun swimming safely. Moreover, weekend visitors from Kingston flock here for some much-needed respite or relaxation.
Be ready, though; when there is an incoming tide from the south side, the waters near shore become murky as it stirs up the sand beneath.
16. Spanish Town (De La Vega)
Embark on a historical journey at one of the most popular places to visit in Kingston Jamaica. Spanish Town (otherwise known as Santiago de la Vega or St. Jago de la Vega) is Jamaica’s capital city of St.
Catherine’s parish, having served as its political and cultural epicentre from 1534 until 1872 for both the Spanish and British.
Today visitors to the most popular attractions in Kingston Jamaica will find numerous monuments and memorials commemorating the Town’s rich past, along with one of the oldest Anglican churches outside of England.
17. Explore Hope Botanical Gardens & Zoo
Sitting on 200 acres in St Andrew, Jamaica is the Hope Botanical Gardens – also known as the Royal Botanical Gardens. Visiting Hope Gardens is one of the best things to do in Kingston Jamaica.
This park was originally established by Major Richard Hope in 1655 when Britain took over control of Jamaica from Spain.
As a commander with the British Army, he received his estate for helping to gain command of this area. It was then developed into a sugar plantation complete with a watermill and remains today an important historical landmark in Kingston.
Originally established in 1873 from a part of the estate, these gardens are now renowned for their gorgeous palm grove, stunning cactus garden, beautiful orchid house and tranquil ornamental ponds.
18. Try A Tastees Patty
When you pay a visit to Jamaica, the one fast-food joint that stands out is Tastee Patties. It’s cheap and provides delicious food like chicken/beef patties, fried chicken, and warm coco bread.
Growing up eating it myself – I know firsthand how fulfilling yet flavourful each bite of this iconic Jamaican treat can be.
While other patty places exist, such as Juici Patties, save your time elsewhere -Tastees is simply the best option. Additionally, if you want to share some with family back home or just savour its flavour for yourself in the future, they offer frozen patties that you can take on your journey.
19. Best Things To Do In Kingston Jamaica At Night – Kingston Dub Club
Kingston Dub Club has been the beacon of undiluted roots in music and sound system culture for nearly two decades and is one of the best clubs in Kingston Jamaica. Run by Karlyle’ Gabre Selassie’ Lee – a devoted Rastafarian, this club is truly one-of-a-kind with its immersive evening events high above Kingston on Skyline drive every Sunday night.
The Dub club is one of the best places to go in Kingston at night if you want an authentic Jamaican club experience.
At Kingston Dub Club, it’s said that ‘the only good system is a sound system’, meaning its patrons leave each week feeling invigorated from both the edutainment they experience and the powerful energy of Gabre Selassie’s fantastic Rockers Sound System.
If you find yourself in Kingston, dancing the night away at the Dub Club is one of the top things to do in Kingston, Jamaica at night.
20. Bacchanal, Carnival
Visiting Jamaica during carnival season is one of the best things to do in Kingston Jamaica. If you want an experience like no other, the best time to visit Kingston is from February to April.
During this time, Jamaica Carnival celebrations are at their peak, as there’s a party every week. Revellers from all over dance and sing with soca, reggae or dancehall music.
This carnival season culminates in the island’s biggest event – the National Carnival Road March, where people take to the streets to celebrate carnival in Jamaica.
Best Kingston Jamaica Tours
🎟️ Friday Evening Kingston Harbour Cruise
Take part in this once-in-a-lifetime tour and immerse yourself fully in the beauty of Kingston. During the journey, you’ll be dazzled as you gaze upon Jamaica’s capital city illuminated against the night sky while cruising across its 7th largest natural harbour – all accompanied by uplifting tunes spun by a live DJ.
The tour departs from Ribbiz Ocean Lounge on a Friday evening, one of downtown’s most popular restaurants and venues for partying after you’re done with your cruise.
⭐️ RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars (175+ reviews) | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 3-4 hours | 🎟️ BOOK NOW
🎟️ Nightlife in Kingston Jamaica Tour
Looking for a perfect night out in Jamaica Kingston? On this Kingston Night Life Tour! The knowledgeable local guides will pick you up and take you for a thrilling 30-45 minute drive around the Kingston area, giving you the unique opportunity to experience Jamaican nightlife.
During the day, many restaurants of various cuisines are available to choose from, including Jamaican, American, Italian, and even Japanese.
After dinner, prepare for an unforgettable evening as your guide takes you to some of the hottest nightclubs/bars – dancing and partying into the early morning hours.
⭐️ RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars (2+ reviews) | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 6 hours | 🎟️ BOOK NOW
Where to stay Kingston Jamaica
If you’re looking for the perfect place to stay in Kingston Jamaica, you’ve come to the right place. Here is a brief overview of the best hotels in Kingston Jamaica.
- ⭐ Rating: 9.2 out of 10 Stars
- 🏆 Known for: Free buffet breakfast, poolside bar, full-service spa
- 🏨 Check Rates & Availability on Booking.com
Spanish Court Hotel, situated in New Kingston’s vibrant hub – only 450 yards away from the famous Port Royal historical district. Here you can revel in the luxury of this hotel’s spa and fitness centre, or take a dip in the rooftop infinity pool whilst admiring spectacular views.
- ⭐ Rating: 7.6 out of 10 Stars
- 🏆 Known for: Swimming pool, banquet hall, spa, staff & services
- 🏨 Check Rates & Availability on Booking.com
Situated in the business centre of Kingston, just 1.2 miles from Independence Park Jamaica Pegasus Hotel is a haven for business travellers looking for comfort and convenience. Enjoy some sunlight by the furnished terrace with an outdoor swimming pool.
Each air-conditioned room provides free Wi-Fi, a safety deposit box, flat-screen cable TV, and a complimentary coffee maker or fridge upon request. You can reach Norman Manley International Airport within 25 minutes of driving distance, while National Heroes park only takes 1.9 miles away; Bob Marley Museum is a 5 minutes drive to explore some Jamaican cultural heritage.
- ⭐ Rating: 7.4 out of 10 Stars
- 🏆 Known for: Coffee shop, laundry facilities, front-desk safe
- 🏨 Check Rates & Availability on Booking.com
At Backpackers Hostel in Kingston, budget travellers can stay in a tranquil garden oasis and take advantage of the shared lounge. The property provides free private parking and an airport shuttle service for an additional fee.
Every guest room has a computer, while bed linen and towels are included to ensure maximum comfort during your visit. Tinson Pen Aerodrome Airport lies just 5.6 miles away from this Jamaican hostel doors – making it easy to get here or go elsewhere on the island.
What to Do In Kingston Jamaica FAQs
✅ Best Time To Visit Kingston Jamaica
For an unforgettable trip to Kingston, the best time to visit Kingston is between December and April/May (for the Jamaica Carnival). This time of year brings a drier climate with milder temperatures. To experience the legendary festivities of Bob Marley Week, come in early February for concerts, exhibitions and more. Avoid June through November, as this is the rainy hurricane season.
✅ Is Kingston Jamaica worth visiting?
Without a doubt, Kingston is an essential destination for any traveller visiting Jamaica. Despite being the capital of Jamaica, it’s often overlooked in favour of tourist hotspots like Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Negril.
But music and history fans should not miss out on this city. With Bob Marley’s former home available to explore and the National Gallery’s impressive array of artworks to appreciate, there are so many unbelievable museums and exhibits in Kingston Jamaica.
✅ What is Kingston Jamaica known for?
Kingston is celebrated for its incomparable cultural attractions, great parks, delicious cuisine and vibrant nightlife. The city’s most beloved tourist destinations include the stately Bob Marley Museum (inhabiting the artist’s former residence), Trench Town — where Marley spent much of his formative years — as well as such attractions as Fort Charles; a 17th-century fortress boasting magnificent sea views.
✅ Is Kingston better than Montego Bay?
No Kingston is better than Montego Bay. Comparing Kingston and Montego Bay is like comparing apples to oranges. Montego Bay’s sun-kissed beaches make it a great spot for those looking to relax, while Kingston offers something totally different and is the ideal destination for travellers seeking culture and historical education.
What To Do In Kingston Jamaica
To sum up, Kingston, Jamaica has so much to offer! From its vibrant culture and captivating landscapes to the majestic tropical rainforests and waterfalls, you will surely enjoy your visit.
Whether it’s enjoying a delicious local meal or exploring the city sights, hiking in the Blue Mountains National Park, discovering why Kingston is known as the ‘Cultural Capitol of Jamaica’, and soaking up all that beautiful Jamaican sunshine.