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Despite being Jamaica’s metropolis, Kingston is an often-overlooked destination beyond acclaimed events and doing business. Though its coast may not be filled with beachfront resorts, there are still plenty of reasons (and spots) to explore in this culture capital! Kingston is a bundled collection of history, gastronomy, nature, and social events. Whether you have a few hours or a few days to spare here there are a bundle of things to do around Kingston, Jamaica. It’s worth finding out why it has become a rising destination for visitors, including some of your favourite celebrities, in recent years.

Kingston is raw, authentic culture. The city is small enough to easily experience multiple activities across different areas on a given day. Continue reading for a list of the most buzzing Kingston and St. Andrew areas, including cherry-picked recommendations of things to do and must-do activities close by.

‘Kingston’ is often used as a blanket term to address both parishes Kingston and St. Andrew; this post will do the same.

Things to Do around Kingston, Jamaica

Many persons (including Jamaicans) don’t realize that the tiny parish of Kingston is mainly comprised of the town of Port Royal to downtown. The Palisadoes strip― which connects Port Royal to the rest of the island― houses Kingston’s Norman Manley International Airport. If you’re residing in or around these areas, here are some nearby things to do:

Things to Do around Port Royal

  • Port Royal Tour

Sightsee the historic town of Port Royal, once considered the wickedest in the world. A walking tour could reveal sites that still stand tall after a major 1692 earthquake sunk most of the pirate city. To top off the excursion, consider a boat trip to nearby cays for some of the best beach experiences around town.

  • Go-Kart Racing

The Palisadoes Go Kart Track boasts the backdrop of the Kingston skyline. Zoom Go Karting is family-friendly fun for just about all ages right by the airport. It’s home to races between friends as well as by professional drivers.

  • Bob Marley Beach

This community black-sand beach is FREE to the public [at the time of this article]. Bob Marley Beach is named after the Reggae superstar, who reportedly frequented this shore during his life. Some visitors may say this hideaway could use ‘sprucing’, but others appreciate the rustic patch of paradise.

P.S. If you want recommendations tailored for your upcoming Jamaica trip itinerary, just let me know here.

Things to Do around Downtown Kingston

  • Art Walk

Art appreciation and dedicated spaces have multiplied over the last decade in Kingston. A big contributor to the Downtown Kingston revitalization project is the upsurge of murals and cultural events in the UNESCO Creative City. Stroll through downtown’s vibrant art streets where you may also find multiple hole in the wall eateries, museums, markets and stores in the old business district.

  • Jamaica Music Museum

An exhibit of Jamaican music archives that predate the island’s Independence. Enthusiasts can look forward to correlating our music to sociological, political, and cultural climates throughout history. It highlights rare recordings, files and artifacts of local musicians, and hosts public lectures.

  • Trench Town Music Tour

This inner-city community is reputed to be the birthplace of Reggae. Travelling around the vicinity can showcase notable sites including former homes of Reggae icons such as Bob Marley. A tour of his teenage home is a top choice in the area.

P.S. If you want recommendations tailored for your upcoming Jamaica trip itinerary, just let me know here.

walking Art District Fleet Street Jamaica

Jamaica Biennial Art National Gallery

Things to Do around New Kingston, Jamaica

New Kingston was positioned to be a ‘city built within a city’ when it was developed in the 1960s. By day it’s bustling with business blocks, balanced with a social scene of boutique hotels, eateries and lively bars into the night. It’s a commercial hub that can be an excellent mix of work and play.

Related Posts: Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, Spanish Court Hotel

  • Emancipation Park

Emancipation Park is located at the heart of urban activity, surrounded by work-friendly hotels, a range of restaurants and nightlife hotspots. This open green space marked by an iconic statue is considered a tribute to freedom and stands within the bustle of New Kingston’s business district. It’s a popular spot for live music, jogging, and family outings.

  • Peter Tosh Tour

Kingston’s Peter Tosh Museum highlights the life and stardom of the late Trench Town native. As a founding member of Bob Marley and the Wailers and a solo act, Tosh has been an instrumental player in Jamaican music history. This exhibition includes artifacts and souvenirs, from his early years to his esteemed music career.

  • Devon House

A historic landmark― which was the mansion of Jamaica’s first Black millionaire George Stiebel― stands as the centerpiece of the modern-day corporate area. There are many good reasons to visit Devon House, most popular probably being ice cream considering it’s been voted as a top place to enjoy ice cream worldwide. On top of that, Devon House courtyard is Jamaica’s first designated centre of gastronomy. Social events, family outings, and mansion and garden tours are other popular reasons to visit Devon House.

P.S. If you want recommendations tailored for your upcoming Jamaica trip itinerary, just let me know here.


Things to Do around Liguanea

Liguanea is considered a part of the Kingston Corporate Area. It roughly spans east to west from Half-Way-Tree to the foot of the Blue Mountains, and north to south from Barbican to New Kingston. The plain buzzes day and night with a mix of businesses, activities, and many of the city’s top events.

  • Bob Marley Museum

Bob Marley Museum is one of the island’s most popular attractions, set on the site of his final local home. The house-turned-museum is 1 of the most notable places in Bob Marley’s life, which showcases his music legacy, prized possessions and memorabilia.

  • Hope Botanical Gardens

A tranquil, green spot tucked in the busy corporate area. Hope Gardens are acres of flowering plants nestling picnic areas, manicured lawns, event spaces and even a zoo.

  • Kingston Nightlife

The uptown Kingston social scene in large part revolves around this area. Lively bars, nightclubs, and street dances can be found all around each night.

P.S. If you want recommendations tailored for your upcoming Jamaica trip itinerary, just let me know here.

Hope Zoo Kingston Jamaica

Things to Do in the Blue Mountains, Jamaica

The Blue Mountains are a UNESCO heritage site that span 4 parishes: St. Andrew, Portland, St. Mary and St. Thomas. The elevation and blanketing greenery create a cool sub-climate and refreshing break from the typical heat of the city. It is a quintessential picture of Jamaica’s natural beauty, which homes scores of species including endemic plants and animals.

Related: Blue Mountain Coffee Festival

  • Blue Mountain Coffee Tour

Coffee lovers, this is for you! Blue Mountain coffee is some of the most renowned in the world market. The best place to have it is at the source…among the misty mountains. A trip to these heights are incomplete without a world-class taste of Jamaica’s famous coffee. Choose from brewing a cup on a coffee tour and having 1 served with a meal and panoramic views along the Blue Mountain Culinary Trail.

  • Holywell National Park

Holywell is a nature reserve over 3000ft above sea level. It’s a 45-min drive up the mountain, preceded by multiple eateries and a historic soldier camp. The large, green park consists of forestry, nature trails, designated picnic and camping areas.

  • Blue Mountain Rivers

The Blue Mountains can be considered a nearby nature-centric escape from Kingston heat. In my opinion, the best way to cool down is by the chill of freshwater at a river. Find natural pools and waterfalls in the mountains at spots closer to Kingston, like Pretty Close and Penfield Falls.

P.S. If you want recommendations tailored for your upcoming Jamaica trip itinerary, just let me know here.


Blue Mountains Jamaica Holywell


Whether you’re a Kingstonian looking for a lil something different to do or a visitor looking to immerse in the city social scene, Kingston & St. Andrew Jamaica is a great option. Its diversity allows people to truly experience the flair of our infectious culture. If you want a hub of activity, consider the south-eastern capital noted for acclaimed food festivals, sporting events, and annual celebrations like Reggae Month, Jamaica Carnival and Independence. 

What will your Kingston itinerary look like?