Kingston, Jamaica, in 4 stops

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If you want a taste of the Caribbean culture, you’ll have to venture beyond the beach cabana and in to the city

Beautiful they are of course, but resorts will only ever show you one highly sanitised version of the Jamaican way of life. If you want a taste of the Caribbean culture, you’ll have to venture beyond the beach cabana and in to the city – and where better to begin than in and around the capital. This half-day itinerary will introduce you to some of Jamaica’s complex and volatile history.

Note: Given the distance between the stops in this itinerary and the nature of Jamaican public transport, it is advisable to rent a car or negotiate a half-day taxi fare.

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Stop 1: Through the 16th to the 19th centuries, Spanish Town was first the Spanish, then the English capital of Jamaica. Built by conquistadors as St. Jago de la Vega between 1534-1655 on the West Bank of the Rio Cobre, its colonial-era architecture is nothing short of exquisite.

Stop 2: Devon House, a grand Georgian-style mansion (1881) is set amongst neatly trimmed English gardens and a fringed by towering palms, is one of Jamaica’s most celebrated historical landmarks. It takes around 40 minutes to reach this part of Uptown Kingston from Spanish Town.

Stop 3: Downtown Kingston, a 45-minute drive away, has a distinctly different feel to Uptown. The decaying infrastructure is a sign of both past glories, and the challenges the country faces in the near future. It’s perhaps apt that some of Jamaica’s best museums are found in this historical neighborhood. The shelves of the Museums of History and Ethnography (10 East Street) are rammed with 15,000 fascinating artifacts charting all that Jamaica has done, witnessed and achieved from the prehistoric to contemporary eras.

Stop 4: The National Gallery of Art (12 Ocean Boulevard, Block C), Jamaica’s best art museum is only a five-minute stroll away. Home to sculptures and paintings by Jamaica’s most famous artists, it covers pre-Columbian times to the present day.

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Written by insider city guide series Hg2 | A Hedonist’s guide to…

Kingston, Jamaica, in 4 stops was last modified: June 26th, 2019 by Brett Ackroyd
Author: Brett Ackroyd (631 posts)

Brett hopes to one day reach the shores of far-flung Tristan da Cunha, the most remote of all the inhabited archipelagos on Earth…as to what he’ll do when he gets there, he hasn’t a clue. Over the last 10 years, London, New York, Cape Town and Pondicherry have all proudly been referred to as home. Now it’s Copenhagen’s turn, where he lends his travel expertise to momondo.com.