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Kingston, the capital of Jamaica, is located on the southeastern coast of the island. There are two major sections to this city: 'downtown' and 'uptown,' also referred to as 'New Kingston.'
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Points of Interest in Kingston
- Bob Marley Museum, 56 Hope Road, ☎ +1 876 927-9152. M-Sa, tours last 1 hr, including a 20 min film. The first tour begins at 09:30 and the last tour at 16:00. Filled with tons of memorabilia and Bob Marley's personal belongings, this museum was Bob Marley's recording studio and was his home until his death in 1981. The house is a preserved historical site; even the bullet holes from the attempted murder of Bob Marley remain. Every visitor will be added to a tour upon entry. residents JMD500, non-residents USD20 (credit cards accepted).
- National Gallery of Jamaica, 12 Ocean Blvd, ☎ +1 876 922-1561. Tu-Th 10:00-16:30, F 10:00-16:00, Sa 10:00-15:00. The museum features artwork by Jamaicans from throughout its history, from the native Taino Indians through the colonial period to works by modern artists. The gallery hosts its annual National Visual Arts Exhibition, which began in 1963 as a way to promote post-colonial art and to showcase the works of rising artists from Jamaica. Entrance fees are waved during the exhibition period. JMD100, students and senior citizens over 65 may enter for JMD50.
- Port Royal. Once known as the "Richest and wickedest city in the world", Port Royal is a notorious 17th century pirate haven. The most famous pirate who operated from Port Royal was Sir Henry Morgan who plundered Spanish vessels travelling in the Caribbean. The city prospered as the pirates gathered riches, but a strong earthquake struck the area on June 7, 1692 sinking the ships in the harbour and killing many people as the earthquake moved much of the city into the sea. It has been said that the earthquake was caused by God himself to punish the evildoers of Port Royal. This disaster helped to establish Kingston as the new capital, and many of the survivors of the earthquake moved to Kingston. Although most of the buildings at the port today are not the original buildings, the walls of Fort Charles have been preserved since the rebuilding two years after the earthquake, Saint Peter's Church built in the early 18th century, and the ruins of Fort Rocky remain. There is also a museum to learn more about the history and see artefacts from its heyday.
- Devon House, 26 Hope Road, ☎ +1 876 926-0815. The Mansion is open M-Sa 09:30-17:00, the courtyard 10:00-18:00, and the gardens are open daily 09:30-22:00. One of the best example of Jamaican architecture, the Devon House was built by George Stiebel, the nation's first black millionaire. Much of the interior furniture is not original, but it upholds the 19th Century mansion style. The courtyard has craft shops, a few restaurants, and the most famous ice cream shop on the island. JMD700 for a tour of the mansion. Entry to garden and shops is free..
- Hope Botanical Gardens. 08:30-18:30. The Largest Botanical Garden in the Caribbean. The garden gets its name from the man Richard Hope who helped capture Jamaica for Great Britain and was given the property to reward him for his faithfulness to the Crown. Free.
- Hope Zoo (Next to the Botanical Gardens). 10:00-17:00. JMD20.
- Arawak Museum (Taino Museum). A small museum with artefacts and information about the original inhabitants of the island, the Arawak (or Taino) Indians.
- People's Museum of Craft and Technology. A small museum with pottery, instruments, and farming tools used in Jamaica. JMD100.
- Lime Kay. Beach off the coast of Port Royale must take a boat from Port Royal fisherman or the hotel to island. Island is famous as the location for final scene in The Harder they Come. Crowded party spot on the weekends with food and drink available for purchase, much more sedate and often deserted on weekdays. You can camp overnight if you pre-arrange a next-day pickup time, but be careful, as you can't exactly swim to shore!
Kingston was for some time Jamaica's only city and is still the commercial and cultural capital. You will notice that the city is assigned the equivalent of postal codes, (Kingston 5, Kingston 10, etc.) which is a good representation of how truly large this city is, especially for an island such as Jamaica. As of 2011, the city had 937,700 inhabitants.
- Emancipation Park. Offers free concert occasionally in the summer and during the Christmas.
- Putt and Play. Offers miniature golf and pool tables for a nice round of pool.
- Jerk, curried, fricasséed or brown stew chicken, pork or fish
- Escoveitch fish—Warning, spicy!
- Ackee and saltfish (codfish) -- the national dish of Jamaica
- Curried mutton (goat)
- Fruit: Mangoes, sugar cane, paw-paw (papaya), guava, June plum, jackfruit, star apples, guinep, naseberries...
- Roasted corn
- Bammy Cakes. 5-inch diameter cakes made from cassava.
- Patties from a bakery (The Brick Oven at Devon House makes excellent curried chicken patties, and both Juici and Tastee are "fast food" patty restaurants. In Liguanea there's a vegetarian/vegan patty restaurant, across the parking lot from the Wendy's
- Devon House I Scream (ice cream)
- Tastee Patty, Juici Patties, Mother's - fast food, mostly "patties", though Mother's also does hamburgers and fried foods (Various places around town)
- Island Grill - upmarket Jamaican fast food and jerk in New Kingston.
- Jerk pans - see them on the street smelling good - get Jerked Chicken, rice and peas!
- Akbar, 11 Holborn Rd New Kingston 10, ☎ +1 876 926-3480. Indian food served in a wonderful calm atmosphere. Sister Thai restaurant next door with equally pleasing menu
- Hope Gardens Vegetarian Restaurant (in the middle of Hope Gardens. You have to ask where it is as there is no external sign.). Basic vegetarian food with menu that varies daily. Nice garden setting. Excellent juices. USD10.
- Redbones Blues Cafe, 1 Argyle Road, Kingston 10, ☎ +1 876 978-6091. Jazz & Blues themed Caribbean Fusion Cuisine restaurant & bar. Cultural Watering Hole with Live Music & Art Gallery
- Norma's on the Terrace, Devon House (At the back of the Devon House mansion in the shopping area.). Closed Sundays. Excellent upmarket restaurant with a fusion of Western and Jamaican cooking. Eat outside at large tables with very decorative flower arrangements.
- White Bones Seafood, 1 Mannings Hill Rd. M-Sa 11:30-23:00, Su 14:00-22:00. Highly recommended, but expensive, fish and seafood joint. Tuesdays are all-you-can-eat shellfish nights. JMD3,000.
Drink Red Stripe and Appleton Rum. If you've got the guts, try some Wray & Nephew overproof white rum (locals refer to it as "whites"): a drink that is usually around 180 proof.
There's also refreshing coconut water, cane juice, sorrel (only served around Christmas time), Irish Moss, and tamarind drink or genuine Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee (according to experts it is perhaps the best tasting, most expensive and most sought after coffee in the world). You can get premium beans from Rum, Roast and Royals in the Devon House complex.
Good bars include Red Bones Blues Café (also a good restaurant).
Kingston is the host of many great clubs. Found in New Kingston, there are many clubs that party until the early morning hours. The Quad, and Asylum are only a couple of the very popular clubs.
- QUAD Nightclub, 20-22 Trinidad Tce (in the middle of New Kingston), ☎ +1 876 754-QUAD. the only multi level nightclub in Jamaica. jazz, reggae, dancehall, r & b, soca. USD12.
- The Deck, 14 Trafalgar Rd, New Kingston. Popular watering hole mainly patronised by those over 30. Disco and live music and excellent bar snacks.
- Kingston Crafts Market
- Blue Mountain Coffee from the supermarket for cheap or get premium beans direct from the JABLUM manufacturers or craft/single estate roasters. Look into Rum Roast and Royals at Devon House for some better selections.
- Parade's Coronation Market on weekends, where you can buy fruit and vegetables from across the island. This was gutted during the disturbances at the end of May and while there are plans to rebuild it, traders have temporarily moved to other areas.
- Hot sauces. Jamaica is famous for its hot sauces, with the major ingredient being the Scotch Bonnet Pepper, found throughout the island. Supermarkets have a bewildering selection of such sauces, from several producers.
- Jerk spice powder. Make your own jerk chicken when you get home.
This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Kingston (Jamaica) on Wikivoyage.