Jamaica’s vibrant heart has actually been somewhat overlooked by vacationers, not least because of its long-standing reputation as a rough place. But the dynamic capital is in the process of shedding its uncertain image and giving itself a new identity as a spirited, cultural center with multicultural restaurants, world-class galleries and carnival events.
About a quarter of Jamaica’s total population lives in and around the capital, Kingston (population about 1.2 million). The city is located in the southeast of the island and was founded by the British in 1692. Kingston is the economic center of Jamaica, but it is also the government and commercial center.
Tip 1: Bob Marley Museum
One of the most famous Kingston sights is of course the Bob Marley Museum. To this day, the former house of the world famous reggae star Bob Marley is almost authentic. On the walls you can see his records, newspaper articles, medals and tour posters.
Bob Marley’s room itself is kept simple. Only his favorite guitar and denim shirt are on display. On the premises, which has always been a meeting place for reggae musicians, one occasionally meets old companions.
Here in Hope Road at the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston, you can still feel the impressive creative power as well as the great presence of Bob Marley.
Tip 2: Devon House
Devon House is one of the famous landmarks of the capital. It was built according to the dream of the first black Jamaican millionaire George Stiebel. He got his wealth from gold mining in South America. Later he was one of the few rich people in Kingston who built elaborate houses there. These buildings are also known as Millionaire’s Corner.
The mansion is a mixture of Caribbean and Georgian architecture. Inside are collections of Jamaican, English and French antiques. Devon House is perfectly maintained and looks just gorgeous. You really have to check it out!
Tip 3: Emancipation Park
Emancipation Park is a public park in Kingston. It was opened on July 31, 2002 – the day before Emancipation Day and serves as a memorial to the end of slavery. It is 6 acres in size and includes two fountains and many works of art.
At the main entrance to the park is a three-meter-high bronze sculpture: it depicts a male and female figure both looking up at the sky. The artwork is meant to remind people of Bob Marley’s Redemption Song. The sculpture was designed by Jamaican artist Laura Facey.
Tip 4: Night Market
The Kingston Night Market is held every Tuesday night on Hillcrest Avenue. Every week you can sample authentic Jamaican food and listen to great music. Plus, see the creativity of local artisans up close! So take a leisurely stroll down the street and soak up the convivial atmosphere.
Tip 5: Blue Mountains
From Kingston you can take a trip to the Blue Mountains, which are located about 1.5 hours away from the city. Here you will find wonderful hiking trails in these densely forested mountains and always magnificent viewpoints. Lush nature wherever you look. Blue Mountain Peak is the highest mountain in Jamaica at 2,250 meters.
By the way, you will also find coffee plantations here. The Blue Mountains are the home of the coffee of the same name. This special Arabica coffee variety is grown here and is also available in Germany. The “Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee” is considered a rarity among connoisseurs.