Kingston in Focus

Travel Team
By Travel Team 3 Min Read

Jamaica’s lively capital of Kingston embodies a beautiful kind of chaos. This cosmopolitan city is a destination of unique contrasts, half thriving business district and half eclectic cultural haven. Located between the rain-forested slopes of the Blue Mountains to the north and one of the world’s largest natural harbours to the south, Kingston serves a dual purpose as both economic capital and an entertainment mecca. A veritable melting pot, it is in Jamaica’s capital where you can experience the true heartbeat of the island. 

Although devastated by the earthquake of 1907, some of Kingston’s elaborate 18th century architecture still survives, with several historic buildings found on colourful Water Lane. Today, the street has been overtaken by vibrant hand-painted murals as a celebration of the thriving local arts scene. Echoing Jamaica’s artistic heritage, nearby you will find the National Gallery of Jamaica, which is renowned as the best museum in the Caribbean. 

Kingston also hosts some of the city’s finest hotels and restaurants, and not to mention, its most-visited attraction. Here, on the appropriately named Hope Lane, visitors flock in their numbers to pay homage to the Jamaican legend, Bob Marley, in the colonial-era house where he lived and recorded music up until his passing. Nearby, the Hope Botanical Gardens offer a verdant escape, where you will find al fresco dining, and an amphitheatre that regularly hosts reggae bands.

You will soon realise that in Jamaica, it’s all about the vibe, and Kingston is a soundtrack of its own, having been officially designated by UNESCO as a Creative City of Music. The city is renowned for the electricity of its dance halls and reggae dub clubs, where you can let your hair down and experience a true night on the town, or as the locals say, “do road.”

Every inch of Kingston is an assault on the senses – whether its noise, hustle, food or visual culture. It may be overwhelming, with many tourists bypassing the capital in favour of heading straight to their resorts, however a visit to Kingston is an essential and unforgettable introduction to the island.  

Read Issue 15 of Outlook Travel Magazine