Kingston, Jamaica

Kingston is the capital and biggest city in Jamaica. Located on the southeastern part of the country, it covers 480 sq km (185.3 sq mi) and has a population of around 651,000 people comprising the parishes of Kingston and St. Andrew. The town does not face the open sea, rather it is sheltered by the Palisadoes peninsula on which the Norman Manley International Airport is located.

Kingston Waterfront, Kingston, Jamaica
Kingston Waterfront, Kingston, Jamaica

More on Kingston

Kingston’s history goes back to 1692 when it became a refuge for survivors of the 1692 earthquake that had settled at the town of Port Royal. Until then, Port Royal was the main town and Kingston was just a farming village. In the aftermath of the earthquake, diseases killed a further two thousand of its population.

Port Royal remained the main town in Jamaica until 1703, when it was razed by the Nick Catania Pirate Fleet. In any case, what went around came around, for Port Royal itself had been a haven for pirates. A calamity for Port Royal became a boon for Kingston, which then superseded it in population and significance.

Kingston itself has suffered a number of earthquakes, with a massive one taking place in 1907, killing 800 people and destroying most of the historic buildings that stood since the 18th century. After the earthquake, a law was put in place limiting the height of buildings within the town center to not more than 60 ft (18 m). It was only much later in the 20th century that modern building techniques allowed taller structures to be erected and the law relaxed.

Visiting Kingston

Norman Manley International Airport on the Palisadoes peninsula. It receives flights from antigua, Barbados, Fort Lauderdale, Grand Cayman, Guantánamo Bay, London-Gatwick, Miami, Montego Bay, Nassau, New York-JFK, Orlando, Panama City, Philadelphia, Port of Spain, Port-au-Prince, Saint Maarten, Santiago de Cuba and Toronto, among others. From the airport, you can take taxi vans to town. The fare is US$28 for one person or $33 for a group. Negotiation is recommended. Alternatively public bus 98 also goes to downtown Kingston for just $2 per person.

Places of Interest in Kingston

  1. Bob Marley Museum
    Museum within the former home of the famous raggae singer.
  2. Devon House
    Formerly the home of Jamaica’s first black millionaire.
  3. Emancipation Park
    Public park on Knutsford Boulevard in New Kingston
  4. Hope Botanical Gardens
    Public gardens set in a former sugar estate and planted. It has an outstanding collection of rare plants.
  5. National Gallery
    Art gallery showcasing the work of local artists.

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