Kingston holds a certain mystique for music fans. Wedged between the misty Blue Mountains and the swirling Caribbean coast, Jamaica’s capital is also the ‘riddim’ capital of the world – the birthplace of reggae. To capture the city’s unique spirit, you have to stir it up through its sounds and scents.
Second-hand vinyl and collector's items shop
Once nicknamed ‘Beat Street’ for its seminal role as the cradle of modern Jamaican music, Orange Street still hosts some great shops for vinyl lovers to geek out in. Head to Rocker’s International or Randy’s to rummage through discs of every genre, from ska and rocksteady to dub and dancehall.
Then there’s the King himself. You can trace Bob Marley’s rags-to-reggae-superstar story from its humble origins in Trench Town – where the government yard immortalised in ‘No Woman, No Cry’ now hosts a culture centre exhibiting Bob’s teenage bedroom and first guitar – all the way uptown to 56 Hope Road, his later home and studio that today houses the unmissable Bob Marley Museum.
Spicy grilled jerk chicken with lime and herbs
If you need to satisfy your soul food and music cravings all at once, classic neighbourhood joints such as Café Blue and Redbones Blues Café are found nearby. Here, you can tuck into flaky beef-filled patties and spicy jerk chicken, or just chill to the ‘chicka-chicka’ jukebox tunes over a bottle of Red Stripe lager.
With your belly full, you’ll have plenty of energy for the night ahead. So, join locals at the legendary Kingston Dub Club and bust out your best rub-a-dub dance moves until the early morn.
Kingston Town beaches
When to go?
Kingston is a tale of two seasons. The hurricane season from May to November brings stickier, wetter weather – but also distinctly lower prices. For the most agreeable temperatures and all-round sunshine vibes, go during the dry period between mid-December and mid-April.
Eden Gardens Wellness Resort & Spa
Where to stay?
Eden Gardens Wellness Resort & Spa – Kingston, Jamaica
Don’t worry ‘bout a thing. Just 15 minutes’ walk from the Bob Marley Museum, this hotel’s pretty garden and laid-back roof terrace will ease you into holiday mode in no time. Eden’s spa services range from acupuncture to chiropractic treatments, and its cheerful, attentive staff get top marks from Booking.com guests.
Terra Nova All Suite Hotel
Terra Nova All Suite Hotel – Kingston, Jamaica
Close to the grand mansions of Devon House and King’s House, this elegant hotel promises a touch of class. The plush suites feature Smart TVs and designer toiletries, while an outdoor pool and in-house casino help to let your hair down. Whether dining in the restaurant or in your room, Booking.com travellers give Terra Nova’s cuisine glowing reviews.
Tranquility Estate – Kingston, Jamaica
Beautifully perched high up on Jacks Hill, this family-run hotel captures another side of Kingston. Booking.com guests can’t get enough of the panoramas from the restaurant, while the owner Lorna’s cooking and all-round hospitality are considered second to none. You can also take in picturesque views of the city or mountains from the traditionally styled rooms.