Top Things to do in Kingston - Activities And Tours
Here is our list of fun things to do in Kingston, Jamaica. Reggae music, iconic artists like Bob Marley and a touch of British culture make Kingston a fascinating place to explore. Spend time walking around the town, soaking up the ambiance and sampling the spicy, flavourful traditional foods.Take a tour of the record bars and studios to experience the musical vibe or go outdoors to view the stunning natural scenery. Climb a waterfall, zip-line across the lush tropical forests or swirl down a river in a tube. Walk or bike to see the sights. There is a choice for everyone in this exotic city.
Cultural and Theme Tours in Kingston
Carnivals, Reggae, dancing, buccaneers and pirates are the cornerstones of this vibrant city and learning about them is the first thing to do in Kingston. Join some cultural tours to experience the vibe first hand!
Explore the city on the Heritage Tour where you will visit the Giddy House, Port Royal, Fort Charles and Devon House. Learn how to groove and dance with a lesson at the famous Kingston Dancehall. Then join the Music Reggae Tour to find out about the history and social power of this musical genre. Finally, do something totally different and learn the basics of Patois, the dialect spoken by Jamaicans. Your friendly instructor will make this an awesome experience and afterwards you can use the phrases you learnt to order some refreshments!
Day Trips and Excursions in Kingston
Going on day trips is another fun thing to do in Kingston. The tours range from cultural to exploring nature and taking part in extreme sports. Start with the St Bess Vibes Tour that takes you to the Parish St. Elizabeth, the YS falls, Appleton Estate and the famous Pelican Bar. Some rum tasting and shopping is thrown in for fun! Then experience Nine Mile, where Bob Marley was born and enjoy some tubing on the White River. Discover nature at Judgement Cliff with a knowledgeable guide who will tell you all about the beauty of this eastern region of the Island. A climb up the magnificent 180 feet high Dunn's River Falls is a must for those who are fit!
Multi-day and Extended Tours from Kingston
If you have time to spare, an extended tour is a fabulous thing to do in Kingston.
Party until you drop on the 11-Day Jamaica Bacchanal Carnival Tour or spend 10 days learning about the Jamaican culture. Discover Reggae music, coffee plantations, the Patios language and Rastafarianism. For those who want to get hands on, join the 8-day Volunteer Vacation Program where you will work at a school and an orphanage. For the ultimate city experience, you will love the Kingston Vacation Package where you visit the famous attractions, enjoy delicious cuisine and relax on the beaches. For an ultra romantic holiday, book the Private Tour where you can customise the experience to suit you and your loved one.
Outdoor Activities in Kingston
When planning things to do in Kingston, exploring the outdoors must not be forgotten. See the amazing rainforests, the beautiful Blue Hole and the Hills of Ocho Rios. Enjoy a bike ride through the iconic Jamaican Blue Mountains where the scenery is stunning and the air is bracing. This is ideal for families, couples and even single adventure seekers.
For an adrenaline rush, you can sail over the tropical forests on a zip-line or learn how to bobsled! Your professional instructor will give you a briefing, buckle you up and send you twisting and turning down 3280 feet of mountainside.
Walking & Biking Tours in Kingston
A choice of walking and biking is a fabulous way to keep fit and offers a great thing to do in Kingston. There are a number of tours to thrill you. Walk on the beautiful Judgement Cliff where the panoramic views will astound. Music lovers must take a slow and relaxed walking tour through Kingston Town on the iconic Orange Street. Learn how Reggae was born, visit record shops and recording studios. For some family bonding, enjoy a bike ride through the beautiful Blue Mountain trails with a knowledgeable guide. Finally, experience Kingston like a local, on a guided walking tour that will teach you about the history, culture, food and architecture of this vibrant city.
Excursions and Sightseeing in Kingston
After soaking up the sun on the beach, a sightseeing tour is the next thing to do in Kingston.
Join the Highlights Tour where you will be taken to see the local attractions like the Half Way Tree, the Downtown Area and a fabulous craft market. Visit the Blue Mountains and see the coffee plantations. Take a private tour to the Blue Hole and the Fern Gully Rainforest. Historians will delight in the Bob Marley Museum Tour and the Port Royal Heritage Tour. Kids will love the Devon House Tour where loads of ice cream is served to all at the end!
Jamaican Food Tour of Kingston
If you enjoy tasting exotic foods, a food tour is the next thing to do in Kingston. Delight your taste buds on this amazing tour as your local guide keeps you enthralled with behind-the-scenes anecdotes. Start off at a market where the vibrant, fresh fruit bursting with color and flavor will enchant. Then head off for a bowl of spicy curry. Next is Jamaican Jerk Food, which will have you coming back for more! Try some traditional patties and end off the tour with scoopings of the famous Devon House ice cream. This is a great tour for groups and families.
Bob Marley Museum in Kingston
If you are a Reggae fan, a visit to the Bob Marley Museum is a fascinating thing to do in Kingston. The Museum is set in the former home of this iconic musician and hosts fabulous mementos, memories and treasures from his life. A guide will show you around and update you on the exhibits. See the life size 3D hologram from the 'One Love Peace Concert'. Admire the array of prestigious awards including his Grammy Lifetime Achievement award. Be awed when you step into his bedroom and see his personal clothing. End your day sipping his favourite drink at the One Love CafŽ and make sure you buy a stunning souvenir to take home.
Fort Charles in Kingston
Historians will find many fascinating things to do in Kingston and a visit to Fort Charles is a must. Built in 1650, this Fort was originally named Fort Cromwell. It survived the massive earthquake of 1692 and was rebuilt and used as headquarters for the British Navy. The famous Admiral Horatio Nelson served time here as a lieutenant in 1779. Stroll around the Museum which houses many fascinating artefacts of Nelson's life including a reproduction of his quarters. Then make sure you take some photos of the Giddy House, the artillery storehouse, which is leaning sideways as a result of yet another earthquake in 1907.
Photo by Kent MacElwee
Port Royal in Kingston
Visiting a city with a reputation of being wicked and sinful is a fun thing to do in Kingston! This infamous Port in the 1600's was the second largest in the New World and attracted pirates, buccaneers, rum drinkers and brothels. The entire settlement was sent plunging into the sea during the earthquake of 1692. Restoration recreated many of the iconic spots and today you can walk around and view them. Visit Fort Charles and then see the toppling-over Giddy House, so named after it twisted during another devastating earthquake!
Photo by Christian y Sergio Velasco
Trench Town in Kingston
Just when you think you have seen it all, there is more! Visiting the neighbourhood where Bob Marley grew up is the final thing to do in Kingston. Trench Town is where he lived, wrote songs and sung in local bars and entertainment venues. Explore the Trench Town Culture Yard, a low-cost housing development where he formed the famous group called the Wailers. Although Trench Town is a poor neighbourhood, it has created many iconic Reggae artists who have brought this amazing culture of Jamaica to the world stage.
Photo by Gregg Regula
After a night of dancing and partying in the streets, a relaxing thing to do in Kingston Jamaica is stroll through the Emancipation Park. This beautiful green area is located in the New Kingston region. Popular with locals and tourists, you will find families and couples picnicking, walking and chatting on the lawns. The park offers beautiful fountains and famous art pieces like the Redemption Song statue that honors Bob Marley. Look out for the Futumfrado, a crocodile with two heads, painted onto the benches. Walk along the track that surrounds the park and then have lunch in a shady spot. Nature lovers will find a huge amount of plants, both native and imported, bring your camera!
Photo by Kent MacElwee
Art lovers will be delighted by the National Gallery, another great thing to do in Kingston Jamaica. This Gallery is the oldest and largest art museum in the Caribbean and features a massive collection of works with an emphasis on Jamaican art. Take time to explore and start with the ancient art of the Taino people, much of which was drawn on the rocky walls of caves.
Explore the art of the Colonial Era and then move to the modern day exhibits. The gallery was opened in 1974 and is known for fabulous temporary exhibitions that showcase different artists, giving them global exposure. Don't miss the entire collection devoted to Edna Manley, a sculptor known as the 'Mother of Modern Jamaican Art'.
National Heroes Park
For a nostalgic end to your vacation, a visit to National Heroes Park is the final thing to do in Kingston Jamaica. This parkland area features fabulous monuments and tombs that honor important Jamaican people like Sir Alexander Bustamante, Marcus Garvey and Normal Manley. Stroll around the beautifully manicured, landscaped gardens and learn about these iconic names. See the War Memorial dedicated to Jamaican soldiers who fought and died in the First World War. If you are here when it is Remembrance Day, a tear-jerking gathering will create memories to last for a long time!
Photo by Number 10
One of the more interesting things to do in Kingston is to visit that beautifully restored Devon House Mansion. Tours of the Devon House Mansion in Kingston are short and great for a morning or afternoon venture. Once at the Devon House Mansion you will be amazed at the home which was constructed in the 19th century by one of Jamaica’s first black millionaires. Located in what was passionately referred to as Millionaires Corner, the Devon House Mansion is the only mansion that has been preserved from the original families that occupied the neighborhood. Your tour will allow you time inside this gorgeous Colonial style mansion as well as sufficient time to walk the grounds. A tour of the Devon House Mansion is ideal for singles, couples and families who want to learn about Jamaica’s history.
Lime Cay Boat Tour from Kingston
The Lime Cay Boat Tour from Kingston is an ideal thing to do in Kingston for singles, couples and families who want to spend time on a beautiful island. Your 4-hour excursion begins with complimentary pick-up service from your hotel where you will be driven to Morgan’s Harbour Hotel in Port Royal. Here you will board your boat and cruise to Lime Cay where you will have four hours to spend on this delightful piece of paradise. There are no services on Lime Cay and you can decide to bring your own lunch with beverages or choose an option to have lunch with beverages included in your tour. You will enjoy swimming, the sunny beach and snorkeling while you visit Lime Cay. On your way back you will enjoy the different views of Kingston from the water and your Lime Cay Boat Tour from Kingston concludes when you are dropped off at your selected hotel.
Fort Clarence Beach Kingston
Fort Clarence Beach is a beautiful black sand beach which is a favorite with locals on the weekends and can offer more solitude than some of the beaches which are packed with hotels and restaurants. Located 40-minutes by car southwest of Kingston along the southeastern coast of Jamaica, Fort Clarence Beach is situated on 16-hectares of tropical landscape and gorgeous black sand. Fort Clarence Beach is a perfect thing to do in Kingston when you want to picnic and enjoy the uniqueness of a black sand beach. When you visit Fort Clarence Beach don’t expect to see much of an ancient fort because the buildings are in quite disarray. The beauty of Fort Clarence Beach is the small crowds and available services such as picnic tables, showers, concession stand and for those who did not bring a lunch you can indulge in Jamaica cuisine at the beachside restaurant. Fort Clarence Beach is also known for its spectacular musical events which are held right on the black sand beach.
Photo by Ericson Smith
Holywell Park is an ideal thing to do in Kingston for travelers who like be out in nature where you can view the incredible scenery and wildlife. Located 90-minutes by car from Kingston and at an elevation of 900-feet above sea level, Holywell Park is situated within the Blue Mountain and John Crow Mountains National Park which encompasses one-third of the natural forest land on Jamaica. Eco-travelers will like the four nature trails which include Oatley Mountain, Waterfall, Shelter and Wag Water or Dick’s Pond. Children will be thrilled with the Kids Discovery Zone and for those who like bird watching the Holywell Park is home to the 30 endemic species of birds native to Jamaica. You will thoroughly be pleased with the surrounding nature, flora and fauna when you visit Holywell Park. You can plan a daytrip, take a guided tour or you can camp by tent or rent one of the cabins that are onsite at Holywell Park.