Jamaica's capital since 1870 and the island's commercial centre, Kingston has the seventh best natural harbour in the world. Following the earthquake of 1907 much of the lower part of the city (Down Town) was rebuilt, replacing red bricks with concrete. The old racecourses have been redeveloped: the Kingston Race Track was converted to the National Heroes Park after independence in 1962 and the Knutsford Track was redeveloped in the 1960s as the New Kingston commercial district, which contains most of the big hotels and many banks and financial institutions. Kingston and the adjoining parish of St Andrew (Corporate Area) are busy traffic-clogged urban areas. The Corporate Area is dominated by commerce and central government, but Kingston is the cultural and intellectual hub of the island, offering a diversity of attractions and activities unmatched by any other parish. A city tour could extend as far as Devon House and the nearby Blue Mountains and beaches at Hellshire, Lime Cay and other cays off Port Royal, followed by several nightclubs. Reggae lovers should visit the Bob Marley Museum and the Tuff Gong recording studios, but music can be heard anywhere with frequent blasts from buses, bars and cars. There are several art galleries, institutes and museums worth paying a visit. The Jamaica National Heritage Trust is a good source of heritage,

Getting there

The international airport for Kingston is the
Norman Manley
(restaurant, shops), 17 km away, up to 30 minutes' drive, on the peninsula opposite Kingston across the bay. There is also an airstrip for domestic flights at Tinson Pen Aerodrome, Marcus Garvey Drive, Kingston 11, 3 km from the centre. If you have flown in to Montego Bay on the north coast you can get to Kingston by air or overland by frequent bus.

Getting around

Bus travel in Kingston costs between US$0.77 and US$0.83. Travelling by bus is safe and convenient as the transport system is now operated by the Government and monitored by the Transport Authority Crossroads, Pechon Street and Half Way Tree are the main bus stops. Addresses in the Parish of St Andrew have a numbered zone, eg Kingston 10, while those in the Parish of Kingston have no zone number and the address is just Kingston.

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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