Jamaica’s capital city is best known as the epicenter of reggae music, thanks to native son Bob Marley, but modern-day Kingston has the power to impress from most any angle or metric. Overlooking the world’s seventh largest natural harbor from the foot of the jungle-covered Blue Mountains, Kingston is a city divided along economic lines, with the older and more rough-and-tumble parts found downtown, and the more affluent side of the city—including most hotels and high-end restaurants—found uptown in the area also known as New Kingston. Sights to see uptown include the Bob Marley Museum, which was the legendary musician’s home and recording studio, still preserved including bullet holes from an assassination attempt, and the Devon House, built by Jamaica’s first black millionaire. Venture to the waterfront downtown to see Jamaica’s artistic heritage at the National Gallery and head to St. William Grant Park, known locally as Parade, to see the historical buildings and brave the bustling street markets.
To reach Kingston from off-island, you’ll most likely fly in at Norman Manley International Airport, which sits just across the harbor on Palisadoes Peninsula, about 30 minutes from the city.