Whether you’re after local foods, crafts or produce, markets in Jamaica are a true representation of the island’s unique culture. When shopping, visitors are often amazed at the Jamaican language of negotiation, the spirit of vendors, as well as the products they encounter. We’ve rounded up ten of the top markets you should explore on the beautiful and culturally rich island of Jamaica.
The loud, busy and colourful Coronation Market is the largest farmer’s market in Kingston. It’s the number one place in Kingston where vendors, from all over the island, come to sell their fresh produce. Locals are very loyal to this market, as products sold here tend to be cheaper than any other market or supermarket. Aside for food items, clothes, shoes and household products can also be found here.
Kingston Craft Market
Kingston Craft Market, located in Downtown Kingston, is the largest area of craft commerce in the city. The former Victoria Market is just by the coastline and offers guests a stunning view of the Kingston Waterfront while they shop. Here you’ll find straw and wooden souvenirs made by Jamaican craftspeople, T-shirts, hats, dolls and paintings, all depicting some aspect of Jamaican culture.
Island Village in Ocho Rios is a new and versatile shopping centre offering visitors a wide range of shopping options. There’s a number of craft shops and stalls located on the grounds of the village, plus Bob Marley or Rasta-themed items, souvenirs, and straw or wooden household items. Island Village is also home to the famous Margaritaville restaurant and bar, Devon House I-Scream, and the controversial Bob Marley statue by Jamaican artist Christopher Gonzáles.
Harbour Street Craft Market
The Harbour Street Craft Market in Montego Bay has a wide selection of handmade products and Jamaican souvenirs. The market extends for three blocks, with vendors setting up their own tents and stalls along the side of the road. Products typically sold here include coconut-palm baskets, woven hats, towels and clothing in Rasta colours, wood carvings and paintings.
Ocho Rios Craft Park
The Craft Park in Ocho Rios is the largest market in town, with over 100 vendors and craftspeople selling a whole range of goods, including wooden crafts, food, Blue Mountain coffee, straw hats and bags, and much more. Ocho Rios is one of the most popular tourist towns in Jamaica, so keep in mind the park can become congested when cruise ships dock at a nearby port.
Pineapple Craft Market
Located in the Ocho Rios Craft Park is the smaller but equally popular Pineapple Craft Market. No, this market does not sell pineapples; it offers a wide range of craft items made by local vendors. The most popular items among travellers are the carved wooden figurines and the coffee-bean necklaces.
Port Antonio Craft Market
The beautiful eastern parish of Portland features the Port Antonio Craft Market in its capital city. Along with the variety of arts and crafts found in the market, Jamaican rum, Rumona liqueur (the world’s only rum-based liqueur) and Ian Sangster’s Original Rum Cream are also popular purchases. Other local specialties are pepper jellies, local-made jams and spices.
Negril Craft Market
For a unique shopping experience on the western side of Jamaica, go to the Negril Craft Market. The market is known for being the best place in Negril to find Bob Marley art, music, clothing and merchandise. Other items sold include Jamaican T-Shirts and shorts, towels, precious-stone jewellery, and wood carvings.
Old Fort Craft Market
The Old Fort Craft Market is one of the newer markets in Jamaica, opened just a few years ago in 2009. The market provides a safe and hassle-free environment for visitors and makes for an exciting shopping experience in Montego Bay, with a variety of handicrafts and handmade products. Here you can also watch jewellery vendors make your jewellery on the spot for you, or have a custom piece done to order.
Musgrave Market, simply called The Market, is the go-to place in Portland for farm produce or unique Jamaican clothing and jewellery. In The Market, you can find farm-grown fruits and vegetables, meat and seafood, clothes and shoes, and arts and crafts. You name it and the Musgrave Market just might have it. Portland is considered to be the safest parish in Jamaican so crime and pick-pockets are rarely an issue here.