An Essential Guide to Kingston Craft Market in Jamaica

Paintings at a Jamaican craft market | © Visit Jamaica
Paintings at a Jamaican craft market | © Visit Jamaica
Photo of Sheri-kae McLeod
Freelance Caribbean Writer27 November 2017

The Kingston Craft Market, located at the corner of Port Royal Street and Ocean Boulevard in Downtown, Kingston is the capital city’s largest open-air craft market. The huge market is a kaleidoscope of colours and textures, and a true representation of Jamaican culture. Here’s our guide to making the most of your visit there.

At the Kingston Craft Market you will find vendors from all over Jamaica, negotiating with customers about their unique Jamaican crafts and souvenirs. A section of the market was partially damaged by a fire but was quickly refurbished and reopened to provide visitors and shoppers with a greater shopping experience.

When to go

The market is open from Monday to Saturday, from 9am to 6pm. If you want to shop without much hassle, then it is wise to go during the week. Generally, the mornings tend to be slower than the afternoons. If you must visit the market on a Friday or Saturday, be prepared for crowds of locals and tourists, all hustling to find the cheapest deals on souvenirs and craft items.

Jamaican necklaces/ Christina Xu/Flickr

What to buy

There are loads of unique items one can find here. Some of the most popular items bought are wooden sculptures, straw hats and handbags, coconut-palm baskets, Jamaican handmade jewellery, and Jamaican clothes among others. Here you will also find varieties of Jamaican rum and homemade foods, such as jams and jellies, pies, puddings and other pastries.

Wood carvings in Jamaica | © Style Me Cheaply

Safety tips

When visiting the Kingston Craft Market, ensure that you keep all your personal belongings close and safe in a handbag or small purse. Try to avoid carrying large sums of cash, as pick-pockets around the area tend to prey on shoppers. On Fridays and Saturdays, when the market is particularly busy, keep small children close as it is possible for them to get lost in the crowd.

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