The Top Things To Do, See And Eat In Liguanea, Jamaica
Bob Marley Museum, Kingston | © Takehiko Ono/Flickr
When visiting Kingston, Jamaica, it’s worth leaving the confines of New Kingston to head for Liguanea, which takes its name from the Taino word for the iguana lizards that are common in Jamaica. Today, Liguanea is a mixed commercial & residential neighbourhood roughly centered around Matilda’s Corner at the junction of Hope and Old Hope Roads. The two shopping areas of the Sovereign Centre and Sovereign North offer the greatest concentration of eateries in Kingston. Sitting alongside the restaurants are clothing boutiques, a multiplex cinema, gyms and day spas. Those wanting a more cultural experience can head along Old Hope Road to some of Kingston’s most significant historic sites such as Devon House. Join Culture Trip as we explore the top things to do, see and eat in Liguanea, Jamaica
Start the day with a fresh pastry and coffee from the best bakery in Kingston. It may have only been open less than a year but Eleni’s has fast earned a reputation as the number one bakery in town, with croissants of every kind, millefeuille, macaroons, chocolate eclairs and baguettes so moreish they taste like they came from a boulangerie in a rural French village. There really is no better start to the day than one of their delicious pastries and a Jamaican blue mountain coffee – which they also sell. Or stop by for a lunch of croque-monsieur and a delicious fresh juice.
Learn some sweet dancehall moves with Dance JA. Polish up that Dutty Step and practice the Trap Setta at this Kingston dance studio. Nothing encapsulates the spirit of Jamaica better than the sound system culture and learning a few steps is a great introduction to one the world’s more expressive dance cultures. Weekly workshops will bring even the clumsiest of movers up to speed with the latest in all things dancehall. Private lessons are also available. Dance JA also offer cultural activities from lectures on Jamaica dancehall to Patois chat sessions.
The streets will come alive once more on 23rd April 2017 with the annual Bacchanal Road Parade that passes through Liguanea. A carnival like no other, thousands take part in brightly coloured bikinis accessorised with exotic feathers. The soca music plays (loudly and constantly) while the rum flows at what has to be one of the best organised street carnivals in the whole Caribbean. Don’t worry about missing out either; carnival season actually starts in January and them continues for some eight weeks to its climax on the weekend after Easter.
Bacchanal Legacy Road March 2016 | Courtesy of Bacchanal Jamaica
The most popular tourist attraction in Kingston has to be number 56 Hope Road. Home of Reggae legend and Jamaican superstar Bob Marley, this house is decorated with Marley’s platinum and gold albums. A tour of the property imparts all there is to know about the life and music of this unforgettable reggae legend.
Bob Marley Museum | © Stéphane Damour/Flickr
Devon House is a must-do item on any Kingston visitor’s list. Built in 1881, it originally belonged to George Stiebel, Jamaica’s first black millionaire. This beautiful property, rich in Jamaican history, has been expertly restored by Jamaica National Heritage Trust and offers an elegant glimpse into the past. Tours are offered daily and out of season you might even have the whole house to yourself. An admission ticket includes a world famous Devon House ice-cream, available from the store in the courtyard. This is also a good place to stock upon gifts for friends and family as there are excellent little shops on site. There are also a few eateries and a bar in the grounds, making this the perfect one-stop venue.
Devon House | © Nigel Durrant/Flickr
Specializing in Cantonese cuisine, Jade Garden is a the place to go for some of the best dim sum in Jamaica. Located on the top floor of the Sovereign complex on Hope Road, it offers a treat for the taste buds. Dim sum is available daily, although the Sunday brunch is the most popular time of the week. Service is fast and efficient and anything not eaten will be promptly wrapped for you to take home. No dim sum is ever left behind! Popular with the local Chinese community, it’s easy to see why.
Sample Jerk Chicken From A Traditional Street Seller
On Barbican Road, just outside the Sovereign North shopping area, not far from Matilda’s corner, is some of the best jerk chicken in Kingston. Each evening the jerk guys set up their stands and cook up jerk chicken. The aroma is delectable, and the food rightfully has a fantastic reputation amongst Kingstonians as the best street jerk in town. There is always music playing for the steady stream of customers, creating a uniquely Jamaican experience.
Street Jerk Sellers, Barbican Road, Kingston, Jamaica
Jamaica Jerk Chicken | © Santosh Puthran/Flickr