Things To Know

Things To Know Before Traveling To Kingston


Tourists, especially white tourists, tend to stick out and garner lots of attention, not all of it positive. Hissing and cat calls at women (even accompanied ones) is common. Replying to overzealous touts with "No badda (bother) me" can help.

Homosexuality is not at all condoned and can elicit violent reactions.

Embassies and High Commissions

  • Canada High Commission3 West Kings House Rd,  +1 876 926-1500fax+1 876 733-3493M-Th 07:30-16:30, F 07:30-13:00.
  • China8 Seaview Ave, Kingston 10,  +1 876 927-3871fax+1 876 927-6920,  .
  • JapanNCB Towers, North Tower, 6F, 2 Oxford Rd,  +1 876 929-3338fax+1 876 968-1373.
  • United Kingdom28 Trafalgar Road, Kingston 10, +1 876 936 0700.
  • United States142 Old Hope Rd, Liguanea area,  +1 876 702-6000,  .

Daily Costs

Budget: Less than US$100

  • Plate of jerk: US$3.50
  • Route taxi fare: US$1–2
  • Double room: US$50–60
  • Red Stripe beer: US$1.20

Midrange: US$100–200

  • Admission to major attractions: US$20
  • Short taxi ride: US$10
  • Meal at midrange restaurant: US$20
  • Single-tank scuba dive: US$50

Top End: More than US$300

  • Fine dining: from US$30
  • Luxury accommodations: from US$200
  • Private taxi hire per day: US$100


Gentle haggling is common in tourist markets for souvenirs; in all other instances you’re expected to pay the stated price.


Uptown, there are half a dozen banks along Knutsford Blvd and around Half Way Tree. Most banks have foreign-exchange counters as well as 24-hour ATMs. There are also ATMs along Hope Rd, particularly by the shopping malls. Always use an ATM inside a booth with a lockable door.


Though Jamaicans are very laid-back people by reputation, there are certain (unspoken) rules of etiquette.

  • Greetings Good manners are a must: always greet people properly, treat elders with extra respect and acknowledge fellow passengers when getting into a route taxi.
  • Superstition Many Jamaicans have a fear of duppies (spirits of the dead) and obeah (witchcraft) is more widely practised than one would think.
  • Taboo subjects Though Jamaicans can be very direct in conversation, there are some subjects that are deeply frowned upon, that most will not discuss. These include homosexuality, oral sex, STDs, abortion and rape.
  • Smoking Many Jamaicans have zero tolerance for smoking marijuana, and women smoking cigarettes is still frowned upon.
  • Attire Jamaicans dress smartly when they can (to church, to a party or social event), and many government offices and banks have written dress codes on the door – beachwear should be very much confined to the beach.