Kingston Shopping and Districts
(Kingston, Surrey, Jamaica)
Kingston is best known for its lively markets, and these are dotted about the city, along with large shopping centres and department stores. Most shopping opportunities are centred in and around the Central Business District (CBD), on the Knutsford Boulevard. For authentic Jamaican crafts, it is best to head out to the dedicated shops.
When it comes to malls in the city, the modern New Kingston Shopping Centre on Dominica Drive is the best bet for higher quality items. This mall also comes with air conditioning, as well as food and entertainment. Covered arcades go off King Street, while the Jubilee Market is also covered.
When to Shop and Where
For market shopping, the covered Jubilee Market, so named after Queen Victoria's Jubilee and located on Orange Street - near the William Grant Park
, is a must. It is loaded with crowds of eager shoppers, along with the obligatory pickpocket / scam artists. Everything from (fake) Bob Marley possessions to crafts and exotic fruits can be had here.
The Kingston Crafts Market is another good shopping alternative and a bit less in your face. This market is sited down at Harbour Street and is one of small stalls of crafts, with wooden plates and pepper pots, straw hats, baskets, batiks, masks and other fun items. Bargaining at markets is the done thing.
While crafts can be had at the Kingston markets for a snip, the shops around the Devon House
landmark are the best bet for genuine, high quality local crafts. 'Things Jamaican' operates some of these stores and there are shops selling everything from crockery and pottery, to sauces and spices.
There is also an art gallery / pottery shop here - the Wassi Art Gallery, with quality works created by hand for this well-known Jamaican brand. The main factory is in the wilds of the island, near Ocho Rios
, where they quarry blue clay and throw it. Wassi Art kitchenware is particularly good and items can be exported.