Are you ready to experience an unforgettable night out filled with pulsating beats, infectious rhythms, and incredible energy? Known as the birthplace of reggae music, Kingston is home to a legendary nightlife and music scene that will leave you wanting more. Truth be told, even though I am not a big party animal when I am back in Germany, I can’t miss an event in Kingston. Kingston is literally the only place in the world where I want to stay up all night, every day!
Why I love going out in Kingston
- The vibes and passion are infectious and super unique
- Even though Kingston is not exactly known to be the safest city, the nightlife definitely is. The dancing may get wild, but you are always treated with the utmost respect, making you feel comfortable and free.
- I also love that going out seems cross-generational, so you see all ages celebrating and partying together!
Reggae Parties in Kingston
When it comes to reggae, Kingston is the ultimate destination for music lovers. From small, intimate venues to large stadiums, there are plenty of options to catch some of the best reggae artists in the world. You can even visit Bob Marley’s former home turned museum, where you can learn about the history and evolution of this iconic genre.
February is Reggae month, celebrating the birth of the King of Reggae, Bob Marley. It’s a very cool time to be in the city as so many events and celebrations occur.
Dub Club is the place to be on Friday nights, with its famous dance party and live performances from some of the best reggae artists in the country.
Dubwise Cafe is another popular spot for reggae lovers, offering an intimate setting with live music and delicious local food. Dubwise is my favorite hang-out spot for almost every night of the week, as even when there is no performance, you can often watch the artists practice.
Offers a unique experience with its outdoor setting and stunning city views. With a mix of traditional roots, reggae, and modern dub music, Skyline Levels is the place to enjoy good vibes, good food, and a stunning view!
Redbones Cafe is another must-visit spot for reggae lovers, with its weekly live performances and delicious Caribbean cuisine. This cozy venue offers a relaxed atmosphere to enjoy great music while sipping a cold Red Stripe beer.
Dancehall Parties in Kingston
Even though I don’t dance myself, I make sure never to miss a dancehall party in Kingston. Why? Because the energy, creativity, and passion are incredible to witness and be a part of. While some people might frown upon dancehall and the parties, let me tell you: you’ll find some of the collect people there and don’t even worry about feeling uncomfortable in any kind of way (even as a solo female). I often wish German men were as respectful when trying to approach me.
Dolly Sunday is a busy party held at a club. The best time e to go would be around 1 a.m. or later.
Location: Market Place
Bounty Sunday is kept each and every Sunday at Century Luxury Lounge which was formerly known as Oneil’s Place. The host is no other than Bounty Killer.
Location: Century Luxury Lounge
Admission: $ 1000 JMD
Uptown Mondays is the go-to party for dancehall lovers. Located at Savannah Plaza, this party attracts a diverse crowd and features a mix of popular DJs and live performances by local artists. The energy at Uptown Mondays is unmatched, with people dancing until the early morning hours.
Location: Savannah Plaza, Half Way Tree
Admission: $500 JMD
Romeich Games Night, hosted by dancer-turned-entrepreneur Ding Dong, is a unique dancehall event that combines music and games. Held on the last Thursday of every month, this party is a fun-filled evening where you can dance, play games, and win prizes. The best time to go to Games night is 10 pm as the party usually ends around 1.30
Location: Romeich Entertainment, 1, 1/2 Campbell’s Blvd
Admission: $1000 JMD
Weddy Wednesdays is another super popular weekly event for dancehall enthusiasts. This famous dancehall party has been running for over 20 years. This party is known for its energetic atmosphere and top dancehall DJs spinning the latest hits. Weddy Weddy Wednesdays are a must-visit if you are in Kingston. The best time to go would be around midnight. It usually ends at 3 a.m.
Location: Stone Love HQ, Burlington Ave
Admission: $500 JMD
Leggo the Streets is the latest party keeping on Wednesday night. The best time to go would be after Rommeich Games night. The best time to go is around 3 a.m. or whenever Weddy Weddy finishes.
Location: 27 1/4 Central Rd
Admission: $ 500 JMD
Danceall Friday is the newest addition to Kingston’s Party scene. Sanjay, the host, is a true legend in the industry, so it is no surprise that you’ll find the hottest dancers there. The party just recently moved from Black Lion Entertainment on Grans Penn to 78 Hagley Park Road. Be there by 1 am.
Nightlife in New Kingston
New Kingston, also known as the central business district of Kingston, offers a different side to the city’s nightlife scene. With upscale bars, lounges, and clubs, New Kingston attracts a more mature crowd. Here are some of the top events to check out in New Kingston:
This bar hosts live music and DJs every weekend, with a mix of reggae, dancehall, soca, and afro beats. Super heavy Wednesdays, where DJs compete for the best mix, is my favorite.
This ultra-modern lounge offers a classy atmosphere and top-notch entertainment. You’ll find live bands performing on Fridays and Saturdays and themed parties throughout the week.
A popular club in Kingston known for its upscale atmosphere and top-notch service. You’re bound to find something with different themed nights throughout the week. Reggae Wednesdays at Fiction Nightclub – Head over to this hip club on Wednesday nights for a mix of reggae, dancehall, and soca music. This is the spot to be if you want to experience top local DJs and live performances from up-and-coming artists.
Dance the night away at this popular club that features different themed events every Saturday. From old-school reggae to soca.
Located in the heart of New Kingston, this strip club is known as one of the best places to party in Kingston. With a wide range of music genres from reggae to hip-hop and dancehall, Taboo is a must-visit for anyone looking to experience the vibrant nightlife scene in Kingston.
Other places to check out
Practical travel tips for Kingston & Jamaica
Which language is spoken in Jamaica?
The official language is English, but you'll also hear Jamaican Patois spoken throughout the country. It's a colorful and vibrant mix of English, West African languages, and Spanish influences. Don't be afraid to interact with locals and try out some basic phrases in Patois - they'll appreciate the effort and you may even learn a thing or two.
What is the offical currency in Jamaica?
The Jamaican dollar is the official currency and is accepted everywhere on the island. However, US dollars are widely accepted as well, so it's always a good idea to have some cash in both currencies. You can easily exchange your money at banks or ATMs throughout the city. Just be aware that the exchange rate may vary, so it's best to check before making a transaction. Also, don't forget to tip - it's customary in Jamaica and greatly appreciated by service industry workers. So make sure you have some small bills on hand for tipping at restaurants, bars, and hotels.
What is the best time to visit Kingston?
The climate stays pleasant all year round. It might rain a bit more during hurricane season from June to September, but you still won't get bored on rainy days!
Kingston is home to many festival and events, so if you want to check them out, plan your dates accordingly.
Is Kingston safe for travelers?
Downtown Kingston is not the place to just stroll around without knowing anybody. Uptown Kingston is much safer and easier to move around. Generally speaking, Kingston is not the place for walking anywhere after dark, and its best to move around with a driver you know.
Public Transport in Kingston, Jamaica
Route Taxis are the way to move around Jamaica. Official route taxis have a red license plate. In MoBay, you'll see the route they are catering to written on the doors. Route taxis are the cheapest and most flexible way to move around. Just be careful to enter/exit on the route. Otherwise, you'll be charged as a charter taxi. In Kingston, the Route Taxis are not as obvious, but they drive the most prominent streets and honk to let you know they are available.
Public Bus: The stop for buses to leave from downtown. I couldn't find a schedule. They seem to go more frequently than the Knutsford.
Knutsford: Leaving from from the downtown station, Jamaica's luxury bus connects more significant destinations. Be aware that the time stated refers to calculated driving time and not the actual time to reach a destination. Adding to the driving time are stops and bus switches which are not apparent when buying the ticket. Due to Covid, there are fewer buses than usual, so buying the ticket online is better.
Can I drink tap water in Jamaica?
Even though Jamaica is considered a third-world country, it provides the best water quality in the region. You are, therefore, safe to drink tap water. This is especially true in the cities. However, if it makes you feel uneasy, bring a water purifier.
What's the biggest challenge for the conscious traveler?
Tourism leakage: Jamaica is a tropical paradise that's adored by tourists worldwide, but it has a problem that's hidden from sight - tourism leakage. This phenomenon refers to the loss of revenue that occurs when international hotel chains capture a large chunk of tourist dollars, leaving very little money behind to benefit the local economy. If you're among the millions of visitors who flock to Jamaica every year, there's a simple way to help mitigate the effects of tourism leakage: support Jamaican-owned hotels, shops, and restaurants. By doing so, you can put your money where your heart is - and give the people of Jamaica a chance to thrive. So don't be shy about seeking out local businesses on your next vacation. Your decision to keep tourism dollars within Jamaica could make a world of difference.
While Jamaica is known for its beautiful beaches, there have been some issues with access to these public spaces. In recent years, many resorts and private properties have restricted access to certain parts of the beach, making it incredibly difficult for locals to maintain their life and right to the sea. Support public beaches and say no to all-inclusive tourism!
Make sure to bring a foldable food container and cutlery with you! The amount of waste caused by food sold on the street is incredible.
Make sure to protect Jamaica's marine life and bring reef-friendly sunscreen!
Packing List Jamaica
As you see, there are plenty of things to experience in Jamaica. To come fully prepared, check out my packing list for Jamaica, which includes everything from eco-friendly toiletries to sustainable fashion and even the coolest travel gadgets!
Places to visit in the Caribbean
Listening to and appreciating Jamaican Patois is about understanding the words and embracing the unique culture and history it represents. Learning a few key phrases can enhance your interactions with locals and deepen your connection to the Jamaican experience.
Port of Spain is nestled along the beach and leading up to a hilly backdrop. Between the typical Caribbean houses, you’ll find some old colonial buildings. What became evident at first glance was the diversity of the population. A mix of African, Indian, Spanish, and other ethnicities can be seen throughout the streets.
In Jamaica, herb houses are essentially dispensaries or shops that sell marijuana or cannabis products. Here are my favorite dispensaries or herb houses in Kingston, Jamaica!