Duration: at least one week
Budget: $ 55 per day
Port of Spain is the vibrant capital city of Trinidad and Tobago. After loving Jamaica’s capital Kingston so much I was very excited to explore Trinidad’s capital. From the first glance, it seemed to bear some resemblance. 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.
Port of Spain has become somewhat notorious over the last couple of years and apart from carnival season does not see too many visitors. While similar to Kingston, Port of Spain is not beautiful at first sight, it is a very fun and interesting city for those who stick around and feel the vibe of the city.
- Sight Seeing 80% 80%
- Places to eat 95% 95%
- Day-Trips 95% 95%
- Culture 100% 100%
Though the touristic infrastructure is basically nonexistent there are so many things to do and explore in Beirut. Here are my favorite things to do in the city.
Things to do in Port of Spain
- Stroll Queens Park Savannah
- Marvel at the Magnificent 7
- Take in the views from Fort Georg
- Explore downtown
- Visit the Famers’ market
- Relax at the Royal Botanical Gardens
- Sample the diverse cuisine
- Tour a panyard
- Night out in Woodbrook
- Day trip to the nearby beaches
- Join in on the cultural celebrations
- Good to know: Practical travel tips
Stroll Queen’s Park Savannah
Nestled in the heart of a former sugar plantation, this public park boasts a rich history as a racecourse and is now the lively center of the annual Carnival celebration. Surrounding it is a 3.7km perimeter road, hailed by locals as the world’s largest roundabout. As the scorching heat subsides in the early evening, the grassy center becomes a hub for cricket and football games, while joggers fill the perimeter path and vendors offer refreshing coconut water.
During Easter, the Savannah transforms into a beloved destination for kite-flying, with homemade ‘mad-bulls’ soaring high above the lush grass. Throughout the year, it remains a popular spot to indulge in delicious Trini street food. At dusk, an enticing array of stalls lines up on the paved area opposite the prestigious National Academy of the Performing Arts.
Just off the northern perimeter lies Circular Rd, where you’ll find a peaceful corner known as the Hollows. Teeming fishponds are overlooked by gentle grassy hillocks, creating a serene atmosphere. In the heart of the park stands the walled-off Peschier cemetery, a final resting place for the French Creoles, preserving their legacy and history. Nearby is the President’s House, an impressive colonial building that serves as a presidential residence and has been around since 1818.
The Magnificent 7
If you ever find yourself strolling along Maraval Road in St Clair, it’s impossible not to notice the Magnificent Seven – an impressive row of mansions that scream old-world glamour. These seven stunning buildings were once upon a time just farmland, but between 1902 and 1910, they were transformed into architectural treasures that still stand tall today.
Take in the views from Fort George
Experience the breathtaking beauty of the Port of Spain cityscape and the Gulf of Paria from an ancient fort. Built with sturdy stone walls and adorned with rows of historic cannons, this colonial-era fort offers a truly spectacular bird’s-eye view. Immerse yourself in the history of the fort at the wooden signal station, where a diorama and detailed board showcase its construction by Ashanti prince Kofi Nte in 1883.
Independence Square and downtown
Head to downtown Port of Spain for a unique blend of culture, commerce, and cosmopolitan life. On your way there, you’ll pass by the historic Independence Square, adorned with colorful flags from all 32 countries in the Caribbean region. Take a moment to pause here and take in the wonderful sight of historic buildings, monuments, and lush gardens that make up this buzzing plaza. Downtown Port of Spain is full of stores selling anything and everything. You’ll find street food and local fruits and veggies as well.
Farmers Market on Saturdays
The Port of Spain Farmers Market is a must-visit on Saturdays. Here, you’ll find an array of fresh fruits and vegetables from the nearby farms as well as handmade crafts from local artisans. It’s also a great spot to buy souvenirs for your loved ones back home. Prices are usually quite reasonable, so it’s worth doing some bargaining before making a purchase.
Relax at the Royal Botanical Gardens
The Botanical Gardens of Port of Spain are the perfect spot to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature. Spend a peaceful afternoon strolling through the lush gardens, admiring its great variety of plants and flowers. Make sure to keep an eye out for exotic birds such as hummingbirds or flamingos, which can often be seen perched among the trees. It’s a super beautiful way to take a break from the city!
Sample the diverse cuisine
From street food to fine-dining restaurants, Port of Spain offers a host of diverse culinary experiences. Try the tasty local dishes such as roti and callaloo and be sure to wash it all down with a cool glass of sorrel juice. The cuisine reflects the diverse population of the city so you’re sure to discover something new and delicious.
Tour a panyard
The steel pan is a unique instrument, born in Trinidad and Tobago. Steelpan music has become an integral part of the culture and many visitors take the opportunity to visit the steelpan bands for a behind-the-scenes look. We loved listening to the bands and watching them practice. After we left last year, the United Nations declared August 11 World Steelpan Day. Knowing the Trinis there will be great celebrations going on.
Nightlife in Woodbrook
With an abundant selection of bars, clubs, and restaurants, this neighborhood offers a sensational nightlife experience. Indulge in delectable local cuisine infused with the flavors of the Caribbean, all while immersing yourself in the captivating sounds of Soca and Calypso dancing. The Avenue as many refer to is a street in Woodbrook where you can just bar or restaurant hop from one place to another.
Day trip to nearby beaches
Maracas is my favorite beach in Trinidad and definitely one of my favorite beaches in the Caribbean! The beach is about one hour from Trinidad, with a picturesque ride through the lush green hills leading up to the Bay. Maracas Beach has a special vibe, especially on the weekends when the locals come to enjoy the beach. You can rent sunbeds for $10, find plenty of delicious food options, and get to enjoy the emerald-green water! The best way to go is by TT rideshare. However, it is best to agree on a pick-up with the same driver as getting back can be a hustle.
Las Cuevas Beach
10 minutes up the road from Maracas Bay you’ll find las Cuevas Beach. A super stunning, quieter strip of beach than Maracas. Defintly visit for a day of just chilling and relaxing!
Check out the cultural celebrations
Trinidad is full of cultural events and annual celebrations, which makes it the perfect destination for anyone looking to experience something truly unique. From traditional carnival festivities to street parades, there’s always something going on in this vibrant city. So don’t miss out on the chance to get involved with the locals and join in the fun! The Indian Lightfest and Indian Arrival Day are two of the most famous cultural celebrations in the city, bringing a wonderful mix of music, dance, and street performances to life. Another cultural celebration not to be missed is Hosay, which is observed by both Hindus and Muslims alike in the city and includes a procession of miniature temples accompanied by sounds of traditional music.
In August Trinidad celebrates the Santa Rosa Carib Festival and the Oshun River Festival. Santa Rosa Carib Festival is also another highly popular cultural celebration in Trinidad and celebrates the country’s rich Amerindian heritage. Oshun River Festival is another popular celebration in Trinidad that takes place on the banks of the Caroni River and features traditional folk dancing, masquerades, art displays, and music.
Get ready to travel Trinidad & Tobago
Currency: TT Dollar
Public Transport in Trinidad & Tobago
Public transport in Trinidad and is fairly reliable, safe, and easy to use (you just might need time). The main form of public transportation is the maxi taxi or minibus which are basically large vans that can fit between 8-12 people. Taxis are also available for hire from most major cities and airports. TT rideshare is the Trini version of Uber and works great! Loved it!
Tobago is a different story, especially as you venture away from Scarborough. TT Rideshare does not work in Tobago and so you’ll have to rely on taxis, buses (which run quite infrequent) and rides you catch with locals.
Best time to travel Trinidad & Tobago
The best time to visit is between December and May when the weather is dry and somewhat cool. This makes it the perfect time for beach trips and outdoor activities like hiking.
The two islands also have their own unique festivals. In Trinidad, the annual Trinidad Carnival is a must-see event that takes place in February and lasts for several days with parades, music, dancing, and lots of fun.
Trinidad and Tobago are outside of the hurrican belt. Therefore you do not have to fear hurricanes though the rain can get super heavy during the rain season which last from June to October.
Are Trinidad & Tobago safe?
It is generally safe to travel Trinidad and Tobago and we always felt very well looked out for. While the capital city of Port of Spain has become somewhat more notorious, we could fully enjoy the city with certain precautions taken in any capital in the region.
Internet & Phone
Internet and phone service is available in the major cities and on most of the countryside. You can purchase SIM cards for your cell phone to use with local carriers such as Digicel or Bmobile. The wifi speeds are decent, although they tend to be slower in more rural areas.
Tap water in Trinidad & Tobago
Tap water in Trinidad and Tobago is generally safe to drink, but it may come out of the tap hot or with an unpleasant taste. I still always fell better to use my water filter just to be sure.
Transport between Trinidad and Tobago
The most convenient and fastest way to get between Trinidad and Tobago is the inter-island ferry. It takes around 2 hours and there are several departure times a day. The ferry typically costs around $ US 70 each way, although prices can vary depending on time of year and day of the week. Alternatively, you can fly between the two islands with Caribbean Airlines or a few other smaller regional airlines.
Biggest challenges for the responsible traveler
Trash. Street food almost always comes wrapped in aluminum foil, and many restaurants serve it in to-go boxes. Luckily enough, a foldable food container will go a long way.
Generally speaking, responsible tourism practices are not (yet) prevalent in Trinidad or Tobago. Therefore, wear eco-friendly sunscreen when visiting waterfalls and the beach.
Sunscreen: Protect Marine life and wear reef-friendly sunscreen!
Sunscreen: Protect Trinidads coast by using reef-friendly sunscreen.
Packing List Caribbean
Are you getting ready to travel to Trinidad and Tobago? Check out my packing list to come prepared. You’ll find anything from cloths to useful travel gadgets and eco friendly travel products!
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