Terminal Drop-Off Charge

From 1 November 2021, a £5 charge will apply for vehicles dropping off passengers at the designated drop-off zones, located directly outside the terminals. Discounts and exemptions will apply. Free drop-off will be available at the Long Stay car parks.

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Changes to entering the UK using EU ID cards

From 1 October 2021, most EU, EEA and Swiss nationals will need to use a valid passport to travel to the UK. ID cards will no longer be accepted as a valid travel document to enter the UK, though some exemptions will apply. 

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  • Overview

    The capital of Jamaica, Kingston grooves to the beat of the reggae music which started here and swept through the world. The largest English-speaking city south of Miami, it's city is situated on a wide plain, with the world's seventh-largest natural harbour to the south and the Blue Mountains behind.

    Jamaica itself may have a reputation for being laid back and rather slow, but cosmopolitan Kingston moves at a faster pace, in keeping with its importance as the dominant force on the island politically, commercially and culturally.

    Tourists tend not to stay in Kingston as such, generally heading for the northern and western beaches and resorts instead, but the city does have a wide array of historical and cultural attractions, not to mention a very sophisticated and sizzling nightlife, which draws travellers in for sightseeing and partying.

    Kingston was founded in 1692 after the demise of nearby Port Royal, the former capital which was devastated by an earthquake. Port Royal was known as the 'wicked city', being the haunt of decadent aristocrats and swashbuckling pirates. While not as notorious today, there are still some inner-city neighbourhoods to avoid for safety reasons.

    Phrase Book

    English Pronounciation

    Jamaica has a tropical climate with year-round constant high temperatures and humidity and little seasonal variation: there is a dry season and a wet season. The city of Kingston lies on the dry part of the island, which means that it receives less rain on average.

    When it does rain, showers are short, heavy and followed by sunshine, and they can happen at any time of year. The locals refer to these brief showers as 'liquid sunshine' and they seldom interrupt the balmy weather for long. The rainiest weather occurs in May and June and later in October and November, sometimes extending into December. Tropical storms and hurricanes can occur between July and November. This is in line with the Jamaican rainy season which runs from May to November.

    Although the mountains protect Kingston from the worst of the rain, the Jamaican dry season, between mid-December and mid-April, is still the most popular time to visit the city. If you are travelling on a budget the best time to visit Kingston is during the wet season when prices tend to be lower and things are less crowded. It is hot enough to enjoy the beaches and swim in the warm Caribbean waters all year.

    Norman Manley International Airport
    Location: The airport is located 11 miles (18km) south east of Kingston.
    Time: GMT -5
    Getting to the city: There's a good, extensive government-run public bus network across Kingston, with three major stations in town - the Downtown Transport Center, the ultra-modern Half-Way Tree Transport Center, or Cross Roads. You can catch buses across Kingston and Jamaica in general.
    Car Rental: Car rental companies represented at the airport include Avis, Budget, Hertz and Island Car Rentals. Their desks are in the Ground Transportation Hall.
    Airport Taxis: You can get a taxi from the airport to town. Look for metered taxis if you'd rather not bargain a flat rate, and be aware that the official taxis have red license plates. It is best to arrange a taxi in advance.
    Facilities: Facilities include ATMs, currency exchange, lounges, baby changing facilities, wheelchair assistance, a health centre (in the arrivals area), cafes and restaurants, duty-free storesand a good selection of stores.
    Parking Parking is available at the airport. It costs JMD 150 per hour, with a daily maximum of JMD 600.
    Website: www.nmia.aero

    Sightseeing in Kingston has a split personality due to the city's colonial past. Visitors will find attractions like Devon House and Spanish Town with grand British and Spanish architecture next to bustling markets with a distinctly Afro-Caribbean flavour.

    Visitors shouldn't miss touring the stately mansions and art galleries alongside the beaches and Bob Marley sights. Further from the city, the Blue Mountains offer a wild experience with waterfalls, hiking and tours of thoroughly-modernised coffee plantations. Don't miss out on sampling the world-famous Blue Mountain coffee; the best place to do so is at the Jablum Coffee Company in the village of Mavis Bank.

    Kingston has come a long way and is sure to have something to do and see for everyone. Highlights include the Bob Marley Museum, located in the musician's former home in Kingston; Port Royal, the one-time capital of Jamaica, famous for its tales of piracy; and the National Gallery, a small but well-maintained art museum which showcases a number of local artists of international repute. It's popular to picnic and stroll in the Hope Botanical Gardens, which has a small zoo that will entertain children, while there are those who enjoy hours of shopping and dining at Devon House, a magnificent Georgian mansion which has been turned into a craft and heritage centre.

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    No direct flights from Heathrow to this Destination