Kingstown Market
Kingstown Market
3.5
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3.5
3.5 of 5 bubbles26 reviews
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7
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5
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LincolnUrbanplanner
Lincoln12 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2011
Kingstown, St Vincent is definitely a working town: great character (and characters!), busy, noisy, colourful, often hot and sticky - just full of Caribbean life - but certainly not picture-postcard-pretty. And at the heart of Kingstown are the markets: wonderful, vibrant places selling an amazing variety of fish, vegetables, fruit and other local food. What really makes a trip to the market so special here, though, is the island's greatest resource - the people.

For those of us who are visitors to the Caribbean, many of the items on sale are unfamiliar - and if the names are unknown, the ways of preparing these foods are an even greater mystery. This is where the people of Kingstown's markets really shine. Just ask a stallholder "what's this?" and you'll soon learn what it's called, where it's grown, what it goes with, how to prepare it, how grandmother served it... These people are simply great ambassadors for their beautiful country and the great food it can produce.

So many visitors to Kingstown just pass through - from the airport to a ferry, from a cruise ship to...well, almost anywhere but Kingstown and its markets. And that's the problem: so many people miss out on this experience because it’s not mainstream tourism and this is a living, working town - not an "attraction" - a place where you rub shoulders with local people, where you share the sights, smells, noise and busyness of their daily life -and you can learn just a bit about the real Caribbean. Give it a try, don’t be intimidated by the unfamiliar, be just a little bit brave: you'll love it and learn just that little bit more about island life as it's really lived!
Written September 20, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Farleyshere
Wirral, UK51 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2016 • Couples
I personally loved this place as it was unspoilt by tourism but with that you do have to be streetwise. Most people are great but there are a few you have to be wary of. Lively atmosphere.
Written March 1, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

bigglesStrathaven
Glasgow, UK702 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020 • Couples
A lovely way to see the island from driving up to Fort Charlotte and the views over to other grenadine islands and then doing a walking tour of the botanical gardens with all its varied plant life plus a stop to see the parrots in a small aviary,lots of history in the fort along with pictures on the walls of one of the gun embrasure.
Written April 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mark E
Dartford, UK5,666 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2016 • Friends
Book an excursion!

The port area is a fairly run down port, at the end of a far from booming town, blighted by chaotic traffic and a gaggle of unofficial taxi tours (of variable quality I was told).

Once out of the port you'll stumble into Kingstown which is dominated by its market activity. You'll find locals in the streets selling anything from recently harvested fruits, spices and vegetables to flooring vinyls fresh from a container.

You'd think there would be an enterprising local or two selling overpriced coffee and wifi to tourists, but there's not. There's not even a tacky T shirt shop outside the terminal building. It's hard not to assume Kingstown really doesn't want cruise boats, which given the locals are clearly not wealthy and there are thousands of potential customers on every ship is very odd.

There's a heavy police presence and a distinctly edgy, verging on hostile atmosphere, unlike most of the Caribbean. Almost worth seeing for that alone.

All in all not a tourist destination unless you really need to buy fresh produce (unlikely if you are on a cruise!), so best to head on elsewhere via an accredited tour.

Challenging!

Mark

Written December 25, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

saronic
Zurich, Switzerland28,626 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2017
Kingstown is not the most exciting place in the Caribbean, but I still quite like it - not only for its sidewalks under arches, but also because it is one of the least touristy places around, despite the regular cruise ship stops here as well.

The central market is also nothing exciting, but since in St.Vincent many people still live off agriculture and not just tourism, there one can encounter some quite interesting products. I was especially surprised at the great variety of tubers, and here I learnt about Dasheen, Tania and Eddo (just three varieties of Taro), but also about Breadfruit and many other specialities.

But what will most stay in my mind was an encounter with the 'Redleg'-phenomenon, of which I had read before coming here, although I didn't really believe of encountering it. Nor on my previous stay in Barbados nor so far in St.Vincent was I ever confronted by beggars or aggressive merchants.The first person to ask me for money - right here in Kingstown market - had been a very miserable looking old, red-faced white man. The 'Redleg'-phenomenon immediately came to my mind and when I mentioned this word to the black market-woman, after the poor old man had left, she just nodded. Walking through Kingstown towards the Botanical Garden, I saw more of those 'Redlegs', which are below any class of black people here, and reading about them, the whole phenomenon apparently goes back to Cromwell and Ireland.
Written March 30, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lorrainejlondon2
London, UK1,041 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2014 • Family
It was fun walking through the streets of Kingstown as we going to get on our boat to go to Bequia Island.

Whilst rushing through the markets so we could catch our boat on time, the vendors shout out what their selling. As we where a large group they noticed we where Foriegners, the local vans hooting their horns and locals being very friendly. Overall the locals are very happy people.

Good experience !!!!
Written April 21, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

lisadramsey
winona, mn42 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2011 • Couples
Going from visiting remote islands to making a day trip to Kingstown for the markets was almost an overload to the senses...but in the best kind of way! This busy city is busting at the seams with vendors seemingly on every corner selling anything you can imagine. We enjoyed just walking the streets and taking it all in! As well, it's worth going to the official market where every kind of food of fruit, vegetable and spice can be found. The warmth of the locals made for a fun adventure as we visited with people and explored. The fish market is also a must to see as the hustle & bustle continues there as people vie for the best catch and workers hack away creating coveted steaks and cuts of fresh fish!
Written January 27, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

AnnaBj67
Bromma, Sweden97 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020 • Couples
Just loved to stroll around at the market. Stop for a drink at the small local bars by the ocean! Great place to get some fresh fruits and vegetables!
Written March 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kate R
Windsor, UK745 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2019 • Friends
A short walk from the cruise terminal and you are in another world, best visited on a Friday or Saturday when local vendors from all over the islands flock to Kingstown to sell their wares.Herbs and spices, fresh vegetables you may never have seen before, the ladies selling them are happy to explain how to cook and use them.
Also streets of the usual market wares and souvenir stalls.
Written April 27, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sco
Aberdeen, UK4,100 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2016 • Couples
The market place was ok to see the local way of life, but there's not much here and in general the capital. Busy, with lots of traffic. Only about 3 main streets to walk around to see the sights. Unfortunately a fairly poor area. Didn't seem to be a lot of historical British investment put into this country, or signs of successful infra structure for the benefit of generations to come. A shame. Best to get an island and sea tour, if you have time. The best part of the day for us was to snorkel and see the mass amount of lovely fish, at arms distance, only 10m off land.
Written February 17, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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