Saint John’s

As the capital and largest city of Antigua and Barbuda, this charming locale is celebrated for its lively market, baroque cathedral, and the historic Fort James at the harbor entrance. Its harbour, deeply indented and protected by a series of coral reefs, serves as a crucial port for both tourism and commerce, bustling with cruise ships and yachts.

The city's vibrant streets, rich history, and picturesque beaches make it a popular destination for travelers seeking a blend of culture, history, and tropical leisure.

Places to visit

Key Phrases

Speak like a local

  • "Hello" - Hello
  • "Goodbye" - Goodbye
  • "Thank you" - Thank you
  • "How are you?" - How are you?
  • "Please" - Please

Day plans

Spend a day exploring around

day 1

Exploring the Beaches

morning:Start your day with a relaxing stroll along the picturesque Dickenson Bay. Enjoy the soft sands and clear waters before cooling off in the shade of a beachfront bar.

afternoon:For lunch, head to Coconut Grove. This laid-back beachfront eatery offers a delectable menu of Caribbean-inspired dishes, best enjoyed with a view of the sparkling sea.

evening:As evening falls, visit Castaways for a delightful dining experience right by the water's edge. Don't miss their fresh seafood options and captivating sunset views. For a night-out, head to the nearby Beachlimerz for live music and cocktails.

day 2

Historical Heritage Exploration

morning:Embark on a cultural journey at Nelson's Dockyard, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Wander among the historic buildings and absorb the rich maritime history of the region.

afternoon:Enjoy a scrumptious lunch at the charming Admiral's Inn while taking in the scenic harbor views. Indulge in their delectable seafood dishes and refreshing beverages.

evening:Head to Shirley Heights Lookout for a breathtaking sunset panorama. Capture the stunning views before joining the lively Sunday night party with live music and BBQ.

day 3

Nature Escape and Wellness

morning:Rejuvenate your morning with a visit to the calming Botanical Gardens. Explore the lush greenery and admire the vibrant array of tropical flora before heading to a local café for a revitalizing breakfast.

afternoon:Relish in a delightful lunch at a cozy eatery like Sheer Rocks, perched on the cliffs overlooking the azure waters. Savor their gourmet dishes amid a serene and breathtaking setting.

evening:Unwind and pamper yourself with a relaxing spa treatment at a luxurious resort. Indulge in a well-deserved massage or holistic therapy session for a tranquil evening experience.

day 4

Adventure and Watersports

morning:Kick off the day with thrilling watersports activities at Runaway Beach. Engage in snorkeling, jet-skiing, or paddleboarding for an exhilarating experience amid the crystal-clear waters.

afternoon:Recharge with a delicious lunch at a beachside grill or shack. Sample the local specialties and savor a delightful meal with the soothing sound of the waves as your backdrop.

evening:As evening approaches, head to Pigeon Beach. Experience a beachfront barbecue set against a stunning sunset backdrop. After dinner, stroll along the lively promenade for some nighttime entertainment and drinks.

Saint John’s's Famous Food

Delicacies in Saint John’s you must try!

Fungi and Pepperpot

Fungi, a cornmeal-based side dish, served with a hearty stew of vegetables, meat, and spices known as Pepperpot, is a must-try traditional Antiguan dish. For an authentic experience, visit Mama Lolly's in St. John's for a taste of this flavorful comfort food.

Must-Try!

Ducana

Ducana, a sweet potato dumpling steamed in banana leaves and often paired with saltfish, coconut, and spices, is a beloved Antiguan favorite. Head to the Heritage Quay Market to sample this delectable dish prepared by local vendors.

Attractions in Saint John’s

Nice places to capture memories

Shirley Heights

Offers stunning views of English Harbour and provides a perfect vantage point for photographing the sunset.

Fort James

Provides beautiful panoramic views of the coastline and is a great spot for capturing picturesque scenes of the island.

Nelson's Dockyard

Features picturesque waterfront scenery and historic architecture, ideal for capturing memorable photos of the harbor and surrounding area.

Seasonal Advice

Best times to visit and what to expect in different seasons

December to April

Best time to visit, with pleasant weather and lower chances of rain

May to November

Rainy season with higher humidity, but also lower accommodation rates

Outdoor Activities in Saint John’s

Fun outdoor pursuits

Snorkeling

Explore the stunning coral reefs and marine life in the waters around Saint John’s through snorkeling.

Beach hopping

Visit the beautiful beaches such as Dickenson Bay, Runaway Bay, and Fort James for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports.

Sailing and boat tours

Take a sailing trip or join a boat tour to enjoy the panoramic views and crystal-clear waters around Saint John’s.

Hiking and nature trails

Discover the natural beauty of Antigua through hiking trails like the Signal Hill Trail and the Falmouth Harbour Trail.

Tipping & Payment

Ensure a smooth experience

Tipping

Tipping is not always expected in Antigua and Barbuda, but it is appreciated for good service, especially in tourist areas. It is common to leave a 10% - 15% tip at restaurants if a service charge is not included in the bill.

Payment

Credit cards are widely accepted at hotels, restaurants, and larger stores in Saint John’s, Antigua and Barbuda. However, it is advisable to carry some cash for smaller establishments and local markets, where cash is the preferred form of payment.

Local Etiquette

Tips on cultural norms and respectful behavior

Greeting customs

In Antigua and Barbuda, it is important to greet people with a warm handshake and maintain eye contact. Showing respect through proper greetings is highly valued in the culture.

Respect for elders

Respect for elders is a significant cultural norm in Antiguan and Barbudan society. It is important to address elders with titles such as 'Mr.' or 'Mrs.' as a sign of respect.

Beach etiquette

When visiting the beaches in Antigua and Barbuda, it is important to respect the local customs and avoid any behavior that may be considered inappropriate. Modest beachwear is recommended out of respect for the local culture.

Food Markets & Street Food

A food market and street food guide

Heritage Quay Market

This bustling market offers a diverse range of street food stalls and vendors selling freshly prepared local delicacies, including seafood, grilled meats, fruits, and traditional snacks like conch fritters and coconut tarts.

Nightlife in Saint John’s

As the sun sets, the vibrant nightlife scene begins to unfold in the capital city of Antigua and Barbuda. Visitors and locals alike are drawn to its lively atmosphere, where a blend of local culture, music, and entertainment can be enjoyed. Most nights start with a relaxed dinner at one of the many waterfront restaurants, offering a range of cuisine from traditional Antiguan dishes to international fare. Fresh seafood, especially lobster and conch, is a popular choice among diners. After dining, the energy ramps up at the numerous bars and clubs scattered throughout the city. Many favor English Harbour for a lively night out, known for its stretch of bars that cater to both yachting enthusiasts and party-goers. Live music venues often feature local bands playing calypso, reggae, and soca, creating a rhythmic soundtrack to the evening. For those who enjoy dancing, several nightclubs in Saint John’s boast late-night revelry with DJs spinning a mix of Caribbean beats and contemporary hits. The warm and friendly island culture is palpable, with both tourists and locals dancing together, creating an inclusive and joyous atmosphere. In addition to bars and clubs, Saint John’s is also home to various entertainment options like casino gaming, which offers a touch of glitz and excitement for those who enjoy a bit of a gamble. For a more laid-back experience, many choose to end their night with a peaceful walk along the moonlit beaches or a quiet drink in a beachfront bar, enjoying the cool breeze and the sound of the waves. Whether seeking energetic nightlife or a more serene evening by the sea, Saint John’s offers a rich tapestry of experiences that cater to all preferences and ensure memorable nights on the island.

Things to do in Saint John’s

Unique local experiences...

Pet sitters in Saint John’s

Relax and unwind while your furry friend enjoys making a new companion!

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