Local markets to check out
The Island Village in Ocho Rios is a great blend of local and big time with an open-air market tucked right up alongside one of Jamaica’s most popular tourist districts. You’ll find a mixture of quirky souvenirs, handmade arts and crafts and high end jewellery.
Although you can also find the latter in duty free shops, you’ll be saving an extra quid at the markets. Also on offer at the Island Village are a couple of cafes and a cinema, so you can balance out your shopping with a little relaxation.
Coronation Market, found in Jamaica’s capital city of Kingston, is one of the biggest and liveliest markets on the whole island. It’s held within a cast iron building and gets especially busy – and noisy – with shoppers on a Saturday, though it’s open throughout the week.
If it’s a true taste of Jamaican commerce you’re after, you’ll want to head this way. Expect to find everything from fresh fruits and vegetables, toys, electronics, cuts of meat and street food to pick up as you go.
Montego Bay Crafts Market
The Crafts Market in Montego Bay is a collection of colourful, ramshackle stalls helmed by sometimes pushy traders, if you don’t know how to navigate the network of shops. But if you come prepared with your haggling A-game, you’ll find a great array of wares that are made by the locals themselves.
Here, you’ll come across everything from reggae-themed souvenirs to hand-carved wooden sculptures, jewellery, bags and hats.
Ocho Rios Flea Market
The Flea Market in Ocho Rios is an open-air affair where you can find everything from clothing to wooden carvings, jewellery, artwork and bags.
It’s another one of those places where the vendors are known for their pushiness, but if you go in with the right attitude, you’ll be able to tackle it no problem and come out with some locally made goodies.
BONUS – Harmony Hall
Located less than a 10-minute drive from Ocho Rios, Harmony Hall is a 19th-century Jamaican-Georgian mansion that has since been restored into an arts and crafts gallery.
Within you’ll find artwork by more than 100 Jamaican artists whose styles are vast and varied, plus a gift shop and a restaurant. In the wintertime, they host an outdoor craft market where swarms of local craftsmen gather and sell their wares in little stalls.