Port of Spain

Port of Spain, on the northwest coast of Trinidad island, is the capital city of Trinidad and Tobago.

Port of Spain Harbour
 Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
 
Daily highs (°C) 28.0 28.9 30.3 31.0 33.1 31.5 31.3 31.7 32.2 32.2 31.5 31.1
Nightly lows (°C) 17.0 19.2 20.7 22.0 23.0 23.3 23.0 23.0 23.1 22.6 22.3 21.0
Precipitation (mm) 42.9 39.8 16.9 27.7 67.5 155.6 193.6 244.0 190.5 143.3 210.5 75.7

Source:w:Port of Spain#Climate

A bustling and friendly city, Port of Spain is a great place to spend a couple of days and is the hub for the Trinidad's famous carnival. It has been the capital since 1757 and is the main administrative center, although not the largest town.

The main shopping area is between Frederick Street and Charlotte Street, running south to Independence Square (Brian Lara Promenade). As well as the bricks-and-mortar shops, there are numerous stalls on the street selling everything from fruit to CDs.

In the evening Independence Square is full of locals liming - hanging around, chatting to their friends and sampling food from the stalls scattered throughout. Wandering through here is a great way to get a feel for what Trinidad is about.

Get in

Overview of Port of Spain

By plane

Piarco International Airport is about 45 minutes from the center of Port of Spain. Allow more when flying out if your trip coincides with the evening rush hour as many people commute from the area around and beyond the airport to downtown Port of Spain.

The airport is served by:

...and several others.

From Tobago there are 14 flights a day on Tobago Express, which is operated by Caribbean Airlines. Flights are on a De Havilland Dash 8, cost US$24 each way and last about 20 minutes. Despite the great frequency of flights these can get booked out very easily.

By bus

There is a coach from the airport at Piarco weekdays only and it costs 4 TT. The coach will drop you off at City Gate.

By boat

There is a Wednesday ferry from Venezuela. See Trinidad.

From Scarborough, Tobago there are hydrofoils that take 2 1/2 hours and conventional ferries that take 5 1/2 hours to Port of Spain. Hydrofoils cost 50 TT one way.

Get around

Taxis are expensive, with a minimum price for a journey within Port-of-Spain being US$10. There are no standard color coded markings for taxis in Port-of-Spain e.g. yellow taxis and by all appearance resembles private motor vehicles. However, all vehicles for hire will have an license plate starting with H instead and you should not be surprised if one stop by and ask if you want a ride. Remember to check if it is a taxi!

See

The National Academy for Performing Arts

Do

Eat

There are many types of traditional and Trinidad food that must be tried, some of these include:

Budget

Western Main Highway at St James is a popular night spot with a long stretch of bars and eateries. There are also many food stalls selling Rotis, Doubles, and other local delicacies.

A local flour and chick peas delicacy called Doubles (available all over the island, even just outside the airport). There are several stalls on Independence Square can get these for 5TT each - make sure to get their early though as they tend to sell out pretty quickly.

American fast food chains like Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) and Burger King (try the totally local fast food chain Royal Castle!)

Mid-range

Ariapita Avenue, in the Woodbrook neighborhood of Port-of-Spain, is a popular dining and nightlife area with a good selection of mid-range restaurants.

To eateries like - Benihana and many others available at Trincity Mall, 15 mins from Piarco Airport

Splurge

Drink

Beer is a little expensive, priced around 9 TT (1.5 USD) at grocery stores and 15 TT (2.5 USD) at restaurants for a 275mL bottle. The local brew consist of Carib and Stag (lager). Rum is widely available and the local distiller Angostura is among one of the top producers in the region with its Royal Oak line.

For non-alcoholic drinks, Trinidians in general favor a sweeter flavor. Some of the local beverages can be found in the list below:

Sleep

Budget

Splurge

The recent opening of the Hyatt Regency means there is now a surfeit of "Splurge" rooms for much of the year. Try bargaining to get rates less than those listed.

Connect

SIM cards are easily available.

Stay safe

Trinidad has a bad reputation (it has a shocking high murder rate), but if you are sensible and stick to the main areas, you shouldn't have a problem and will find the locals incredibly friendly. Avoid any ostentatious display of wealth, and don't wander down dark backstreets at night on your own, and you shouldn't experience any problems at all.

Wear sunblock, even in early morning or late afternoon, since Trinidad is very close to the equator.

Cope

Embassies

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, January 17, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.