St. John's

St. John's

The capital of Antigua and Barbuda is called St. John's and is practically the only real city in the entire country. St. John's has a population of just under 25,000 and is made up of mostly low, stuccoed wooden houses, with only the narrowest centre containing brick office buildings or shops.

Book a cheap hotel in St. John's at

Overall, St. John's gives off a rather disorganized impression at first glance, yet it has a few attractions and can serve as a great starting point for trips around the island.

Sights and attractions

The most famous and virtually the only landmark in St. John's is the most important Anglican Church cathedral in the entire Eastern Caribbean.

It sits on a hill, so it's visible from the harbour, and in turn, the main entrance to the cathedral offers good views of the harbour and town centre. The cathedral dates from 1848 and is built in the Baroque style.

The exterior façade is not in good condition, but the church is still open to the public free of charge. However, it is open only irregularly and especially on days when large cruise ships arrive in Antigua.

The most exposed tourist spot is the Heritage Quay pedestrian area leading from the harbour jetties to the city centre. This street is surrounded by restored colourful houses with many upmarket fashion and souvenir shops. If you prefer a more local feel, turn south from Heriage Quay onto any street and you'll find a lively district full of markets and street stalls.

The best views of the majestic ocean liners moored in the harbour, then, are from Perry Bay Main Road or directly from the wooden boardwalk winding along the harbour.

Accommodation in town

St. John's isn't one of the nicest places in Antigua, but if you don't want or can't rent a car, it's practically the only place to stay. It is St. John's that serves as the main transportation hub, where all the bus routes leave from and where you'll find the most taxis and organized tour offerings.

Because St. John's is not an expensive beach resort, it is also the cheapest place to stay. Even so, expect the lowest prices to be around 84 eur per night in a 2-bed room.

Transportation in St. John's

Parking in the city is available anywhere along the streets, with the most space on High Street and Nevis Street.

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St. John's is the country's main bus hub. In real life, the bus lines tend to run vans or minibuses, but they always have a line number and a fixed route. On the other hand, there is no fixed interval and they always leave St. John's when the bus fills up.

There are two main bus stations in the city:

  • West Bus Station - services to Jolly Harbour, English Harbour, Falmouth, Nelson's Dockyard, All Saints, Old Road, Dickenson Bay and others (generally the whole west and south coast + centre of the island).
  • East Bus Station - Willikies, Bethesda, Freetown, Airport (generally north east coast)

The West Bus Station is significantly better signposted with platforms showing exact destinations. The eastern bus station is smaller and consists virtually entirely of tarmac with vans parked on it at various times.

However, the passengers and drivers are always helpful and will direct you to the right bus.

For detailed information on travelling around Antigua, see the Transport chapter.

What to see around

Discover all the places to see in Antigua and Barbuda.

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