Experience many of the area’s natural and historical highlights, with time left over to immerse yourself in local culture and take an excursion or two. Here’s how to get the most out of three days in this Jamaican city.
Fort Montego is one of many 18th-century forts that were built to protect Jamaica from pirates and the Spanish and French navies. Luckily, this stone structure perched on a hill never had to use its four canons, and these days, the only potential invaders are benevolent travelers wandering over from the Hip Strip shopping district.
From the Hip Strip along Gloucester Avenue, stroll to the fort for a view of Montego Bay. History buffs will enjoy inspecting the fort’s four 12-pound cannons and lower-caliber guns, as well as learning the fort's slightly odd, somewhat hapless history.
Although the canons were never used as intended—to defend the island from invasion—one of the rusty guns exploded, killing a gunner during the firing of a celebratory salute marking the 1760 British takeover of Havana. Some 35 years later, the fort fired at a ship that officers mistook for a French privateer—and missed. These days, the cannons and guns are fired only to celebrate the birthdays of British kings and queens.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Admission is free.
- Bring cash because you will be close to a lovely crafts market.
- There are no on-site restaurants or bars, but Fort Montego is just a few minutes away from the many eateries along Gloucester Avenue.
- Wear comfortable shoes because getting to the fort requires an uphill hike.
How to Get There
Fort Montego is on Fort Street near the southern stretch of Gloucester Avenue known as the Hip Strip; it is easily accessible by taxi or on foot.
When to Get There
Open year-round, the fort is accessible day and night.
Invade the Fort, then the Crafts Market
After enjoying the fantastic coastal view, and before you check out bigger venues on the Hip Strip, visit the Old Fort Crafts Market located just behind the fort. This little market is a casual shopping experience, with local vendors selling handmade crafts and souvenirs. Small food stalls sell tasty bites and cold drinks.
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What are the nearest attractions to Fort Montego?
What else should I know about attractions in Montego Bay?
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- Harbour Street Craft Market
- Margaritaville Montego Bay Restaurant & Bar
- Aquasol Theme Park
- Sam Sharpe Square
- Cornwall Beach
- Montego Bay Marine Park
- Doctor's Cave Beach
- Hip Strip (Gloucester Avenue)
- Ahhh...Ras Natango Gallery and Garden
- Montego Bay Cruise Port
- Club Mobay Departure Lounge
- Rastafari Indigenous Village
- Rocklands Bird Sanctuary
- Rose Hall Great House
- Greenwood Great House