Skip to content

Is Kingston Jamaica Expensive?

    When it comes to planning a trip or considering a move to a new city, one of the first questions that comes to mind is, “Is it expensive?” So, let’s talk about Kingston, Jamaica. Is this vibrant Caribbean destination an affordable place to live or visit? Are the daily expenses in Kingston within a reasonable range? Hold onto your seat as we uncover the truth about the cost of living in Kingston and challenge common beliefs about Jamaica’s capital.

    Key Takeaways:

    • The cost of living in Kingston, Jamaica is reasonable and comparable to average travel destinations.
    • There are affordable housing options in Kingston, making it an accessible destination for budget-conscious travelers.
    • Restaurants, groceries, transportation, and accommodation prices in Kingston are within normal ranges.
    • The average salary in Kingston is sufficient to cover living expenses.
    • Kingston is not the cheapest destination in the Caribbean, but it offers a reasonable cost of living compared to other places in the region.

    Cost of Accommodation in Kingston Jamaica

    When planning a trip or considering a move to Kingston, it’s essential to understand the cost of accommodation in the city. The prices can vary depending on factors such as the location and size of the property.

    For those looking to rent a place, the average cost of a one-bedroom apartment in the city center is approximately J$109,180.20 per month. However, if you prefer a similar apartment outside of the center, the monthly cost can be around J$62,242.22.

    If you are interested in buying property in Kingston, it’s important to have an idea of the market prices. In the city center, the price per square foot ranges from J$33,562.13 to J$39,999.67. On the outskirts of the center, the range is wider, with prices ranging from J$14,999.88 to J$44,117.27 per square foot.

    Understanding the cost of accommodation in Kingston is crucial for budgeting purposes whether you’re visiting for a short stay or planning to settle down in the city.

    Discovering Affordable Housing Options

    If you’re looking for affordable housing options in Kingston, there are various resources available to help you find suitable accommodations that fit your budget. Local real estate agencies, online rental platforms, and community forums can provide insights into the rental market and connect you with affordable options. It’s important to conduct thorough research and consider factors such as location, amenities, and transportation accessibility when choosing a place to stay.

    Cost of Food and Dining in Kingston Jamaica

    When it comes to food and dining in Kingston, there are various options available at different price points. Whether you’re looking for a quick and affordable bite or a special dining experience, Kingston has something for everyone.

    Inexpensive Restaurants: If you’re on a budget, there are plenty of inexpensive restaurants in Kingston that offer delicious meals at affordable prices. You can enjoy a satisfying meal starting from just J$750.00. These restaurants serve a variety of cuisines, including traditional Jamaican dishes.

    Mid-Range Restaurants: For a more substantial dining experience, Kingston offers a range of mid-range restaurants. These establishments typically feature three-course meals for two people, with prices ranging from J$6,000.00 to J$15,000.00. You can indulge in a diverse selection of international cuisine while enjoying the vibrant atmosphere.

    Fast Food Chains: If you’re looking for a quick and convenient option, fast food chains like McDonald’s are readily available in Kingston. Combo meals at these establishments are priced around J$1,200.00, providing a quick and affordable option when you’re on the go.

    Beverages: When it comes to beverages, the cost of drinks can vary in Kingston. Domestic beer, imported beer, and soft drinks can range from J$190.00 to J$598.39. Enjoy a refreshing beverage of your choice at a bar or restaurant while exploring the city.

    Grocery Prices: If you prefer cooking your own meals, Kingston offers a wide range of grocery options. Prices for essentials like milk, bread, rice, eggs, cheese, meat, fruits, and vegetables can vary, but you can find affordable options by opting for local produce and exploring street markets.

    Overall, whether you’re looking for traditional Jamaican cuisine, international dishes, or street food, Kingston Jamaica has a diverse range of dining options to suit all budgets and tastes. Experience the rich flavors of traditional Jamaican cuisine or indulge in international favorites without breaking the bank.

    Transportation Costs in Kingston Jamaica

    Transportation Costs in Kingston Jamaica

    Getting around in Kingston can be done using various transportation options. Whether you prefer public transportation or taxis, there are options to suit your needs and budget.

    If you opt for public transportation, a one-way ticket typically costs around J$150.00. For frequent travelers, it may be more cost-effective to purchase a monthly pass, which can be obtained for approximately J$6,000.00.

    For those who prefer the convenience of taxis, fares start at J$150.00. A one-mile trip in a taxi can cost around J$804.67. It’s important to note that taxi fares may vary depending on the distance and time of day. Additionally, taxis charge J$724.00 per hour of waiting.

    When it comes to the cost of gasoline, prices in Kingston range from J$741.94 to J$946.35 per gallon. This is an important factor to consider if you plan on driving during your stay in Kingston.

    If you’re considering buying a car in Kingston, it’s essential to budget accordingly. The average price for a new Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline is J$6,850,000.00, while a Toyota Corolla Sedan 1.6l 97kW Comfort can cost around J$5,228,750.00.

    Overall, transportation costs in Kingston can vary depending on the mode of transportation you choose. Whether you opt for public transportation, taxis, or decide to purchase a car, it’s important to consider the associated expenses when planning your budget for your time in Kingston.

    Explore Kingston with ease and plan your transportation budget accordingly.

    Average Monthly Expenses in Kingston Jamaica

    Average Monthly Expenses in Kingston Jamaica

    Apart from accommodation, food, and transportation, there are additional monthly expenses to consider in Kingston. These expenses include utilities, communication costs, entertainment, healthcare, and childcare. Let’s take a closer look at these expenses:


    For a 915 sq ft apartment in Kingston, the average monthly cost of utilities is approximately J$26,000.00. This includes electricity, water, and gas bills. It is important to budget for these expenses to ensure a comfortable living environment.

    Communication Costs

    A typical mobile phone monthly plan in Kingston, including calls and data, averages around J$3,266.67. This cost may vary depending on the service provider and the package chosen. It is essential to consider communication expenses when planning a monthly budget.


    In Kingston, there are various entertainment options available at different price points. Whether you enjoy dining out, going to the movies, or attending concerts, the cost of entertainment can vary. It’s important to allocate a portion of your budget for leisure activities and entertainment, which can range from J$500.00 to J$5,000.00 per month, depending on your preferences.

    Healthcare Costs

    Healthcare costs in Kingston can vary depending on the type of medical services required. While public healthcare is available, many individuals opt for private healthcare facilities for better access and quality of care. It is advisable to invest in health insurance to manage healthcare expenses effectively.

    Childcare Costs

    If you have children and require childcare services in Kingston, the monthly costs can vary depending on the type of care needed. On average, daycare services can range from J$15,000.00 to J$30,000.00 per month, while a nanny or au pair may cost between J$40,000.00 to J$80,000.00 per month. It is essential to consider childcare expenses when planning your monthly budget.

    In conclusion, when calculating your average monthly expenses in Kingston Jamaica, it is important to consider not only the basic necessities such as accommodation, food, and transportation but also additional costs such as utilities, communication, entertainment, healthcare, and childcare. By planning and budgeting accordingly, you can ensure a comfortable and enjoyable lifestyle in Kingston.


    In conclusion, Kingston, Jamaica offers a reasonable cost of living compared to other destinations in the Caribbean Islands. Despite not being the cheapest option, affordability is still achievable in this vibrant city. The availability of affordable housing options ensures that residents and travelers on a budget can find comfortable accommodation without straining their finances.

    Moreover, the city provides a range of budget-friendly dining choices, allowing visitors to experience the diverse flavors of traditional Jamaican cuisine without breaking the bank. From street food to local restaurants, there are plenty of options to satisfy every palate and budget.

    Additionally, Kingston offers various activities that are accessible to all, whether you’re a resident or a visitor. You can explore the city’s historical sites, enjoy its breathtaking natural beauty, and immerse yourself in its vibrant cultural scene, all without overspending. The average salary in Kingston is sufficient to cover living expenses, making it a viable option for those considering a long-term stay in the city.

    Overall, Kingston, Jamaica is a destination that strikes a balance between affordability and a rich cultural experience. Whether you’re planning a budget-friendly trip or considering settling in the city, Kingston provides opportunities to explore and enjoy without compromising your financial well-being.