Saint John's

Travel Guide Caribbean Antigua and Barbuda Saint John's

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Introduction

Saint John's is the capital of Antigua and Barbuda and is located on the north coast of the island of Antigua. The town has around 32,000 inhabitants and apart from being the administrative centre is also functions as major port town. The government has been residing here since the independence of the country in 1981. Being one of the largest places in the region, it has good facilities with hotels and restaurants and a good deal of historical and cultural buildings, like the national museum, the cathedral, churches and of course nearby beaches.

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Sights and Activities

  • Saint John the Divine Cathedral. The Anglican cathedral with its two towers was built in 1681 as a timber construction, rebuilt in stone in 1722, destroyed in 1843 by the great earthquake, rebuilt in 1845-47. Damaged by an earthquake in 1974 and hurricane "Hugo" in 1989, the interior wood construction and paneling of pine wood has proven to be a good protection against earthquakes and hurricanes. The cathedral is built in baroque style with two towers. On the south portal are life-size, iron statues of John the Baptist and John the Evangelist from 1789. The church offers 2,000 worshipers place. At the moment still damaged.
  • Fort James (on the northern harbor side, St. John's Point). Foundation stone laying about 1675, today's building stock from 1749, was built together with the on the opposite harbor entrance Fort Barrington for the protection of the port of St. John. Originally designed for a crew of 70 and 36 cannons, the well-preserved walls and 10 cannons can still be visited today. The guns weigh about 2.5 tons, their range should be nearly 2,400 metres.
  • Government House. The official residence of the governor-general, received several visits to the English royal house. Originally, the building consisted of two separate houses from the 17th century. In 1801, Lord Lavington of Carlisle acquired the house. In 2002, arson caused more damage. At that time, renovations were being carried out and the house was empty.
  • Museum of Antigua and Barbuda, The Old Courthouse. In 1747-1750, the Old Court House was built by American architect Peter Harrison, born in England, using rocks that were broken on the islands of Long Island, Pelican Island and Guiana Island. Also this building was heavily damaged by the earthquakes of 1843 and 1974. It was not restored until the early eighties. Since 1988, the National Museum of Antigua and Barbuda has been housed here. The State Archives were also temporarily here. Curiosities such as stone artefacts of the Arawak Indians can be found in the museum alongside uniforms from the Second World War.

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Weather

Saint John's has a pleasantly warm and tropical climate with generally hot and humid weather. From June to October is both the hot and wet season with temperatures around or above 30 °C during the day and still above 25 °C at night. The cooler but drier period of December to May averages around 27 °C during the day and just above 20 °C at night. Most rain falls from July onwards, but even in the dry season showers are possible. Hurricanes can strike from August onwards.

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Getting There

By Plane

V.C. Bird International Airport (ANU) is near Saint John's and receives a number of international flights. Leeward Islands Air Transport (LIAT), the national airlines of Antigua and Barbuda serves many islands in the Caribbean and destinations include Anguilla, Barbados, Dominica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. Other airlines are Carib Aviation to and from Barbuda, Montserrat and Dominica, and several airlines fly directly from Toronto, New York, London and Frankfurt.

Carib Aviation flies daily between Saint John's on Antigua and Barbuda.

By Boat

The Antigua to Barbuda Ferry takes 1hr 30mins and the ferry departs at 8.30am on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays from Saint John's, arriving at River Dock, Barbuda. The return service from Barbuda departs at 3.15pm on the same days. On Tuesdays and Fridays the service departs Antigua at 4.45pm and returns the following day from Barbuda at 6.30pm. Reservations can be made by phone (001 268 464 9453).

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Getting Around

Many Taxi services exist and one may even rent a car. For the traveller on a budget The bus service is pretty reliable. (Ask Locals for assistance.)

Bike Plus (Independence Dr, St John’s, Tel: 462-2453, www.bikeplusantigua.com) rents out a range of bikes.

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Eat/Drink

  • Big Banana, Redcliffe Street, ☎ +1 268 480-6985, +1 268 480-6967, fax: +1 268 480-6989. 7:00-21:00 daily.
  • Café Napoleon, Redcliffe Quay, in the shaded inner courtyard, ☎ +1 268 562-1820. Monday-Saturday 8:00-17:00. French cuisine, including baguettes.
  • Commissioner Grill, Commissioner Alley and Redcliffe Street, ☎ +1 268 462-1883, fax: +1 268 462-1856. 10:00-23:00 daily. Caribbean cuisine.
  • George Restaurant and Bar, Redcliffe and Market Streets, 1st floor, ☎ +1 268 562-4866. 8:30-23:00 daily. West Indian cuisine, has a big outdoor area with a view of the ocean.
  • Hemingway's Café, St. Mary's Street and Jardine Court, ☎ +1 268 462-2763, fax: +1 268 560-1669, e-mail: hem_ways@hotmail.com. 8:30-23:00 daily. Caribbean cuisine.
  • O'Grady's Pub & Bar, Redcliffe and Nevis Streets, 1st floor veranda, ☎ +1 268 462-5392. Closed Sundays. Traditional English cuisine.

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Sleep

  • Jumby Bay, ☎ +1 268 462-6000. PO Box 243, St. John’s. This Caribbean luxury resort in Antigua offers suites and villa accommodations, afternoon tea, tennis instruction, beauty and massage services, and meeting space and wedding facilities.

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Keep Connected

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

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Contributors

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This is version 5. Last edited at 8:59 on Jul 11, 18 by Utrecht. 3 articles link to this page.

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