The capital of Trinidad and Tobago, Port of Spain is big, bold and unashamedly brash. A Caribbean melting pot of beautiful beaches and big business, this island has more to offer than just palm trees and rum punch. A buzzing city with a thriving social scene, an eclectic bunch of restaurants ranging from traditional Caribbean fare of rice and peas, plantain and dumpling to more sophisticated Trinidadian fine dining can all be found douwntown. While the Carnival, which takes place on Ash Wednesday every year, is by far the most important event in the festival calendar there are many other things to keep the tourist here busy. The International Waterfront Centre, the National Academy for Performing Arts, the Savannah (a large park in the centre of the city) and the Royal Botanic Gardens (established in 1818, these are one of the oldest gardens in the Caribbean and include 700 trees of which 13% are indigenous to Trinidad and Tobago) are well worth a visit.
From the Savannah area radiate many of the most important streets, and around it are several buildings of historical and architectural interest, including the President’s House, which stands in the grounds of the Botanical Gardens; Whitehall, which houses the office of the prime minister; the house of the Roman Catholic archbishop of Port of Spain; the Knowsley Building, which accommodates some government ministries; All Saints’ Church (Anglican); and the neo-Renaissance Red House, rebuilt in 1906, which contains the Parliament and government offices. There are also Muslim and Hindu houses of worship in the city.
Despite its somewhat shady reputation, Trinidad is a generally safe place and provided that day trippers are sensible there would be no reason to feel in any danger. The locals are incredibly friendly so do take your time getting to know a few and you will be pleasantly surprised!