Georgetown is an endearing city with a laid-back atmosphere. The gridded streets are lined with colonial buildings, parks and markets, and the mix of Asian, African, East Indian and white faces is a testament to the country’s cultural diversity and colonial legacy. Although the city itself only contains a handful of traditional tourist attractions, the capital is a great place to start your exploration of Guyana.
For a good introduction to Guyana’s history and culture, visit the National Museum. The exhibits tend to be old-fashioned and dusty, but they still provide an interesting insight into the nation’s social, political and cultural history.
Next, visit the Botanical Gardens to experience one of the city’s greatest treasures. Established in 1878, the gardens cover more than 185 acres of a former sugar plantation. Walking through the gardens reveals an array of spectacular butterflies, exceptional plants, colorful birds and even the West Indian Manatee, an endangered species. More than 100 species of palm trees grow throughout the grounds, providing shade from the hot sun. Other tropical trees that thrive in the gardens include the night blooming Water Chestnut, the Monkey Pot species and Jacaranda trees.
Within the Botanical Gardens lies the Guyana Zoological Park, spanning just over four acres. Visitors can see many of the “Giants of Guyana” up close, including jaguars, giant river turtles, harpy eagles, river otters and the largest subfamily of alligators in the world. The extraordinary collection will soon include the world’s largest anteater and the largest species of freshwater fish, the Arapaima, once planned expansions are completed.
One block south of the Botanical Gardens is the Square of the Revolution, an open court marked by a monument to Cuffy, the hero of the 1763 rebellion of over 2,500 slaves. The statue’s unusual exaggerated style is characteristic of Western Africa and is a symbol of the resistance against colonialism.
Visitors can throw themselves into the local spirit at the Stabroek Market, housed in an impressive cast-iron building. The bazaar is the city’s main shopping venue, and it nearly overflows with bustling energy. It is the perfect place to find souvenirs, local artwork, handicrafts, fresh fruits and vegetables and all kinds of delicious Guyanese delicacies. After feasting on the food, be sure to enjoy a Caribbean-style dark rum, the most popular national drink.
Georgetown is home to a number of distinct architectural and historic landmarks. One of the most eye-catching is the Town Hall. The building’s whimsical neo-Gothic design reminds some visitors of Disneyland, but the sight is actually one of the most historic in the capital. There, wives waited anxiously for their husbands’ ships to arrive in port during the colonial era.
St. George’s Cathedral is another remarkable building. The Anglican church was constructed in 1892 out of mostly local materials, including greenheart hardwood, and it is the world’s tallest wooden building.
Other notable sights within the capital include the Walter Roth Museum of Anthropology, the Dutch period Parliament Building, the popular Georgetown Seawall, the century-old National Library and the State House, home to the president and a stunning example of Georgetown’s colonial architecture.
Georgetown Geographical Location
Georgetown is Guyana’s largest city and is located on the northern coast of the Atlantic Ocean, at the mouth of the Demerara River.
The population of Georgetown is approximately 240,000.
English is the official language of Guyana and is taught in schools. Creole, Caribbean Hindustani, and Urdu are also common.
Georgetown Predominant Religion
- 30.5% Protestant
- 28.5% Hindu
- 18% Other Christian
- 8% Roman Catholic
- 7% Muslim
- 1% Jehovah’s Witness
- 3.5% Other
- 3.5% None
Pentecostal is the most common Protestant religious group in Guyana with Anglican, Seventh Day Adventist, and Methodist comprising the rest.
The Guyanese Dollar is the official currency of Guyana.
Georgetown experiences a tropical climate, warm temperatures, and humidity throughout the year.
Georgetown Main Attractions
- St George’s Anglican Cathedral
- Stabroek Market
- National Museum of Guyana
Other Attraction in Georgetown
- Demerara Distillery
- Demerara Harbour Bridge
- Independence Square
- Parliament Building