The biggest city in Antigua, St. John’s is highly modernized yet steeped in history. Its most famous landmark is St. John’s Cathedral, rebuilt in 1845 after two earthquakes devastated it. Its baroque aesthetics and twin towers, which were unconventional during its time of completion in 1847, stand out on a hill overlooking the city.
Several museums also operate in St. John’s, but the most important are the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda and the smaller and lesser-known Museum of Marine Art, which contains shipwreck artefacts. A monument of Sir Vere Bird Senior, the first Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, is also a point of interest in St. John’s.
Military heritage sites abound, the most significant of which is the 18th century Fort James at St. John’s Harbour, with all 10 of its cannons intact. The ruins of plantation houses and sugar mills shouldn’t be missed either. The national stadium, Antigua Recreation Ground, is here, but Antiguans play their beloved cricket in Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, just east of the city.
The hodgepodge commercial culture of St. John’s is greatly evident along service docks for international cruise ships. Designer stores, bars, and restaurants can be found on Heritage Quay, while quaint shops line Redcliffe Quay. These are crowded every day, especially during Antigua Sailing Week. Southwest is the Market Square, where fresh produce, meat, and fish are sold daily. There are also photo centres everywhere. Conveniently, major investment banks and financial institutions operate in the city as well.
Commercial rentals are available in St. John’s. Villas, houses, and townhouses on Friar’s Hill are for rentals or sale. Exclusive waterfront lands and view properties are also on the market.