While on vacation in Suriname you can explore Paramaribo, the capital city of Suriname. We listed a couple of places to visit which you can do on your own without a guide. We would advise walking with the City map in your hand so you will discover more of the fascinating historical elements in Paramaribo.
1) Visit Fort Zeelandia with a guide
Fort Zeelandia was founded around 1600 by the Dutch and is the oldest building in Suriname. It was built as a pentagonal defense against external attacks. Trade was also conducted on Fort Zeelandia. The Fort has served as a prison for a long time. The Surinamese Museum is currently located in the Fort. Around the Fort are several beautiful wooden officers' houses. You will also find a former gunpowder house here which now serves as a pharmacy.
2) Stroll along the Waterfront
De Waterkant is the meeting place in Paramaribo. On this spot on the Suriname River, you will find many nice small restaurants. You will also find beautiful colonial houses here. A daily market takes place where many fresh products are sold.
3) Historical city center
The center of Paramaribo is known as "The Wooden City" because of the predominantly timber-built buildings from the colonial era. Since July 2002, the historic city center has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is wonderful to wander through streets with famous names such as Keizerstraat and Heerenstraat.
4) Enjoy the mass in St. Peter and Paul Basilic
The St. Peter and Paul basilic is the largest wooden church in South America. The church was built in 1883 and, in addition to the stone foundation, has been completely erected in various Surinamese woods. The 44-meter high tower and the special color combination of the church - yellow with gray - immediately attract your attention. Inaugurated in April 2014 as a basilica, the cathedral is an honorary title for special church buildings and places of pilgrimage.
5) Make a picture of the Synagogue and mosque next to each other in Keizerstraat
Multi-ethnic society means that there are different religions in Suriname. In Paramaribo, you will also find a cathedral, Hindu temples, a synagogue, and mosques. The Neve Shalom Synagogue and the Mosque of the Surinamese Islamic Association stand side by side in Keizerstraat, which is unique in the world. The Ne Ve Salom Synagogue is a Dutch Israelite Synagogue that was commissioned in 1842. The mosque was inaugurated on July 27, 1984, and replaces the previous wooden mosque from 1932.
6) Experience the Independence Square
Independence Square is a beautiful open and green square. Before the independence is was called the Oranje square. On the square, you will find the most important buildings of the city, such as the Ministry of Justice & Police, the Government House, the Ministry of Finance, the Presidential Palace and the modern-looking Congress Hall. Every Sunday morning the bird catching competition takes place on the square, an exciting competition in which there is a battle for who has the most beautiful whistling bird. Behind the square, you will find the beautiful Palm Garden.
7) Sit in the Palm Garden
The palace garden with hundreds of royal palms was laid out around 1685 for the then-governor Cornelis van Aerssen van Sommelsdijck. After his death in 1688, the garden was closed to the public for a long time. A tunnel was even dug from the palace to the center of the garden, which was to serve as an escape route in the event of a possible attack. Around 1900 the garden was opened to the public again. In the garden, you will find some memorials, such as the statue of Ruben, a boy who was killed by suffocation. "Parents watch your children" is the corresponding motto. Performances and markets are organized in the Palm Garden on national holidays.
8) Taste ripe exotic fruits on the Central market
The central market is a large white two-story building at the end of the Waterfront. It is the largest covered market in the Caribbean. On the market, you can get everything: fresh vegetables, fruit, meat, fish, nuts, herbs, clothing, drugstore articles, birdcages, etc. You will also find delicious Surinamese delicacies here.
9) Get acquainted with the maroon traditional medicines on the Djoeka wojo: marron market
Definitely go to the Maroon market or the "Djoeka wojo", a little further than the Central Market. There are mainly Maroon and indigenous women here, selling products from the Amazon rainforest and medicinal herbs. For example 'oso dresi', ( homemade medicines made with herbs). These medicines offer a solution for all kinds of health problems and problems in the bedroom!
The inner city of Paramaribo is on the Unesco world heritage site...so please enjoy the old buildings that's make this city so unique!
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