Backpacking in Guyana: Top 16 Things to See and Do in Georgetown

The City Hall in Georgetown, Guyana

The City Hall in Georgetown, Guyana

Guyana is not the most obvious country on a backpacking tour of South America, and admittedly it is a slightly harder one to access than Brazil, Argentina etc. However these are the places I enjoy the most – less touristy, more raw and normally very inspiring. Georgetown is the capital of Guyana and is a good place to use as a base when you stay there. We stayed in the Rima Guesthouse and as well as touring Georgetown, we also went to Parika, Bartica, Sloth Island and Kaieteur Falls. There’s enough to keep you occupied in the country for at least a week (or more if you do some jungle treks).

When you’re in Georgetown, I recommend trying to check out these top 16 things to see and do.

stabroek market georgetown

Top 16 things to see and do in Georgetown, Guyana.

1. Stabroek Market
The Caribbean meets South America here in what is a fascinating market. Fruit and vegetables are the main bargains to look out for in Stabroek Market. It’s a pretty building too.

backpacking guyana

Stabroek Bazaar in Georgetown

2. The Seawall
You have to check out the Seawall and get to know why it’s there…Georgetown is about 7 feet below sea level and therefore the threat of flooding and the tide coming in is very real. The locals were smart though – they built their houses on wooden stilts and they built this cool sea wall to keep the water at bay.

Standing at the start of the Seawall in Georgetown

Standing at the start of the Seawall in Georgetown

There is some graffiti on parts of it – worth a stroll to check it out.

Graffiti on the seawall

Graffiti on the seawall

3. Lunch at German’s
Despite the fact that this restaurant is called “German’s”, it is actually local food and a good place to try some Guyanese cuisine. This is where the locals go. We had a soup dish and a noodle dish in there and one of the other specialities is the the drink, called Mauby – like a spicy, sweet cinnamon/clove drink, similar to the Mocochinchi in Bolivia.

eating guyana food

Guyanese food in German’s Restaurant

4. City Hall
The British rule in Guyana (once called British Guyana) meant lots of English style buildings. The City Hall is a good example of this. The Guyana flag flies proudly from the peak.

City Hall in Georgetown, Guyana.

City Hall in Georgetown, Guyana.

5. Fogarty’s
This is an old school department store from back in the day. It looks like it hasn’t seen a facelift for years and that’s what makes it good. Cheap supermarket downstairs, all sorts of goods upstairs and a cheap cafe at the entrance.

Fogarty's massive department store and supermarket

Fogarty’s massive department store and supermarket

6. The Old Cricket Stadium
Cricket is the main sport here in Guyana and obviously the West Indies hosted the World Cup once. I checked out the old cricket stadium as well as the new one. I’m not a big fan of cricket, but it’s still worth a look.

The Old Cricket Club in Georgetown

The Old Cricket Club in Georgetown

7. Demerara Harbour Bridge (A Floating Bridge)
If you get a chance to get away from Georgetown – you should take it. We headed out to the town of Parika, and as you leave Georgetown you will cross a “floating bridge” known as Demerara Harbour Bridge.

Crossing Demerara Harbour Bridge in Georgetown, Guyana.

Crossing Demerara Harbour Bridge in Georgetown, Guyana.

8. St. George’s Cathedral
This is probably the nicest building in the city centre and as our local guide Eugene claimed, it’s the tallest wooden building in the world – some claim that, though the Cathedral in Paramaribo is also mighty high.

St. George's Cathedral in Georgetown, Guyana

St. George’s Cathedral in Georgetown, Guyana

At the front of the Cathedral there is a Guyana flag and an England flag.

georgetown cathedral backpacker

Relaxing in St. George’s Cathedral.

9. Providence Stadium
Providence Stadium is the National Stadium and is used primarily for cricket. It’s a big deal for the locals – Georgetown hosted some of the 2007 Cricket World Cup. The national football team also play here apparently, which confused me a bit as the cricket pitch is a different shape altogether. It’s on the edge of town.

Providence Stadium in Georgetown, Guyana.

Providence Stadium in Georgetown, Guyana.

10. Botanic Gardens
Leafy gardens that houses Georgetown Zoo and the 7 ponds. Here you can see the graves of the Presidents of Guyana, including a Mausoleum for the first President Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham.

At Botanical Gardens at the 7 ponds and the mausoleum of the first President of Guyana.

At Botanical Gardens at the 7 ponds and the mausoleum of the first President of Guyana.

11. Promenade Gardens
In the city centre there is a leafy and floral garden worth a quick stroll near Independence Square.

The pretty Promenade Gardens in central Georgetown.

The pretty Promenade Gardens in central Georgetown.

12. Carnegie Library
It was cool to see that the Library here is called Carnegie Library, as the library in my hometown of Bangor is also called Carnegie! Again – it’s an old style British building.

Carnegie Library in Georgetown, Guyana.

Carnegie Library in Georgetown, Guyana.

13. The High Court
The Court building in Georgetown is British too and features a statue of Queen Victoria. The statue is damaged and defaced and the story goes that the locals once removed the statue from outside the court and dumped it somewhere and parts of it broke.

The broken Queen Victoria Statue Georgetown Guyana

The broken Queen Victoria Statue Georgetown Guyana

Later on the Guyanese decided they liked it and put it back where it once belonged – in front of the court, where it now sits.

The Court and the Queen Victoria statue.

The Court and the Queen Victoria statue.

14. Parliament
The Parliament buildings date back to the British era. Politics in Guyana tend to go by race – so the Indian population will vote for an Indian etc.

Parliament in Georgetown.

Parliament in Georgetown.

15. Independence Square
Independence Square in Georgetown is by far the worst “Independence Square” I have ever been to. Grass has been allowed to grow, it’s dirty, ugly and not well looked after. I was sure there is a reason for the locals neglect of this square. Worth a peek only to see how ugly it looks.

Independence Square in Georgetown.

Independence Square in Georgetown.

16. World’s Worst Cemetery
As we drive out of Georgetown, our tour guide Eugene from Dagron Tours points out what is the world’s worst cemetery – they’ve left grass and weeds to just grow over the graves. An added quirky thing. Colourful none the less…

The world's worst cemetery, in Georgetown.

The world’s worst cemetery, in Georgetown.

So hopefully that should be enough to keep you occupied while touring Guyana’s capital city as well as the best bars in Guyana!

Here are some of my videos from Georgetown, backpacking in Guyana:

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