Paramaribo is the capital of Suriname. In the city colonial buildings line grassy squares, locals sell paintings in the shadows of somber Dutch forts and the thick aroma of exotic spices emanates from Indian roti shops. Parbo, as the locals call it, is a multi-ethnic feast for all the senses.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Suriname is during the relatively dry months of February to March and August to November.
Top Places to Visit in Paramaribo
1. Central Market
he frenzied shopping center is the best place to experience all the sights, sounds, smells and tastes Paramaribo has to offer. Located on the waterfront, the sprawling market is actually divided into three distinct markets. At the Maroon market, locals sell ceremonial and medicinal goods, including bizarre offerings like feathers, bones, caged monkeys and various herbal remedies. The Indian and Asian market is practically overflowing with delicious foods, plastic knick knacks and local handicrafts. At the fish market, you can enjoy the river views as fishermen unload the daily catch from the colorful boats each afternoon.
2. City’s Central Square
The city’s central square is pleasant and picturesque. In the center is a statue of Pengel, the legendary former prime minister of Suriname. The square is surrounded by the stately Presidential Palace, an elegant example of 18th-century architecture, an ultramodern bank building and aging government offices. Just behind the Presidential Palace lies the shady haven of the Palmentuin. There, tropical birds swoop from the royal palms and a troop of capuchin monkeys entertains visitors.
3. Roman Catholic Petrus and Paulus Cathedral
The city’s Roman Catholic Petrus and Paulus Cathedral is one of the world’s largest wooden structures. Built in 1885, the structure is now slightly rickety but features incredibly ornate carved wooden details. Due to restoration work, some scaffolding affects the overall appearance, but the cathedral is still worth seeing, especially to enjoy the views from the spires.
4. Fort Zeelandia
Built around 300 years back, constructed by the French, expanded by the British and finished by the Dutch, the well-restored fort offers memorable views along the river and is a favorite attraction of history buffs.
There are a number of fine restaurants in the city that reflect Suriname’s diverse population. The local cuisine is a mix of international delights.