What is the Capital City of Antigua and Barbuda?

St. John’s, located on the northwest coast of Antigua, is the capital and largest city of Antigua and Barbuda. It serves as the political, economic, and cultural hub of the twin-island nation, boasting a rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning natural beauty.

  • Area: St. John’s covers an area of approximately 10 square kilometers, making it a compact yet bustling urban center.
  • Population: The city is home to over 22,000 residents, representing a diverse mix of Antiguans, Barbudans, and expatriates from around the world.
  • Time Zone: St. John’s operates on Atlantic Standard Time (AST), UTC-4, aligning with the standard time for much of the Caribbean region.
  • Highest Mountain: Antigua’s highest point is Mount Obama, formerly known as Boggy Peak, located in the southwest of the island. While not within the city limits, it stands as the tallest mountain in Antigua, reaching an elevation of 402 meters (1,319 feet).
  • Longest River: Antigua is relatively flat, with no significant rivers. However, several small streams and watercourses traverse the island, contributing to its lush vegetation and fertile soil.


St. John’s is situated on a natural harbor, providing sheltered anchorage for ships and boats. The city’s coastline is characterized by sandy beaches, coral reefs, and turquoise waters, making it a popular destination for beachgoers and water sports enthusiasts. St. John’s is surrounded by rolling hills and verdant countryside, offering panoramic views of the island’s interior and coastline.

Major Landmarks:

St. John’s boasts several landmarks that showcase its history, culture, and natural beauty:

  1. Nelson’s Dockyard: Located on the southern coast of Antigua, Nelson’s Dockyard is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the Caribbean’s premier historic attractions. Named after Admiral Horatio Nelson, who served in Antigua in the 18th century, the dockyard is a well-preserved example of British colonial naval architecture. Visitors can explore the restored buildings, museums, and maritime artifacts, as well as enjoy panoramic views of English Harbour.
  2. St. John’s Cathedral: Also known as the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, St. John’s Cathedral is one of the oldest Anglican churches in the Caribbean. Built in the 17th century, the cathedral features a distinctive Baroque-style facade, marble columns, and a soaring bell tower. The interior is adorned with stained glass windows, wooden pews, and intricate woodcarvings, reflecting the island’s religious heritage and colonial legacy.
  3. Fort James: Perched on a promontory overlooking St. John’s Harbour, Fort James is a historic military fortification dating back to the 18th century. Built by the British to protect the island from French invasion, the fort offers sweeping views of the coastline and surrounding countryside. Visitors can explore the ramparts, cannons, and dungeons, as well as learn about Antigua’s maritime history and colonial past.
  4. Shirley Heights Lookout: Situated on a hilltop overlooking English Harbour, Shirley Heights Lookout offers panoramic views of Antigua’s southern coast and neighboring islands. The lookout is a popular spot for sunset viewing, live music, and socializing, with a weekly Sunday evening barbecue attracting locals and visitors alike. The historic military barracks and gun battery add to the charm of this iconic landmark.
  5. Museum of Antigua and Barbuda: Located in the heart of St. John’s, the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda showcases the islands’ rich history, culture, and natural heritage. Housed in a historic colonial building, the museum features exhibits on indigenous peoples, slavery, colonialism, and independence, as well as artifacts, photographs, and multimedia displays. Visitors can gain insights into Antigua and Barbuda’s past and present, from prehistoric times to the present day.

Climate Overview:

St. John’s enjoys a tropical maritime climate, characterized by warm temperatures, abundant sunshine, and a relatively dry season from December to April and a wet season from May to November. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the average temperature, precipitation, and sunny days for each month:

Month Average Temperature (°C) Precipitation (mm) Sunny Days
January 25°C 50mm 8
February 25°C 40mm 8
March 26°C 30mm 9
April 27°C 40mm 9
May 28°C 80mm 8
June 29°C 120mm 7
July 30°C 140mm 7
August 30°C 150mm 7
September 29°C 150mm 7
October 28°C 120mm 7
November 27°C 90mm 7
December 26°C 60mm 8

St. John’s enjoys warm temperatures year-round, with the trade winds providing a refreshing breeze during the hotter months. The city’s coastal location moderates temperatures, making it an ideal destination for beach vacations and outdoor activities.

Other Capital Cities in Antigua and Barbuda’s History:

Throughout Antigua and Barbuda’s history, several cities have served as the capital at different times. Let’s explore each of these cities and their significance:

St. John’s (1981-Present):

St. John’s, located on the island of Antigua, has been the capital of Antigua and Barbuda since the country gained independence from Britain in 1981. As the largest city and economic center of the twin-island nation, St. John’s plays a crucial role in governance, commerce, and tourism. The city’s historic landmarks, vibrant culture, and natural beauty make it a popular destination for visitors and locals alike. St. John’s serves as the administrative, commercial, and cultural heart of Antigua and Barbuda, reflecting the country’s diverse heritage and aspirations for the future.

Codrington (1681-1871):

Codrington, located on the island of Barbuda, served as the capital of Antigua and Barbuda during the colonial period under British rule. Named after Christopher Codrington, the governor of the Leeward Islands, the town was established as a center of administration, trade, and plantation agriculture. Codrington’s natural harbor and fertile soil made it a strategic outpost for the British Empire, with sugar production and slave labor driving the island’s economy. Despite its historical significance, Codrington declined in importance following the abolition of slavery and the consolidation of power in St. John’s, leaving behind a legacy of colonial architecture and cultural heritage.

Falmouth (1871-1981):

Falmouth, located on the southeastern coast of Antigua, served as the capital of Antigua and Barbuda during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Named after the famous English port, Falmouth became a thriving center of trade, shipbuilding, and maritime commerce. The town’s sheltered harbor and strategic location made it a hub for shipping and navigation, with bustling markets and waterfront activities. Falmouth’s prosperity waned in the mid-20th century with the decline of the sugar industry and the rise of St. John’s as the dominant urban center. Today, Falmouth retains its quaint charm and maritime heritage, attracting visitors with its scenic beauty and historic ambiance.

Country Facts:

Antigua and Barbuda, located in the eastern Caribbean Sea according to, is a sovereign island nation comprising two main islands, Antigua and Barbuda, and several smaller islands. Here are some key facts about Antigua and Barbuda:

  • Geography: Antigua and Barbuda covers an area of approximately 442 square kilometers, making it one of the smallest countries in the Americas. The islands are characterized by sandy beaches, coral reefs, and limestone formations, with lush vegetation and tropical climate.
  • Population: Antigua and Barbuda is home to over 100,000 residents, with the majority living on the island of Antigua. The population is diverse, with African, European, and indigenous influences shaping the country’s culture and identity.
  • Economy: Antigua and Barbuda’s economy is driven by tourism, financial services, and agriculture. The tourism industry, in particular, plays a vital role in the country’s economy, attracting visitors with its pristine beaches, luxury resorts, and vibrant culture. Financial services, including offshore banking and investment, also contribute to the country’s GDP.
  • History: Antigua and Barbuda were inhabited by indigenous peoples such as the Arawak and Carib before the arrival of European colonizers in the 15th century. The islands were colonized by the British in the 17th century and remained under British rule until gaining independence in 1981. The legacy of slavery and colonialism continues to shape Antigua and Barbuda’s society, culture, and politics.
  • Culture: Antigua and Barbuda’s culture is a blend of African, European, and indigenous influences, reflected in its music, dance, cuisine, and festivals. Calypso, reggae, and soca music are popular forms of expression, while traditional dishes such as saltfish and fungi showcase the islands’ culinary heritage. Festivals such as Carnival and Antigua Sailing Week celebrate the country’s cultural diversity and maritime traditions.
  • Environment: Antigua and Barbuda are known for their pristine beaches, coral reefs, and marine biodiversity. The islands are home to several protected areas, including Nelson’s Dockyard National Park and Barbuda’s Frigate Bird Sanctuary, which support conservation efforts and eco-tourism initiatives. Climate change and environmental degradation pose challenges to the islands’ fragile ecosystems, highlighting the need for sustainable development and conservation efforts.

St. John’s stands as a vibrant symbol of Antigua and Barbuda’s resilience, diversity, and natural beauty. From its historic landmarks to its stunning coastline and lively culture, St. John’s captivates visitors with its blend of history, hospitality, and Caribbean charm. As the capital city, St. John’s serves as a gateway to the twin-island nation, welcoming travelers from around the world to explore its treasures and experience the warmth of Antiguan and Barbudan hospitality.

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