Paramaribo : The Stunning Capital City of Suriname

Photo by R.A.R. de Bruijn Holding BV/

Paramaribo : The Stunning Capital City of Suriname

Paramaribo, also known as Par'bo, is the capital of Suriname. A prominent district, Paramaribo is the most populated city in Suriname with a population of about 241,000 based on the 2012 census. When exploring the city, you could be welcomed with stunning attractions which are worth sightseeing. On this article, we are going to be identifying ten of the best sightseeing destinations in Paramaribo.

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Paramaribo : The Stunning Capital City of Suriname

1. Saint Peter and Paul Cathedral

The first sightseeing attraction in our list is Saint Peter and Paul Cathedral, or the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Peter and Paul. It is a Roman Catholic Church that could be found at the heart of Paramaribo. The seat of the Diocese of Paramaribo, this cathedral has been recognized as a minor basilica in 2014 by Pope Francis. This sightseeing attraction is noted for being the largest structure in the Western Hemisphere that is made of wood. The church as three bells, a pipe organ with 1,550 pipes, and two confession rooms.

2. Commewijne River

Photo by R.A.R. de Bruijn Holding BV/

The Commewijne River is another popular sightseeing destination that you could visit when you are in Paramaribo. The river flows northwards from the hills of the Commewijne District. In the 16th and 17th centuries, the Commewijne River was known as Camaiwini or Cammawini. Today, its present name has been derived from the Arawak words "kama" and "wini" which means tapir and water/river, respectively. The Commewijne River has become a historically significant route for ships from Moengo to the confluence. At present, it is a popular place for boat riding among locals and tourists.

3. Fort Zeelandia

Fort Zeelandia is a fortress that could be found in Paramaribo. This wooden structure was initially constructed in 1640. However, the British people took the fort and renamed it Fort Willoughby. The fort has witnessed various historic events which took place in Paramaribo including the battle between Abraham Crynnsen and William Byan which lasted only three hours. In 1975, after the independence of Suriname, Fort Zeelandia became the place where the December murders of 1982 were held. Hence, when sightseeing around this fort, you will be amazed by the rich history is keeps.

4. Waterkant

Waterkant is one of the most prominent streets in Paramaribo. In both the colonial and the contemporary period, Waterkant has played a significant role in the history of Paramaribo. When sightseeing around the street, tourists will be welcomed with a lot of historic structures such as the Central Bank of Suriname, the Hoekhuis, large colonial houses, the Independence Square, the Lutheran Church, and the Waag. The other portion of the street is a favorite destination for strollers and sightseeing tourists since food stalls, kiosks, and parks could be seen in this place.

5. Neveh Shalom Jewish Synagogue

Photo by R.A.R. de Bruijn Holding BV/

The Neveh Shalom Jewish Synagogue is another religious sightseeing destination in Paramaribo. This is the only synagogue of the Ashkenazi community across Paramaribo and the rest of the country. Consecrated in 1665, it was only completed in 1723 with Jan Francois Halfhide as the architect. The present synagogue that could be seen was completed in 1842. It is not just an excellent sightseeing destination in Paramaribo, but it is also a great place for workship, especially those who are affiliated to the religion Orthodox Judaism. When you are sightseeing in Paramaribo, try to visit this synagogue.

6. Peperpot nature Park

The Peperpot Nature Park is another sightseeing destination that you should visit when you are in Paramaribo. It is a nature park with more than 700s hectares of nature reserve. For centuries, it was a cocoa and coffee plantation known as Peperpot. At present, it is management by Foundation Peperpot Natuurbos, a foundation which aims to protect and preserve the natural biodiversity present in the area. A small portion of the nature park consists of attractions connected to recreation, education, and ecotourism. One can walk through the park and discover portions of the coffee plantation that are still present up until now.

7. Suriname City Mosque

Photo by Rene Holtslag/

The Suriname City Mosque, officially known as Mosque Keizerstraat, is a stunning mosque that is found in Paramaribo. It serves as the central quarters of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement for the Propagation of Islam in the city of Paramaribo. This mosque could be found just beside the Neveh Shalom Synagogue. The Muslim community of Paramaribo was first established in the year 1929. But it was only in 1984 when this present mosque was completed. Before that, there was a prior mosque which was completed in 1932.

8. Presidential Palace

Photo by Ziep/

Our next sightseeing destination in Paramaribo is the Presidential Palace of Suriname. It is one of the most prominent and best-maintained examples of architecture with Dutch colonial influence in Paramaribo. As a matter of fact, it is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site that could be found in the inner city of Paramaribo. Aside from being the official residence of the current head of state of Suriname, the Presidential Palace is also used as a venue for diplomatic and government events and affairs. It would be a stunning place to visit.

9. Jodensavanne

The Jodensavanne was an agricultural community that could be found in Paramaribo. It was established by the Jews who were fleeing from the persecution of Spain. Located in Para district south of the city, the Jodensavanne has now become a cultural monument to commemorate the historic events which took place within the area. The former settlement of the Jewish community in the area has become significant in terms of history, economics, and culture as it represents a component of the Jewish history. In 1998, it was placed on the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

10. Palmentuin

Photo by Matyas Rehak/

Our last sightseeing destination on the list is the Palmentuin, known in English as the Garden of Palms or Palmgardens. It is a palm tree garden that could be found in Paramaribo, specifically behind the Presidential Palace of Suriname. The garden is home to tall royal palms (where it got its name), tropical birds, and capuchin monkeys. It also consists of a playground where kids could play as you unwind while marveling at the trees. The Palmentuin was cited as a special feature of Paramaribo by UNESCO.

◎ Closing

From cathedrals to nature parks, Paramaribo surely has a lot of interesting attractions which are worth sightseeing. It is worth noting that you create your itinerary quite well so you could enjoy touring around this beautiful city in Paramaribo.