Bordered by Brazil, Guyana and French Guiana, the Republic of Suriname is on the northeastern Atlantic coast of South America. It is the smallest country in the continent with an area of just 165,000 square kilometers and has a population of about 566,000.
The country has most diversed people in the world with Dutch as the official language of government, education, media and business. An English-based creole language named Sranan is widely spoken too.
Capital city Paramaribo
Nicknamed as Parbo, the largest city Paramaribo is the capital of Suriname. It is on the banks of river Suriname. Since 2002 the historic inner city of it has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In Tupi-Guarani ‘Para’ means ‘large river’ and ‘maribo’ refers to ‘inhabitants.’ The early tribe living at the mouth of Suriname river was called as ‘Paramaribo’ and hence the city is named so.
Transport in capital
Johan Adolf Pengel International Airport serves with overseas flights in the city and for local flights the Zorg en Hoop Airport does the needful. The city has direct flights from Amsterdam and can be reached from Paris via French Guinea. It is also connected from Miami and New York, but with stops in Trinidad-Tobago. Brazil and Guyana too have direct flights to Paramaribo.
The city is connected to the other side of Suriname river to Meerzorg by Jules Wijdenbosch Bridge.
Buses and ferries are the convenient mode of transport from Guyana. It is suggested to reach the border at least one hour before as custom clearance sometime takes time.
Sights to see
There are several museums, religious buildings, gardens, notable buildings and markets to see in Paramaribo and few of the popular ones are as below mentioned:
Numismatic Museum of the Central Bank of Suriname – Here you can know the history of coinage of the country.
Koto Museum – If you want to learn the traditional Koto outfit which were worn by Surinamese women, this is the perfect place.
Laila Rookh Museum – Ancestors came to Suriname from Indian sub-continent and this place will refresh the memory of the migration.
St. Peter and Paul Cathedral – This is the largest church in Paramaribo. It is made of wood. No shots, open-toe slippers and sleeveless shirts are allowed here.
Palmentuin – It has extensive palm garden.
Central Market – It is the main market in the capital and is popular for selling meat, vegetables, fish and other domestic goods.
Maroon Market – If you want some African and maroon products, this is the perfect market. It also sells some items which are used in religious rituals and hence it is also called as Witches Market. Sorry, no photography is allowed here. Be careful.
Chinese Market – The name is enough to explain. You get all the Chinese food and vegetables here. It opens only on Sundays.
Kwakoe Market – You only get fruit and vegetable here.
Apart from all these you can also see notable buildings like the richly decorated Presidential Palace, the Tower of Ministry of Finance that can be seen from across the city, De Surinaamsche Bank, Court of Justice and Historical city centre too.