Nestled on the South coast of Jersey, the island’s capital of Saint Helier is an eclectic town bursting with charm, heritage and culture. Saint Helier is the buzzing heart of the island offering an abundance of activities, attractions and experiences that both locals and tourists delight in. The town provides a great introduction to Jersey showcasing the Channel Islands’ eclectic offerings and the unique blend of French and British influence. No where in the archipelago will provide you with such an authentic taste of the history and culture of the Channel Islands than Saint Helier making the Jersey town a brilliant starting point.
Historic Sites and Attractions
To understand modern day Jersey, you need to discover the rich history of the island and Saint Helier provides the perfect base for an exploration into the past. The Jersey Museum and Gallery based in Saint Helier offers a phenomenal introduction into the island’s history following Jersey’s roots in prehistoric times up to the present day. The museum showcases Jersey’s culture, traditions and pastimes as well as early reconstructions, 19th-century room restoration and archive footage of the island’s maiden footsteps into tourism.
As a port town, Saint Helier has a strong maritime heritage and a historic harbour, a harbour that is home to Maritime Museum and Occupation Tapestry Gallery. The Maritime Museum is one of Saint Helier’s busiest attractions and documents the island’s seafaring history. The site of the museum was once one of the largest shipbuilding locations in Europe producing over 800 ships in its day. This incredible museum is highly interactive and educational for all the family with full-scale replica vessels and the opportunity to observe the museum’s historic ships being maintained.
Located just off the coast of Saint Helier on its own islet in Saint Aubin’s Bay, Elizabeth Castle is a 400 year old fortress that has protected the island of Jersey for centuries. The castle can be accessed via ferry or on foot during low tides and visitors can explore the grounds, the battlements and the bunkers to discover Elizabeth Castle’s place in Jersey history. The islet is also home to Hermitage Rock, the location where Jersey’s patron saint, Saint Helier is said to have lived.
Other points of interest
Not only is Saint Helier home to numerous historic sites, the town offers a wealth of other attractions and things to do.
Located at the central point of Liberation Square, the Liberation Square Sculpture is a must-visit in Saint Helier. The sculpture was erected in 1995 to celebrate 50 years since the liberation of the island’s German occupation. The sculpture is a symbol of Jersey’s freedom and a monument to the island’s heritage.
If you’re looking for other points of interest, head down to Saint Helier Marina. You can head out on a boat trip, take in the Lighthouse Memorial or have a relaxing stroll around the harbour. If walking is your thing, a visit to Howard Davis Park should also make your list. The picturesque park is a great place to have a peaceful wander or enjoy a picnic and at the park you will find rose gardens, fountains and ponds to discover as well as a tea room.
The Central and Beresford Markets of Saint Helier have served the residents for over 200 years with the markets playing a key role in the island’s heritage. Open Monday to Saturday, the markets are a great destination to sample the local produce of Jersey, browse the quaint craft stalls and interact with the locals.
One of the main attractions in Jersey for tourists is undoubtedly the beaches. The rugged coastline of Jersey is speckled with stunning golden sand beaches perfect to enjoy in all weather. Saint Helier Beach is a beach that is full of character from the soft sands and protruding pier to the intricate rock pools and dramatic tides. The beach is an extensive four-mile beach that stretches from Saint Helier Marina towards Saint Aubin. Saint Helier Beach also offers great scenery including unobstructed views of Elizabeth Castle just off the shore.
Shopping, Dining and Nightlife
Jersey’s capital offers great shopping and dining options with something available for every taste and budget. Liberty Wharf Shopping Centre in Saint Helier is the number one destination in Jersey for shopping with everything from designer boutiques and lifestyle brands to well-known high street stores and bargain shops. The shopping centre is also a great location for eating as well as spending with an abundance of delicious eateries scattered amongst shops within the mall.
When it comes to dining, Saint Helier has an exhaustive list of exceptional dining locations to discover. With the warmest weather in the British Isles, al fresco dining is popular and many restaurants offer outdoor seating. The town also offers a number of Michelin recognised restaurants including Bohemia which is the proud holder of a Michelin Star and offers a playful menu bursting with local Jersey ingredients.
For nightlife, the best of Saint Helier’s late scene is centered around The Royal Yacht. After dark, the town comes alive welcoming pubs, chic cocktail bars and vibrant clubs all of which are generally within walking distance of each other. Due to their close proximity, it is easy to discover the diverse nightlife scene that Saint Helier has to offer.
Sport and Events
The island of Jersey is one bursting with activity and Saint Helier is the central hub for sport, exercise and adventure. The island is a founding member of the Island Games Association and has participated in every sporting event since beginning in 1985. Sport is often a part of life for many Jersey locals and the island offers a whole host of activities. In Saint Helier, you can find every sport and adventure activity you can think of including motorsports, sailing, horse riding and skateboarding.
The town also hosts an extensive calendar of diverse events including cultural activities, art fairs, performance events and numerous festivals in the Summer months. In addition to sporting events, language events are also popular with many events held in French due to the island’s proximity to France.
With all that Saint Helier has to offer, the question is, how to explore it. Driving is the primary method of transport across Jersey and Saint Helier is easy to explore via car. Visitors to the island can hire a car from a variety of different rental companies, many of which offer their services from the airport.
However, Saint Helier also has great public transportation links including airport connections and is a great option for non-drivers or tourists not wishing to hire a car. Whichever way you decide to explore Saint Helier, you’re in for an adventure.
Tourist Attractions in Saint Helier, Jersey
Jersey Museum, Saint Helier
Central Market, Saint Helier
Near King St and Queen Street (main shopping area)
Accessible from Halkett Place and Beresford Street
Occupation Tapestry, Saint Helier
New North Quay
Jersey Maritime Museum, Saint Helier
Island Fortress Occupation Museum, Saint Helier