FERRY + HOTEL
St Helier in Jersey originated as a fishing village next to the parish church in the 13th century. It was where the king’s court would meet and where the island’s markets were held. When the glorious Elizabeth Castle was built in 1551, St Helier became the seat of the island’s government, and since then has been the centre of the island’s community. Around a third of the island’s population live in St Helier and it is where you’ll find the majority of shops, restaurants and businesses on the island.
The capital of Jersey has a range of attractions showcasing the island’s history including the Maritime Museum, Elizabeth Castle, and Jersey Museum. These attractions are all within walking distance, meaning you can make a full day exploring the island’s history with a delicious dinner in one of Saint Helier’s exciting restaurants to top it off.
St Helier is full of things to see, whether it’s visiting one of the museums or simply soaking in the beautiful streets and markets that showcase the unique island’s charm. When you are thinking about what to do in St Helier Jersey, make sure to keep this list in mind so you can make the most of the St Heliers’ attractions and beauty spots.
Elizabeth Castle is built on a rocky islet off St Helier and has been the island’s forefront of defense for over 400 years. In the castle you’ll be able to climb the battlements that date back to the 1590’s, as well as explore the grounds that held King Charles II refuge during the English Civil War. There are many hidden rooms, bunkers and spiral staircases to be discovered, with audio tours and volunteer tour guides ensuring you can make the most out of your visit.
Jersey Opera House first started off as “Cornwall’s Royal Amphitheatre and Circus” when it was first built by Henry Cornwall in 1865. Three years later, the Amphitheatre was brought out by the actor who was hired as a manager there, William Wybert Rousby, who then renamed it “The Theatre Royal”. Now, after multiple owners and renovations, visitors can book to see various performances as well as enjoy the gorgeous architecture.
The Lord Coutanche Library in St Helier supports the work of the Société Jersiaise and is where you’ll find collections of material related to Jersey’s history and natural environment. The library is based on Pier Road in the capital and is a welcoming and calming place where you can lose yourself in the impressive selection of prints, books, maps and more.
The Lighthouse Memorial stands just outside the Maritime Museum at St Helier Harbour and was built in 1996 to commiserate the 22 islanders who did not return to the island from concentration camps and prisons during the Second World War. It is a moving and significant landmark that shows an important part of the island’s history.
The Tapestry Gallery is based within the Maritime Museum, and here you will find the Occupation Tapestry. It was woven by the islanders to celebrate the 50-year anniversary of Liberation Day. The tapestry has 13 unique panels that show you through the fascinating story with 12 of the panels being created in each parish, and the final panel touring through all 12 parishes. There is so much detail that every time you visit, you’ll see something different.
King Street, also known as Rue de Derrière (meaning back street in French) is one of the two parts that make up the high street in St Helier. It is pedestrianized street where you’ll find an impressive array of shops and quirky cafés to peruse on your Jersey visit. There are a few of the major high street chain shops there to be explored, as well as a few unique Jersey gems where you’ll find authentic island goods you won’t be able to find anywhere else.
Halkett Street is named after Sir Colin Halkett, the Lieut-Governor of the island from 1821- 1830 and in the middle of the road’s stretch, you’ll find the entrance to the grand Central Market. The market is a wonder where you can pick up fresh fruit and vegetables, locally caught fish and meat, as well as an abundance of souvenirs and hand-crafted goods fully complete with the island charm.
There are many pubs in St Helier with fine food and an excellent array of local beers, ciders and wines to please all types of punters. You will feel right at home at any of the pubs with the warm hospitality and friendly locals to welcome you in.
The Lamplighter is a favourite with the locals, and you’ll often find a group of them sat outside the pub’s front doors on Mulcaster Street. The pub is known for its impressive whisky, cider and ale selection, as well as its freshly made pub grub and welcoming atmosphere. Enter alone and you’ll be sure to get chatting with the friendly staff and locals.
Part of the island’s Randall’s pub group, the Adelphi Lounge in St Helier has a ‘home away from home’ feel, with its comfortable mix of modern and traditional décor and its impressive drink selection with hearty meals. It is in an ideal location looking over the Parade Gardens, and its position near the Jersey Opera House means it’s perfect for pre or post-show meals.
The Soleil Pub is one of the pubs in St Helier that lines New Street, and it is perfectly central, only moments away from the town’s main attractions. The pub serves a wide selection of food, from classical English dishes to those with an Asian influence for those who fancy something spicy! There is plenty of spacious seating inside with a few spots outside to enjoy the sunshine on a bright day in the summer.
The Admiral Wine and Ale House is nestled in St James’s street, and is the place to go for delicious yet affordable pub food. The pub interior is dimly lit, creating that warm cosy feeling that means it’s easy to while away winter days settled in a quiet corner with a drink. Its oak beams and bare floorboards create an authentic and down-to-earth pub experience.
Chambers on Mulcaster Road is a place to go for great food and drinks in a modern and stylish atmosphere. The pub has 8 different draughts on tap, as well as an extensive wine and cocktail list. For food, there is the new addition of ‘Smoke’ where you can find various cuts of meat cooked over hot embers on a special Robata Charcoal Grill served along with Asian soul food .
St Helier is renowned for its glorious cuisine with influences from its French and English neighbours, as well as a few more exotic options for those looking for flavours from further afield. Every street in St Helier will have an abundance of options for you to choose from and will leave you wanting to go back for more. For our full list, take a look at our expert guide to Jersey restaurants.
The Drifter’s Bar and Bistro is one of the best places to eat in St Helier. Its location at Les Havre des Pas situated underneath the Maison Chaussey Guest House means it has fantastic views over the south-coast seas. It has a friendly and welcoming vibe, with options on the menu including some of the fresh sea fare caught in local waters.
Tassili Restaurant is a restaurant to the west of St Helier and is part of the Jersey Grand Hotel and Spa. Tassili is a 4 Rosette awarded hotel serving up an exquisite modern menu with a unique Jersey twist showcasing the island’s seasonal ingredients. On the menu you can expect to find Jersey lobster, wild turbot and Scottish venison with an artisan cheese plate to finish it all off.
Moitas Bistro is perfectly placed opposite the Havre de Pas bathing pool and is the best place to go for a refuel during a lazy day on the coast. Moitas is an authentic family run Portuguese bistro, serving up classic Portuguese cuisine using Jersey’s local ingredients. You’ll be able to order fish fresh from the sea, as well as the Portuguese specialties, chicken and steak espetada.
Bellagio is a traditional Italian restaurant on Charing Cross near the toad statue! The restaurant specializes in high-quality Italian food, and its impressive array of dishes on the menu will mean all types of appetite will be satisfied. Vittorio is the delightful landlord who will graciously show you in and explain the menu, so you feel right at home knowing what to order. Expect delicious pasta dishes, exquisite meat and fish plates on offer, all perfectly topped off with a traditional Italian tiramisu.
La Taverne is one of the longest-running Italian restaurants in St Helier with its doors opening in 1982. The restaurant has that classic Italian hospitality of making every visitor feel welcome, and the wide selection of dishes on the menu mean that every age and appetite will be able to find something delicious to feed their hunger. On the menu you’ll be able to find everything from pasta to scallops, lobster and duck.
The Bistro Rosa is one of the many places to eat in St Helier that specializes in the fresh seafood from Jersey waters. Conveniently based next to the fish market, the bistro makes the most out of the daily catch to create sensational dishes that enhance the fresh flavours. It is slightly hidden in the market so you need to keep your eyes alert and make sure to get a table as it can get very busy!
With its tax-free prices, St Helier is renowned for its shopping. Whether you are looking for designer goods, chain store classics or independent island boutiques, you’ll be bound to find everything you can dream of, shopping in St Helier.
The Liberty Wharf Shopping Centre is one of the main shopping points in the capital and is hard to miss due to its breath-taking Victorian architecture. Among the cobbled pavements, you’ll see a wide collection of independent outlets and chain stores. Of course, there are places to pop in and refuel to keep the energy levels up with a few restaurants serving up delicious island cuisine.
The St Helier Central Market is on the corner of Beresford Street and Halkett Place and is open Monday to Saturday for all to browse and buy some of the fantastic produce and crafts. The local markets have been part of Jersey tradition for over 200 years and should definitely be part of your visit. Not only will you see some of the fantastic local produce such as Jersey Royal potatoes, but you’ll also see crafts and goods made by the talented artists on the island, making it the perfect place to buy gifts, essentials, and unique treasures to remind you of your St Helier visit.