What to know about Suriname

Home » Living abroad » Life in Suriname » What to know about Suriname

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we earn a small commission from some companies mentioned in this post. There's no additional cost for the reader when using an affiliate link. Read the full disclosure here.

Suriname is this amazing country perfect for adventurers who love nature because more than 80 percent is covered by it. So you should discover this country.

Emergency number: 112

  • Police: 115
  • Ambulance: 113
  • Fire: 110

General information about Suriname

Suriname has a lot of wildernesses which makes the country a perfect adventure travel destination. Most of the inhabitants live in the North on the coast. If you go inland the country consists of forest what the Surinamese call tropical rain forest. About 80% of the territory in Suriname is mountainous and hilly land covered with jungle.

Some general information that you need to know:

  • Capital: Paramaribo
  • Currency: Surinamese Dollar (SRD)
  • Official language: Dutch
  • Largest religion: Christianity
  • Surface: 163.820 km2
  • Inhabitants: 612,985 (2021)
  • Neighboring countries: Guyana, Brazil and French Guiana
  • Independence: 25 November 1975

The flag of Suriname is important. In 1975 Suriname got a new flag because of its independence. The unity of the nation is represented by one star. The star has a yellow color, which symbolizes the sacrifice. Around the star there is a red rectangle, this shows the progressiveness and renewal of the country. Above and below the red color there are white strips, these symbolize justice and freedom. Finally, you still have the green strips that symbolize the fertility of Suriname. The green color also stands for the hopeful expectations of the new Suriname.

Suriname has a long history, and you need to watch out if you talk about the history. It’s best not to talk about it and learn about the history online before you go. It’s important to know that Suriname was a Dutch colony.

The independent republic of Suriname was proclaimed on 25 November 1975. In the 1960s and early 1970s, there was increasing emigration from Suriname to the Netherlands. Suriname’s Prime Minister Henck Arron and Dutch counterpart Joop den Uyl signed the transfer of power from the Netherlands to Suriname on 25 November 1975, in the presence of Princess Beatrix.

Some information that is important to know before you go is:

  • Make sure you have an international passport!
  • You need a visa to go to Suriname! You can get a tourist visa which means you can stay for 90 days but only for tourism. If you stay less than 3 months for an internship you need an MVK visa which is a Short Stay Authorization. You need to get this at the Embassy.
  • You are obligated to have some vaccinations depending on which country you are traveling from. If you are traveling from Belgium, you can check out this website.
  • Work is usually done in the morning and in the evening. In the afternoon, everything is usually closed.

Weather in Suriname

Suriname is close to the equator which means the temperatures are on the high side. The average temperature in Suriname is between 23 degrees and 32 degrees. At around six in the morning, it is coldest with 23 degrees and in the afternoon the temperature climbs to 32 degrees. In September it is on average 2 degrees warmer than the rest of the year.

You can divide the annual seasons into four different seasons: the short rainy season, the short dry season, the major rainy season, the long dry season. The short rainy season is from the beginning of December to the end of January, the short dry season is from the end of January to the end of April, the long rainy season is from the end of April to mid-August and the long dry season is from mid-August to the end of December. In the rainy seasons there is twice as much rain as in the dry seasons. During the rainy season there is also a lot of wind, these are called Sibiboesies. Sibiboesies means heavy gusts of wind during heavy rain showers.

Transport in Suriname

You need to know that they drive on the left side of the road and the driving is wild but overall Surinamese are good drivers.

The airport of Suriname is one hour from the capital Paramaribo. You can rent a car or arrange a taxi like Ashruf taxi.

There are many taxis and buses in Paramaribo. A taxi ride in Paramaribo should be around 10 SRD or 15SRD depending on whether it’s during the day or night. Always talk about the price first before you get in the car because some will try to scam you. If it’s with a meter, ask them to show you the meter and say he needs to press start because sometimes they say they ‘forgot’ it and they will ask more for the ride.

Some interns and tourist go around by bike but driving around in Suriname is not always easy with the cars on the road if you get scared easily, you should not rent a bike. You can rent a bike at Cardy or Zusenzo.

During the day you can bike but during the evening I recommend you take a taxi. Also, don’t wander around the streets alone in the evening. Another way of transport in Suriname is taking a boat which could take you deeper in the jungle where there are no roads.

Food in Suriname

Suriname has some amazing food with so much taste. There are many good food places for not a lot of money. You should go to Grand Roopram Roti Restaurant to eat some good Surinamese roti and bara.

Some other nice places you should go are Souposo, Zus&Zo, Gadri, Garden of Eden, Roti shop Joosje, Roti shop Krish, Chi Min Chinese restaurant, De Waag,etc. Visit also Blauwgrond where you have many different places to eat Indonesian food.

Some Surinamese food you need to try out are:

  • Pom is an oven dish and mostly made with pomtayer and chicken
  • Bakabana is a fried banana in batter
  • Surinamese roti is made from potato or yellow peas
  • Bara made from urdi, spinach and flour
  • Samosa, a pastry from butter and flour filled with vegetables and sometimes meat
  • Cassava bread is dried bread from cassava
  • Goedangan, a salad from Suriname
  • Saoto Soup, a sort of chicken soup
  • Pepre Watra, a sort of chilli soup with fish
  • Brown bean soup
  • Moksi Alesi a mixed rice
  • Javanese noodles
  • Javanese fried rice
  • Teloh is mixing cassava with a fish and sauces
  • Chinese noodles
  • Chinese fried rice
  • Sate with meat such as chicken, beef, pork or sometimes even crocodile

If you want to learn more about my experience in Suriname read the blog No spang in Suriname. For more about what you should visit read the blog Must visit in Suriname.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *