49 amazing things to do in Barbados
Discover the 49 best things to do in Barbados with our comprehensive guide to activities for families, couples, adventure seekers, and more
Things to do in Barbados
Barbados, the gem of the Caribbean, is a vibrant and captivating destination that offers an array of exciting experiences for travelers of all kinds. From pristine beaches with turquoise waters to rich cultural heritage and a welcoming local community, this tropical paradise has something for everyone.
In this article, we will explore the top things to do in Barbados, from exploring historic sites and indulging in water sports adventures to savoring the island's delectable cuisine and vibrant nightlife. Get ready to discover the best of Barbados and create memories that will last a lifetime.
Explore Barbados villas
Things to do in Barbados for families
Barbados, with its warm turquoise waters, sun-kissed beaches, and vibrant culture, is an ideal destination for a memorable family vacation. The island offers a plethora of exciting activities and attractions that cater to all ages, ensuring that every family member has a fantastic time.
Explore Barbados beaches
Barbados is home to some of the best beaches in the world, so checking them out is one of the top recommended things to do. The Platinum Coast beaches on the island’s west side have clear calm waters and powdery-white sands and are perfect for sunbathing, snorkeling, and water sports. Some of the best family-friendly Barbados beaches here are Sandy Lane Beach, Mullins Bay, Dover Beach, Batts Rock, Miami Beach, and Brighton Beach. For livelier surf we recommend heading to the east side of the island which borders the Atlantic, this is home to the experienced surfing crowd so it’s great for surfing and bodyboarding but it’s not ideal for swimming.
Visit Barbados Wildlife Reserve
Nature parks like the Barbados Wildlife Reserve are great to visit, especially if you manage to arrive during animal feeding times. This unique reserve spans over four acres of natural habitat, providing a haven for native and exotic animal species. As you wander through the reserve, you'll encounter free-roaming animals such as green monkeys, colorful parrots, tortoises, and graceful deer.
Barbados Wildlife Reserve offers a truly immersive experience, allowing you to observe these magnificent creatures up close in a natural and serene environment. Along the winding pathways, you'll also discover beautiful mahogany trees and tropical flora, creating a picturesque backdrop for your wildlife adventure. Whether you're a nature enthusiast or simply seeking a memorable encounter with Barbados' native fauna, a visit to the Barbados Wildlife Reserve promises an unforgettable experience that highlights the island's commitment to wildlife conservation.
Barbados snorkeling at Folkestone Marina Park
For an exhilarating underwater adventure, look no further than Barbados snorkeling at Folkestone Marine Park. Located on the island's picturesque west coast, this marine park is a haven for snorkelers of all skill levels. As you dip beneath the crystal-clear turquoise waters, you'll enter a vibrant world teeming with marine life and colorful coral reefs. Swim alongside schools of tropical fish, spot graceful sea turtles gliding through the water, and marvel at the intricate formations of coral. The calm and sheltered waters of the park make it an ideal spot for snorkeling in Barbados, allowing you to explore at your own pace and take in the beauty of the underwater realm.
Explore life below the waves on Atlantis Submarine Barbados
Embark on a thrilling underwater exploration like no other with the Atlantis Submarine in Barbados. This extraordinary adventure takes you on a mesmerizing journey into the depths of the Caribbean Sea, providing a unique perspective of the underwater world. As you board the state-of-the-art submarine, you'll descend to depths of up to 150 feet, immersing yourself in a captivating realm of marine life and vibrant coral reefs.
Through large viewing windows, you'll witness an array of colorful fish, coral formations, and even shipwrecks, each unveiling a story of the sea's rich history. The knowledgeable crew guides you through the underwater sights, sharing fascinating insights about the marine ecosystem and its inhabitants. The Atlantis Submarine Barbados offers a safe and comfortable experience for all ages, making it an ideal activity for families.
Romantic things to do in Barbados activities for couples
Barbados, with its stunning beaches, romantic sunsets, and vibrant culture, provides an enchanting backdrop for couples seeking a memorable and romantic getaway. Whether you're celebrating a honeymoon, anniversary, or simply enjoying a romantic escape, this Caribbean paradise offers an array of unforgettable experiences.
Kick back with a cocktail
Barbados is renowned for its exceptional rum and vibrant cocktail culture. The island's signature Barbados rum cocktails embody the spirit and flavors of the Caribbean, offering a delightful taste of paradise. One of the most beloved concoctions is the Barbados Rum Punch. Made with the island's world-famous rum, freshly squeezed lime juice, sugar, and a dash of nutmeg, this cocktail strikes the perfect balance between sweet and tangy, leaving you refreshed and craving more.
Another popular Barbados rum cocktail is the Barbados Sunrise. This tropical libation combines the island's rum with pineapple juice, grenadine, and a splash of lime. The layers of vibrant colors, reminiscent of a stunning sunrise, make this cocktail not only visually appealing but also a refreshing and fruity delight for your taste buds.
See pink sand Barbados beaches
Barbados is home to several stunning beaches, and among its natural wonders are the captivating pink sand beaches. These picturesque stretches of shoreline, such as Crane Beach and Bottom Bay, boast powdery pink sands that add a touch of whimsical enchantment to the island's coastal beauty.
The soft pink hue of the sand is a result of the intermingling of white sand with tiny fragments of coral and shells, creating a unique and visually striking spectacle. As the sun's rays reflect off the pale pink grains, the beaches exude a serene and dreamlike atmosphere. Whether you're taking a leisurely stroll along the shoreline, sunbathing, or simply basking in the beauty of these pink sand beaches, you're sure to be mesmerized by the natural splendor of Barbados' pink sand beaches.
Take in a Barbados sunset
Watching a Barbados sunset is a breathtaking experience that captures the postcard-perfect essence of Caribbean beauty. The island's strategic location in the western hemisphere allows for stunning vistas as the sun dips below the horizon. Whether you're lounging on the beach, sipping a cocktail at a seaside bar, or perched atop a cliff, Barbados offers a multitude of vantage points to witness nature's nightly masterpiece.
The island's diverse coastline provides numerous opportunities to witness these mesmerizing Barbados sunsets. Beaches like Carlisle Bay, Dover Beach, and Mullins Bay offer unobstructed views and soft sands where you can relax and soak in the beauty of the setting sun. Alternatively, cliffside locations such as Animal Flower Cave and North Point offer dramatic panoramas and an elevated perspective.
Tucked away in the heart of Barbados, Hunte's Gardens is a hidden gem that promises a truly enchanting experience for couples. This lush and picturesque botanical paradise, created by horticulturist Anthony Hunte, offers a romantic and serene setting for couples to explore hand-in-hand. As you meander through the winding paths of the garden, you'll be mesmerized by the vibrant colors and fragrant blooms of tropical plants and flowers.
The tranquil sounds of chirping birds and trickling water create a soothing ambiance, further enhancing the romantic atmosphere. Couples can take their time exploring the myriad of plants, admiring the meticulously manicured landscapes, and reveling in the beauty of this captivating oasis. Hunte's Gardens offers a tranquil escape from the world, allowing couples to connect with nature and each other in a truly magical setting.
Animal Flower Cave
Perched on the rugged cliffs of the northernmost tip of Barbados, the Animal Flower Cave is a natural wonder that beckons couples seeking adventure and awe-inspiring beauty. This unique cave, named after the delicate sea anemones that call its pools home, offers an unforgettable experience for those who venture inside. As you descend into the Animal Flower Cave's depths, you'll be greeted by the dramatic sight of crystal-clear pools and stunning rock formations illuminated by shafts of sunlight streaming through the openings above.
The echoes of crashing waves against the cliffs create a symphony of natural sounds, further enhancing the mystical ambiance. Couples can explore the various chambers, marvel at the intricate geological formations, and even take a dip in the cave's natural pools, surrounded by the ethereal glow of the cave's interior. The panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean from Animal Flower Cave's entrance provide a breathtaking backdrop, perfect for capturing romantic moments and creating lasting memories.
Go on a catamaran cruise Barbados
A catamaran cruise in Barbados is a must-do experience for visitors looking to explore the island's stunning coastline and indulge in the beauty of the Caribbean Sea. These cruises offer a leisurely and luxurious way to soak up the sun, enjoy the refreshing sea breeze, and create unforgettable memories.
Barbados' catamaran cruises typically depart from the island's picturesque west coast, known for its calm waters and pristine beaches. Guests can board spacious and well-equipped catamarans that provide a comfortable and enjoyable journey.
As the catamaran sets sail, guests can relax on deck loungers, taking in the breathtaking coastal views and savoring the tranquility of the sea. The friendly and attentive crew ensures a delightful experience, offering exceptional service and hospitality throughout the cruise.
Food in Barbados
Barbados, renowned for its vibrant culinary scene and rich flavors, is a paradise for food enthusiasts and avid gastronomes. From fresh seafood delicacies to mouthwatering street food, this Caribbean gem offers a tantalizing array of culinary experiences that will delight even the most discerning palates. Whether you're a self-proclaimed foodie or simply have a passion for exploring new tastes, Barbados presents a diverse range of gastronomic adventures. Find out more about amazing Barbados restaurants and food in our comprehensive guide.
Go to a rum distillery
For those with a taste for adventure and a love for spirits, exploring the rum distilleries of Barbados is a must-do experience. Known as the birthplace of rum, Barbados boasts a rich history deeply intertwined with this iconic Caribbean libation. Embarking on a journey to the island's rum distilleries allows you to delve into the world of rum production, from the sugar cane fields to the fermentation and aging processes.
You can visit renowned spots such as Mount Gay Rum Distillery Barbados, St Nicholas Abbey, and Barbados Foursquare Rum Distillery, where knowledgeable guides will take you on informative and immersive tours. Learn about the intricate art of rum-making, witness the traditional copper pot stills, and gain insight into the secrets behind Barbados' world-renowned rum. Indulge in tasting sessions, where you can savor a variety of rum expressions, from smooth and aged to spiced and flavored. Each distillery has its own unique story and flavor profile, offering a delightful exploration of the island's liquid heritage.
If you're visitng Mount Gay Rum Disitillery Barbados, the island's most famous rum spot, you can indluge not only in a fascinating tour but a tasting of different rums. An insider tip: if you opt for a tasting at the distillery itslef, you'll get to smaple two types of rum, but if you do your tasting at the Mount Gay Visitor Center in Bridgetown, you can try 4.
Oistins Fish Fry
A vibrant and flavorful hub of culinary delight, Oistins Fish Fry is a must-visit destination for food lovers in Barbados. Located in the charming fishing village of Oistins on the south coast of the island, this lively event takes place every Friday night, attracting both locals and visitors alike. The atmosphere is electric as the scent of freshly grilled seafood fills the air and lively music fills the streets.
At Oistins Fish Fry, you can indulge in a mouthwatering array of seafood dishes, from perfectly seasoned grilled fish and succulent shrimp to savory lobster and delectable fish cakes. The vendors, mostly local fishermen and their families, take pride in serving up the freshest catches of the day, ensuring an authentic and unforgettable dining experience.
Try local Barbados delicacies
Barbados is a culinary paradise brimming with a delightful array of local dishes that reflect the island's rich cultural heritage. From hearty stews to flavorful seafood creations, and fried plantains, the Bajan cuisine offers a harmonious blend of African, British, and West Indian influences. One beloved example of Barabdos traditional food is flying fish, the national symbol of Barbados, prepared in various ways such as fried, steamed, or in a flavorful fish cutter sandwich. Cou-cou, a cornmeal and okra-based dish often served with steamed fish or stew, showcases the island's Afro-Caribbean roots.
Another way to enjoy Barbados native food is try conkies in Barbados. Conkies are a beloved traditional Barbadian delicacy typically enjoyed around Independence Day. These sweet cornmeal treats are made with grated pumpkin, coconut, raisins, spices, and wrapped in banana leaves before being steamed to perfection, creating a unique and flavorful culinary experience.
Another favorite is macaroni pie, a delectable baked macaroni and cheese casserole with a Bajan twist. For meat lovers, the flavorful and tender slow-cooked pork dish known as "pudding and souse" is a must-try. It's traditionally enjoyed on Saturdays, often accompanied by pickled cucumbers and breadfruit. Bajan pepper sauce, made from scotch bonnet peppers, adds a fiery kick to many dishes and is a staple on the Bajan table. Conclude your culinary adventure with a slice of sweet potato pie or a serving of tamarind balls, offering a taste of the island's delightful desserts.
Sample Barbados street food
Barbados street food is a vibrant and mouthwatering reflection of the island's culinary diversity and cultural heritage. From bustling food markets to roadside stalls, the island is dotted with a mouthwatering array of street food vendors serving up tantalizing bites that showcase the rich flavors of Barbadian cuisine.
Sink your teeth into the iconic "cutters," which are delicious sandwiches made with freshly baked salt bread and filled with a variety of fillings such as fish, ham, or cheese. Indulge in piping hot fish cakes, a beloved Bajan snack made with seasoned dough and flaky fish, deep-fried to golden perfection. For a savory treat, try the popular "rotis," a Caribbean version of a wrap filled with curried chicken, beef, or vegetables.
Don't miss the chance to sample "pates," delightful savory pastries filled with spicy meat or fish. And of course, no street food experience in Barbados is complete without enjoying a refreshing glass of mauby, a traditional local beverage made from tree bark and spices.
When the sun sets on the stunning Caribbean island of Barbados, a vibrant and captivating nightlife scene comes alive. From lively beachfront bars to chic nightclubs and cozy rum shops, Barbados offers an array of entertainment options for night owls and party enthusiasts.
The island's nightlife scene caters to a variety of tastes, whether you're looking for pulsating music, live performances, or simply a relaxed atmosphere to sip on tropical cocktails. Whether you choose to dance the night away to soca and reggae rhythms, enjoy live jazz performances, or mingle with friendly locals at a rum shop, Barbados' nightlife promises an unforgettable experience that will keep you enchanted long after the stars have taken center stage.
Tiki Bar Barbados
The Tiki Bar in Barbados is a tropical oasis where visitors can unwind and indulge in a laid-back island experience. Located on the beautiful South Coast, this beachfront bar exudes a relaxed and vibrant ambiance. With its thatched roof, bamboo décor, and palm trees swaying in the breeze, the Tiki Bar creates an authentic tropical atmosphere.
Live music and entertainment are integral to the Tiki Bar experience. Visitors can enjoy the sounds of local bands, DJs, and occasional live performances while savoring their drinks and soaking up the vibrant atmosphere. The bar often hosts themed nights and special events, adding an extra element of excitement to the beachfront setting.
TML One Love Bar
ML One Love Bar is a popular beachfront destination located in Barbados, known for its laid-back vibe and captivating ocean views. The bar offers a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, where visitors can enjoy refreshing drinks, delicious food, and live music while soaking up the beauty of the Caribbean Sea.
With its prime location on the West Coast, TML One Love Bar is a perfect spot to unwind, socialize, and experience the true essence of island living in Barbados. The bar's friendly staff, beachside seating, and vibrant ambiance make it a must-visit destination for those seeking a memorable beach bar experience in Barbados.
Harbour Lights Barbados
Harbour Lights Barbados is a popular beachfront nightclub and entertainment venue located in Barbados. It offers a vibrant and energetic atmosphere that combines music, dancing, and live performances to create an unforgettable nightlife experience. With its prime location on Carlisle Bay, Harbour Lights Barbados provides guests with stunning ocean views and a relaxed beach setting.
Visitors can enjoy a variety of themed nights and events at Harbour Lights Barbados, including beach parties, live bands, and DJ performances. The venue is known for its lively entertainment, featuring talented local and international artists who keep the dance floor alive with their infectious beats.
Cafe Sol Barbados
Café Sol is a popular Mexican-themed restaurant located in Barbados, offering a unique culinary experience on the island. Known for its vibrant atmosphere and delicious Mexican cuisine, Café Sol brings a taste of Mexico to the Caribbean.
The restaurant offers a diverse menu featuring classic Mexican dishes such as tacos, burritos, fajitas, and enchiladas, prepared with fresh and flavorful ingredients. With its colorful décor, lively bar, and friendly staff, Café Sol provides a vibrant and inviting setting for diners to enjoy a memorable meal with a Mexican twist in Barbados.
St. Lawrence Gap
St. Lawrence Gap, known as "The Gap," is the pulsating heart of nightlife in Barbados. Located on the lively south coast of the island, this vibrant strip is renowned for its electric atmosphere and a plethora of entertainment options that cater to all tastes. As the sun sets, The Gap comes alive with the sound of live music, laughter, and the clinking of glasses. Whether you're seeking an energetic dance club, cozy pubs, or laid-back beachfront bars, St. Lawrence Gap has it all.
Things to do in Barbados for nature lovers
Barbados is not just about beautiful beaches and crystal-clear waters. The island also offers a plethora of nature activities that allow visitors to immerse themselves in the breathtaking natural beauty and diverse ecosystems.
From exploring lush botanical gardens and embarking on thrilling wildlife encounters to hiking scenic trails and snorkeling in vibrant coral reefs, Barbados is a haven for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. Whether you're seeking tranquility amidst serene landscapes or the thrill of discovering unique flora and fauna, the nature activities in Barbados provide endless opportunities to connect with the island's remarkable environment.
Scuba diving in Barbados
Scuba diving in Barbados is heavily influenced by the Atlantic Ocean’s force, battering the North and East side of the island and making these dangerous areas for dive sites the majority of the year. Most diving occurs on the South and West coasts where the sea is sheltered, making it calm and home to a wide variety of marine life on the reef surrounding the island: you’ll be likely to bump into an abundance of marine life, from soft corals to eels and sergeant majors weaving along the seabed.
With a vast amount of dive sites, you’d be missing out by not attempting a dive, regardless of your ability level. The sites’ depths range from 6m to 43m, including a vast amount of wrecks to explore and penetrate.
The Cement Factory is an unlikely place for a dive and offers a unique setting; Divers can explore the structure of Barbados’ cement plant pier and find marine wildlife such as lobsters and scorpion fish, as well as the opportunity to swim with turtles. The pier is located on the North end of the West coast with Hightide Watersports known for their dives here.
The most popular of sites to go diving in Barbados is the S.S. Stavronikita: a cargo ship that set on fire in 1976 and was bought by Barbados to sink especially for the purpose of great scuba diving. It is located on the border of St. James and St. Michael and provides 365ft of cabins, gang-ways and masts that have now become a haven for fish. West Side Scuba can provide dive at the Stavronikita wreck along with 6 other sites, including a turtle park.
Diving Carlisle Bay Barbados
Diving Carlisle Bay, Barbados is a captivating underwater adventure that showcases the island's rich marine life and fascinating dive sites. With crystal-clear waters and a diverse ecosystem, Carlisle Bay is a popular diving destination for both beginners and experienced divers. Exploring the coral reefs, Carlisle Bay Barbados shipwrecks, and vibrant marine habitats in Carlisle Bay offers an opportunity to encounter tropical fish, sea turtles, rays, and even the occasional seahorse, creating unforgettable memories beneath the surface of the Caribbean Sea.
Bajan Queen shipwreck Barbados
The Bajan Queen Shipwreck is a captivating underwater attraction in Barbados that offers divers a chance to explore a sunken party boat. Resting on the ocean floor off the coast of Carlisle Bay Barbados, this artificial reef has become a haven for marine life. Divers can witness schools of colorful fish, coral formations, and even encounter sea turtles as they explore the wreckage. The Bajan Queen Shipwreck provides an exciting and unique diving experience, adding a touch of adventure and intrigue to Barbados' underwater world.
Pamir Wreck Barbados
The Pamir Wreck in Barbados is a captivating dive site that attracts underwater explorers from around the world. Located off the west coast of Barbados, the wreckage of the Pamir, a German cargo ship sunk in 1984, now rests on the ocean floor. Diving at the Pamir Wreck offers a unique opportunity to explore the remnants of this historic ship, surrounded by thriving marine life and vibrant coral formations. The site is known for its excellent visibility, making it an ideal spot for underwater photography and witnessing the fascinating transformation of the wreck into an artificial reef. Whether you're an experienced diver or a curious beginner, diving at the Pamir Wreck provides an unforgettable adventure and a glimpse into Barbados' maritime history.
Watching and swimming with turtles Barbados
There are nearly 90 km of coral reefs that surround the island with two protected marine parks having been established off the west coast. Here you will find four species of nesting turtles, including the second largest Hawksbill turtle breeding population in the Caribbean. These gentle giants are one of the earth’s most ancient creatures, with a sociable nature that makes swimming with sea turtles a must-do experience during your Barbados vacation.
Hawksbill and Leatherback turtles are two of the world’s rarest sea creatures, having survived for more than a hundred million years. These incredible animals routinely swim vast distances and can dive to depths of more than 3,000 ft; often growing to over six feet in length and weighing as much as 2,000 lbs! The magnificent turtles were once spotted in droves on the island but they have since become endangered due to over fishing. The Barbados Sea Turtle Project was set up in 1987 by the local community and university to promote sea turtle conservation in Barbados and restore the population to its former glory.
Thanks to the calm, clear waters and grace of each species, visitors of all ages are able to swim freely with the island’s many sea turtles for a real-life ‘Finding Nemo’ experience. There’s an array of sea turtle tours available in Barbados through fully-accredited operators on the island. Most trips are on catamarans with all snorkel equipment provided as well as lunch and refreshments. Some tours include stops at the beach, sightseeing and diving along the colourful west Coast reefs and shipwrecks.
Swimming with turtles in Barbados is a popular activity that allows visitors to interact with these magnificent creatures in an ethical and responsible manner. Various tour operators offer guided excursions that prioritize the well-being and conservation of the turtles and their natural habitat. These tours provide educational information about the turtles, their behavior, and the importance of protecting their fragile ecosystem. Visitors are encouraged to maintain a respectful distance, refrain from touching or chasing the turtles, and follow guidelines to ensure minimal disturbance. By participating in ethical swimming experiences, visitors can appreciate the beauty of these graceful creatures while contributing to their long-term preservation in Barbados.
Whale watching in Barbados
Barbados, with its pristine waters and abundant marine life, offers a captivating opportunity for whale watching enthusiasts. Embarking on a whale watching excursion in Barbados allows you to witness the majestic beauty of these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.
The island is fortunate to be located along the migratory path of several whale species, including humpback whales and pilot whales, making it an ideal destination for whale sightings. As you venture out to sea, guided by knowledgeable and experienced crew members, keep your eyes peeled for the breathtaking sight of these gentle giants breaching and playing in the waves. The excitement builds as you witness their enormous tails fluking or catch a glimpse of a spout rising from the surface. The encounters with these majestic creatures create memories that will last a lifetime. Along the way, you may also spot playful dolphins and a variety of marine birds, adding to the enchantment of the experience.
A boat-based adventure is a great way to explore the island’s many coves and cays or unwind on the calm Caribbean Sea with a cocktail or two. Catamaran sailing and glass bottomed boats are the perfect way to soak up the stunning coastline and spot the island’s array of marine life such as colourful fish, friendly dolphins, swimming sea turtles and more.
This natural phenomenon, a true marvel of nature, invites visitors to embark on an underground adventure like no other. As you enter the cave's depths, you'll be awe-struck by the breathtaking limestone formations, stalactites, and stalagmites that adorn the caverns. The cave's otherwordly beauty is further enhanced by flowing streams, crystal-clear pools, and cascading waterfalls. Guided tram tours take you through the illuminated chambers, allowing you to marvel at the incredible formations and learn about the cave's geological history.
Barbados is not particularly known for its waterfalls, as the island's topography is relatively flat compared to other destinations. However, there are a few hidden gems where visitors can discover the beauty of cascading water in a lush, tropical setting.
One such waterfall is the Animal Flower Cave waterfall, located in the northern part of the island. This natural wonder is part of the popular Animal Flower Cave attraction, where visitors can explore the fascinating limestone cave system. The waterfall adds an enchanting element to the experience, with water gently trickling down the rocky cliffs, creating a serene and picturesque scene.
Another notable waterfall in Barbados is the Andromeda Botanic Gardens waterfall. Situated in the heart of the beautiful botanical gardens, this small waterfall is surrounded by lush vegetation and exotic flora. It provides a tranquil and refreshing ambiance, offering visitors a serene escape amidst the captivating natural beauty of the gardens. Andromeda Botanic Gardens in Barbados is a lush and captivating botanical garden located in the parish of St. Joseph. This serene oasis spans six acres and showcases a diverse collection of tropical plants, trees, and flowers from around the world.
Cheap and free things to do in Barbados
Barbados, with its pristine beaches, vibrant culture, and rich history, offers a treasure trove of experiences that won't break the bank. From exploring hidden gems and immersing yourself in local traditions to enjoying the island's natural wonders, there are plenty of cheap and free activities to enjoy in Barbados.
Picnic at a park
A picnic is not only a lovely way to spend an afternoon, it’s also a great option if you’re looking for something cheap to do. Just about everywhere you turn in Barbados, you are bound to come across a park or garden that offers cheap or free entry. Whether it’s a humble patch of flowers in front of a chattel house or a glorious forest where you’re likely to meet indigenous residents like green moneys, there are plenty of places for a picnic.
Hiking in Barbados
Thanks to its natural beauty and warm climate, you’ll enjoy some fantastic hiking in Barbados. Getting out and about on the numerous Barbados hiking trails is one of the best ways to discover the island, from its lush forests to its flawless beaches. You can join any one of the free 3-hour guided Barbados National Trust hikes that run several times a week (though a donation to the Barbados National Trust is appreciated). There are a range of difficulty levels, from the milder 6-mile Stop ‘n’ Stare to the tougher 12-mile Grin ‘n’ Bear.
If you're unsure where to start looking for your ideal trek, then the Barbados Hiking Association is a good place to start. The Barbados Hiking Association is a dedicated organization that promotes and facilitates hiking adventures on the island. Committed to preserving Barbados' natural beauty, the association organizes guided hikes, maintains trails, and advocates for responsible hiking practices. With a focus on safety and environmental stewardship, the Barbados Hiking Association offers a range of hikes for all levels of experience, allowing locals and visitors to explore the diverse landscapes, lush forests, and stunning coastal vistas that make Barbados a hiker's paradise.
Barbados historic sites
Barbados is renowned for its rich history and captivating historic attractions. This tropical island paradise not only boasts pristine beaches and vibrant culture but also houses a plethora of sites that offer a fascinating glimpse into its past. From colonial-era plantations to well-preserved forts and charming UNESCO World Heritage sites, Barbados offers a remarkable journey through time. Whether exploring the cobblestone streets of Bridgetown, marveling at majestic plantation houses, or delving into the island's deep-rooted heritage, visitors to Barbados are sure to be captivated by its historic allure.
The island’s capital Bridgetown offers an array of shops, restaurants, bars, museums, art galleries and historic sites including the renowned Bridgetown and Barbados Garrison. Arlington House Museum in St Peter is ideal for history buffs; also worth a visit is the tropically-inspired Welchman Hall Gully, St Nicholas Abbey and the islands innumerable rum shops, cricket greens, friendly villages and more.
Barbados Concorde Experience
The Barbados Concorde Experience is one of the top recommended attractions in Barbados. The British Airways Concorde airliner is housed at Grantly Adams Airport and visitors can take a tour of the aircraft learning all about its history and design.
Gun Hill Signal Station Barbados
Gun Hill in Barbados is a historic landmark and scenic viewpoint that offers visitors a glimpse into the island's military heritage and stunning panoramic views. Located in the parish of St. George, Gun Hill is home to a restored signal station and an impressive collection of cannons.
The main attraction at Gun Hill is the lion sculpture, known as the "Lion of Gun Hill." This statue, carved out of a single piece of rock in 1868, pays homage to the British military tradition and stands as a symbol of strength and courage. The lion overlooks the island and offers a great photo opportunity.
Visit the Barbados Parliament Buildings
At the heart of the capital city of Bridgetown are the beautiful buildings which form the seat of the Parliament of Barbados. Consisting of two stone-block neo-Gothic-style buildings, the Parliament Buildings are designated as UNESCO-protected properties within the World Heritage Site of Historic Bridgetown. When the building is free, it’s possible to take tours of the clock tower and assembly building. There’s also a museum where you can learn about the island’s extraordinary history.
Discover a sugar plantation at St Nicholas Abbey
Located on the west coast, St Nicholas Abbey is a restored plantation house with a museum and rum distillery. Colonel Benjamin Berringer built the house in 1658 and it is one of only three genuine Jacobean mansions in the western hemisphere. Take a tour through the house to admire the grand architecture and furnishings. You can also explore the steam mill and rum distillery where the estate’s signature rum is produced.
See the George Washington House Barbados
It’s a little known fact but an important part of the island’s history that George Washington visited Barbados in 1751. He was 19 years old at the time and traveling with his ailing half-brother Lawrence Washington who was hoping the tropical climate would improve his health. Located on Bush Hill, the house has now been converted into a museum. Start by viewing a film in the small theater then join a guided tour around the house and gardens.
Visit the Barbados Museum & Historical Society
The Barbados Museum & Historical Society is a prominent cultural institution located in the capital city of Bridgetown, Barbados. It serves as the national repository for the island's rich history and heritage, preserving and showcasing artifacts, documents, and exhibitions that highlight the diverse aspects of Barbadian culture.
Housed in a former British military prison dating back to the 19th century, the museum offers visitors a unique architectural experience along with its extensive collections. The exhibits cover various themes, including Barbadian archaeology, natural history, and social history.
The Barbados Museum & Historical Society provides a comprehensive understanding of the island's history through its displays of ancient artifacts, historical documents, photographs, and interactive exhibits. Visitors can explore the Barbadian plantation era, the impact of slavery, the island's political development, and its cultural heritage.
Arlington House Museum
Arlington House Museum in Barbados is a captivating historical museum located in the heart of Speightstown, one of the oldest towns on the island. Housed in a beautifully restored 18th-century building, the museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the history and heritage of Barbados.
The museum provides an immersive and interactive experience, taking visitors on a journey through time. It showcases the rich cultural heritage of Barbados, from its indigenous Amerindian roots to the colonial era and the island's development over the centuries.
Sports activities in Barbados
Barbados is a haven for sports lovers. From world-class golf courses to amazing surf breaks and watersports, there are countless active pursuits to get stuck into.
Barbados golf courses
Barbados is a golfer’s paradise with an array of golf courses that appeal to every kind of player. Recommended Barbados golf courses include the Royal Westmoreland golf course which is a regular host of the PGA European Tour Seniors tournament, and the Sandy Lane golf resort which hosted the World Golf Championships World Cup in 2016. Facilities at Sandy Lane, which is one of the top Barbados golf clubs include a restaurant, tennis courts, and gymnasium – the resort is also home to some fantastic Barbados villas.
Snorkeling in Barbados
Snorkeling in Barbados is an incredible experience that reveals the island's vibrant underwater world. With its crystal-clear turquoise waters and diverse marine life, Barbados offers numerous snorkeling spots for all skill levels.
From the colorful coral reefs of Folkestone Marine Park to the shipwrecks in Carlisle Bay Barbados, snorkelers can encounter tropical fish, sea turtles, and even rays. The island's warm waters and excellent visibility make snorkeling in Barbados a thrilling adventure for nature enthusiasts and those seeking to explore the wonders of the Caribbean Sea.
Famous for its huge Atlantic waves, the east coast beach of Bathsheba is a top spot for surfing. Here you will find the famous Soup Bowl, a major surfing spot that hosts renowned local and international surfing competitions. Aside from surfing, there are quite a few other things to do here. A handful of beach bars offer cheap eats and refreshments. You’ll also find Bathsheba Rock sitting just offshore and Joe’s Forest on the outskirts of the town – both are free to visit.
Surfers Point in Barbados is a renowned surfing destination that attracts wave enthusiasts from around the world. Located on the island's rugged east coast, Surfers Point is known for its consistent surf breaks and challenging waves. With its powerful swells and reef breaks, this legendary surf spot offers thrilling rides and opportunities for both experienced surfers and those looking to learn. Surfers Point is a must-visit for surfers seeking an exhilarating and unforgettable wave-riding experience in Barbados.
Visit the home of cricket at Kensington Oval Barbados
Visiting the Kensington Oval in Barbados is a must for cricket enthusiasts and sports lovers alike. Known as the "Mecca of Cricket" in the Caribbean, this iconic Barbados cricket ground has a rich history and is considered one of the finest cricket grounds in the world.
Located in the capital city of Bridgetown, the Kensington Oval has been a hub for cricket matches since it was established in 1871. Stepping foot into this historic venue, visitors can feel the electric atmosphere and sense the deep-rooted passion for the sport that runs through the veins of Barbadians.
The Kensington Oval has hosted numerous international cricket matches, including the Cricket World Cup and the West Indies' home games. It has witnessed unforgettable moments and iconic performances from some of cricket's greatest players. The stadium's architecture combines modern facilities with traditional charm, offering an immersive cricket experience.
Try a range of watersports
Barbados is a paradise for watersports enthusiasts, offering a wide range of thrilling activities to enjoy its crystal-clear waters. Kitesurfing in Barbados is particularly popular, with its steady trade winds and expansive coastline providing ideal conditions for this exhilarating sport. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced kitesurfer, the island's beaches, such as Silver Rock and Long Beach, offer perfect spots to catch the wind and ride the waves.
Kayaking is another fantastic way to explore Barbados' coastal beauty. Paddle along the scenic shores, through mangroves, or even venture out to nearby reefs for snorkeling adventures. With calm waters and abundant marine life, kayaking in Barbados offers a peaceful and up-close encounter with the island's natural wonders.
Paddleboarding in Barbados provides a unique perspective of the island's picturesque beaches, coral reefs, and marine life. Glide across the turquoise waters and discover hidden coves, secluded beaches, and vibrant underwater ecosystems. Keep an eye out for sea turtles, tropical fish, and other marine creatures as you paddle along the coast.
For those seeking high-speed excitement, jet skiing in Barbados is an adrenaline-pumping option. Zoom across the sparkling Caribbean Sea, feeling the rush of wind and spray as you navigate through waves. Jet skiing allows you to cover a lot of ground and experience the thrill of speed while enjoying the stunning coastal views.
Visit Boatyard Barbados beach club
The Boatyard in Barbados is a popular beach club and entertainment venue that offers a fun-filled day of sun, sand, and water activities. Located on the southwestern coast of the island, The Boatyard provides a vibrant and lively atmosphere for locals and tourists alike.
The Boatyard offers a range of exciting water activities for guests to enjoy. From snorkeling over colorful coral reefs to jumping on trampolines and water slides, there are plenty of options to make a splash and have a blast. The Boatyard also features a floating bar, allowing swimmers to enjoy a refreshing drink without leaving the water.
In addition to its water-based attractions, The Boatyard provides amenities such as changing facilities, showers, and lockers for convenience. There is also a beachside restaurant where guests can indulge in delicious meals and tropical drinks, offering a perfect respite from the excitement of the water activities.
Things to do in Barbados: festivals and events
Throughout the year, locals and visitors alike are treated to a colorful tapestry of Barbados celebrations, music, dance, and culinary delights. From the pulsating rhythms of the Crop Over Festival, an extravaganza of calypso music and masquerade parades, to the Oistins Fish Festival, where the island's fishing heritage is celebrated with mouthwatering seafood and lively entertainment, Barbados offers a diverse array of festivities that ignite the senses. With its warm and welcoming atmosphere, the island becomes a stage for unforgettable experiences, creating lasting memories for all who revel in its vibrant festival scene.
Barbados vacations offer a plethora of incredible activities, whether you’re travelling as a family, in a couple, or solo, from lazy beach days to historic explorations and adrenalin-fueled adventures.
Looking for somewhere special to stay? Take a look at our amazing Barbados vacation rentals. With a range of luxury villas, seafront condos, and sprawling mansions, you can find incredible places to stay for a truly memorable trip.