Barbados provides you with some of the best and most scenic and serene parts of a Caribbean island. It is not mountainous so that you can go around Barbados in your hire car for one to three days. So you’re going on a holiday to Barbados? Congratulations! It’s a beautiful country with a lot to see, and often the best way to explore this Caribbean paradise is by car. In this article, we will show you the Top Places to Visit in Barbados to make sure you don’t miss a thing in your five days, one week, or more vacation, and we will provide you with more information about Barbados for tourists.
Why Visit Barbados?
Barbados is an excellent place for lovers of scenery to visit. Just take a look at all these live cams all around the island. There are perfect Barbados beaches and bays to explore, high cliffs to sit back and unwind, acres upon acres of golden sands, and lush green tropical plantations await you in Barbados. Renting a car increases your flexibility, so you’ll have no time constraints, other than the ones you make on yourself.
Best Activities in Barbados
Barbados offers many things you can do as a tourist, from visiting historic buildings to surfing and snorkeling, tasting tours, and many more. Whether you are on a tight budget or got plenty of resources to spend, Barbados is the ideal location to visit for that hard-earned holiday.
Unique Things to Do in Barbados
As a unique Island, Barbados has unique things to offer to its tourists. If you are in for trying new things, here are some exclusive things you should try when visiting Barbados island.
Try the local food and drinks. Besides the rum tasting, Barbados is notorious for Mauby, the traditional drink in Barbados – it is made from the bark of the Mauby tree, cinnamon, orange peel, nutmeg, and cloves. The local food is called Cookies, the delicious corn cakes wrapped in corn leaves.
You can’t miss the beaches and the waters, as they are a paradise, you rarely get the chance to see them. On your list, you must have the Barbados Harrison’s Cave, as it is a treasure that recently got the tourists’ attention.
Free Things to Do in Barbados
Here is a list of free tours or cheap outdoor recreations in Barbados. If you are on a budget and you don’t want to spend much:
- Go to the beach – the best thing you can see in Barbados is its luxurious beaches. All Barbadian beaches are open to the public, and you can choose from a variety on all coasts of the island. Take a sunbath, swim, or engage in water sports. You decide!
- Take a walk on the Boardwalk – you will find two exciting boardwalks, one on the south and one on the west coast. Especially at sunset and sunrise, tourists and locals enjoy a promenade or the local food and drink at the restaurants and bars nearby.
- Organize a picnic at Farley Hill – Barbados provides various picnic spots you can enjoy during an afternoon. Pack some snacks and spend some time enjoying the breeze.
- Make a tour of the local Bridgetown market – get to know the locals and their traditions better by meeting their needs. You will be amazed by all the mesmerizing arts and crafts, and you will see how friendly the locals are.
- Go for a free guided hike with the Barbados National Trust – every Sunday at 6:00 AM, 3:30 PM, and 5:30 PM. All you need is a pair of shoes, a water bottle for hydration, and you are good to go! Note that they also accept donations if you want to thank them for their effort and information.
- Visit Historic Bridgetown – take a walk and visit one of the UNESCO World Heritage capitals. Discover its history and heritage for free!
- Engage into Crop Over Festival – you can enjoy the biggest carnival in Barbados without paying a dollar. Watch the sidelines’ parades, enjoy the cheerful bands with their dazzling costumes, and dance on the rhythm.
- Enjoy the local art – Pelican Village Craft Center, just a few yards away from the Bridgetown cruise Barbados seaport – is the place to be if you want to dig deeper into what the local artists have to offer. Take some time to admire the art, craft, and souvenirs, all for free.
Adventurous Things to Do in Barbados
Here you will find all the Barbados adventures if you are in for a relaxed & fun experience:
- Adventureland Barbados
- Barry’s Surf Barbados
- Dread or Dead Surf
- Thrilled Ocean Tours
- Harrison’s Cave
Barbados Activities for Families
Barbados is a place for everybody, and families are not forgotten. There are so many things to do with your kids here! From exploring the culture to discovering the sea turtles, kids will be fascinated.
Here are some activities that will give them the best time of their life:
- A day tour with the submarine
- Snorkeling and sailing – at Carlise Bay, Bay Street, Bridgetown
- A jeep safari
- Visit the monkeys
- Sail like a pirate
- Visit the Children’s Gallery at the Barbados Museum
Non-Touristy Things to Do in Barbados
Whenever you want to dig deeper into the Bajan culture, you can always come as a tourist and live like a local. Here are the best non-touristy things to do in Barbados:
- Spend a day at the horse races on Saturday afternoons
- Have a drink at a small bar
- Go to Bottom Bay Beach; most likely, you will find it empty.
Best Things to Do in Barbados at Night
Nightlife in Barbados is as vivid as you can imagine. The most common things to do in Barbados at night are to party in a nightclub or party on a cruise. If you arrive at a carnival, there are many parties you can attend.
Barbados is the place where parties never stop, and the best places where you can drink and dine while listening to great live music are in St Lawrence Gap, Mullins Beach Bar, Harbour Lights, and First Avenue Holetown. But you can find a place to spend a joyful night wherever on the island.
Must see places in Barbados
With all the activities, take time to admire what Barbados has to offer in terms of landscapes. Here, you will find the best gardens, beaches, and plantations.
Spectacular Gardens in Barbados
These are the recommended gardens you should visit while you are in Barbados. Here, you get the chance to see fauna and flora that only exist on the island, and you will indeed feel the British obsession with lovely things:
- Andromeda Botanic Garden
- Sugarland Gardens
- Orchid World & Tropical Flower Garden
- Flower Forest
- Welchman Hall
Must-See Beaches in Barbados
If you have time, you should visit all the beaches on the island, on both coastlines. But if you don’t have that much time, go to at least these top 10 beaches in Barbados:
- Carlisle Bay, Bridgetown
- Browne’s Beach, Bridgetown
- Pebbles Beach, Bridgetown
- Bottom Bay, Saint Philip Parish
- Soup Bowl, Bathsheba
- Shark Hole, Long Bay
- Enterprise (Miami) Beach, Oistins
- Heywoods Beach, Speightstown
- Hastings Beach, Hastings
- Rockley Beach, Hastings
Luxurious Plantations in Barbados
While you’re in Barbados, take time and tour at least one plantation on the island. You will indeed feel like you turned back in time for a moment:
- Sunbury Plantation House
- Balls Plantation
- Golden Ridge Plantation House
- Holders House
- Consett Plantation
- Lamberts Plantation
- Drax Hall Plantation – Private residence
Places Where You Should Make a Stop in Barbados
Scenic driving is a great way to explore the island at your own pace, enjoying interestingly surprising places worldwide. If you’re ready to be amazed, let’s start!
Ragged Point Lighthouse
This is the last functioning prominent lighthouse in Barbados. The cliff overlooks the best point of view to St Philip shore, Treachery Point, Belle Hole, and Cummins Hole. Here you’ll see people diving into the water that is 200 feet deep. Come and see them navigate around that area because from Ragged Point, you can also see Culpepper Island (the only little islet in Barbados). All of this in a fabulous, fascinating drive through rolling countryside to the utmost east end of the island.
Sunbury Plantation House
Built-in the 1660’s, this attraction used to be a plantation house. Inside the house, you can still find the magic of the 17th to 19th centuries, and you can see the way the plantation owners used to love. Find exposed numerous antiques, from cars and clothes to glasses and toys. Do not worry. You will have a tour guide to explain to you everything you want to know.
If you enjoy nature, this garden is the perfect place to be. The mini gardens are full of rare plants and very pretty flowers and as you walk through them, be ready for surprises as statues, birds, and other animals that enjoy the flora as much as the people do.
This place is recommended for everybody, no matter if you travel alone or with friends and family.
Mount Gay Rum Visitor Center
Be ready to find the secrets of the world’s oldest rum. Here, you can choose to take a tour, and you have three options: the Rum Tour, the Cocktail Tour, and Bajan Buffet Lunch. No matter what time you choose, you still get the chance to see the distillation, aging, and blending methods used for over 300 years. In Barbados, you will find the world’s oldest rum (Mount Gay Rum).
Barbados HISTORIC Museum
A place filled with information about everything you want to know Barbados Museum: here, you will trace the Barbadian heritage and culture, along with its exciting history.
Previously a military prison, this place will make you take time and enjoy all the paintings, maps, and other displayed antiques. A site for any passionate historian, Barbados Museum, has a natural history section, a children’s gallery, and even a research library, along with a gift shop and a coffee shop.
Historical Museum in Barbados
Barbados is known as a tropical paradise and an excellent destination for your next holiday. But those who love culture and history won’t be disappointed because our island has interesting Ancestry and history.
Go to our museums, the Barbados Museum and Historical Society at the Garrison and 400 meters away from the George Washington Museum. Or you can go into the Bridgetown Mosque, Hindu Temple, meet the elders and learn about the many ethnic communities which had come to Barbados and now call it home.
Our island has a colorful and exciting mixture of great cultures such as Europeans, Syrians, Lebanese, Jews, Chinese, ethnic Muslims, ethnic Hindus, Africans from West Africa, Latin America, North America, South Asia ancestry. It also has people from Eastern Europe, Spain, Italy, Greece, and North Africa.
Barbados island has something for everyone, and history lovers won’t be disappointed with what our island has to offer.
Memories of Britain's Wars at Garrison Savannah
Let’s enter the Historic Garrison Savannah with your rental car and let us relive all of Britain’s wars. Barbados itself was not captured or even attacked. Any of Britain’s enemies never struck Barbados. But Barbados was a place where Britain let off its expeditions to capture and protect the rest of the Caribbean. Jamaica was captured from Barbados, and South Carolina was settled from Barbados. St. Lucia, Dominica, Martinique, Guadeloupe, and even Cuba was caught or attacked from Barbados by the British.
St. Ann's Garrison
Here, you have intact the most efficient Garrison, St. Ann’s Garrison – the longest establishment in the British Caribbean, the one who would never be attacked by an enemy. It is a world heritage site, providing you with excellent examples of Britain’s forts in this region. The fortress itself is intact.
There is a Savannah, a narrow race track, which was a parade ground. You can visit the Museum of George Washington – the American pioneer who came here as a 19-year-old boy. Please take a tour of the Hilton Hotel, a fort itself, and the military cemetery.
Events You Can Attend in Barbados
- Oistin’s Fish Festival, along with the usual Friday night Oistin’s experience, there will be plenty of tourists around but also plenty of locals.
- Crop Over is the most colorful festival in Barbados.
- Rally Barbados – the Barbados Rally Club premier event has grown into the Caribbean’s biggest annual motor event.
- The Sandy Lane Gold Cup Festival – the Most Prestigious Horse Race in the Caribbean has held annually between February – March.
- Agroforest – experience the best of Barbadian Culture, Cuisine, and Craft at our annual agricultural festival.
- Barbados Reggae Festival – three concerts and one cruise are showcasing some of the past and present best reggae artists.
- Harrison’s Cave, there is also the option to go spelunking, no tram, just climbing. Remember to call and find out the next tram’s time, so you aren’t stuck waiting.
Island Sightseeing for Everybody
No matter what you enjoy the most when holidaying, Barbados offers something for everyone. Along with the spectacular views and the numerous bays, here you can find pure history, geography, parties, and quiet places to unwind. All the many different experiences you can have in Barbados make it the perfect place to visit.