Top Places to Visit in Barbados

Barbados provides you with some of the best and most scenic and serene parts of a Caribbean island. It is not mountainous, so you can go around Barbados in one to three days in your hire car. 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 where to drive in Barbados to make sure you don’t miss a thing in your 5 days, one week or more vacation, and we will provide you with more information about Barbados for tourists.

Why Visit Barbados?

tourist map and driving distances 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 excellent beaches and bays to explore, high cliffs to just 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.
Tranquil white sand beach in Barbados

The Best Activities in Barbados

Barbados offers a lot of 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 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 definitely try when visiting theBarbados 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 Conkies, the delicious corn cakes wrapped in corn leaves.
street next to the Bridgetown port
Also, you can’t miss the beaches and the waters, as they are a paradise you rarely get the chance to see. On your list, you must have the Harrison’s Cave, as it is a treasure that recently got the tourists’ attention.

Free Things to Do in Barbados

Here is a list with free tours or cheap activities in Barbados. If you are on a budget and you don’t want to spend much, here are the best thing you can do on the cheap:

  • Go to the beach – the best thing you can see in Barbados are 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 interesting boardwalks, one on the south and one on the west coast. Especially at sunset and sunrise, there are equally tourists and locals who enjoy a promenade or the local food and drink at the restaurants and bars nearby.
  • Organize a picnic – 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 market – get to know the locals and their traditions better by going to their local market. 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 – every Sunday at 6:00 AM, 3:30 PM and 5:30 PM, the Barbados National Trust organizes free guided hikes. All you need is a pair of shoes and you are good to go! Note that they also accept donations, in case you want to thank them for their effort and information.
  • Visit 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 parades from the sidelines, enjoy the cheerful bands with their flamboyant costumes and dance on the rhythm.
  • Enjoy the local art – Pelican Village Craft Center 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.

view from the beach to the small town in Barbados and a couple walking on the beach

Adventurous Things to Do in Barbados

Here you will find all the Barbados adventures if you are in for a cool & fun experience:

  • Jetblade
  • 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
  • A jeep safari
  • Visit the monkeys
  • Sail like a pirate
  • Visit the Children’s Gallery at the Barbados Museum

yellow wooden watch house on Barbados beach

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
  • 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 to 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.

cocktail and view on sunset from the restaurant

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 surely feel the British obsession with nice things:

  • Andromeda Botanic Garden
  • Sugarland Gardens
  • Orchid World & Tropical Flower Garden
  • Flower Forest

Morgan Lewis windmill Barbados

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:

  1. Carlisle Bay, Bridgetown
  2. Browne’s Beach, Bridgetown
  3. Pebbles Beach, Bridgetown
  4. Bottom Bay, Saint Philip Parish
  5. Soup Bowl, Bathsheba
  6. Bathsheba Beach, Bathsheba
  7. Enterprise (Miami) Beach, Oistins
  8. Heywoods Beach, Speightstown
  9. Hastings Beach, Hastings
  10. Rockley Beach, Hastings

sunbeds on Barbados beach

Luxurious Plantations in Barbados

While you’re in Barbados, take time and tour at least one plantation on the island. You will surely 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

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 all around. If you’re ready to be amazed, let’s start!

Ragged Point Lighthouse

This is the last functioning major lighthouse in Barbados. This is where the cliff overlooking offers 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, a fascinating drive through rolling countryside to the utmost east end of the island.
map of Barbados 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.
Sunbury plantation house Barbados

Hunte’s Garden

If you enjoy nature, this garden is the perfect place to be. The mini gardens are full of rare plants and very appealing 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.
closer view of the Huntes gardens in Barbados

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 tour you choose, you still get the chance to see the methods of distillation, aging, and blending that are used for over 300 years. In Barbados, you will find the world’s oldest rum (Mount Gay Rum).

Barbados Museum

A place filled with information about everything you want to know is Barbados Museum. Here, you will trace the Barbadian heritage and culture, along with its interesting history.

Previously a military prison, this place will make you take time and enjoy all the paintings, maps, and other displayed antiques. A place 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.
gallery of Caribbean art Barbados

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 – he 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.
  • Agrofest – experience the best of Barbadian Culture, Cuisine, and Craft at our annual agricultural festival.
  • Barbados Reggae Festival – three concerts and one cruise showcasing some of the best reggae artists of the past and present.
  • Harrison’s Cave, there is also the option to go spelunking, no tram just climbing. Remember to call and find out the time for the next tram so you aren’t stuck waiting.

Museums in Barbados

Barbados is known as the tropical paradise and a great destination for your next holiday. But those who love culture and history won’t be disappointed because our island has interesting Ancestry and history as well.
Go to our museums, the Barbados Museum and Historical Society at the Garrison and 400 meters away from that 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.
view of the main tower Garrison Savannah Barbados
Our island has a colorful and interesting 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, from 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.
view of port in Bridgetown Barbados

Memories of Britain’s Wars at Garrison Savannah

With your rental car let’s enter the Garrison Savannah and let us relive all of Britain’s wars. Barbados itself was not captured or even attacked. Barbados was never attacked by any of Britain enemies. 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 were captured 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 which 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 fort itself is intact.

The Savannah

There is a Savannah, a narrow race track which was a parade ground. You can visit Museum to George Washington – the American pioneer came here as a 19-year-old boy. Take a tour of the Hilton Hotel which was a fort itself, along with the military cemetery.
cannon in Garrison Savannah historic area

The Island 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.

Got any questions? Contact us as we are here to assist. Want to hire a car and plan your trip just as you like? Contact us.
Photos: Drive Barbados personal gallery, Pixabay.com, Flickr.com