Barbados is one of the best destinations in the Caribbean for the ultimate relaxing getaway. On the island you will find some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, pristine waters for swimming and snorkelling and breathtaking natural landscapes. Immerse yourself in the history and culture of the island in its towns and cities, and prepare yourself for a truly hospitable and friendly welcome from its locals.
There are plenty of things to do in Barbados for any type of vacation including many spots to relax and unwind in, and many opportunities for adventure. For those looking for nightlife, Barbados has a buzzing club scene in its cities. There are also many local events and festivals throughout the year that will add a special touch to your vacation. Here are 20 things you cannot miss out on when in Barbados.
- Barbados, Caribbean
- Top Tours
- 20 Things To Do In Barbados
- 1- Explore Harrison’s Cave
- 2- Step Back In Time At St Nicholas Abbey
- 3- Watch Horses Swim At Pebbles Beach
- 4- Enjoy A Cutter At Cuz’s
- 5- Party With Locals At Oistins
- 6- Catch A Wave At Bathsheba
- 7- Get Back To Nature At Huntes Gardens
- 8- Watch A Game Of Cricket
- 9- Swim In Animal Flower Cave
- 10- Drink Rum At Mount Gay Distillery
- 11- Snorkel At Shark Hole Beach
- 12- Swim With Turtles
- 13- Hike Through The Rainforest
- 14- Discover Barbados’ History At Speightstown
- 15- Walk Along The Camelot To Accra Boardwalk
- 16- Kayak In Carlisle Bay
- 17- Meet The Monkeys At Barbados Wildlife Reserve
- 18- Admire The Colourful Buildings Of Bridgetown
- 19- Visit Farley Hill National Park
- 20- Catch Some Rays At Paynes Bay Beach
- Barbados Catamaran Turtle and Shipwreck Snorkeling Cruise – if you only have time for one cruise, make it this one!
- 5-Hour Small-Group Catamaran Cruise from Bridgetown – includes lunch and plenty of time to go snorkelling.
- Barbados Turtle and Shipwreck Snorkel Adventure – the shipwreck is amazing.
20 Things To Do In Barbados
1- Explore Harrison’s Cave
Harrison’s Cave is one of the most famous sites in Barbados and one that is well-worth a visit during your Caribbean vacation.
The cave is formed from crystallised limestone and is interwoven with streams of water spilling into mirror-like pools.
The main cave system spans 2.3 kilometres (1.43 miles) with a pleasant interior temperature of 27-degrees C (80.6-degrees F) year round.
Inside the cave are dramatic stalactites and stalagmites formed over thousands of years.
On your tour board a tram with a knowledgeable guide who will drive you through the cave system, sharing facts and information on the geology and history of the cave.
Harrison’s Cave is at Allen View, Welchman Hall.
Recommended tour: Beautiful Barbados: Transport included Harrisons Cave Tour
2- Step Back In Time At St Nicholas Abbey
Combining history and local beverages, a trip to St Nicholas Abbey is one of the best things to do in Barbados.
Benjamin Berringer built St Nicholas Abbey in 1658 in the Jacobean style with many key features such as decorative chimneys, casement windows and Tudor arches included.
Having served as a home and sugarcane plantation, St Nicholas Abbey began producing rum in the mid-1600s following a traditional distillation process.
On a tour of the abbey and its distillery, learn about this traditional way of making rum and see some of the machinery involved in the fermentation process.
Be sure to try plenty of rum and rum-based cocktails during your visit.
St Nicholas Abbey is at Cherry Tree Hill, St Peter, BB26007.
3- Watch Horses Swim At Pebbles Beach
Pebbles Beach is a pristine stretch of soft white sands, azure waters and lush green palm trees, however setting it apart from other paradise beaches on the island are the unique visitors that arrive each morning.
Nearly every morning at sunrise, racehorses arrive at the beach with their grooms from nearby stables to bathe and swim in the water.
This daily routine helps the horses recover from injuries they have sustained during training or races.
After watching the horses and the sun rise, venture underwater with snorkels or scuba equipment in search of the 6 shipwrecks below the waves.
Pebbles Beach is at Bridgetown.
Recommended tour: Private Customised Island Tour of Barbados
4- Enjoy A Cutter At Cuz’s
One of the best things to do in Barbados is try the local dishes, and there is none better than a cutter from Cuz’s.
A cutter is similar to a sandwich, and at Cuz’s family ran fish stand classic fish cutters are fast sellers.
Classic fish cutters are made using freshly caught and fried marlin inside a soft salt bread bun, topped with a little lettuce and cheese with optional hot sauce available.
This cheap and delicious meal has been prepared by the father and son duo running Cuz’s for more than six decades.
Cuz’s Fish Stand is at Pebbles Beach, Bridgetown.
5- Party With Locals At Oistins
Another excellent food adventure in Barbados can be had at the weekly held Fish Fry in Oistins.
Every Friday night at Oistins Bay Gardens a big fish fry is held where locals cook up a delicious range of seafood dishes including tuna, swordfish, mahi-mahi and lobster.
Grab a seat and tuck into your meal with excellent side dishes before enjoying the live music featuring traditional calypso and plenty of Bob Marley.
Around the gardens during the fish fry there are stalls selling art, ceramics, craft items and more, all of which make for excellent souvenirs.
Oistins Fish Fry is at Oistins.
6- Catch A Wave At Bathsheba
Bathsheba is a fishing village on the eastern coast of Barbados and one that is a must-visit for surfers.
Known locally as a surfers paradise, Bathsheba offers some of the best waves on the island.
Head to the Soup Bowl, so named because of its frothy surface, by Bathsheba Beach to surf an area that has been used in numerous international surfing competitions.
Due to the high likelihood of waves, choppy waters and many rock formations, this area is not suitable for swimming.
7- Get Back To Nature At Huntes Gardens
Enjoy a leisurely walk through nature at Huntes Gardens, an enchanting tropical botanic garden in St Joseph.
Anthony Huntes designed the garden in a gulley and filled it with a range of colourful tropical plants.
The pathways link up beautifully designed mini gardens each filled with flowering plants and rare species.
Look out for native birds and other animals, as well as hidden statues nestled amongst the foliage.
There are many opportunities to sit back and enjoy the peaceful nature of the garden on its benches, or for a relax with a delicious meal head to the coffee shop for a cup of coffee, glass of refreshing rum punch and a slice of cake.
Huntes Gardens is at Highway 3A, Coffee Gully.
8- Watch A Game Of Cricket
One of the best things to do in Barbados, time of year permitting, is to watch a cricket match.
At the famous Kensington Oval there are regular cricket matches held throughout the cricket season, with special events running during the rest of the year.
Kensington Oval opened in 1881 and since then has hosted 43 Test matches, half of which the West Indies team have won.
If you are visiting outside of cricket season it is still possible to see the famous grounds by booking on a guided tour which will take you into behind the scenes areas such as dressing rooms and press stands.
Cricket can also be seen in impromptu beach games.
Kensington Oval is at President Kennedy Drive, Bridgetown BB120004.
9- Swim In Animal Flower Cave
A popular tourist destinations in Barbados, Animal Flower Cave consists of a cave and a family-run restaurant.
The Ward Family have looked after the cave since the 1920s with each generation caring for the cave and developing the surrounding landscape.
On guided tours of the cave expect to see lots of unique sea creatures both in the water and on the walls of the cave, take a dip in the natural rock pools and enjoy the view from the mouth of the cave out over the coast.
After your tour head to the restaurant for a delicious meal featuring a variety of fresh, seasonal dishes such as slow roasted Jerk chicken, mild West Indian seafood curry and delicious seafood and sausage calypso.
Animal Flower Cave is at North Point, Conneltown.
10- Drink Rum At Mount Gay Distillery
Mount Gay has been making rum since 1703 in the same picturesque island location.
Book onto a tour of the distillery to learn more about their traditional rum making process.
Tours take visitors around the historical grounds, their working well, molasses house and distillation rooms.
At the end of the tour visitors have a chance to sample 2 of the most popular rums made by the distillery.
Those seeking a more in-depth rum experience can book additional packages including premium rum flight experiences and cocktail workshops.
Mount Gay Distillery is at Mount Gay Estate, Mount Gay.
Recommended tour: Discover Rum Barbados Tour
11- Snorkel At Shark Hole Beach
Shark Hole Beach is one of the most desirable and beautiful beaches in Barbados.
The beach forms a golden sand cut away from the surrounding coral cliffs and can get busy in the afternoons and on weekends due to its small size.
Many visitors at Shark Hole Beach are there for one thing; it’s pristine and crystal clear blue waters.
Snorkelling is excellent at Shark Hole Beach with plenty of coral and tropical fish to see beneath the surface.
Despite its name, Shark Hole Beach is safe for swimming and is not known for shark sightings.
Shark Hole Beach is at Long Bay.
12- Swim With Turtles
For a truly memorable experience join a catamaran tour of the crystal clear waters around Barbados on a turtle tour.
Many tours offer a full day of activity including catamaran ride, lunch and drinks throughout the day, and of course plenty of time to swim in the sea with turtles.
Certain tours also include trips that pause over shipwrecks allowing you to enjoy an even more unique snorkelling experience.
From the boat and the water you can expect to see both green turtles and hawksbill turtles as well as many beautiful and colourful tropical fish.
Turtle snorkelling tours depart from many Barbados seaside destinations.
- Barbados Catamaran Turtle and Shipwreck Snorkeling Cruise
- Barbados Turtle and Shipwreck Snorkel Adventure
- Barbados Island Tour, Monkey Feeding and Swimming with the Turtles
13- Hike Through The Rainforest
Barbados is a beautiful and varied island with dramatic natural landscapes with one of the best being it’s vast rainforests.
Explore the 53 acres of Coco Hill Forest on a self-guided or guided tour.
Self-guided tours allow you to explore the forest at your own pace and.
Enjoy peaceful activities such as the Japanese practice of forest bathing.
Guided tours will introduce you to the natural landscape and the 80 species of tree found in the forest.
Cocoa trees and pineapple plants line the pathways winding through the rainforest, with occasional breaks in the trees offering spectacular views over the Atlantic Ocean.
Coco Forest Hill is at Richmond Road, Mount Wilton.
14- Discover Barbados’ History At Speightstown
The historic city of Speightstown is the second largest city in Barbados and one of the most beloved to visit.
The town, nicknamed Little Bristol, is filled with colourful houses and historical buildings.
The city dates from the 17th century and as such has a varied collection of architecture dating from colonial times to the present day, with some 350 year old buildings still standing.
The city is also a busy port and has many spectacular beaches including beaches favoured by turtles for nesting.
- Afternoon Luxury Catamaran Sailing and Charter Cruise from Bridgetown
- A Guided Walking Tour of a History of a City – Bridgetown
15- Walk Along The Camelot To Accra Boardwalk
Also known as the South Coastal Boardwalk, this pleasant stretch of coastal pathway runs the 1.6 kilometres (0.99 miles) between the towns of Camelot and Accra.
Accra is a very famous and popular beach where soft white sands meet the azure waters which are perfect for snorkelling.
Begin your day in Accra, as an evening stroll along the boardwalk towards Camelot offer spectacular sunset views over the water.
The boardwalk is also popular early in the morning with cyclists and runners.
16- Kayak In Carlisle Bay
One of the best things to do in Barbados is to take to the water in a kayak, and there is nowhere better than Carlisle Bay.
Carlisle Bay is a popular kayaking destination due to its crystal clear waters, myriad of colourful marine life and plenty of shipwrecks to explore.
There are three shipwrecks that can be reached by kayak from Carlisle Bay that are now full of life.
Take a clear-bottomed kayak out towards these shipwrecks and see schools of tropical fish, coral, green sea turtles and hawksbill turtles.
To learn more about the wrecks and the life below the waves, book onto a guided tour where the history of the wrecks comes to life.
Carlisle Bay is at Bridgetown.
Recommended tour: Carlisle Bay Clear Kayak Shipwreck Tour
17- Meet The Monkeys At Barbados Wildlife Reserve
Animal lovers will want to add Barbados Wildlife Reserve to their Barbados bucket list.
The wildlife reserve is set within a mahogany forest where the animals live in natural environments.
Stroll through the forest to see a variety of animals up close including deer, peacocks and the famous Barbados green monkeys.
The best time to see these beautiful monkeys is in the afternoon as they are being fed, however be aware that the wildlife reserve allows the monkeys out of the reserve to explore the town during the day.
The forest is also filled with colourful tropical birds including parrots and love birds.
Inside the reptile house snakes, iguanas and tortoises can be found.
Barbados Wildlife Reserve is at Benny Hall.
Recommended tour: Barbados Small-Group or Private Monkey Feeding Experience
18- Admire The Colourful Buildings Of Bridgetown
Further excellent examples of colourful Barbadian architecture can be found in the islands capital city, Bridgetown.
The city was founded in 1628 and since then has grown and developed to have many interesting historical sites and buildings, as well as more modern touches.
Immerse yourself in the city’s 17th century history on a walking tour either independently or with a guide.
To uncover the best dishes available in the city, and to identify favourite local hangouts, head out on a food tour.
The city is also home to many popular art galleries and museums showing the best of Barbados, the Caribbean and its history.
Bridgetown is also a great base for your trip as it is close to many of the best beaches on the island.
Recommended tour: Private Tours Barbados
19- Visit Farley Hill National Park
Head up a steep hillside and venture deep into the trees to uncover the ruins of an old mansion.
Dating from the 17th century, the now ruined Grenade Hall Plantation and home is an imposing structure surrounded by mahogany trees.
The house was added to the grounds in 1818 and was left as a shell following a devastating fire in 1965.
The following year, HM Queen Elizabeth II opened the national park.
Today the park makes for an interesting and at times challenging hike, and hosts regular theatrical performances and musical events.
Farley Hill National Park is at Highway 2, Benny Hall.
Recommended tour: The Real Barbados Six-hour Island Tour
20- Catch Some Rays At Paynes Bay Beach
Spend some time relaxing and catching some rays on Barbados’ platinum coast at Paynes Bay Beach.
The beach is on the west coast of the country and has a small bag lined with shady trees.
The beach is made of soft white sands and has inviting and swimmable waters that are very clear so snorkelling, scuba diving and kayaking are popular.
There is a lifeguard on duty and plenty of options for food and refreshments on the beach.
Paynes Bay Beach is at Paynes Bay, Durants.
Recommended tour: Harbour Lights Beach Extravaganza and Dinner Show
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