Barbados is the perfect destination in the Caribbean to experience mesmerizing beaches and summer all year round. Its rich history, eclectic music, tasty cuisine and love for rum makes it unique and welcoming. From coast to coast, there are so many fun things to do in Barbados and so to help you make the most of your trip, I created a Barbados travel guide including our favorite things to do on the island, restaurants, hotels and the easiest ways to get around the island.
Barbados Travel Guide: Fun Things To Do in Barbados
by Noelle Creation
Outside Harrison’s Cave. (photo by Noelle Creation)
Formed over thousands of years, Harrison’s Cave is one of the seven wonders of Barbados. Take a guided tour and admire the natural beauty.
Crystallized limestone formations inside Harrison’s Cave. (photo by Noelle Creation)
Go on a catamaran cruise and explore underwater shipwrecks and swim with sea turtles. My snorkel adventure in the Caribbean Sea was one of the most memorable experiences I had on the island. It included transportation, snorkel gear, drinks, appetizers, photos and a priceless sunset.
A Barbados travel guide has to include a visit to a few beaches!
Sunbathe or swim at over 80 beaches in Barbados. The turquoise waters and small to medium waves in the south and west coast are great for surfing, jet skiing, kayaking, and snorkeling.
by Noelle Creation
The Flower Forest is a tropical botanical garden in the countryside with a variety of trees, plants, flowers and shrubs. The views are beautiful and you can plan your own self-guided tour.
Beautiful nature and view! (photo by Noelle Creation)
Bajans love karaoke.
You could easily find rum shops or bars doing karaoke every single night of the week. My favorites are Wendy’s Sports Bar in Fitts Village on Fridays. The Golden Anchor in Holetown is great on Saturdays and 1st Street in Holetown is the place to be on Sundays.
by Noelle Creation
Up close encounters with wildlife. (photo by Noelle Creation)
Visit the Wildlife Reserve to see green monkeys, deer, parrots, peacocks, reptiles, tortoises, caimans, and all kinds of other creatures in their natural habitat. I liked that the animals roamed freely and you can walk through the reserve by yourself.
It did not feel or look like a zoo.
by Noelle Creation
As the oldest plantation house in Barbados, Sunbury Plantation is over 300 years old. All rooms are open to the public and it vividly displays life on a sugar estate in the 18th and 19th century.
Animal Flower Cave
At the right time of year, these caves are filled with colorful sea anemones. (photo by 161 Days in Paradise)
North Point and Animal Flower Cave are at the most northern tip of Barbados.
I loved the cave’s ruggedness and how it fills with colorful sea anemones during certain times of the year. From inside the cliff, you can watch the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea meet. It is such an amazing and powerful sight.
There is so much more to Barbados than just going to the beach. A must in our Barbados travel guide is to rent a car and drive around the island. Watch the landscape change right before your eyes. Driving from coast to coast takes about 45 minutes.
by Noelle Creation
One of the best surfing beaches in Barbados! (photo by Noelle Creation)
A rugged beach on the east coast with beautiful scattered rock formations. The rough Atlantic waves make Bathsheba one of the best-surfing sites on the island. Locals say that the mushroom-shaped Bathsheba Rock will collapse and roll into the ocean any day now.
Barbados Travel Guide: Place To Eat in Barbados
Oistens Fish Fry
Oistens is the place to be on Friday nights. Grab a seat at an open table and order grilled, smoked or fried seafood and meat. The portions are very large so bring an appetite. Both locals and tourists enjoy the fish fry and there are also two dancing areas, one stage for the young folks and the other plays old-time hits. You can dance if you like, but I enjoyed people watching and liming (chilling).
Tiki Bar at Accra Beach
An ocean front beach bar and restaurant with a wide choice of cocktails, lively tunes and the best fish cakes and chips in Rockley. Try the rum punch and local beer – I recommend 10 Saints and Banks.
Near Crane Beach, stop by Cutters of Barbados and try their curry chicken wraps and Very Special Rum Punch (VSRP), you won’t be disappointed. You also have to try the flying fish, macaroni pie and LLB ( lemon, lime, and bitters) soda.
Zaccio’s is a great restaurant right on the beach in Holetown, Barbados. You can rent chairs and umbrellas, and the bartenders make the best rum sours. It doesn’t matter how long I’m away, the staff always make me feel like I’m a long-lost friend.
Barbados Travel Guide: Where to Stay in Barbados
An amazing view from The Crane. (photo by Selena Schaefer)
This luxurious resort was the first resorts built in the Caribbean in 1887.
It has 3 amazing restaurants including Japanese, Italian and Contemporary Caribbean cuisine, and a grocery store. The resort has over five pools and each pool is different in its own way. The Crane also features a beautiful spa and breathtaking views from the cliffs. At night the whistling frogs are a delight to fall asleep to.
Your vacation starts here! (photo by Selena Schaefer)
If you’re looking to treat yourself, I suggest you head over to the Atlantis Hotel on the east coast of the island.
On Wednesdays and Sundays, they serve a great brunch/lunch buffet. They have fresh fish, roasted pork, traditional Bajan dishes like fish cakes and macaroni pie, pasta dishes made to order, and all kinds of salads, sides, and desserts.
Helpful Tip: You can also check out Airbnb for room and apartment availability in Barbados!
Barbados Travel Guide: Transportation
There are plenty of transportation options in Barbados including public buses, vans and private buses and taxis.
The large blue buses are the cheapest mode of transportation and their routes run all over the island. The standard bus fare is $2 BDS or $1 USD one way. There are three main bus terminals (two in Bridgetown and one in Speightstown). Bus stops are labeled with either red, white or black signs.
ZR vans are small minibuses that run short local routes along the southern coast. Locals call ZR vans “grab-asses” since they are usually packed and make abrupt stops. The standard fare is $2 BDS or $1 USD one way.
Helpful Tip: Taxis are plentiful, but the price depends on the distance covered. Taxis are the most expensive mode of transportation. They are more expensive than ZR vans and the public buses.
Barbados was never on my bucket list, but I quickly realized that I will be back. The locals are so friendly and if you have any question just ask. It is also very clean and I felt safe. The beauty was breathtaking and it was so refreshing to not see a Starbucks on the island. – Selena Schaefer
I could talk about Barbados forever. My grandparents first visited the island in 1974 and went back ten times. The instant I set foot on the island in April 2009, I immediately felt at home. I have now been nine times including a 5.5-month stay this past summer. I’m already planning my return where I will spend at least six months. – Kathleen Lizotte
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Danielle is a travel finance strategist, author, speaker and podcaster. She paid off $63,000 of student loan debt in 4 years, bought a house at 27 and has traveled to 26 countries. She refuses to let her financial responsibilities hold her back from living life on her own terms.