The 10 Best Things to Do in Barbados

When you picture Barbados, you often think of pristine tropical beaches, turquoise waters and amazing weather. Whilst all this true, there is so much more to this stunning island.

Barbados is the most easterly island in the Caribbean and is mainly made up of heavenly, white sandy shores, four excellent towns, dramatic caves and an abundance of rum distilleries! It offers a plethora of history and culture, great eateries, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and much more.

There is so much to see in Barbados, finding the top spots is quite the task! Below shows our recommendations for the 10 best things to do on this outstanding island so that you can visit with all the best places in mind.  

Delve Deep Underground at Harrison’s Cave

When looking for places to visit in Barbados, an exciting trip to Harrison’s Cave is a must! The 1.5-mile-long coral caves create a magical environment and a thrilling day out. As you go deep underground, ancient stalagmites hang from the roof and freshwater streams run through the caves.

The cavern’s mapping dates back to 1974, allowing visitors to see the intriguing rock formations that have gathered over the years. This splendour provides guests with a unique experience, allowing them to see one of the best natural wonders that Barbados has to offer.

There are numerous cave tours available for tourists, providing an exciting opportunity to scour underground and witness the impressive rocks and interesting tunnels.

Indulge at Oistins Fish Fry 

The fishing village of Oistin is extremely popular among tourists and locals alike. Situated along the south coast, Oistin’s Fish Fry is great for those seeking a lively, vibrant atmosphere with great food and drink. 

Every Friday night at Oistins Fish Fry, lively crowds gather for amazing food alongside an exciting street party. The perfect mixture of fresh fish and great beer attracts guests from all over.

If you aim to spend your time in Barbados partying as the locals do, then a visit to Oistins Fish Fry will do just the trick! Enjoy fantastic barbeques, traditional Mahi Mahi, live bands, great cuisine, plenty of drinks and lively reggae music – what more could you ask for when seeking to party as the islanders do? 

Taste the Rum at Mount Gay Distillery

When deciding to visit Barbados, your trip wouldn’t be complete without a visit to a rum distillery. For years, the rum industry has been a huge part of the island’s economy and the offering in Barbados is unmatched.

Mount Gay is situated in the northern district of Barbados and is renowned for its wonderful rum blends. The visitor centre can be found just outside of Bridgetown, Barbados. 

Barbadian sugarcane plantations go as far back as the 17th century, with Mount Gay Distillery being one of the originals, dating back to 1703. A trip here allows visitors to take a tour of the distillery alongside an insight into the history of the business that goes back 300 years. 

If you’re seeking to fully experience Barbados and its world-famous rum, a visit to Mount Gay Distillery is the perfect way to do it. Not only does it provide a great place to explore the rum-making process, but there are also many opportunities to try the delicious blends on offer. 

Dance and Party at Crop Over Festival

The 200-year-old Crop Over Festival has been a long tradition in Barbados, entertaining crowds with concerts, performances and parties. This festival is a great way to experience the culture on this beautiful island that takes place in early August, over three days.

Since the festivity began in 1687, it has become one of Barbados’s largest events; a huge carnival that honours its proud, historic traditions. The vibrant Crop Over festival illuminates the island with booming music and flamboyant costumes. It celebrates the last of the sugarcane harvest and is the biggest party on the island. With so much going on, it’s one not to be missed!

Discover a Hidden Beach

Barbados is renowned for its tropical beaches, full of white sands and turquoise waters. There are so many sunny coves to choose from, that it can often be hard to decipher the best one as they all offer iconic paradisiacal shores. 

There are plenty of hidden spots for those seeking a little seclusion and as all of the beaches in Barbados are public, you can explore whatever shore you like! With all the coves being open for public access, this means that you can go exploring to find your own perfect sandy coast.

As you wander around the island, you will find multiple bays of all different sizes and shapes, great if you want to mix up your visits to the beach. On the western side of the island, you will find stunning coves with crystal clear waters and fine white sands.

There are a number of incredible places to stay in Barbados with stunning beaches nearby. Watersport enthusiasts flock to the eastern side of the Atlantic Coast where the stronger waves create perfect surfing conditions. However, there are beaches in abundance scattered all over the island, so whatever your seaside preference, you will be sure to find it here!

Swim with Turtles

A trip to Barbados simply isn’t complete without experiencing a dip in the sea with the turtles. The clear waters and Caribbean shores make for amazing snorkelling, with turtles being just one of the highlights of swimming in the islands surrounding waters. Catch glimpses of parrot fish, angelfish, barrel sponges, sea fans and more when taking a dip in the waters surrounding the island.

There are multiple excursions in Barbados that offer boat trips to see the turtles, a great way to get up and close with these lovely creatures. If you fancy going solo, Carlisle Bay Marine Reserve is a great place to go to spot turtles, shipwrecks, coral reefs, a plethora of fish and much more. 

Hike Through the Rainforests

One of the best things to see in Barbados is its vast rainforest, full of tropical plants, incredible wildlife and stunning greenery. About 40 minutes north of Bridgetown, you will find some of the island’s best forests. Hiking through the dense rainforest is a great way to explore Barbados’s nature and raw beauty.

Another excellent aspect of strolling through the rainforests in Barbados is that there are no poisonous snakes or spiders to worry about. So, you can explore at your leisure without having to tread too carefully!  

Wander around Speightstown

Speightstown is one of the larger towns in Barbados, a great place to go if you seek to explore the history and culture of the island. The stunning town paints an authentic picture of island life; its rows of fishing shacks, old architecture and slower pace provide a tranquil setting to spend the day.

Uncover the island’s history at the Arlington House Museum, try the local produce at the shore, or spend a lazy day lounging on the coast where you will find white sandy beaches alongside some amazing rum bars. 

The inviting promenade at Speightstown is also worth checking out, it offers a vibrant dining scene with some of the best eateries on the island. Here you are met with several bakeries, gourmet cafes, friendly pubs and more. Speightstown has so much to offer, you will find yourself getting lost amidst its multiple attractions, all whilst soaking up the calming island atmosphere.

Experience the Heritage at St. Nicholas Abbey

A trip to St. Nicholas Abbey is one of the best ways to experience the rum selection in Barbados. The Abbey brims with the island’s best-kept homes alongside some incredible rum distilleries. 

St. Nicholas Abbey is located in St Peter and offers a chance to explore the plantation house, museum and plethora of rums. The house is also rich in history, as it dates back to 1658.

Guests typically spend between 2-3 hours exploring the plantation, leaving enough time to experience the wealth of heritage that lies here. There are multiple antiques and artefacts spanning the home’s 350-year history. Once you have spent enough time wandering around the plantation, be sure to check out the Syrup Factory, Rum Distillery and Rum Mill, where you can learn about the island’s rum-making process. 

Not only do you get a day full of exploration and education at St. Nicholas Abbey, but its stunning location puts you in one of the best places on the island for the finest panoramas. The Abbey is enveloped in Mahogany Trees and offers breathtaking views over the east coast of Barbados.

See the Capital of Bridgetown

When looking for things to do in Barbados, a favoured destination is the renowned Bridgetown. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is the capital of the island and never fails to impress those who choose to visit here. 

Visit the vibrant shopping strip of Broad Street, see the numerous colonial figures around the squares, soak up the relaxing vibe near the harbour or try out the numerous lively rum bars – there are over 1,000 to sample! There is so much to see here, you will be sure to find something to fit each holiday itinerary. 

Many of the classic rum shops even display delicious snacks and treats to taste. If you want to experience some of the island’s classic delicacies, there are also a number of wonderful vendors and little stalls that line the roads in Bridgetown. 

Bridgetown also brims with pretty historic sites such as Chamberlain Bridge and the neo-Gothic Parliament Buildings, providing tourists with an insight into the history and architecture of the island.

Summary

Barbados is an incredible island to visit, whether you want to spend your days lazily lounging on the paradisiacal beaches or seek to uncover history and culture in its vibrant towns, there is something for everyone. The island’s incredible tropical scenery, white sandy shores, turquoise waters and lush forests make it the perfect place for those seeking to explore and create adventures. 

When deciding what to do in Barbados, the list above allows a great starting point for those who want to know a little more about its hot spots. However, we have only scratched the surface of what to do on this wonderful island, as there is so much more to discover.