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Things to do in Nassau

Things to do in  Nassau

Welcome to Nassau

The sleepy, sandy pace of the Bahamas beaches recede in Nassau, the island nation’s only city. Travelers will find a bustling Caribbean port—once a haven for pirates searching for treasures, it's now a center for shopping and business. City tours offer insights into the historical and cultural highlights of this city on the sea, including stops at Fort Charlotte, Fort Fincastle, Ardastra Gardens, and the Government House. Climb down the famous Queen's staircase and stop by the perennially popular Straw Market and Arawak Cay to purchase locally made straw goods and other souvenirs to take home. Since Nassau is a deep-water port, it’s a popular cruise ship destination. Passengers disembark onto Bay Street, where you can select a tour to explore the island, or head straight to Junkanoo or Cabbage beach to enjoy the island’s aqua waters by snorkeling and swimming or revving up with parasailing, jet skiing, or underwater SUB adventures (which let you view the marine life without getting your hair wet). Explore the mostly flat island by bicycle or scooter, or simply eat your way around town: conch fritters, island-sourced spices, and barbecue are favorites. Nassau is also a top jumping-off point for deep-sea fishing charters and day trips to smaller Bahamian islands such as Pearl Island, Rose Island, or Exuma, all known for their pristine sands.

Top 10 attractions in Nassau

#1

Rose Island

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Dreams of the Bahamas are usually comprised of an empty, white-sand beach, set on the shores of a deserted island that’s surrounded by a turquoise sea. Finding that beach can be tough, however, as much of the development located around Nassau leaves little sense of seclusion. Just off the shore of Nassau, however, the uninhabited sands of Rose Island are closer to that tropical dream. A lone beach bar and a few palm trees that skank to the rhythm of the breeze, and an exclusive setting for snorkeling and sunbathing in a private corner of paradise. On a full day getaway to Sandy Toes, leave the first set of footprints in the white sand that has been wiped clear by the tide. Order a drink at the beachfront bar and swim in the crystalline waters, or colonize an empty, oceanfront hammock and not do anything at all. It’s a getaway from your getaway where you can completely press pause and soak up the relaxation, or ramp up the energy on the tropical holiday.More
#2

Fort Charlotte

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High atop a hillside overlooking the harbor of Nassau is the British-colonial Fort Charlotte—the largest fort in Nassau. Constructed in the late 18th century for a battle that never took place, this historic site offers picturesque views, hidden underground passages, a waterless mote, remote dungeons and even authentic canons. Guides are available to help travelers navigate through subterranean halls far below the fort, but well-place signage and plenty of light means visitors can just as easily explore the grounds on their own.More
#3

Queen's Staircase

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You might be surprised to find out that the most visited attraction in Nassau is a 31 m (102 ft) staircase. But the staircase's value resides not just in its 65 steps, but in its importance to Bahamian cultural history. The steps were carved out of solid limestone by slaves sometime between 1793 and 1794; a century later the staircase was renamed to honor the 65 year reign of Queen Victoria as well as her role in helping bring about the abolition of slavery in the Bahamas. Today, come and marvel at the serene majesty of the steep, sloping staircase, still considered a remarkable construction feat. In order to carve the steps, the slaves had to cut through the rocks with axes and other sharp hand tools. The staircase leads to the back of Fort Fincastle.More
#4

Fort Fincastle

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Sitting atop Bennet's Hill, overlooking the city of Nassau, the hulking Fort Fincastle regally rests. The fort, though rather simple in appearance, is still impressive due to its huge brick walls with canons peeking out over the top. Built in 1793 by Lord Dunmore, the governor of the island at the time, this 38.5 m (126 ft) tall fort was constructed to offer protection over the island. Today, you can climb to the top of the fort to explore the cannons and three rooms that are dug beneath the lookout. While the fort makes for a neat viewing opportunity, it is truly a must-see because of the spectacular panoramic views of the ocean it offers from the top.More
#5

Government House

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Built in 1806, the Government House is considered by many to be the leading example of Georgian Colonial architecture in all the West Indies. Its vibrant exterior gives this traditional building that sits atop Mount Fitzwilliam a uniquely island vibe, with a coral-colored paintjob that nods to Nassau’s famous conch. An impressive entryway, towering Ionic columns and a proud statue of Christopher Columbus lend a noble air to the mansion the visiting representative of the Queen calls home. Climb the hilltop for breathtaking views of Paradise Island or hang around the gates to catch the changing of the guards—both offer photo ops that are uniquely Nassau.More
#6

Arawak Cay

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This seafood paradise—ripe with fresh fish and strong drinks—is a destination for diners looking to truly taste Nassau. What began with a few tiny stalls selling locally sourced conch quickly grew to include a variety fish and a more extensive list of traditional Bahamian fare. Travelers line up for famous conch salad and crispy conch fritters that local cooks fry to order. But visitors can sample shrimp, lobster and snapper prepared street side, too. Be sure to request a hit of local hot sauce, made with the island’s special blend of spicy peppers and juicy limes. Arawak Cay is a fun stop for an afternoon snack or a delicious local dinner. And since the streets come alive at dusk, this waterfront spot is an ideal destination for a frosty beer or a strong sipping sundowner to round out the night.More
#7

Pirates of Nassau

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Get out your eye patch and peg leg and get ready to delve into one of the most infamous and legendary aspects of Caribbean history. During the Golden Age of Piracy, from 1690 to 1720, pirates patrolled the waters of the Caribbean, terrorizing merchant ships and no place played a greater role in illegal pirate operations than Nassau, home base to the world's largest concentration of swashbuckling seafarers. A trip to Pirates of Nassau takes one back to the Golden Age when pirates ruled the Caribbean. A favorite of both adults and children alike, this museum is one you won't want to miss. It is said that when a pirate slept, he did not dream of heaven, but of returning to Nassau. Come and find out for yourself what made Nassau pirate paradise.More
#8

Blue Lagoon Island

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This beautiful private island is open to all who wants to experience Bahamian beauty and adventure firsthand. A trip to Blue Lagoon Island promises countless opportunities for fun, whether you want to simply relax by the beach and catch some rays, swim with a dolphin, or venture into the sparkling waters in a sea kayak. Though just a short trip away from Nassau, Blue Lagoon Island offers the peaceful feeling of seclusion that you can only experience on a private island. The nature alone is enough to draw most visitors- whether it's the clear turquoise waters, native coconut palm trees, pristine white sandy beaches, beautiful natural vegetation, tropical birds, or coral reefs teeming with native species of fish. If you get restless after lounging on the beach, there are numerous attractions you can check out. The Dolphin Encounters, where you can swim with dolphins and sea lions, is continually ranked among the most popular attractions in the Bahamas.More
#9

Cable Beach

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Famous for its golden sand beaches, Cable Beach serves as the perfect destination to spend a day relaxing in the sun. Known as the hotel district of Nassau, the area is home to five massive hotels. No need to worry if you are not staying in one of the hotels, however. Many of them offer use of their pools for the day (for a fee). You can also stroll up to one of the area's public beaches and swim in the warm, shimmering Bahamian waters. Whether you spend the day tanning, splashing in the hotel pools, or running up and down Cable Beach, you are almost certain to have worked up an appetite. Good thing Cable Beach is also known for its numerous dining options. The majority of restaurants are located either in the hotels or across the street. After you finish dinner, be sure to check out the Crystal Palace Casino for some night time fun.More
#10

Straw Market

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One of the traditional crafts of the Bahamas, straw working has become infused into Bahamian culture and industry. Each island has developed its own distinctive plaiting or braiding style to create beautiful straw hats, baskets, etc. The Straw Market in Nassau serves as the ultimate destination to pick up Bahamian souvenirs. Grab a hat to protect yourself from the sun, or maybe pick up a small wood carving as a trinket to take home to a family member. In addition to the authentic hand-crafted merchandise, the Straw Market also offers many other items. What makes the Straw Market a unique shopping experience is getting to bargain the prices down; just remember to never accept the first offer and have fun seeing how low you can get the price to go!More

Trip ideas

Island Hopping Tours from Nassau

Island Hopping Tours from Nassau

How to Spend 1 Day in Nassau

How to Spend 1 Day in Nassau

How to Spend 2 Days in Nassau

How to Spend 2 Days in Nassau

Recent reviews from experiences in Nassau

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A must do in Nassau
Erin_C, Feb. 2020
Rum Reggae and Rhythms Tour
I would highly recommend this tour for anyone who’s looking for a fun way to see Nassau with delicious rum and good times 😊
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Great tour with amazing tour guides
Shelby_M, Feb. 2020
Nassau Food and History Bus Tour
Amazing experience if you want to see what Nassau has to offer.
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Great time!!
POLISHHAM, Feb. 2020
ATV Island Tour (Beach Break, Lunch, Free Tropical Drinks & Rum Cake Souvenir)
Best way to see the sights in Nassau!!
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Wonderful Day Trip
Roving17084912943, Jun. 2019
Sandy Toes Full Day Excursion to Rose Island
The activities were super fun and the beaches were beautiful.
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Overall amazing time
hyltonk6, Sep. 2018
Nassau Shore Excursion: Island Highlights Sightseeing Tour
We got to see all of Nassau .
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There isn't a huge amount to see...
Jeff W, Dec. 2017
Nassau Shore Excursion: Island Highlights Sightseeing Tour
There isn't a huge amount to see around Nassau, but this trip makes the most of what there is.
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I have been to Nassau several times...
Chris S, Dec. 2017
Nassau Historical Walking Tour
I have been to Nassau several times but this was a unique way to see and experience it.
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The drivers were excellent and on...
Debora P, Jun. 2017
Shared Round-Trip Transfer: Nassau Airport
We learned a lot from our drivers about the island and what to do while in Nassau.
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The tour was incredible! Keanna was...
Brandi R, Jun. 2016
Nassau Food and History Bus Tour
My boyfriend and I got to see the most beautiful spots and try some of the best food Nassau has to offer.
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What a great way to see and tasted...
georgero, Apr. 2017
Nassau Food Tasting and Cultural Walking Tour
What a great way to see and tasted the foods of Nassau .
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Even though we've visited Nassau...
Mike F, Feb. 2015
Nassau Food Tasting and Cultural Walking Tour
Interesting places to visit downtown.
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We saw EVERYTHING!!
Michon1, Mar. 2020
City tour sight seeing wine tasting queens staircase beach day transfer
We got to see way more on this tour than any of the others offered (this was my 3rd time in Nassau) and Shonel took us to spots that I'd never known existed.
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The most perfect way to see Nassau!!
shikamurthy, Jan. 2020
Clifton National Park Tour on Buggy or ATV with Lunch and Drinks Included
Now for the actual tour, this was such a fun way to see Nassau!!!
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A really unique way to explore marine...
Orchid B, Apr. 2018
Nassau Shore Excursion: SUB Bahamas Adventure
However, you can still take advantage of the great snorkeling while others are on the sub, you actually are able to see a greater variety of fish just exploring around the boat.
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Our driver Davis made sure we saw...
Matthew T, May 2017
Nassau Shore Excursion: Island Highlights Sightseeing Tour
It was a great way to see Nassau and much cheaper than through our cruis line.
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Great adventure
Theresa W, Aug. 2018
Discover Nassau Land and Sea Sightseeing Tour
Highly recommend for those who don't want to do alot of walking but want to see a quick and easy overview of Nassau from land and sea.
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Fantastic Walking Tour with Frederick
lsu96tiger, Jun. 2018
Nassau Historical Walking Tour
We also had the opportunity to visit Tasty Teas and the John Watling Distillery before ending our tour back where we started.
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My children and I loved the scavenger...
Arhonda O, Jun. 2017
Nassau Native Quest and Beach
We met some good people who were in Nassau for a cruise and the activities were interesting and fun.
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Best money you will spend on your...
C Taylor, Aug. 2017
The Ultimate Bahamian Adventure Package
At the booth, I asked to provide proof of purchase by showing my e-reservation on my phone and was given a color bracelet where your excursion activities were shown.
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Definitely a unique experience in...
Valerie V, Apr. 2018
Nassau Native Quest and Beach
This tour piqued our interest because it incorporated some fun activities for the kids.

Frequently Asked Questions

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