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Things to do in Barbados

Things to do in  Barbados

Welcome to Barbados

This small island (just 21 by 14 miles / 34 by 23 km) in the Lesser Antilles has beach-worthy weather all year around and sits outside the so-called “Hurricane Alley.” The bustling capital and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bridgetown boasts many multicolored historical buildings as well as some pedestrian shopping streets. The fine sand beaches and azure waters in the south draw travelers from all over the globe while the wild and rugged coast of the island’s north offers natural wonders. In between lies the famous Harrison’s Cave, a limestone formation that contains stalagmites, stalactites, and underground water features. To cover all of that—and the mix of colonial, native, and immigrant cultures in between—tours by car, catamaran, and 4x4 help speed transport and shed light on Barbados’ food and customs. Visitors join local and international surfers at a beach called the “Soup Bowl,” in the quaint fishing village of Bathsheba, peek at the local green monkeys at Welchman Hall Gully, and stop at Saint Nicholas Abbey, which opens a window into what life on the island may have looked like in the 17th century. For more relaxed—but no less impressive—sights, Hunte’s Garden showcases the lush, tropical flora and fauna found in Barbados, and nobody can resist a stop at the famous Mount Gay Rum Distillery, where travelers visit the Heritage Museum and even take a course in mixing the perfect rum cocktail.

Top 10 attractions in Barbados

#1
Harrison's Cave

Harrison's Cave

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Harrison’s Cave, an underground cavern located in the central uplands of Barbados, is a 1.4-mile (2.3-kilometer) natural wonder chock-full of stalactites, stalagmites, cascading waterfalls, and natural passages. It’s one of the island’s top attractions, and rightly so—it’s an unparalleled underground experience.More
#2
Carlisle Bay

Carlisle Bay

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The shipwrecks in Carlisle Bay, on Barbados’ west coast, make the protected natural harbor one of the island’s most popular snorkeling and scuba diving spots. Six sunken vessels dot the ocean floor and are home to hundreds of varieties of tropical fish, stingrays, and turtles that draw visitors from all over the world.More
#3
Mount Gay Rum Visitor Center

Mount Gay Rum Visitor Center

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Barbados is considered the birthplace of rum, and Mount Gay Distillery—founded in 1703—is the world’s oldest commercial rum distillery. For three centuries, residents and visiting sailors have sipped its sweet golden nectar. Learn how rum is made at Mount Gay Visitor Centre, and taste the drink that shaped Barbados.More
#4
Barbados Wildlife Reserve

Barbados Wildlife Reserve

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The Barbados Wildlife Reserve, located on the island’s northern coast, is a 4-acre (1.6-hectare) area of mahogany forest that is home to a variety of native species. Visit to see a wide variety of mammals, birds, and reptiles, including deer, armadillos, iguanas, flamingos, peacocks, green monkeys, and agouti.More
#5
Bathsheba Beach

Bathsheba Beach

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According to an old legend, beautiful Bathsheba—the wife of King David—bathed in milk to keep her skin looking smooth and soft. Barbados locals say the white, frothy waters of Bathsheba Beach, named in her honor, have similar healing powers.Surfers love riding the wild Atlantic waves and navigating the strong currents this beach is famous for, while the more leisurely set enjoy taking in its picturesque landscapes and soaking in the relaxing mineral pools lined by coral reefs. Huge boulders resting along the shore give this destination a distinctly wild vibe, and the nearby fishing village is filled with friendly locals, strong rum shops and quaint restaurants serving up classic Barbados fare.More
#6
St. Nicholas Abbey

St. Nicholas Abbey

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Built in 1660, the beautifully restored St. Nicholas Abbey, with its distinctive Dutch gables and red roof, is one of only three authentic Jacobean buildings in the western hemisphere. On this old sugarcane estate, you’ll find a working rum distillery and a museum depicting 18th-century plantation life on the island.More
#7
Cherry Tree Hill

Cherry Tree Hill

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As you take an island tour of Barbados, make sure to stop at Cherry Tree Hill, an 850-foot tall overlook on the grounds of St. Nicholas Abbey. Here you can enjoy an expansive view of the island’s Scotland District and the wild, windswept eastern shore of the island. The road up the hill is said to have been literally lined with cherry trees, however today it’s long been replanted with towering groves of mahogany. The hill is a popular stop among guided tours, so if you’ve planned to take one on your trip, you’ll likely end up here. However, you can also make the drive yourself—it’s only about 30 minutes from Bridgetown.More
#8
St. John's Parish Church

St. John's Parish Church

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One of Barbados’s oldest church sites, the St. John’s Parish Church has experienced a tumultuous history, having been damaged by fires and hurricanes and rebuilt multiple times since it was originally established in 1645. The current incarnation was completed in 1836, while the chancel was added some years later. It was constructed in the Gothic style, and its dramatic location offers spectacular views of the rugged, windswept eastern shore of Barbados. Notable attractions include the grave of Ferdinand Paleologus, a descendant of the Emperor Constantine, and a sculpture by British sculptor Richard Westmacott near the front doors, and one of only two sundials on the island.More
#9
Barbados Parliament Buildings

Barbados Parliament Buildings

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Historic Bridgetown has a Colonial feel reminiscent of a miniature England, and on a visit to the Barbados Parliament Buildings, travelers can learn what it means to be a part of the former British Commonwealth. The Barbados Parliament was established back in 1639—which makes it the Commonwealth’s third oldest, behind only Britain and Bermuda. The gorgeous, Neo-Gothic buildings were completed in 1874 and give the historic district the feel of Victorian England. Unlike some other Caribbean architecture that is decaying and in disrepair, the Barbados Parliament Buildings are exquisitely maintained to the point where you just might find yourself staring and gawking in the middle of the street.Aside from the spectacular, external appearance, it’s inside the Museum of Parliament and National Heroes Gallery where visitors can learn the fascinating history of Barbados. Located inside the West Wing, the Museum of Parliament tells the island’s history through stunning photographs and videos, and shows visitors what life was like through varioushistorical eras. You’ll also find info on influential figures who have helped to shape the nation. Visitors will leave with a deep, well­-rounded knowledge of this historic Caribbean nation.More
#10
Paynes Bay

Paynes Bay

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Unlike some of Barbados’ other well-traveled beaches, the calm aqua waters of protected Paynes Bay are ideal for swimming. This idyllic destination attracts plenty of visitors looking to soak up the sun, wander the shoreline or go for a dip.Shaded trees line the quiet beach, located in Saint James Parish, and cast cooling shadows where families retreat to relax and unwind. Plenty of wild water sports, like jet skiing and catamaran sailing, draw more adventurous guests out of their beach chairs and into the bay, where they can ride the waves or snorkel with sea turtles.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 2 Days in Barbados

How to Spend 2 Days in Barbados

How to Spend 3 Days in Barbados

How to Spend 3 Days in Barbados

Top activities in Barbados

5-Hour Small-Group Catamaran Cruise from Bridgetown with Lunch
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Barbados Mount Gay Rum Tour

Barbados Mount Gay Rum Tour

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From
US$68.50
Barbados Full-day Private Tour

Barbados Full-day Private Tour

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From
US$255.13
per group
Original Bajan Walking Food Tour

Original Bajan Walking Food Tour

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US$81.54
Beautiful Coastal Sightseeing Tour of Barbados

Special Offer

Beautiful Coastal Sightseeing Tour of Barbados

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US$114.75
US$135.00  US$20.25 savings
Afternoon Luxury Catamaran Sailing and Charter Cruise from Bridgetown
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Private Full-Day Barbados Excursion

Special Offer

Private Full-Day Barbados Excursion

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US$297.50
per group
US$350.00  US$52.50 savings
Barbados Sightseeing Tour: Hunte's Garden and St Nicholas Abbey (small group)

Special Offer

Recent reviews from experiences in Barbados

star-5
See all 11 parishes and places we o]would never of heard off
Martin_O, Jul 2021
Barbados Full-day Private Tour
He knew so much about the island, places to see and Barbados history.
star-5
Excrement island tour
Dana_O, Jun 2021
Barbados Half Day Private Tour
As a life-long resident of Barbados, he gave us lots of history as we stopped to see the beauty.
star-5
Perfect private tour
Malachi, May 2021
Barbados Half Day Private Tour
Ahmed was a fantastic driver and guide, in the half day tour we managed to visit many of the best tourist attractions on the island, ate at a great local spot and took some great pictures of Barbados.
star-4
Break from the beach.
Melissa_W, Jun 2021
Historic Walking Tour of Bridgetown Barbados
Easy to see why.
star-5
Absolutely amazing
Rachael_C, Mar 2020
Carlisle Bay Clear Kayak Shipwreck Tour
Nik was extremley knowledgeable and we got to see loads of unsual fish, shipwrecks and even turtles!
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Barbados half day tour
laurenorme, Feb 2020
Barbados Paradise Sightseeing Tour (small group)
A quick and easy tour showing some of the many sights of the island, it’s definitely worth the few hours to visit, without anything feeling rushed.
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Well-run cave tour in Barbados
Jeremy R, Jan 2020
Small-Group Harrison's Cave Tour in Barbados
For cruisers or people staying in hotels this is a great tour to see something different.
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Great Experience
genevieveb0ucher, Jan 2020
Barbados Catamaran Snorkeling Cruise
It was our first Catamaran cruise in Barbados, we had other experience in other destination, but this one with kids, is lovely.
star-5
Great way to spend the day
Dawn H, Dec 2019
Barbados Half Day Coastal Sightseeing Private Tour
Ahmad did an outstanding job of driving us to see everything we wanted to see, answering our questions, taking photos for us, and showing us the island - end to end.
star-5
Highly recommend
Travel60395940368, Jun 2019
Barbados Half Day Coastal Sightseeing Private Tour
Our private tour with Ahmed (I hope I’ve spelled his name correctly) provided us with a local’s perspective to Barbados and allowed us to see more than we anticipated.
star-5
Perfect tour!
Trip35678155824, Jun 2019
Natural Wonders of Barbados Small-Group Tour Including Harrison's Cave
We got to see lots of Barbados and our tour guide was very knowledgeable and we learned a lot about the island!
star-5
Perfect day
JannLynch, Jun 2019
Private Customized Island Tour of Barbados
We had a list of sites and we were able to see all of them.
star-5
This tour fully lived up to it's...
jefftkeller, Nov 2017
Barbados Full-day Coast to Coast Tour
I highly recommend this tour for anyone who wants to see the real Barbados and not the typical tourist sites.
star-5
This rental worked out so well for...
Catherine L, Aug 2017
Private Full-Day Barbados Excursion
I would highly recommend Viator and an all day excursion to see the most of the area!
star-5
Very efficient and well run...
cb_rdms, Feb 2018
Harrison's Cave Tram Tour and Boat Cruise Snorkel Adventure
Great way to see the highlights of Barbados.
star-5
We had a nice time on this tour...
Debbie H, Sep 2016
Half-Day Barbados Tour Harrisons Cave Hunte's Garden and Bathsheba (small group)
Had time left over to visit the beautiful beaches of barbados.
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Eddie was extremely personable and...
DavidMerrill, Dec 2016
Barbados Island and Beach Tour
This is an excellent way to see a good portion of Barbados and become more familiar with the island.
star-4
Great day in Barbados. Harrison's...
Susan E, Jul 2015
Land & Sea: Cave, Monkeys & Turtles
Fun to see the sea turtles.
star-4
This tour covered 4 nice places to...
S.V K, Nov 2014
Natural Wonders of Barbados Small-Group Tour Including Harrison's Cave
This tour covered 4 nice places to visit in Barbados.
star-4
Great overview tour of Barbados. Jam...
Ann M, Mar 2014
Best of Barbados Tour (small group land & sea tour)
Jam packed with varied activities to do all day.

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the top things to do in Barbados?
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