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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 15 attractions in Nassau

Rose Island

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Rose Island is an idyllic private getaway off the coast of Nassau. Home to a coral reef and a lone beach bar, this tiny, tropical islet offers an exclusive setting for snorkeling and sunbathing on an 11-mile (18-kilometer) stretch of uninhabited, privately owned Bahamian beach.More

Government House

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Built in 1801 on an estate on top of Mount Fitzwilliam, Government House is often considered the best example of Georgian Colonial architecture in all of the West Indies. The mansion is painted a vibrant pink with a bright white trim (a nod to Nassau’s famous conch shells) and is the residence of the Governor-General of the Bahamas.More

Fort Fincastle

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Overlooking the city of Nassau from its vantage point atop Bennett’s Hill, Fort Fincastle was built in 1793 to protect the island of New Providence from outside invaders. Much of the imposing building remains intact today. Visitors come to explore the fortifications and enjoy the view from the highest point in Nassau.More

Queen's Staircase

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The Queen’s Staircase, one of Nassau’s most visited attractions, holds an important place in Bahamian cultural history. Around 1793, slaves carved this 102-foot (31-meter) staircase, comprised of 65 steps, out of solid limestone. Later it was named in honor of Queen Victoria’s 65-year reign and her role in abolishing slavery in the Bahamas.More

Paradise Island

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Just across the water from the Bahamas’ main island of New Providence, Paradise Island is a fun-filled destination with stylish resort hotels, beautiful beaches, restaurants, casinos, and more. Visitors come to take in a show, try their hand at the blackjack tables, or enjoy some wet-and-wild exhilaration at the world-famous water park.More

Fort Charlotte

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High atop a hillside overlooking the harbor of Nassau is British-colonial era Fort Charlotte—the largest fort in Nassau. Built in the late 18th century for a battle that never took place, this historic site offers picturesque views of Paradise Island, Nassau, and the harbor. You can also see hidden underground passages, a dry moat, remote dungeons; and even canons, which have never been fired in battle.More

Arawak Cay

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The evening fish fry is a much-loved tradition across many Caribbean islands, and Arawak Cay in Nassau, Bahamas, brings the custom to life. Find colorful huts selling fresh fish dishes, such as conch salad and lobster, along with vendors making tropical cocktails, and there’s often live music, too.More

Cable Beach

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Famous for its golden sands, the Bahamas' Cable Beach is a popular water sports and lolling destination for visitors to New Providence Island. This 2.5-mile (4-kilometer) stretch of idyllic beach is home to several massive resorts—including the Atlantis on nearby Paradise Island—each with their own claim staked in the sand.More

National Art Gallery of the Bahamas (NAGB)

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For a real taste of Bahamian culture, head to the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas (NAGB) in Nassau. Housed in a classic 19th-century colonial-style building known as Villa Doyle in the center of town, the gallery displays paintings, sculptures, and other pieces by local artists from the 1850s to the present day.More

Atlantis, Paradise Island

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The Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas is the ultimate resort and water park. Accommodations range from standard hotel rooms to villas and condos to the Bridge Suite (once ranked the world’s most expensive hotel suite). And even if you’re not a hotel guest, you can still enjoy some of the resort’s amenities, such as Dolphin Cay.More

Straw Market

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The traditional craft of straw working is an integral part of Bahamian culture and industry. Each island has its own distinctive braiding style that locals use to create beautiful straw hats, baskets, and other goods. The Straw Market on Nassau is the ultimate place to pick up these traditional Bahamian souvenirs.More

Pirates of Nassau

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Grab your eye patch and peg leg to delve into one of the most infamous aspects of Caribbean history. At the Pirates of Nassau museum, you can discover Nassau’s history as an 18th-century pirate base through replica ships and exhibits. The city was once considered home to the world's largest concentration of swashbuckling seafarers.More

Parliament Square

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The island of Nassau is the seat of the Bahamian government and the four bubblegum pink buildings that house its key branches lend a distinct island vibe to what’s known as Parliament Square. The pastel Georgian-style buildings of the Supreme Court, the Public Library and Museum, and the Houses of Parliament surround the square—where a statue honoring Queen Victoria stands.More

Blue Lagoon Island

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With its stretch of white sands fringed by coconut palm trees and a lush rain forest, Blue Lagoon Island—or Salt Cay—offers an idyllic escape from the crowds of Nassau and has everything you'd expect from a tropical island. Bring the whole family along for some fun in the sun, or take it easy for a day of pure beachy bliss on Blue Lagoon Island Beach.More

Nassau Public Library & Museum

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With its pink exterior and unusual octagonal shape, the Nassau Public Library is a well-loved local landmark. Although you might not think to visit a public library while on vacation, a detour to see this building is well worth the effort. The library once served as the town’s jail, and the books are housed inside the former jail cells.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

Top activities in Nassau

Sandy Toes Full Day Excursion to Rose Island
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Funky Nassau Jeep Adventure

Funky Nassau Jeep Adventure

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US$ 103.50
Nassau Rum and Food Walking Tour

Nassau Rum and Food Walking Tour

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US$ 84.00
Exuma Full-day Experience
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Exuma Full-day Experience

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US$ 475.00
The Ultimate Bahamian Adventure Package

The Ultimate Bahamian Adventure Package

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US$ 205.13
Private Ocean View Cabana at Pearl Island (from Nassau)
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Pearl Island Escape with Snorkeling Experience and Lunch
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Sunset Dinner Cruise in Nassau

Sunset Dinner Cruise in Nassau

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US$ 108.90
Jet Ski Adventure in Cabbage Beach

Jet Ski Adventure in Cabbage Beach

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US$ 120.00
per group
Rum Reggae and Rhythms Tour

Rum Reggae and Rhythms Tour

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US$ 65.00
Nassau Food and History Bus Tour

Nassau Food and History Bus Tour

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US$ 89.00
Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

Recent reviews from experiences in Nassau

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Pirate lore and more!
AARON_C, Oct 2022
Pirate Jeep Sightseeing Adventure!
Great way to see the main sights in Nassau in a private group setting.
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The Perfect Tour Guide
Kayla_G, Oct 2022
Nassau Shore Excursion: Island Highlights Sightseeing Tour
Great experience and really felt like I got to see and know the heart of Nassau .
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Awesome!!
Riley_B, Sep 2022
Nassau Historical Guided Bike Tour
Great way to see the real Nassau!
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Culture and fun
Benjamin_S, Jun 2022
Dilly Dally Cultural Bike Tour of Downtown Nassau with a Guide
Could not ask for a better way to see Nassau!
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Best tour in Nassau
alicia_r, Jun 2022
City tour sight seeing wine tasting queens staircase beach day transfer
This was the perfect tour to see key sites in Nassau if you are visiting from the cruise ship or staying at one of the resorts.
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10/10, would recommend
Roushani_M, Nov 2022
Pirate Jeep Sightseeing Adventure!
Definitely a really fun way to spend half a day and would highly recommend to anyone looking to see a bit more of the island.
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Don’t hesitate, take this tour!!!!!
Lindsey_M, Sep 2022
Bahamas Culture Tour from Nassau Including Rum Cake
The tour in itself was great and I felt like we truly got to see the whole island and learn so much about Nassau.
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Amazing Time with Tyrone
Jaime_M, Sep 2022
Nassau Shore Excursion: Island Highlights Sightseeing Tour
It’s a great way to see a lot of Nassau!
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This is what you are looking for
Douglas_L, Aug 2022
Exuma Full-day Experience
If you are in Nassau and want to see some of the real Bahamas, this is exactly what you are looking for.
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Overall amazing
Joie_H, Aug 2022
Sandy Toes Full Day Excursion to Rose Island
The island was beautiful, I would recommend this to anyone looking to see pigs in Nassau.
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A unique and fun way to see Nassau
Christina_C, Jun 2022
ATV Island Tour (Beach Break + Lunch with free pickup + drop off)
If you’re looking for an fun and unique way to see Nassau this is it!
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Excellent experience
Sedat_S, Mar 2022
Luxury Escalade Cadillac Private Roundtrip Transportation
The driver was there when we arrived, gave a lot of information regarding attractions in Nassau, and was very pleasant!
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Totally recommend taking...
boogiesmom2007, Mar 2022
6-Seater road ready Buggy/Jeep Rental with Bluetooth speakers
Helpful staff with directions and points of interest to see in Nassau.
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Dont Miss this Tour to Rose Island
Glen_M, Mar 2022
Sandy Toes Full Day Excursion to Rose Island
BEAUTIFUL secluded Beach NOT Crowded, BEST Place to visit in Nassau WE WILL BE BACK !!!!
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Able to see the...
Walter_F, Mar 2022
Dilly Dally Walking Tour of Nassau
Able to see the highlights of Nassau in about 3 hours.
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Fun & Historical ATV Tour
Erika_S, Feb 2022
ATV Island Tour (Beach Break + Lunch with free pickup + drop off)
Convenient way to see Nassau.
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Nassau Car Service
Shane_G, Jan 2022
RoundTrip Transport From Airport to Atlantis, Warwick, Comfort Suites, RIU, P.I
Our driver was excellent - he gave us a nice history of Nassau and recommended places to see or things to try.
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So fun!! Money well spent!
Sharon_F, Dec 2021
Fun Buggy Rentals (Hotels, Cruise Port, AirBnB Free Pickup & Drop off)
It was a great way to see Nassau and be directing our own experience.
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Very enjoyable.
Ngaire_D, Dec 2021
Funky Nassau Jeep Adventure
A great way to see a bit of Nassau.
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Wonderful Island Tour with a Local
Julia_T, May 2021
At YOUR Pace Private Tours - Nassau, Bahamas
More than a tour, she really showed us her island and allowed us to see it in a way that only a local can show you.
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People Also Ask

How do I spend a day in Nassau?

A compact city center makes Nassau easy to explore in one day. Start at the Queen's Staircase and Fort Fincastle. Then, head to the Straw Market for local handicrafts. Next, relax at Cable Beach—it's near Nassau and offers snorkeling and watersports. At night, grab a cocktail at a lively bar along Bay Street.

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What is the best excursion in Nassau?

Nassau offers excursions aplenty. Book a day pass to the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island, off the coast of Nassau. Or take a trip to Rose Island. Don't miss exploring Bahamian cuisine and culture on a walking tour of the town’s historic neighborhood, sampling local foods along with handcrafted rum cocktails.

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Is Nassau the capital of the Bahamas?

Yes. Nassau is the capital of the Bahamas, serving as the archipelago’s hub for commerce, education, and media. Here, you’ll find Bay Street, which runs parallel to the shoreline and is the city’s main shopping street. The Lynden Pindling International Airport, the largest airport in the Bahamas, is located in Nassau.

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Is Nassau expensive to visit?

Yes. The Bahamas can be an expensive destination. That’s because most food and supplies need to be imported onto the chain of islands. To save money, many travelers book all-inclusive resort packages that include accommodations and meals. Also, keep in mind that gratuity is usually automatically added to restaurant bills.

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Was Nassau a pirate island?

​​Yes. Due to its location near trade routes, Nassau became a popular pirate haven. Here, pirates established their own “republic” and operated undeterred. In 1718, the British regained control of the Bahamas with the help of notorious pirate Benjamin Hornigold, a mentor to the infamous Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard.

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Is Nassau safe for tourists?

Yes. Nassau is relatively safe for tourists. However, take precautions to avoid petty theft. After dark, take taxis instead of walking. Visitors to New Providence Island, where Nassau is located, should avoid "over the hill" neighborhoods south of downtown, particularly at night. When renting vehicles such as Jet Skis, exercise caution—not all are maintained.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
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What are the top things to do in Nassau?
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What are the top activities in Nassau?
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What are the top things to do near Nassau?
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What do I need to know before visiting Nassau?