With its compact city center and mix of historic pastel-hued buildings, lively bars, and sandy beaches, Nassau is easy to explore in just one day. Here’s how to make the most of 24 hours in the Bahamian capital city.
Ardastra Gardens, Zoo and Conservation Centre
Chippingham Road, Nassau
Jamaican horticulturist Hedley Edwards developed the Ardastra Gardens in the 1930s, and today they serve as a refuge for more than 130 animals, many of which belong to endangered species. Along with enjoying the animal encounters, you can explore the four acres (1.6 hectares) of jungle gardens filled with tropical plants and flowers designed to be a haven of peace and tranquility.
You can buy an admission ticket upon arrival or in advance to skip the line. Local bike tours of Nassau often stop here.
Things to Know Before You Go
Ardastra Gardens and Zoo is a wonderful stop for families visiting the Bahamas.
Tickets are discounted for children under 12 and Bahamas residents; children aged 3 and under enter for free.
The zoo and gardens are accessible to wheelchair users.
There is an on-site café and gift shop.
The flamingo show takes place daily at 10:30am, 2:15pm, and 4pm.
You can hand-feed the lory parrots daily at 11am, 1:30pm, and 3:30pm.
How to Get There
Ardastra Gardens is located along Chippingham Road on the edge of downtown Nassau, on New Providence Island. It is accessible by car or taxi, or by public transportation—the #10 bus from Cable Beach stops close by, and any bus heading west from the downtown Hilton hotel stops here on request.
When to Get There
Ardastra is open 9am to 5pm every day excluding Christmas, December 26, and New Year’s Day. Last entrance is at 4pm, though most people enjoy around two hours visiting the animals. Mid-morning tends to be the busiest time here.
Revel in Nassau’s Pirate History
In the 18th century, the city of Nassau was a hotbed for pirates and smugglers who roamed the waves, holding ships to ransom and stealing their precious cargo before storing it in hiding places on the island. This swashbuckling history is brought to life at the Pirates of Nassau Museum via re-created street scenes and performers in period costume. There’s even a replica of a pirate ship (smaller than life size!) that you can explore.
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