Things to do in Barbados: Best excursions, attractions, beaches, nightlife
One of the more popular Caribbean islands to visit, Barbados is home to a cruise shop port, beautiful colonial buildings, exciting natural formations, beaches of all kinds and a nightlife that rivals that of the other Caribbean islands. Because Barbados is a cruise destination, most of the visitors here are only on the island for a few hours to a day or so. If you find yourself in this group, then you’ll want to focus on attractions that are quick to get through as well as beaches that offer a lot to see and do all in one place.
If you’re visiting for a few days or more, then you’ll find that you have a lot more options and can explore more of the island. Because time is on your side, you’ll want to focus on at least one half day excursion, as well as a few attractions. It’ll also be easy for you to visit more than one beach, which is great as all of the beaches differ from each other. If you’re not one to fall asleep early, then you might want to dive into the island’s nightlife as well.
Best excursions on Barbados
As with pretty much any Caribbean island, Barbados is home to numerous fun and well reviewed excursions, both land based and those that focus on the ocean. Some of these excursions are better suited to adults while others are both adult and kid friendly. Most excursions on the island are half day or less, making it easy to fit them into your schedule.
Atlantis Submarine Expedition Barbados
An extremely popular choice among cruise ship passengers and those that have flown in, the Atlantis Submarine Expedition Barbados excursion is a great choice for all ages. On this tour, you’ll be taken under the surface in an air conditioned submarine for about 45 minutes. During this time you’ll be cruising on the bottom of the ocean down to 150 feet. Be prepared to see a ship wreck, tropical fish and a reef all while a narrator explains to you everything that you’re seeing.
- Adult: US$104.00
- Child: US$52.00
>>>Tickets for the Atlantis Submarine Expedition Barbados
Barbados Catamaran Snorkeling Excursion
If you love the ocean, this tour was made for you. Combing sailing and snorkeling, you’ll get to experience both in the same tour, making it even more interesting. First you’ll start off your excursion on a catamaran sailboat were you’ll be taken to a reef to then spend some time snorkeling among tropical fish, sea turtles and other marine life. You’ll also get to explore a swallow wreck. If you have an underwater camera, you’ll want to make sure to bring it along with you as the water is pretty clear and you’ll get some great pictures to show friends back home.
- Adult: US$60.00
- Child: US$35.00
Best attractions on Barbados
There is quite a large variety of attractions on the island to choose from. These range from historical and cultural attractions to those that center around nature and the natural structure of the island itself. Because of this variety, you and your traveling partners will be able to each find something that you like, making for a great experience for all involved.
Andromeda Botanic Gardens
If you love viewing and learning about tropical plants and flowers, you’ll love a visit to the Andromeda Botanic Gardens. Here you’ll find plants from around the world, all while viewing the ocean beyond from a scenic viewpoint on a hillside. Some of the more popular plants here are the breadfruit trees, the rare species of succulents and the various palms that dot the gardens. Bird watching is also a popular activity here.
- Adult: US$15.00
- Child: free
A very popular attraction that is heavily visited, Harrison’s Cave is a cavern formed by crystallized limestone and presents visitors with cascades, deep pools and various waterfalls of different heights. Before entering the cave, you’ll first watch a quick educational video. Once inside, you’ll find lights that help to illuminate the dark, creating a beautiful scene within. You’ll also find a visitor’s center positioned right outside of the cave that showcases a few Arawak Indian artifacts.
- Adult: US$30.00
- Child: US$15.00
The Parliament Buildings
Beautiful all around, the Parliament Buildings are 2 buildings that are no-Gothic in style. These 2 buildings are also now designated as UNESCO protected properties, making them even more interesting. The east building houses the Senate and the House of Assembly while the west building houses the clock tower, the National Heroes Gallery and the Museum of Parliament. The museum is open to the public and is very well reviewed.
- Adult: US$114.00
- Child: US$74.00
Best beaches on Barbados
A beautiful island with numerous beautiful beaches, Barbados is home to coastline that warrants a thousand pictures. Some of the beaches here are great for swimming and lounging, while others are much better suited for those looking for adventure on the high seas. Because there is such a selection of beaches to enjoy, it’s easy to get lost in trying to figure out which one to give your time to. Below you’ll find a few of the best options around, with each catering to a different type of vacationer. If you’re looking for variety during your stay on the island, then you’ll want to visit each.
This is a more relaxed beach, with the most exciting sport here being body boarding. With that said, it’s a beautiful beach that’s made for those who love to lounge their afternoon away while listening to the gentle splash of the surf along the shore. You’ll also find, that due to the calmer waters here, it’s a great choice for those with small children as the cove offers water that’s a bit more sheltered than other beaches on the island
- Adult: free
- Child: free
Though the name itself may be a bit confusing and hard to say, the popularity of the beach is anything but. Here you’ll find the surfing capital of Barbados. Each season you’ll find hoards of surfers trying out their luck while others watch and take pictures from the beach. Even though this beach is primary for surfers, there are pools along the rocks that make for some great snorkeling and sunbathing. This part of the island is also home to a small fishing village, making it so that you’ll get to see some of the island culture as well.
- Adult: free
- Child: free
Best nightlife on Barbados
If you’re dreading your fun filled day coming to an end, why not continue the fun with a little taste of the nightlife of Barbados. Here you’ll find lots of bars, clubs and shows, crafting a nightlife experience that is sure to leave you wanting more. But instead of trying to visit every great nightlife scene on the island, you’ll want to focus on the ones listed below.
Red Door Lounge Barbados
The famed Red Door Lounge offers those who love a good piece of nightlife the chance to enjoy the best the island has to offer with cocktails, DJs and various performances. First off, if you love a great drink, you’ll find quite a selection of them here, including a few you’ve most likely never heard of before. In addition, you’ll also find music abundant here, both classic hits and popular new songs. Wrapping it all together are shows that entertain all night. This lounge is open from Thursday through Saturday, making it so that you can enjoy it all weekend long if you wish.
- Adult: varying
- Child: varying
Harbour Lights Barbados
A dinner show aimed to please, the Harbour Lights Barbados show brings to life cultural characters that represent Barbados through song and dance. You’ll also find that there are 3 different live bands present throughout the show, making it quite the musical experience. During the show you’ll get the chance to enjoy a traditional Bajan style BBQ dinner alongside drinks served throughout the evening. This show is offered on Mondays and Wednesdays, so you’ll want to plan accordingly.
- Adult: US$62.50 to US$87.50
- Child: US$37.50
>>>Tickets to the Harbour Lights Barbados show
Photos provided by Flickr users Joe Ross, Jagrap, Tom Houslay, Loozrboy, Bas Leenders and Berit Watkin.