Things to do in Antigua and Barbuda

Whether you are a beach lover, sailor, foodie or historian Antigua and Barbuda has something for you! Antigua’s beautiful coastline is littered with beaches and year-round sunshine makes it the perfect beach holiday destination. If you prefer action over relaxing take your pick from a variety of water sports including world-class sailing, diving and kitesurfing.

Best things to do and see

Shopping and dining

Picturesque Redcliff Quay and Heritage Quay in St John’s are popular areas for strolling and window shopping. Heritage Quay Complex, part of a new development, has over 50 duty free shops, restaurants and even a casino!

Visit St. John’s Public Market on a Friday or Saturday morning to explore stalls loaded with exotic local produce such as sorrel, black pineapple and sugar apple as well as bananas, limes, mangoes and aubergines. The stalls by the bus station sell the freshest fish. Right next to this is the Craft Market selling hand made goods.

Dining in Antigua ranges from rustic Caribbean fayre to high-end gourmet cuisine. You’ll find an abundance of seafood as well as plenty of Chinese dishes with an Antiguan twist. The national dish is Fungee, a dish made from cornmeal and okra which can be eaten with Antiguan Pepperpot – a one-pot stew.

Culture and history

Admiral Nelson developed British naval facilities at English harbour in the 1700’s, Nelson’s Dockyard survives as the last example of a Georgian naval dockyard. A strategic port by the end of the 18th century, Antigua was known as the ‘Gateway to the Caribbean’.

Nelson’s Dockyard Museum, one of the most historical landmarks in the West Indies, traces the three years that Nelson lived in Antigua.

Shirley Heights is a restored military lookout and gun battery that affords a superb view of English and Falmouth Harbours, the best view in Antigua.

Water and sports

The white beaches are stunning on Antigua and Barbuda, one is 17 miles long! Palmetto Point on Barbuda boasts a pink sand beach.

There are plenty of popular dive sites such as Shirley Heights, Sunken Rock or Cades Reef and Sandy Island Reef (which is quite shallow). You can also explore a wreck called The Andes in shallow water in Deep Bay. Palaster Reef also offers excellent diving, there are plenty of shipwrecks to explore in this area.

Nature and wildlife

Visit Pasture Bay on Long Island where you can see the leatherback turtles lay their eggs between late May and December.

Barbuda is home to the Frigate Bird Sanctuary, which has the largest population of frigate birds found anywhere on the planet!


Devil’s Bridge – Antigua

Millions of years of reef formation amount to this: The Devil’s Bridge.

The natural limestone arch located in eastern Antigua, has sustained the crash of ocean waves through its blow-holes and a spouting surf for long enough to form its distinct shape today.

At the meeting point of the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, this natural wonder leaves an impression on sightseers.

Events and holidays

1 January – New Year holiday
Easter – Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Monday.
1 May – Labour Day
April/May – Antigua Sailing Week
April – Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta
May/June – Whit Monday
Second Saturday in June – Queen’s birthday
Beginning of July – Caricom Day
End July – first Tuesday in August – Carnival – steel bands and dancing
First Monday and Tuesday in August – August Bank Holiday, Carnival
21 October – Heritage Day
31 October – National Dress Day and Food Fair and Exhibition
1 November – Independence Day celebrations
1 November – Independence Day
25-26 Dec – Christmas Holidays

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