Things to do in Barbados

Fabulous beaches (the South coast is best for windsurfing and kitesurfing) and exceptional golf courses make Barbados a very popular Caribbean holiday destination. Visitors also enjoy lively local carnivals and fabulous Bajan cuisine – notably the fabulous street food at Oistins.

Best things to do and see

Shopping and dining

Friday night is the liveliest in Oistins, you will find everything from dub music to ballroom dancing and lots of fish stalls. Sample the national dish of Cou cou and flying fish and make sure you try the creole sauce!

You can take a party cruise on a tall ship both during the day and evenings near Folkestone Underwater Park or Bridgetown harbour.

Take a rum tour and learn how it’s made at any of the following centres: Mount Gay Visitor Centre, Brandons at St Michael, Malibu Visitor Centre, Brighton, Banks Brewery, Foursquare Rum Factory and Heritage Park which also has a pet farm and pony centre for children.

Culture and history

West African heritage and 300 years of British colonialism have shaped Barbados, both are still evident today as you move around you can’t help but notice references to Britain and African influences can be found in the music and food.

The Capital Bridgetown is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, here you will find Colonial architecture in the Victorians, Georgian and Jacobean styles.

In the 18th and 19th century Barbados was a prosperous island, so much so that the British, French, Spanish and Dutch were often at war over it. The Barbados Garrison, the largest in the British colonies, was used to protect British interests from other colonial powers.

Water and sports

As well as being great for beach life, the south coast of Barbados is great for windsurfing and kitesurfing. Cricket is played everywhere, including on the streets and on the beaches.

For golf enthusiasts Barbados has some of the best golf courses in the world, and the weather allows for year-round playing.

If you fancy a ‘flutter’ on the horses this is one of the few islands with a racecourse.

Nature and wildlife

Don’t miss the Welchman Hall Gully on Highway 2, a deep ravine with great views of the coast. It’s a piece of what Barbados used to be like before the arrival of, well, people. Now this emerald oasis is an attraction for both locals and visitors

Visit the Barbados Wildlife Reserve in the Scotland district to see animals at close range in their natural environment including huge Barbados tortoises and indigenous green monkeys. Stroll through the aviary to see a wide variety of colourful birds.

Graeme Hall Bird Sanctuary in Worthing offers a great habitat for birds with its large inland lake and wetlands. It has a meandering boardwalk from which you can observe the birdlife.



Oistins is an active fishing town and is a hub of activity on weekend nights. On Friday night particularly, the big thing to do is go to the fish fry at Oistins Bay Gardens.

The food is the main draw – excellent fish, (tuna, swordfish, marlin, mahi-mahi, flying fish), lobster, chicken etc served in an extremely informal setting.

Lots of travelers recommend you forget about the swanky white-table cloth eateries come the weekend, when the smells of barbecued chicken and flying fish waft from southern Barbados and the Oistins Fish Fry.

Events and holidays

1 January – New Year holiday
2nd week January – Jazz Festival
21 January – Errol Barrow Day
January – Barbados Windsurfing World Cup
Late January/early February – The Waterman Festival (acrobatics)
February – The Holetown Festival
March -The Holders Season (outdoor theatre performances)
March – April Oistins Fish Festival
Late April – Congaline Street Festival
Easter – Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Monday.
28 April – National Heroes Day
1 May – Labour Day
May – Gospel Fest
July/August – Crop Over (Calypso, parades and music)
1 August – Emancipation Day
First Mon in August – Kadooment Day
October – Blowin in de Windies, youth Jazz festival
November – NIFCA National Independence Festival of Creative Arts
30 November – Independence Day
25-26 Dec – Christmas Holidays

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