Where is Barbados?
Barbados is rightly considered one of the most developed and popular tourist destinations in the Caribbean. It is located about 150 kilometers east of the Lesser Antilles, stretching from the Virgin Islands to Grenada. Most of Barbados is located in the Atlantic Ocean - if you visit the east coast, you can fully feel the power and "wildness" of the Atlantic waves. The west coast is calm, with many souvenir shops and luxury resorts.
Over the centuries, the island has preserved a unique"blend" of Indian culture and British customs. Barbados gained independence only in 1966, and many relics from its colonial past are well preserved.
Is it safe to travel to Barbados?
Most travelers to Barbados don't experience any problems at all during their trip. Barbados is safe for travelers, especially those that stick to the beaches and resort zones. White coral beaches, turquoise sea, east coast, caves, and colorful botanical gardens are the most popular Barbados attractions. There are sugar plantations and tropical jungles around the island. It is full of things that tourists adore - countless beaches, natural beauties, attractions, and fine restaurants.
In this article, we have selected the top 10 top places to visit in Barbados, an ancient and mysterious island in the western Atlantic. What is the first thing you should see in Barbados?
The capital city of Bridgetown
Bridgetown is the main city of Barbados and the most developed port in the Caribbean. When British colonists first landed on the island in 1628, only a wooden bridge and a local tribe of Arawaks were found on the modern city's site. Later, the village of St. Michael was established and rapidly developed through the trade-in foreign settlers. The town received its modern name "Bridgetown" much later, after centuries.
Like most tourist cities around the world, Bridgetown is a place of strong contrasts - a simple walk through the center of the city can open many sides of urban life: rusty bikes, electric bikes, supercars, ancient cars of the 70's - things that captivate the eye in the first place.
There is a picturesque National Heroes Square in the heart of the city, which is decorated with fountains and monuments, including Admiral Nelson. And in a few blocks, you can find the parish church of St. James - its interior decoration has not changed much over the centuries.
Bridgetown contains many cultural monuments and iconic historical sites, some of which we will consider in more detail below.
George Washington House
In the 18th century, this historic structure was better known as the Bush Hill House and was home to plantations where crops were grown. In 1751, a young gentleman named George Washington and his half-brother Lawrence from the United States spent a short stay in Barbados for 2 months. Later, this young gentleman will be the first president of his country, and Barbados is the only place where he visited, being abroad of the United States.
For many years, the property remained closed and useless (until 1999) until the Barbados National Foundation decided to restore the building and turn it into a historic-cultural monument. After the restoration was completed, the George Washington House was opened to the public in January 2007.
It is open daily from Monday to Friday, from 9:00 to 16:30 local time. The entrance fee is about $25.
Address: Bush Hill, The Garrison, St. Michael, Barbados.
Crane Beach and The Crane Hotel
Crane Beach, with its pink coral sand, was once a boat station surrounded by rocks. Now it's one of the most famous beaches in Barbados. Tourists and locals come here to enjoy surfing, sunbathing on sun loungers, and stop by the luxurious The Crane overlooking the water and sand.
The Crane is the oldest hotel in the Caribbean and has been in operation since 1887. It is huge: it has 252 rooms, five large swimming pools, five restaurants and bars, a wide area with an art gallery, and numerous amenities scattered throughout the area. The elegant colonial-style rooms have kitchenettes and private swimming pools, Jacuzzis and small gymnasiums.
The resort is located on the main road in the eastern part of the island. The area is clean and well maintained, with palm trees, tropical greenery, winding paths, and small bridges. The central buildings are large and painted in neutral beige with towers on the sides. The hotel looks more like a charming old town with colorful structures, ancient entrances, and carved window overhangs.
Hotel address: The Crane Resort, St. Philip, Barbados.
St. Nicholas Abbey
The historic three-story Danish-style building was once the heart of a giant sugar cane plantation and a small oil refinery. Founded in 1650, the abbey was the private residence of a certain Colonel Beringer, who completed his earthly journey during a duel. A beautiful legend says that the colonel's immortal soul is still wandering the corridors of an old building.
Despite its religious name, the abbey is considered a completely secular building and is privately owned. Only the ground floor of the building is always open to tourists. The main thing that catches the eye at the entrance is the fireplaces with the original coral finish, high balls of carved stone, and corner chimneys.
In a souvenir shop near the villa, you can buy real pirate rum from the local cane sugar plantation.
Address: St Nicholas Abbey, Cherry Tree Hill, St Peter, BB 26007, Barbados.
Naval Park and Folkestone Museum
Folkestone Marine Park is located in Houltown, near St. James' Parish Church. It boasts an artificial reef formed by the wreck of the Stavronikita, about half a kilometer from the shore. The ship now serves not only as a landmark in Barbados but as home to much marine life: lilies, corals, sea sponges, and numerous small fish.
Diving in the Marine Park is allowed only experienced divers - the waters are not always calm, and the depths are considerable. Usually, tourists are offered safe tours on a boat with a clear glass bottom: sea flora and fauna opens as "in the palm of his hand," and the shipwreck is perfectly visible.
The center of the Folkestone Museum is a huge aquarium with very rare forms of marine life - an educational place not only for adults but also for tourists with children.
Address: Church Point, Holetown, St. James, Barbados.
It is a unique natural attraction in Barbados and is listed by locals as one of the "7 Wonders of the Island". It opens a wonderful world of stalactites and stalagmites, clear waters, the oldest emerald lakes, and small waterfalls. Nowadays, "Harrison Cave" is one of the most popular places on the mysterious island and throughout the Caribbean.
The cave was discovered in the 18th century but was not explored until the 1970s. And after 4 years, it became a full-fledged tourist attraction of Barbados, freely open to all comers.
The length of the cave is about 2.3 km. The underground world has more than 50 "separate rooms," which are connected to each other by natural tunnels. The largest hall is more than 30 meters high. On the cave expanses, sometimes animals are found: bats, green monkeys, and small fish in lakes.
Tourists can visit the underground complex on a daily basis, except state holidays. There are a bar, a restaurant, and tents for shopping with souvenirs in the cave zone.
Address: Welchman Hall, Saint Thomas, Allen View, Barbados.
Morgan Lewis windmill
The Morgan Lewis Mill was founded in 1727 in the northern district of St Andrew, near the island's eastern shoreline, where the last surviving sugar mill in Barbados found its place. In the list of 7 Wonders of the Island, the mill holds an honorary 4th place.
In 1999, a complete restoration was carried out at the cost of about 800,000 USD. This historical monument is protected by the Barbados National Foundation and displays equipment powered by nature's "clean energy". Reed juice for tasting is available for everyone.
The Morgana Lewis windmill is the only active windmill in the world to grind sugar cane and is one of the 100 most protected sites on our planet.
Address: Morgan Lewis Windmill, St. Andrew, Barbados.
Statue of Emancipation
Statue of Emancipation is one of the places to visit in Barbados. The "Statue of Emancipation" is an iconic Barbados landmark created by Carl Brudhagen, the island's most prominent sculptor and architect. In literal translation, the sculpture symbolizes the "breaking of the chains of slavery." The complete liberation of the subjects took place in 1838, with more than 70,000 local and African Barbadoses casting their iron fetters and jubilating through the free state's streets.
The second name of the "Statues of Emancipation" was "Boussa", the name of the West African slave who led the first rebellion for the involuntary rights and freedom in 1816. Boussa is now on the list of national heroes in Barbados, despite its origins in the Black Continent.
Address: Bridgetown, Emancipation Statue (Bussa Statue), Barbados.
The Carlisle Bay is a natural harbor and bay in the shape of an elongated arc on the west coast of Barbados, which gently "flows" into Bridgetown's port. It is often "anchored" by luxury boats, yachts, and other seagoing ships and boats. "The Carlisle is perfect for all kinds of water sports and diving - the harbor is usually calm, and the underwater world's diversity is striking for a long time.
Equally attractive are the beaches of the bay: Brandon's Beach, Pebbles Beach, and Beishore Beach. They are about 3 kilometers southwest of Bridgetown city center. Free parking, lifeguards, toilets and shops are available throughout the property. The entrance is free, and all beaches are open from sunrise to sunset on any day of the week.
Beach and village of Virsavia
The quaint village of Virsavia is rightly considered to be the center of tourist attractions on the east coast of the island. The botanical gardens "Andromeda" and "Flower Forest" are nearby. On the beach of Virsavia, also known as the "South Bowl," large rock formations (remains of an ancient coral reef) from afar resemble "giant mushrooms" growing directly from the sea.
The beach is great for filming and surfing, but strong currents can be dangerous - you should always be careful not to take risks in vain.
If you want to hide from the crowds and get away from nature, Atlantis Hotel and the Sea-U Guest House, which are located right next to the rocky beach, will help you.
Tours to Barbados: prices and other features
Now that we have learned about the most iconic and popular places in Barbados, it is time to talk about tours and their cost. So how much is the pleasure of paradise island?
Especially for you, we have chosen the top five most popular tours in Barbados. We can tell you right away that the prices are more than affordable.
Barbados: Turtles and shipwrecks
The tour includes:
- a two-hour walk in Carlisle Bay;
- visiting 5 different shipwrecks from the First and Second World Wars;
- a detailed description of the local flora and fauna and historical events of the site;
- underwater dives near coral reefs.
Price: from 40 USD per adult person.
Barbados: a tour of the mountain eBike (electric bike) on the rough terrain
The tour includes:
- a three-hour walk with experienced outdoor guides;
- unique panoramic view of the Atlantic coast;
- a visit to two historical museums;
- a visit to St. John's Gothic parish church;
- free rum punch and beer.
Price: from 100 USD per adult person.
Barbados: corals of the sea park Folkestone
The tour includes:
- A 1.5-hour walk through the waters of Folkestone Marine Park;
- a detailed account of the local flora and fauna;
- underwater diving to sea coral reefs;
- explore a shipwreck in a boat (kayak) with a clear glass bottom;
- free rum punch.
Price: from 55 USD per adult person.
Barbados: a walk through the city of Stereinstown and dinner at sunset
The tour includes:
- visiting all the iconic sights of the northern city;
- a detailed historical story of pirate attacks on the city;
- free drinks and a light snack of nuts;
- a sunset dinner at the famous "Fisherman's Pub".
Price: from 100 USD per adult person.
Barbados: traces of freedom - 5.5-hour tour of the capital of the island Bridgetown
The tour includes:
- visiting all iconic sights of the main city;
- a tour of the Gun Hill signal station (19th-century communication system);
- a detailed historical account of slavery in Bridgetown and the 1816 Uprising;
- travel in a comfortable, air-conditioned vehicle;
- exclusive national snacks of flying fish, bread berries, sweet potatoes, maubis, and salads;
- Excursion through historical districts of the capital and Harriton district.
Price: from 280 USD per adult person.