11 Things To Do in Barbados

Here is our guide to 11 things to do in Barbados.

Americas, Beaches, Culture & History, Gastronomy, Outdoors, Sustainable / Eco

When people consider Barbados holidays they probably think of sun and sand – and perhaps rum – but while you can find all three in abundance in the tropical Caribbean Island, there is so much else in Barbados to keep you entertained. Here is our guide to 11 things to do in Barbados.

#1 Hit the Barbados Beaches

Sunset at Golden Sands Resort Barbados
Sunset at Golden Sands Resort Barbados

Okay, we thought we would get the most obvious one out of the way first. Barbados is blessed with beautiful sandy beaches especially on its west and south coasts where the tourists and all-inclusive resorts tend to congregate. However, the Atlantic coast is much more spectacular and rugged, ideal for surfers.

#2 Try the Barbados Rum

Barbados Rise and Rum
Barbados Rise and Rum

Barbados has the oldest rum distillery – Mount Gay – in the world. You can visit this or one of the other distilleries on the island, or just pop to a rum shop and drink a jar or two with the locals. Ideally time your visit for the annual Barbados Food and Rum Festival and join Bajans for the Rise and Rum party at Copacabana Beach at 5am!

#3 Sample the Great Cuisine

Barbados breadfruit and lobster at Cocktail Kitchen
Breadfruit and lobster at Cocktail Kitchen

The other half of the Festival is naturally food, and Barbados is blessed with great fish and seafood. Whether you pop to Oistins on a Friday night, try the breadfruit and lobster at Cocktail Kitchen in St Lawrence Gap, or just sample a saltfish patty at a local place, one thing is for sure you will never go hungry in Barbados. If in the area try the food trucks at Worthing Food Court, all of which are family owned and run.

#4 Hang Out with the Locals
Brathwaite hanging out at a Barbados rum shop
Brathwaite hanging out at a Barbados rum shop

Whether it is chatting with some old guys about cricket in a rum shop, talking to a local fisherman about their lack of catch, or reminiscing with your barber, you will find Barbados people incredibly warm and welcoming. All you have to do is leave the sanctuary of your Barbados all-inclusive resort to strike up a conversation. After all this is the only way for you to discover what Barbados is really like.

#5 Hang Out with the Monkeys
Barbados Green Monkeys
Barbados Green Monkeys at Welchman Hall Gully

Alternatively, head for Welchman Hall Gully to see the Green Monkeys of Barbados hang out and play – plan your trip for feeding time. This is one of the last preserved tracts of tropical forest on the island; an ideal place to take the kids, or go for a stroll.

#6 Experience Green Barbados

Coco Hill Barbados Tourism
Coco Hill Barbados

Fortunately Welchman Hall Gully is not quite alone. Discover green Barbados at Coco Hill, WIRRED and PEG Farm in the heart of the island. It’s also cooler here than on the coast. For more information on what to do at these places, and the motivation for the inspirational people working here, read our Unearthing Sustainable Barbados Tourism article.

#7 Explore the Island
Go on a Barbados Island Tour
Go on a Barbados Island Tour

In fact, just leave the beach and head off to explore Barbados. This can be easily done with a Barbados island tour – especially popular with those who like rum and reggae with their culture, or you can take the local buses which are cheap and regular.

#8 Take a Hike

Hiking in Barbados
A hike too far? Xtreme Hikers of Barbados

Coco Hill has great hiking routes, and Welchman Hall Gully has a trail that is accessible to all. However if you fancy a bit of SAS with your trekking then join Xtreme Hikers of Barbados for some real exercise – just remember to take your hiking boots and hope Matt Hancock is not in your group.

#9 Visit Bathsheba

Things to do in Barbados Bathsheba

A highlight of any list of things to do in Barbados has to be a visit to Bathsheba. This beautiful village on the Atlantic coast has the most amazing rock formation, as well as great surfing at the Soup Bowl. Come here for the beautiful views or try a king fish with rice and peas at Dina’s Bar.

#10 Catch the Cricket
Kensington Oval Barbados
Kensington Oval Barbados, Deposit Photos

Try to time your trip for the cricket season. Whether it is an international match at the Barbados Kensington Oval or local club game there is something special about watching the greatest game on earth in the West Indies. You might even spot Sir Gary in the crowd. Alternatively, just gas away with locals at a rum shop – just don’t mention the T20 World Cup.

#11 Take a Ride on the #11

#11 Take the #11
#11 Take the #11

We conclude our 11 things to do in Barbados naturally enough on the #11 bus. This ZR mini-bus runs along the south coast from Oistins to the capital Bridgetown, stopping along the way for all and sundry. For only 3.5 Barbadian dollars it’s much cheaper than a taxi and great fun. Listen to the blasting music, play the ‘how many more can they cram on the bus’ game, or just enjoy the local culture. Nothing sums up Bajan life better than a ride on the #11 bus.

More Things To Do in Barbados

If you have not found our list of what to do in Barbados inspirational then you can always try www.visitbarbados.org for more Barbados holidays advice, especially now the Barbados travel restrictions have been lifted.

Barbados Hotels

And if you are looking for eco friendly Barbados resorts we suggest you try Eco Lifestyle Lodge.

Barbados Flights

There are daily Barbados flights from London Heathrow with Virgin Atlantic.

All images (unless stated) Mark Bibby Jackson.

Mark Bibby Jackson

Mark Bibby Jackson

Before setting up Travel Begins at 40, Mark was the publisher of AsiaLIFE Cambodia and a freelance travel writer. When he is not packing and unpacking his travelling bag, Mark writes novels, including To Cook A Spider and Peppered Justice. He loves walking, eating, tasting beer, isolation and arthouse movies, as well as talking to strangers on planes, buses and trains whenever possible. Most at home when not at home.

Read more posts by Mark Bibby Jackson →

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