Barbados Travel Guide
Barbados, an island paradise, is the birthplace of rum. Steeped in history, it now proudly boasts its first NESCO-designated World Heritage site: Historic Bridgetown and Garrison. It’s British influence, historical presence, and festive culture is evident the moment you step onto Barbados’ sandy shores. If you are a history buff, you will love Barbados. From housing two of the only three remaining Jacobean mansions left in the western hemisphere to the rich account of the population of Barbados from 1650 onward, Barbados has much to offer those interested in world history.
Learn about Barbados’ colorful history when it comes to rum and sample a bit as you do, visit the chic shops on Broad Street in Bridgetown, and dance the night away in one of Barbados’ hottest nightclubs. This is the type of fun that is waiting for you on this activity-rich island.
If you came on vacation to play, there is no better place to be. Fly fishing, scuba diving, riding Jet Skis, and lounging in the sun. These are the things you can expect to enjoy while staying on Barbados. The island’s vibe is reminiscent of its neighbors; calypso music can be heard on the streets, and a lively pep to the step can be seen everywhere you look. People are happy in Barbados. Truly happy, in ways that you won’t see on many other islands. Hard-working and kind, Bajans will speak with anyone interested in a spirited conversation. This takes away the feeling of tourist versus resident – it makes your stay feel more like coming home than visiting.
Pristine beaches, including the sandy stretch at The Crane which was voted one of the top 10 beaches in the world by Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, historical richness, beautiful architecture, and a newfound friend with whom you can discuss the meaning of life over a Mai Tai at sunset… who could ask for anything more?
Where To Stay In Barbados
Visitors to Barbados stay in a wide variety of accommodations, including private rental, guesthouses, and luxurious all-inclusive hotels. Some of the best hotels in Barbados include:
- Cobblers Cove Barbados
- Coral Reef Club Barbados
- The Crane Resort, Barbados
- The House by Elegant Hotels
- Fairmont Royal Pavilion
- Little Good Harbour Boutique Hotel & Villas
- Sandals Barbados
- The Sandpiper Barbados
- Sandy Lane Barbados
- Tamarind by Elegant Hotels
Activities In Barbados
Major tourist activities in Barbados include:
- Exploring the capital city of Bridgetown with lots of cafes, shops, and thriving markets
- Visiting St Nicolas Abbey to marvel at the plantation dating back to the 1600s, learn about the history of rum and the island’s horrific connection to slavery
- Checking out one or more of the colorful gardens around Barbados including Hune’s Gardens, Andromeda Botanic Gardens, Welchman Hall Gully and Flower Forest
- Relaxing at Barbados’ many white-sand beaches including Pebbles Beach, near Bridgetown
- Spending Friday night eating, drinking and hanging out at Oistins Fish Fry
Facts About Barbados
432 square miles
Barbadian or Bajan
Unitary Parliamentary with British Constitutional Monarchy
Telephone Country Code:
left side of the road
Flying Fish and Cou Cou
Grantley Adams International Airport (BGI)
110v / 50Hz – plugs are US standard two and three-prong
Visa Information For Barbados
All visitors to Barbados must have a valid passport and will need to have either a ticket for another destination or a return ticket. Visas are not required for citizens of the United States, Canada, and most European and Commonwealth countries. Visitors to Barbados from other countries will need a visa for entry.
How Long Does It Take To Get A Visa For Barbados
With a valid passport and supporting documents, it typically takes about two weeks to process a visa application for Barbados. Requests for a visa to enter Barbados should be submitted to their nearest Barbados Embassy or High Commission. A single entry visa cost about US$104, and a multiple entry visitor visa cost US$208.
Is It Safe In Barbados
In comparison to major American and European cities, Barbados is relatively safe, and crime is medium. As such, it is though recommended that visitors be vigilant at all times, especially when away from the major hotels and tourist areas.
How To Get To Barbados
Most visitors to Barbados arrive via the Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) (IATA: BGI, ICAO: TBPB) located in Seawell, Christ Church.
From Canada, book flights to Barbados via:
- Air Canada Rouge: Toronto–Pearson (Seasonal: Montréal–Trudeau)
- WestJet: Toronto–Pearson
From the United States, book flights to Barbados via:
- American Airlines: Charlotte, Miami
- JetBlue: Boston, Newark, New York–JFK
From the United Kingdom, book flights to Barbados via:
- British Airways: London–Gatwick, London–Heathrow
- AirX Charter: Seasonal Charter: London–Stansted
- TUI Airways: Seasonal: Birmingham, London–Gatwick, Manchester
- Virgin Atlantic: London–Heathrow, Manchester
From Europe, book flights to Barbados via:
- Condor : Seasonal charter: Munich
- Eurowings: Seasonal: Frankfurt + Seasonal charter: Düsseldorf, Munich
Within the Caribbean region, book flights to Barbados via:
- Air Antilles: Castries, Dominica–Douglas-Charles, Fort-de-France
- Caribbean Airlines: Antigua, Castries, Dominica–Douglas-Charles, Grenada, Kingston–Norman Manley, Port of Spain, St. Vincent–Argyle
- InterCaribbean Airways: Castries, Dominica–Douglas-Charles, Grenada, St. Vincent–Argyle
From Central America, book flights to Barbados via:
- Copa Airlines: Panama City
When To Go To Barbados
High Season for Barbados is mid-December through mid-April. With the weather warm and sunny, hotels are booked far in advance, and everything is open. The low season for visiting Barbados is August to late October, as temperatures are sweltering and muggy. Many high-end resorts and hotels in Barbados close in September and October for annual renovations.
Major events attracting visitors to Barbados include:
- February: Holetown Festival
- April: Barbados Reggae Festival
- July: Barbados Crop Over Festival
- October: Barbados Jazz Excursion
- November: Barbados Food, Wine & Rum Festival
Weather In Barbados
Barbados is known for being warm year-round. The average daily temperature in Barbados is 86°F. Nights can be cooler but not cold. Rain comes in spurts and is short-lived. Before you know it, you’ll be back out on the beach enjoying the rays. You may not even leave during a rain; however – a little liquid sunshine never hurts anybody.
Getting Married In Barbados
Couples can work in advance with a wedding planner or hotel who can make all the arrangements allowing them to get married on the same day of arrival.
In addition to the completed application for marriage, both the bride and groom will need their:
- birth certificates along with driver’s licenses or other forms of identification
- certificates of no impediment or single status report
Also, if applicable:
- divorce papers, i.e., decree absolute and/or death certificate of spouse
- proof of parental consent if under 18, stamped and signed by a solicitor
- proof of name change by Deed Poll, stamped and signed by a solicitor
When presenting in person at the Ministry of Home Affairs, couples will also need to show their return tickets.
For a Roman Catholic Church wedding, contact the bishop of Bridgetown as additional documents and fees beyond what’s stated below are required.
There is no minimum length of stay in Barbados.
US$100 for a marriage license and a US$25 magistrate fee
Two people are required to witness the marriage.
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