4-Day Local's Guide: Barbados Outdoors, Shopping & Gastronomy

Barbados

4 days

A Caribbean palm tree beach
Aerial view of an old pier and the Carribean coastline
View of the Bottom Bay
A feeding toucan on a tree branch
Green scenery with palm trees

About Barbados

Experience the vibrant culture and breathtaking beauty of Barbados, a gem of the Caribbean. This island paradise offers pristine beaches, crystal clear waters, and a rich history. Explore the UNESCO World Heritage site of Historic Bridgetown, with its colonial architecture and bustling markets. Indulge in local delicacies like flying fish and cou-cou. Adventure seekers can surf at Soup Bowl or dive into the underwater world of Carlisle Bay. Nature lovers will be enchanted by the exotic flora in Andromeda Gardens or the stunning Harrison's Cave. Enjoy the pulsating rhythms of calypso music and the infectious spirit of the Bajan people. Barbados is not just a destination, it's an experience.

4-Day Itinerary

Day 1

Exploring the Natural Beauty and Local Markets

Morning

Start your day with a refreshing hike through the lush greenery of Barbados' national park. Enjoy the serene atmosphere and the chirping of the birds.

Lunch

Enjoy a traditional Bajan lunch at a local eatery. Try the national dish, Cou-Cou and Flying Fish, for an authentic taste of Barbados.

Afternoon

Spend your afternoon exploring the local markets. Here, you can find a variety of local crafts, fresh produce, and unique souvenirs.

Dinner

For dinner, indulge in some fresh seafood at a beachside restaurant. The island's location provides an abundance of fresh fish and shellfish.

Evening

End your day with a relaxing stroll along the beach, enjoying the cool evening breeze and the sound of the waves.

Morning

Begin your day with a visit to a historic Plantation house. Learn about the island's history and the role of the sugar industry.

Lunch

Have lunch at a local rum shop. These traditional Bajan establishments offer a unique dining experience and a chance to try local rum.

Afternoon

Spend the afternoon at a beautiful Botanical garden. Enjoy the vibrant colors and fragrant scents of the tropical plants.

Dinner

Dine at a local restaurant that offers a fusion of Caribbean and international cuisines. Try a variety of dishes for a culinary adventure.

Evening

Enjoy a live music performance at a local venue. The island is known for its vibrant music scene, featuring genres like calypso and reggae.

Morning

Start your day with a visit to a local Pottery studio. Watch the artisans at work and maybe even try your hand at pottery making.

Lunch

Have lunch at a local food stall, where you can try a variety of street foods like fish cakes, pudding and souse, and roti.

Afternoon

Spend your afternoon exploring the charming streets of a Historic District. Admire the colonial architecture and visit the local shops.

Dinner

For dinner, enjoy a meal at a restaurant that offers a stunning view of the sunset. Try some local dishes like macaroni pie and pepperpot.

Evening

End your day with a visit to a local theater for a play or a musical performance. Experience the rich cultural scene of Barbados.

Morning

Begin your day with a visit to a local Fish Market. Experience the hustle and bustle and maybe even buy some fresh fish for dinner.

Lunch

Enjoy a picnic lunch at a local park. Pack some local snacks like salt bread and cheese paste for a true Bajan picnic.

Afternoon

Spend your afternoon at a beautiful beach. Swim in the clear waters, sunbathe on the white sand, or try some water sports.

Dinner

Have your last dinner at a fine dining restaurant. Try some local delicacies like breadfruit and black belly sheep.

Evening

End your trip with a relaxing walk along the Boardwalk, enjoying the cool evening breeze and the sound of the waves.

Attractions in Itinerary (6)

Plantation house

1
Plantation house

Plantation houses in Barbados are historical sites that offer a glimpse into the island's colonial past. Many of these houses are beautifully preserved and open for tours.

Attractions
Cultural Experiences
Architecture
Botanical garden

2
Botanical garden

A stunning collection of local and exotic plant species, beautifully landscaped and perfect for a peaceful stroll.

Attractions
Parks
Gardens
Pottery studio

3
Pottery studio

A studio where visitors can watch local artisans create pottery and purchase unique, handmade pieces.

Attractions
Cultural Experiences
Historic District

4
Historic District

A preserved area showcasing the rich history and architectural beauty of Barbados. Home to several historic buildings and monuments.

Attractions
Cultural Experiences
Architecture
Fish Market

5
Fish Market

A bustling market where locals and tourists alike can purchase a variety of fresh seafood, straight from the ocean.

Attractions
Food and Drink
Boardwalk

6
Boardwalk

A scenic walkway along the coast, offering stunning ocean views and access to several beaches and eateries.

Attractions
Beaches

Local Food and Drinks (12)

Flying Fish

Flying Fish

This is a national symbol of Barbados and a must-try for seafood lovers. It is often served fried or steamed.

Cou-Cou

Cou-Cou

Cou-Cou is a traditional Bajan dish made from cornmeal and okra. It is often served with flying fish, making it a staple in Barbadian cuisine.

Macaroni Pie

Macaroni Pie

This is a Bajan twist on the classic mac and cheese. It is a baked dish made from macaroni, cheese, and various seasonings.

Fish Cakes

Fish Cakes

These are deep-fried balls of salted cod and dough. They are a popular street food and appetizer in Barbados.

Pudding and Souse

Pudding and Souse

This is a traditional Saturday dish in Barbados. It consists of pickled pork served with a spicy cucumber and breadfruit sauce.

Rum Punch

Rum Punch

Barbados is known as the birthplace of rum. Rum Punch is a popular cocktail made from local rum, lime juice, sugar, and nutmeg.

Bajan Seasoning

Bajan Seasoning

This is a blend of herbs and spices used in many Barbadian dishes. It includes spring onions, thyme, marjoram, and Scotch bonnet peppers.

Conkies

Conkies

Conkies are a traditional dessert made from cornmeal, coconut, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes. They are usually made for the Independence Day celebrations.

Mauby

Mauby

Mauby is a traditional Bajan drink made from the bark of the Mauby tree. It has a unique bitter-sweet taste.

Sea Egg

Sea Egg

Sea eggs, or sea urchins, are a delicacy in Barbados. They are usually served in a rich tomato sauce.

Jug Jug

Jug Jug is a traditional Christmas dish in Barbados. It is similar to Scottish haggis and is made from guinea corn flour, pigeon peas, and various meats.

Roti

Roti

Roti is a type of Indian flatbread that is popular in Barbados. It is often served with curried meat or vegetables.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Barbados as a tourist is from December to April, during the dry season. During these months, you'll experience pleasant temperatures ranging from 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit and lower humidity. It's also the peak tourist season, so you'll find a lot of activities and events happening around the island. However, if you prefer a less crowded time with good weather, consider visiting in May or June, just before the rainy season starts.

National holidays

Here you can find the national calendar of all public holidays for the year. These dates are subject to change as official changes are announced, so check back regularly for updates.

DateDayHoliday Name

January 1

Mon

New Year's Day

January 21

Sun

Errol Barrow Day

January 22

Mon

Day off for Errol Barrow Day

March 29

Fri

Good Friday

April 1

Mon

Easter Monday

April 28

Sun

National Heroes Day

April 29

Mon

Day off for National Heroes Day

May 1

Wed

Labor Day / May Day

May 20

Mon

Whit Monday

August 1

Thu

Emancipation Day

August 5

Mon

Kadooment Day

November 30

Sat

Independence Day

December 25

Wed

Christmas Day

December 26

Thu

Boxing Day

Please note that during national and public holidays, opening hours for establishments, museums, etc. may vary. Don't forget to check in advance!

How to get around

Renting a car is a popular way to explore Barbados at your own pace. You'll need a temporary Barbadian driving permit, but most rental companies can help you with this. Remember, driving is on the left side of the road.

Barbados has a comprehensive public bus system that covers most of the island. Buses are a cost-effective way to travel, but can be crowded and may not run on a strict schedule.

Taxis are widely available across Barbados. They don't have meters, so it's advisable to agree on a fare before starting your journey. They can be hailed on the street or booked in advance.

ZRs or minibuses are privately owned and operate on specific routes. They're smaller than public buses and often play loud music. They can be a fun, local experience, but are also known for their fast and sometimes erratic driving.

Ridesharing services like Uber are not currently available in Barbados. However, there are local apps like BeepCab and BimTaxi that offer similar services.

Barbados' relatively flat terrain and scenic routes make it a great place for cycling. Many hotels offer bike rentals, and there are also dedicated rental companies.

Walking can be a pleasant way to explore the towns and beaches of Barbados. However, be aware that not all areas have sidewalks and pedestrian-friendly infrastructure.

For a different perspective, consider a boat tour. These can range from catamaran cruises along the coast to deep-sea fishing trips or submarine tours.

In the capital city of Bridgetown, you can take a leisurely tour in a horse-drawn carriage. This is a charming way to see the historic city center.

Renting a scooter or motorbike can be a fun way to get around, especially in less busy areas. As with cars, you'll need a temporary local driving permit.

While we strive for accuracy in our "How to get around" section, the information may not always be up-to-date or 100% accurate; we highly recommend cross-checking with local resources before your travel.

Important information

Currency$ BBD

Time zoneUTC-4

Driving sideLeft

Emergency phoneAmbulance: 115, 119; Fire: 113, 119; Police: 112, 119

Drinking waterYes

Power sockets

Power socket type APower socket type B

Voltage115 V

Things to know about Barbados as a first time visitor

1

Barbados is located in the Eastern Caribbean and is the most easterly of the Caribbean islands.

2

The official language of Barbados is English, but you may hear locals speaking in Bajan dialect.

3

The currency used in Barbados is the Barbadian Dollar (BBD), but US dollars are widely accepted.

4

Barbados has a tropical climate with average temperatures ranging from 75-85°F (24-29°C).

5

The island has a rainy season from June to November, with the potential for hurricanes from June to October.

6

Barbados is generally safe for tourists, but like anywhere, it's important to be aware of your surroundings and take standard safety precautions.

7

Driving is on the left-hand side of the road in Barbados, and an international driving permit is required to rent a car.

8

Barbados operates on Atlantic Standard Time (AST), which is 4 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT-4).

9

The island's tap water is safe to drink and is actually some of the purest in the world.

10

Barbados has a departure tax for all visitors leaving the island, which is usually included in the cost of your airline ticket.

11

The island has a dress code that prohibits wearing camouflage clothing and requires appropriate attire in public places.

12

Barbados has a strong rum culture, with Mount Gay Rum being the oldest existing brand of rum in the world.

13

The island is known for its seafood, particularly flying fish, which is a national symbol of Barbados.

14

Barbados has a strong cricket culture and is home to the Kensington Oval, a famous cricket ground.

15

The island has a diverse wildlife, including the green monkey, which is commonly seen in the wild.

16

Barbados has a well-developed public transportation system, with buses, minibuses, and route taxis (also known as ZRs) being popular modes of transport.

17

The island's electricity supply is 110 volts/50 cycles and uses Type A and Type B plugs.

18

Barbados has a vibrant nightlife, particularly in the St. Lawrence Gap area, known as 'The Gap'.

19

The island has a rich history and culture, with influences from the indigenous Kalinago people, African slaves, and British colonizers.

20

Barbados celebrates its independence on November 30th, with a month-long festival known as Independence Day Celebrations.

Packing List

  • Clothing

  • Underwear (4 pairs)

  • Socks (4 pairs)

  • T-shirts (4)

  • Shorts (2 pairs)

  • Long pants (1 pair)

  • Swimwear (2)

  • Lightweight jacket or sweater (1)

  • Sleepwear (1 set)

  • Flip flops (1 pair)

  • Comfortable walking shoes (1 pair)

  • Hat or cap (1)

  • Sunglasses (1 pair)

  • Toiletries

  • Toothbrush

  • Toothpaste

  • Floss

  • Deodorant

  • Razor

  • Shaving cream

  • Shampoo and conditioner

  • Body wash or soap

  • Sunscreen

  • After-sun lotion

  • Insect repellent

  • Prescription medications

  • First aid kit

  • Travel documents and essentials

  • Passport

  • Driver's license or ID card

  • Credit and debit cards

  • Cash and coins

  • Travel insurance documents

  • Hotel and car rental reservations

  • Emergency contacts and important addresses

  • Electronics and gadgets

  • Smartphone

  • Charger for smartphone

  • Headphones

  • Camera

  • Charger for camera

  • Power adapter or converter

  • Portable power bank

  • Miscellaneous items

  • Books or e-books

  • Travel pillow

  • Earplugs and eye mask

  • Snacks

  • Reusable water bottle

  • Beach towel

  • Travel-size laundry detergent

  • Plastic bags for dirty clothes

  • Umbrella

Weather Conditions

Barbados is a tropical paradise that enjoys warm, sunny weather year-round. However, it's important to be aware of the island's weather patterns to make the most of your visit. The island experiences two main seasons: the dry season from January to June and the wet season from July to December. The dry season is typically sunny with temperatures ranging from 75°F to 85°F (24°C to 29°C), making it an ideal time for beach activities and outdoor exploration. The wet season, on the other hand, is characterized by frequent, short-lived showers and potential tropical storms. The temperatures during this season are slightly higher, ranging from 78°F to 88°F (26°C to 31°C). Despite the rain, the wet season can still be a good time to visit as the showers often pass quickly, leaving behind lush, vibrant landscapes. Regardless of when you visit, it's advisable to pack lightweight, breathable clothing due to the island's high humidity levels. A hat, sunglasses, and a high SPF sunscreen are also must-haves to protect against the strong tropical sun. If you're planning to visit during the wet season, it's a good idea to include a waterproof jacket or umbrella in your luggage. Also, keep an eye on the weather forecasts for any potential storms or hurricanes, especially if you're planning outdoor activities. Remember, the weather can change quickly in Barbados, so be flexible with your plans. There's always plenty to do, whether it's exploring the island's rich history and culture, sampling local cuisine, or simply relaxing on one of its many beautiful beaches.

MonthHi / Lo (°C)Weather Overview

January

29° / 21°

January is a great time to visit Barbados, with warm temperatures and low rainfall. It's the coolest month, but still very pleasant.

February

29° / 21°

February is similar to January, with warm temperatures and minimal rainfall. It's a great time for beach activities.

March

30° / 21°

March sees a slight increase in temperature, but still remains comfortable. It's a good time for outdoor activities.

April

31° / 22°

April is slightly warmer, but still comfortable. It's a great time for water sports and exploring the island.

May

32° / 23°

May begins the rainy season, but temperatures are warm. It's a good time to visit if you don't mind occasional showers.

June

33° / 24°

June is warm, but expect some rain. It's a good time for indoor activities and exploring the island's culture.

July

33° / 24°

July is similar to June, with warm temperatures and some rain. It's a good time to visit if you enjoy tropical weather.

August

33° / 24°

August is hot and humid, with occasional rain. It's a good time for beach activities and water sports.

September

33° / 24°

September is the peak of the rainy season, but temperatures are warm. It's a good time to visit if you don't mind the rain.

October

32° / 24°

October sees a decrease in temperature, but it's still warm. It's a good time for outdoor activities and exploring the island.

November

31° / 23°

November is a great time to visit, with comfortable temperatures and less rain. It's a good time for beach activities and water sports.

December

30° / 22°

December is a great time to visit, with comfortable temperatures and minimal rainfall. It's a great time for outdoor activities and exploring the island.

Did you know?

Did you know that Barbados is the easternmost island in the Caribbean Sea?

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