Bridgetown, Barbados Vacations


Our Opinion of Bridgetown

This beautiful city is a haven for travellers seeking out a more cultural and historical experience, that is if they are not sunbathing on the beautiful white beaches, playing a round of golf on one of the many spectacular golf courses or snorkelling in the crystal clear waters.

Bridgetown truly offers an impressive collection of historic buildings and landmarks to explore. Broad Street, the city's main artery, is famous for the many restaurants promising culinary delights, wonderful shopping finds and great evenings spent in its bars or nightclubs. The capital has incredible energy and is gearing up for the Cricket World Cup it will be hosting in 2007.

The south and west coast enjoy the warmer and gentler waters of the Caribbean Sea. Tall palms or mahogany trees sometimes line these gleaming, white sanded beaches and coves. The south beaches are particularly favoured by a younger crowd, whereas the west beaches are less crowded.

Carlisle Bay, beautifully shaped like a crescent, is a favourite and gets quite busy during the weekend. There are snack counters and facilities.

Crane Beach is absolutely picturesque with its pink sand and sheltering high cliffs. Bodysurfing conditions are ideal. There is a lifeguard, snack counters and facilities.

Sandy Beach is quite shallow and a calm surf. Families with small kids favour this beach. There are snack counters and facilities.

Silver Sands Beach is constantly breezy, therefore an ideal spot for windsurfing.

Brighton Beach has practically still waters. Locals frequent this beach.

Mullins Beach has everything a beach should have, even snorkelling spots. There are snack counters and facilities.

Paynes Bay is lined with hotels it can get crowded at times but it is ideal for waters sports, especially snorkelling. There are snack counters and facilities.

The east present a much more spectacular and rugged coastline. The strong Atlantic constantly crashes onto the long stretches sand which are wildly framed by rocky cliffs. Two prime examples are Barclays Park and the Bathsheba/Cattlewash area with its gigantic boulders. Due to the strong and dangerous surf it is highly advised not to swim on the east coats. Expert surfers from all over the world come to surf here. 

Things to know about Bridgetown, Barbados Vacations

Activities & Sports
With so many beaches on the island, water sports abound everywhere. If your lodging does not include the necessary equipment, many beaches have rental facilities. Also, owners of private boats will offer their service for a small fee. You can go waterskiing, parasailing, surfing, windsurfing, yachting and kayaking. Barbados has several diving and snorkelling sites, such as the shore at Mount Standfast where you may spot a few green turtles.

There are several golf courses on the island, including the 18-hole Barbados Golf Club, Sandy Lane (3 courses: Sandy Lane Old Nine, the 18-hole Country Club and the 18-hole Green Monkey), the Royal Westmoreland Golf & Country Club offering an 18-hole championship golf course, and Club Rockley and Almond Beach Village both featuring 9-hole courses.

Popular land sports include hiking and walking on the many nature and park trails, horseback riding and mountain biking. Many hotels offer wonderful tennis courts, some are lit for evening play.

Dining & Nightlife
Most resorts have themed nights where you can party to the sounds of steel bands. The cabaret dinner shows are also very popular in Barbados, like the The Bajan Roots & Rhythms Show or the Plantation Tropical Spectacular.

Nightclubs abound, each with its own specialty. Here are a few suggestions: for jazz, soca and calypso music try the Coach House, Waterfront Cafe or After Dark; for reggae, ringbang and soca music you should enjoy Harbour Lights; for a pub atmosphere go to Ship Inn or The Boatyard; fans of karaoke should head to Carib Beach Bar.

After the clubs, if you still have the strength to party try Baxters Road or The street that never sleeps, where the street is transformed nightly by the rhythms of calypso and street performers, as street vendors bring out coal pots and roast fish and chicken, sell spirited refreshments.
 
Casual and festive settings abound in informal beach eateries, pubs and bistros. Sophisticated dining establishments, requiring a reservation and more formal attire, offer delectable, award-winning fare. Bridgetown's restaurants are mostly found on Broad Street but you can find great places also on Baxter's Road and High Street.

Here are a few recommendations: The Coach House, The Atlantis,Captain's Carvery, The Fish Pot, Mango's by the Sea, Cliffside Restaurant and Bar, Bonito Beach Bar and Restaurant, The Balcony Restaurant, Lantern's by the Sea and Mullin's Beach Bar, to name but a few. 

Shopping
Bridgetown's Broad Street and Holetown's Chattel Shopping Village offer the best shopping opportunities. Duty free shops promise great saving on certain luxury items (passport and airline ticket required), whereas open-air markets and souvenir shanties are great places to purchase crafts and local products. Island craft fairs are also held several times a year.

Crafts include pottery, baskets, leather work, batiks, jewellery, shell craft, beachwear and mahogany pieces. Edible souvenirs are great to bring home, like rum, spicy Bajan hot sauce, condiments and chutney, Barbadian made sugar and rum cake. 
 
Currency: Barbados dollar
Electricity: 110V, 50Hz GMT
Time Zone: GMT -4 hr. Daylight savings time is not applied
Government: Independent parliamentary democracy within the Commonwealth.
Land size: 431 km2
Language: English, Bajan dialect
Population: 275,000 approx
Religion: Anglican 50%, Protestant 32%, Roman Catholic 6%
 
Driver's License: International license recommended. Must be 25 years old and have a credit card. A visitor's permit of BDS $10 must be purchased when the vehicle is delivered. Barbadians drive on the LEFT side.
 
Entry Requirements: Valid passport required and it must be valid for the entire length of the stay.

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