The things to do in Barbados are varied, and each section of the island offers its own unique attractions.
The capital of Bridgetown on Carlisle Bay is home to many historic buildings, such as the Unesco heritage Garrison area as well as an excellent museum. Take time to experience the city’s restaurants and colourful boutiques.
The west coast – also known as the Platinum coast – is famous for its beautiful golden sands and azure waters, framed by upmarket and luxurious hotels. Holetown is the oldest town on the island, and is a lively spot in the evening, while Speightstown mixes colonial charm with authentic local flavor.
Meanwhile, the south coast features gorgeous wide beaches with coral reefs, excellent snorkeling and a buzzing nightlife.
Lastly, in stark contrast to the west, a drive along the rugged, wilder and windy north and east coasts, takes you above the crashing waves of the Atlantic; past deserted and unspoilt beaches. These offer great opportunities for walks and to escape the crowds.
One of the Caribbean’s natural wonders, Harrison’s Cave is a crystallised limestone cavern complex with stalactites and stalagmites, tunnels, pools and stream that can be explored on a small underground tram.
Visit historic and gracious mansions built by plantation owners, and learn about the colonial past. Recommendations include St Nicholas Abbey and Sunbury Plantation House – enjoy walks in their beautiful grounds or explore beautiful gardens such as the Andromeda Botanical Gardens.
Linked to the historic cultivation of sugar cane, Barbados rum is renowned throughout the Caribbean and can be sampled on a rum distillery tour. Meanwhile, a highlight of any trip to Barbados is a Friday or Saturday night visit to the fishing community of Oistins, where the fish-fry offers a chance to enjoy the very best in local produce.
For cricket fans, there’s bound to be a game on somewhere, whether at Bridgetown’s Kensington Oval or at a local village green, while a range of golf courses coupled with the pleasant scenery and climate make it a great destination for golf lovers.
The Barbados green monkey colony is one of the main attractions at the wildlife reserve.
See Barbados come alive in this image and video gallery, showing off some of the best areas that you can visit and explore.
Discover the temperatures and rainfall you can expect when visiting the main areas of Barbados, along with the best time to travel.
We have collated some of the best books and guides to Barbados, to help you make the most of your holiday to the country.
Find out more about what you can expect from travelling in the Caribbean – from internal flights to accommodation standards and local transport.
Learn more about the airlines we use to fly to the Caribbean, chosen for reliability and good service; as well as any available upgrade facilities.
Before travelling to the Caribbean, please read more about the entry requirements for each country, as well as any general health advice.
Get to know our expert Caribbean tour consultants, their personal recommendations and favourite hotels around the world.