We know you will want to take home souvenirs from your Barbados vacation. That’s why we’ve outlined some great ideas, just for you! We’ve also explained where these items can be purchased to help guide you on your search for the perfect Barbados gift or souvenir.
There are countless souvenirs you can get to remember your time in Barbados, but there are a few items that are always considered distinctly ‘Bajan’:
— Barbados Rum
There are two main brands of rum manufactured in Barbados – the 300+ year old Mount Gay Rum and Cockspur Rum. These brands both have a regular blended brand and a more refined blend for you to take home. Mount Gay Rum additionally invites guests from all over the world to explore the history of Mount Gay rums and take a guided tour of their distillery in action.
Note: The Totally Barbados team always encourages you to drink responsibly and in moderation.
— Hot Pepper Sauce
During your stay, you’ll notice locals in Barbados eat this infamous hot pepper sauce with anything and everything, and you may just find yourself getting into this Bajan habit yourself! There are many varieties of hot pepper sauce to choose from, each with varying levels of spice, and to suit any taste.
Did you know? This spicy sauce is one of the main ingredients in many traditional Bajan dishes – see our Barbados recipes for more delicious treats for you to try.
— Bajan Rum Cake (aka ‘black cake’)
Black cake is a Bajan version of traditional fruit cake and generally consists of dried fruits, nuts, citrus peel, mixed spice, sugar, eggs, and of course the infamous Bajan dark rum.
Note: The alcoholic content of rum cake means it won’t spoil before you reach home!
— Local Art and Craft
Barbados has a vibrant arts scene and there are various galleries, potteries, studios, and souvenir shops all over the island showcasing our local talent. You can find anything from woven baskets, paintings, photography, wood carvings, leather, jewelry and crafts, books, and pottery, all made by local and regional artisans. For more information, see our Barbados Art and Craft Guide.
Want to know more? See Things to buy and take home for more insider souvenir tips.
Where Can I Buy My Barbados Souvenirs?
One of the best places to get authentic Bajan souvenirs is at the Best of Barbados Gift Shops.
Best of Barbados is a family-owned business that has been making and designing top quality local gifts and handicrafts on the island for over 40 years. They sell a large variety of Bajan-made souvenirs, ranging from prints and designs by the company’s founder (artist Jill Walker) and her family, to jewelry, art, paintings, cookbooks, beach bags, towels, T-shirts, music and DVDs – just to name a few.
Their stores can be found in five convenient locations island-wide – The Chattel Village in Holetown, Quayside Centre in Rockley, Southern Palms Hotel in St. Lawrence Gap, Bridgetown Cruise Terminal, and in the Departure Lounge at Grantley Adams International Airport.
For more basic souvenir items like pepper sauce and rum, you can also pick these up at most supermarkets, convenience stores, and local rum shops island-wide.
Bridgetown and Coastal Areas
In the nation’s capital of Bridgetown, the main shopping area is Broad Street, where there is lots of duty free shopping and souvenirs for sale. You will also see street vendors just over the bridge selling souvenir items like leather goods and handmade jewelry at reasonable prices.
If you’re staying on the south coast, there are a number of shopping centres and department stores like Cave Shepherd for you to get your local souvenirs. Along the south coast main road, you’ll find Coconut Walk with a few shops selling clothing, jewelry, home wares, and surf wear, as well as Quayside Centre where there is also a number of souvenir shops with great gift options.
Further down in St. Lawrence Gap, a number of street vendors sell leather goods, sarongs, and handmade jewelry, amongst other things. There’s also the Chattel House Village with a number of boutiques and shops selling all manner of local souvenirs.
Another great place for souvenirs is the Oistins Fish Market, especially on a Friday night at the infamous Barbados Fish Fry. Head towards the back of the action close to the sea, and you will come across a long line of local vendors selling traditional, as well as more unusual, souvenirs.
If you’re staying on the west coast, you will also find souvenirs for sale at West Mall Shopping Centre and The Chattel Village, as well as numerous souvenir stores along this coastline.
Cruise Ship Shopping and Surrounds
If you’re arriving by cruise ship, you can find an assortment of souvenir shops at the Bridgetown Cruise Terminal.
Just outside of the cruise terminal you will find the Pelican Village Craft Centre selling locally made and designed arts and crafts.
Further inland, another great place for souvenirs is at Earthworks Pottery in St. Thomas. Here, you can see the potter at his wheel making vibrant creations, and of course purchase a unique piece for yourself!
Any Last Minute Purchases?
If you’ve been too busy soaking up the sun and getting into the local action, there’s always time for those last minute souvenir purchases, including duty free shopping at the Airport Terminal Building.
As you can see, the options for souvenir shopping in Barbados are endless and the variety of things to purchase is wide. The only problem is, trying to fit it all in your suitcase!
Contributor: Brett Callaghan