Things to do in Barbados

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Are you looking for ideas of things to do in Barbados?

Well, look no further because Totally Barbados has all you need to know to plan your vacation or weekend getaway on the beautiful island of Barbados. We’ve taken the hard work out of finding things to do in Barbados.

Use our list of things to do in Barbados as a guide and you’re sure to have an experience that’s truly Totally Barbados.

1. Crop Over Festival

2. Oistins Fish Market

3. Holetown

4. Black Pearl Jolly Roger Cruises

5. Barbados Wildlife Reserve

6. Barbados Museum

7. Barbados Museum of Parliament and National Heroes Gallery

8. Harrison’s Cave

9. Welchman Hall Gully

10. Go Fishing


It can be said you’ve not experienced Barbados until you’ve experienced the infamous annual Crop Over Festival – the major cultural festival of Barbados signifying the end of the sugar cane crop harvest.

Crop Over involves a variety of entertainment that brings thousands of tourists to the island each year. Mark it in your calendar – it’s held throughout July and ends with the big Grand Kadooment Day parade on the first Monday in August.

This large street parade brings thousands of revellers to ‘jump’ in extravagant costumes all the way from Warrens in St. Michael to the Spring Garden Highway, where the party continues to the early hours of the morning. Anyone can join in the festivities, so it’s a great ‘to do’ while you’re in Barbados.

The festival features numerous music competitions and cultural activities, all of which have strong ties back to the original African slaves. In fact, it is said the slaves invented the Crop Over custom by their celebrations of the end of the hard sugar cane labor, when the crops were harvested. For more information on all the fun and festivities, please visit our Crop Over Festival.


2. Oistins Fish Market

Oistins is a historic fishing town on the south coast of Barbados. It may be Barbados’ smallest city, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in character. The thriving fishing community in Oistins means you can buy freshly caught fish at the local market at very affordable prices.

The streets of Oistins really come alive at the weekly Friday night Fish Fry, where tourists and locals flock to enjoy the very best of local Bajan cuisine prepared right in front of your eyes. Here, you’ll find shacks lined up next to the fish market selling freshly cooked fish, salad, and macaroni pie. During the Easter weekend, the annual
Oistins Fish Festival and street fair is a highlight in any social calendar. It celebrates the local fishing community and showcases the industry at its finest.

Some of the activities you can experience are the greasy pole climb, net throwing and fish boning competitions, and so much more. Get more information about the town of Oistins.


3. Holetown

Originally known as St. James Town, Holetown is located on the west coast of the island. Holetown is named after King James I of England, as it was the site of the first settlement in Barbados in 1627. It’s a historical town, and home to the first Anglican Church, St. James Parish Church, built in 1628.

Holetown also hosts the annual Holetown Festival, commemorating the anniversary of this original landing and the day Barbados became a British colony. This popular festival is generally held during February and comprises a week of events and entertainment. You’ll find beauty contests, dance performances, live music, fashion shows, a vintage car parade, and so much more.

There are also street stalls selling everything from local food and drinks, to Bajan-made arts and crafts including pottery, sculpture, painting and other fine art pieces. A must do attraction and place to visit while you’re in Barbados.


4. Black Pearl Jolly Roger 1 Cruise

You must also experience the unique Black Pearl Jolly Roger Cruises, for a fun-filled pirate adventure. There’s lots of action on this party cruise as patrons take a turn on the rope swing, walk the plank, or swim with the turtles. There’s a fully-stocked bar that’s always open and keeps the drinks flowing throughout the cruise.

For those less adventurous, you can still enjoy a nice barbecue lunch and relaxing cruise, which leaves from Bridgetown and sails along the west coast of Barbados.


5. Barbados Wildlife Reserve

Barbados may not have a zoo, but it does have the Barbados Wildlife Reserve. Located in natural mahogany woods in the northern rural parish of St. Peter, here you can see animals at close range in their natural habitats. You’ll see a variety of birds such as flamingos, parrots, pelicans and peacocks. The Barbadian Green Monkey are also a common sighting and the reptile lover will surely enjoy the collection of caged snakes A great attraction for the entire family.


6. Visit the Barbados Museum

A visit to the Barbados Museum and Historical Society is a must for everyone! The island’s rich history and culture come to life in these fascinating galleries, set in beautiful nineteenth-century buildings. Come and explore Barbadian natural and social history, African heritage, military history, decorative arts, prints and paintings. From special exhibitions to intriguing programs – there’s always something exciting to experience at the Barbados Museum.

7. Barbados Museum of Parliament and National Heroes Gallery

The Barbados Museum of Parliament and National Heroes Gallery allow you to explore the development of democracy in Barbados and the role that the island’s notable people have played in this growth. Both are located in the historic West Wing of Parliament and offer a combination of traditional exhibits, artistic interpretation and a modern interactive museum experience.

8. Harrison’s Cave

Harrison’s Cave in St. Thomas is one of the great wonders of Barbados. The underground cave is a wonderful display of stalactites and stalagmites, with streams of crystal clear water running through. Electrically powered trams will take you through the cave network and friendly tour guides provide historical and geographical information about the cave along the way.

At certain points, you can even disembark and walk along a stunning waterfall. A great photo opportunity! The visitor’s centre provides refreshments and showcases a wide variety of handicraft and artifacts, collected from various sites island-wide.


9. Welchman Hall Gully

For nature lovers, Welchman Hall Gully in central St. Thomas is the ideal attraction. The three-quarter mile long gully is striking, a mixture of tropical rain forest with Barbadian as well as exotic plants. Welchman Hall Gully is geologically still connected to Harrison’s Cave and came about as a result of collapsed caves -you’ll see there is still some evidence of stalactites and stalagmites as you walk through. Another one not to be missed!

The Barbadian Green Monkey is also another common sight in the gully as it provides food, shelter and is a passageway to other gullies for these monkeys.


10. Go Fishing

Forget all you thought you knew about fishing. Step aboard a fishing boat and prepare for the Barbados fishing experience of a lifetime. Whether you are a seasoned fisherman, a complete novice, or a family with kids out for a fun trip, Barbados has a fishing experience to suit you.

Of notable mention…visiting the Crane Village is a definite ‘thing to do’ while you’re here on the island. The uniquely designed village is nestled amongst the beautifully landscaped Crane Residential Resort and overlooks the Atlantic Ocean so you get the complete Crane experience in style. The village offers a variety of shopping, dining, and entertainment options and the best part is that you don’t need to be a guest of the Crane Resort to enjoy the Crane Village. It’s open to both locals and visitors to experience all it has to offer.

By: Brett Callaghan