Things to do in Barbados
Are you looking for ideas of things to do in Barbados? 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 stuff to do in Barbados as a guide, and you’re sure to have an experience that’s genuinely Totally Barbados.
- Crop Over Festival
- Oistins Fish Market
- Black Pearl Jolly Roger Cruises
- Barbados Wildlife Reserve
- Barbados Museum
- Flower Forest
- Harrison’s Cave
- Welchman Hall Gully
- Go Fishing on Legacy Fishing Charters and Betsy B Fishing Charters.
1. Crop Over Festival
You have 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 on your calendar – it’s held throughout July and ends with the big Grand Kadooment Day parade on the first Monday in August.
This massive street parade brings thousands of revelers to ‘jump’ in extravagant costumes from Warrens in St. Michael to the Spring Garden Highway, where the party continues into the early hours of the morning. Anyone can join in the festivities with many things 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. The slaves invented the Crop Over custom by their celebrations of the end of the hard sugar cane labor, after harvesting the crops.
For more information on all the fun activities, events and things to do, 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 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.
Formerly 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 early Anglican Church, St. James Parish Church, built-in 1628.
Holetown also hosts the annual Holetown Festival, commemorating the anniversary of this first landing and the day Barbados became a British colony. This traditional festival is 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 beautiful 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 an excellent 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 is also a common sighting, and the reptile lover will surely enjoy the collection of caged snakes An excellent attraction for the entire family.
6. Visit the Barbados Museum
A visit to the Barbados Museum and Historical Society is a must ‘thing to do’ 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 unique exhibitions to intriguing programs – there’s always something exciting to experience at the Barbados Museum.
7. Visit the Barbados Flower Forest
The Flower Forest Botanical Gardens of Barbados is a perfect place to retreat from the hustle of the world and relax for a few hours. Find your tranquillity in the Flower Forest Botanical Gardens of Barbados. Treeful forest, panoramic views, and flowers. 53.6 acres reserved only for green botanical ventures, never to be developed for housing or industry, with 7 acres of wild garden in Barbados ‘Scotland District’ 750 ft above sea level in Barbados.
8. Harrison’s Cave
Harrison’s Cave in St. Thomas is one of the great wonders of Barbados. The underground cave is an incredible display of stalactites and stalagmites, with streams of crystal clear water. 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 specific points, you can even disembark and walk along a stunning waterfall. A great photo opportunity! The visitor’s center provides refreshments and showcases a wide variety of handicrafts 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 a 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 will 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 ravines 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.
Additional Things to Do
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 community 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