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Things to do in Barbados
Make the most of the beaches
The beaches are one of the ultimate ‘things to do’ in Barbados, whether you’re looking to surf, sunbathe or swim. (For the rest, take a look at our top 10 things to do in Barbados).
The West Coast, which is known as the Platinum Coast, is arguably the most beautiful and also the most tranquil. It’s the perfect place if you’re looking to go swimming, jet skiing, scuba diving or snorkelling. The beaches are unsurprisingly popular and get quite busy in the peak months.
The South Coast is the most versatile. The beaches aren’t quite idyllic and the sea’s a little rougher, but they’re still a truly lovely place to be. But the fabulous amenities are the draw of the South Coast; this is the most concentrated tourist area, with towns like St Lawrence Gap offering a great selection of bars and restaurants close to the beach.
The East Coast beaches are popular with surfers and walkers who love the rocky scenery. Please note that swimming is not advised here. It can be extremely dangerous – even deadly – for even the most experienced swimmer.
The North Coast is the smallest and the rockiest. The cliffs and crags make public access to the beach a bit of a challenge, although not dangerous. As with the East Coast swimming is not advised. There are reported to be good surfing conditions at North Point Cove.
Visit a festival or event
Barbados has a large number of festival and events running throughout the year. If you’re lucky enough to be in the country when they’re running, it’s definitely worth heading down and seeing them for yourself.
In early November, the Food & Wine & Rum Festivals bring together many of the best Bajan chefs to showcase their culinary abilities and create some delicious food. Later on in November you can see the Independence Day celebrations featuring fireworks, light displays and an arts festival showcasing musical and theatrical talent from across Barbados.
In January you can pay a visit to the Horticultural Annual Show, which is a fantastic opportunity to see some of the country’s most exotic flowers and plants in one place. You can also hear live music by the Royal Barbados Police Band.
On throughout March to July is Holders Seasons, which is a fantastic boutique festival featuring theatre, comedy, jazz, blues, and classical music. This is considered one of the most unique and exciting festivals of its kind.
From July through August, Bridgetown hosts the Crop Over Festival, celebrated at the end of the Sugar Cane season. It is a grand celebration featuring calypso dancing through the streets, a colourful parade and local delicacies.
Bridgetown is Barbados’ primary shopping area – Broad Street is known as the hotspot with plenty of shops and boutiques. One of the major highlights of shopping in Barbados, though, are the tax-free centres offering fantastic deals. To shop here you just need to bring your passport or airline ticket.
Sport is a big part of life in Barbados so whether you’re a spectator or a participant there will be something for you to enjoy.
There is a fantastic array of watersports on offer with excellent locations for scuba diving, catamaran sailing and windsurfing. The rockier parts of the island lend themselves perfectly to paragliding. Golf is extremely popular here too with an abundance of clubs and breath-taking courses to challenge even the most experience golfers.
As with many of its Caribbean neighbours, Barbados is relatively cricket-obsessed. There will almost certainly be opportunities to watch a game – chill out with a rum cocktail or a Banks beer and enjoy the spectacle.