The east Caribbean island of Barbados is full of non stop picturesque beaches, rolling hills, colonial architecture, and rum distilleries and shops. With accommodations and restaurants to suit any taste, along with the warm and friendly Bajan people to bring you a welcoming feeling, this sophisticated tropical island with a long, rich history is recommended for travelers of all types. Here is a 3 day ambitious itinerary to visit the best sites Barbados offers:
- Hotel – Stay in a location that allows you to access the east and west coasts of the island easily. The Hilton hotel is in an amazing location on the southwest point of the island. You could also stay in an Airbnb rental near there if you are looking for more budget friendly options.
- Scooter Rental – Rent from Demario’s Cycle World in Bridgetown if you’re traveling solo or with one companion. The rental cost is approximately $55 USD/day and will even deliver to you for $20 extra.
- Granny’s Restaurant – This is a legendary local restaurant located in Oistins. Definitely try the macaroni pie and stewed beef.
- Cutters – Drive out towards the east coast and stop at Cutters for the best rum punch you’ll ever have.
- Crane Beach – This picturesque beach is surrounded by cliffs with The Crane Hotel overlooking. Go to the south side of the beach and walk along the cliff path to find a point to jump off into the ocean.
- Bottom Bay Beach – Located about a 10 minute drive from Crane Beach. Many travelers consider this the top beach on the island. Walk down the beautifully landscaped steps to reach this palm tree fringed cove and true paradise.
- Foursquare Rum Distillery – Drive 15 minutes back west to reach the rum distillery, which is located on an old sugar plantation dating back to the early 1600s. If you reach here after closing time, the caretaker is usually open to take you on private tour if you offer him a nice ‘tip’. The distillery has an impressive setup and uses green technology to protect the environment. Make sure you try their line of rums, including Doorly’s XO.
- Oistins Friday Night Fish Fry – The big thing to do on the island on Friday nights. There are many local restaurant shacks lined up one after another serving amazing fish (mahi-mahi, flying fish, tuna, swordfish) and all types of local food in an informal setting with Reggae and Calypso music playing in the background.
- St Lawrence Gap – The best nightlife scene is located in the ‘Gap’. This 1.3km stretch of road located 5-10 minute drive west of Oistins is full of restaurants and lively nightlife with local musicians and DJs.
- George Washington House – This restored plantation house from the 1700s was visited by George Washington in 1751. It is worth a visit if you’re into the historical significance, but skip if you have already seen other restored colonial homes.
- Cuz Fish Stand – Beach shack serving amazing fish and cheese cutters (only $9BBD) on the beach on the west side of the island. Be prepared for a long line.
- Jamaica 246 Restaurant – If Cuz Fish Stand is closed or too long of a line, go around the corner to this authentic Jamaican restaurant. Try the curry goat or jerk chicken.
- Carlisle Bay / Brownes Beach – Beautiful picturesque beach with calm bright blue water and white sand beach. Looks like something off a travel agency poster or calendar. Spend a couple hours here taking in the majestic views, while enjoying the warm water and sail boats on the horizon.
- Mount Gay Visitor Center – Located 10 minutes drive north of Brownes Beach. Mount Gay is the world’s oldest rum brand started in 1703 and named after Sir John Gay, who managed the company owned by John Sober (not making this up). The tour is about 45 minutes long, and even though you don’t get to walk through the distillery, you get to sample many of their rums and is worth the visit. Definitely try the XO rum.
- Brighton Beach – Another picture postcard beach located 5 minutes drive north of Mount Gay Visitor Center. On the north side of the beach there is a tide pool with warm crystal clear water that the locals play in. On the south side of the beach, check out Weisers Bar to cool down with a couple of rum punch drinks.
- TML One Love Bar – Popular rum shop and karaoke bar in Holetown (located 15 minutes drive north of Brighton Beach). Stop here for a very strong rum punch, cheap local beers, and local atmosphere.
- John Moores Bar – Another popular rum shop full of local characters and tourists located right on the beach north of Holetown. Go here for amazing sunsets while sipping on long aged rum.
- Shakers Bar & Grill – Highly rated local restaurant. Make reservations ahead of time if going on the weekend. Steak, ribs, and fish dishes are all excellent.
- Harrisons Cave – One of Barbados top tourist attractions. Tour the subterranean cavern on a tramway and view the crystallized limestone, flowing streams and waterfall.
- Hunte’s Gardens – Unique and beautiful gardens built up in an old sink hole by horticulturist Anthony Hunte. Anthony if very friendly and will personally give you a tour of the gardens while telling you about the history of the island. Definitely worth a 30 minute visit.
- Bathsheba – Soup Bowl – This east coast beach in the small town of Bathsheba is known as famous surfer Kelly Slater’s most favorite beach in the world. Named for the foamy surf found here, it is home to many surfing competitions.
- Morgan Lewis Windmill – Drive 20 minutes north of Bathsheba to reach the only intact sugar windmill in Barbados.
- St. Nicholas Abbey – Located a few minutes away from the windmill, this mansion was built in 1658 and is one of only three Jacobean mansions left in the Western Hemisphere. This former slave and sugar plantation is also home to an active steam and rum distillery.
- Sandy Lane Brunch – If you splurge on one thing on the island, this brunch should be it. Priced at $160 USD/person and located in a beautiful beach front setting at the luxurious Sandy Lane hotel on the west coast of the island. Make sure you make a reservation and bring your appetite for the huge buffet that includes dishes such as whole roasted pig, made to order steak and lamb chops, king crab legs and lobster, and amazing desserts such as the vanilla creme brulee and bread pudding.
- Mullins Beach – One of the most popular beaches on the west coast of the island. Another white sand and crystal clear blue water beach with a bar with an amazing view.
- Brown Sugar Restaurant – If you still have room left after the Sandy Lane Brunch, head to Brown Sugar for some of the best Barbados and Caribbean cuisine on the island.