Bridgetown, Barbados cruises
While sailing to Barbados, you’ll encounter a land where relaxation and adventure go hand in hand. Sailing through the warm, blue waters of the Caribbean, when you arrive at Barbados you’ll dock at the capital city of Bridgetown – a veritable feast of breathtaking scenery, delicious cuisine, and exceptional hospitality.
A town steeped in history, surrounded by an abundance of natural beauty with plenty to see and do, Bridgetown is the perfect location to enjoy a generous helping of Caribbean charm and culture.
Sitting on the southwestern side of the island of Barbados, Bridgetown is a lively and bustling gateway to the wider treasures the island holds. From sun-kissed beaches, underground caverns, and glass-like lagoons, to emerald jungles and vast historic plantations, Barbados is a paradise just waiting to be explored.
The island of Barbados gets its name from the Bearded Fig Tree, which was once found in abundance across the island. The capital city, Bridgetown, is home to a charming combination of traditional colonial buildings and rich Caribbean vibrancy and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011.
Top landmarks and sights in Bridgetown.
A stroll around the enchanting capital city itself brings much to see and do.
Nidhe Israel Synagogue and Museum.
Amongst the sun-soaked streets, you’ll find fascinating points of historical significance, including the Nidhe Israel Synagogue and Museum – the oldest synagogue in the entirety of the Western Hemisphere, dating back to 1654.
George Washington’s former residence.
Walk in the footsteps of the first U.S. president, George Washington, as you pay a visit to the place he called home in 1751 at the age of 19. A wonderfully preserved monument to Bridgetown’s history, the home sits atop a network of underground tunnels that themselves hide a fascinating history as they were adopted as escape routes for Garrison troops.
St. Michael’s Cathedral.
In the center of Bridgetown, find the magnificent St. Michael’s Cathedral – also frequented by Washington during his time on the island. With its roots dating back to the 1600s, this impressive Anglican cathedral is draped in stunning details and is situated on beautiful, lush grounds.
Perhaps venture underground to the mystical caves that hide beneath Barbados’ picturesque surface. A short tram ride away from Bridgetown, you’ll find Harrison’s Cave – an intriguing crystallized limestone cavern, full of towering columns and deep pools of cool, crystal-clear water.
Things to do in Bridgetown.
Sugar plantation and rum tasting.
Sugar plantations play a significant role in the history of Barbados, and you’ll find plenty dotted across the island that you can explore at your leisure. St. Nicholas Abbey, once a sugar plantation dating back to 1658, now operates as a museum and rum distillery, where guests can stroll around the vast plantation gardens as well as enjoy a spot of rum tasting.
Barbados Wildlife Reserve.
Nature enthusiasts are in luck on a cruise to Barbados. A short drive north of Bridgetown, you’ll find the lush green jungle that is the Barbados Wildlife Reserve. There, spot all manner of animals who call the reserve home, including green monkeys, snakes, and numerous bird species that roam freely.
Swim with turtles.
Out to sea, you’ll have the unforgettable opportunity to swim with giant leatherback turtles as they effortlessly sweep through the warm waters of the Caribbean.
Explore the beaches.
Back on dry land, be spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing a postcard-perfect beach on which to spend a relaxing afternoon. Close to Bridgetown, you’ll find Brownes beach. An oasis for snorkelers and underwater explorers, here there are shipwrecks dotting the surrounding area which countless species of marine life call home.
Eating and drinking near Bridgetown.
You can discover a rich culinary experience, pulling influence from across the globe. You’ll find everything from traditional Caribbean delicacies to street markets and replica British pubs.
Try the iconic island dish of couscous and fried flying fish, caught fresh and seasoned using traditional Bajan herbs and spices for an unforgettable flavor. Or perhaps tap into some savory soul food with a helping of pudding and souse – a particular favorite amongst lovers of sweet, flavorful pork, and an island-wide tradition on Saturdays.
It goes without saying that you’ll find plenty of varieties of rum-based beverages to enjoy while on the island, with every rum shack claiming that their rum punch is the best. Perhaps visit one of the distilleries to see how it’s made, or simply sip on one of the world-renown rum cocktails as you lounge on the soft, white sand.
Shopping in Bridgetown.
You’ll find a good range of shops in Barbados, with Bridgetown’s Broad Street the best place to visit for higher-end stores. Near the port, there are several duty-free shops where you’ll find jewelry, clothing, and souvenirs. There are also plenty of smaller souvenir stalls and shops across the island where you can pick up locally made handicrafts.
Getting around, Bridgetown transport.
The city of Bridgetown is around a mile away from the port itself. If you choose not to walk to the center, a shuttle bus is available for cruise guests to transport you into the city. The island itself is fairly easy to get around and most places are accessible by public buses or taxis, the latter of which are readily on hand from the cruise terminal and the city of Bridgetown.
Bridgetown port facilities.
Bridgetown is a bustling port where you’ll find everything you’ll need, including free Wi-Fi, a tourist information desk, as well as a plethora of duty-free shops. You’ll also find ATMs within the terminal that dispense U.S. dollars, toilets, and a vehicle rental facility.
Bridgetown Quick Tips.
The official currency of Barbados is the Barbadian dollar, however, you’ll find that the majority of retailers accept U.S. dollars.
While dining, most establishments will automatically include a 10-15% service charge on your bill, so there’s no need for an additional tip. If a service charge isn’t included, it’s customary to leave a 10% tip for your meal or drinks. Make sure to establish a set fare with your taxi driver before you commence your journey.
Bridgetown has a tropical, oceanic climate with hot and humid conditions all year round. Despite high temperatures, Bridgetown experiences ample rainfall and wet seasons.
On average, temperatures reach highs of 88°F during the summer in Bridgetown while winter months reach lows of 73°F.
December to April is considered the best time to visit Bridgetown to experience plenty of sunshine while rainfall is at its lowest.