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Cultural Activities in Barbados

Heritage with a Caribbean Flair

You've visited Parliament, strolled through Queen's Park and are watching the changing of the guard. This isn't your typical Caribbean vacation—or your average Caribbean island. Three centuries under the crown have done much to shape the cultural heritage of the island sometimes known as “Little England.” But Barbados is more than tea and crumpets. Equally influential are the Afro-Caribbean traditions of the creoles, which can be heard the lilting local dialect known as Bajan, and in the warm and welcoming attitude that has earned Barbados a reputation as one of the friendliest islands around. There are no strangers here, just friends who haven't yet met.


  • Best for: Everyone, great for history buffs, beach lovers, watersports enthusiasts and adventurers
  • Best season to visit: Year round, outside of the hurricane belt
  • Weather: Dry season runs from December to May, while the months of June to November may see passing rain squalls that have no effect on water quality. Trade winds moderate air temperatures, which remain in the 90s in summer and may dip into the low 70s in winter

Things to Do

Barbados Information

Cultural Activities in Barbados Overview

Historic sites can be found at points all across the island. The city of Bridgetown is home to a number of historic and culturally significant landmarks, including the Garrison, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Outside the city, the focus shifts to botanical gardens, plantation great houses and traditional rum distilleries.

Cultural Activities in Barbados Tips

For an authentic taste of Barbados, order flying fish. This local delicacy is served steamed, fried, pickled, barbecued, or in a sandwich of salt bread, It's often accompanied by another island favorite, a side of cou-cou, which is made from cornmeal and okra, or breadfruit and green bananas, and topped with tomatoes, onions and peppers.

Best Places for Cultural Activities in Barbados

St. Nicholas Abbey provides a glimpse of 17th-century plantation life. The Barbados Garrison is the world's most intact and authentic 18th and 19th-century British garrison complex. Tour one of the only Jacobean mansions in the Western Hemisphere at Cherry Hill, then sample the local St. Nicholas Abbey Rum, which is produced on-site. The Changing of the Sentry takes place at noon at the Main Guard. While there, also visit the George Washington House, which was briefly home to the first US president.

What to Pack for Cultural Activities in Barbados

It's OK to keep things casual when touring historic sites and cultural venues, but good taste dictates that bare skin should be kept to a minimum. Shirts, shorts and sandals are fine, but save the swimwear for the beach. Include a small backpack for electronics and sundries, with enough extra room for impromptu purchases.


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Cultural Activities


Divi Southwinds Beach Resort

SOUTH COAST - Set on a half-mile of beach amid 20 acres of tropical gardens in the lively St. Lawrence Gap, this resort offers a host of activities. Over 130 spacious suites with fully-equipped kitchens and a host of amenities make it a perfect choice for a special island vacation. Diving with Barbados Blue Water Sports.
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Cultural Activities


Coconut Court Beach Hotel

SOUTH COAST - This popular family owned hotel is located directly on the beach. It is just minutes away from St. Lawrence Gap and the South Coast Boardwalk with shops, supermarkets, restaurants and nightlife nearby. Coconut Court Beach Hotel offers a wide choice of accommodation with large and comfortable Studios facing the ocean with private balconies, and limited or full kitchen facilities. The lovely beach is secluded and is home to approximately one third of the nesting marine turtles of Barbados with an active nesting season from July to November each year.
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Passport and/or Visa Requirements

Entry/Exit Requirements: Entry into Barbados requires a valid passport. Visas are not required for U.S. Citizens with stays of less than 6 months.

Check the Entry/Exit Requirements here.


No vaccinations or preventative medications are required for travel to Bonaire. Check with the Centers for Disease Control on recommended vaccinations for travel at

Culture and Customs

Stroll down St. Michael’s Row from the Parliament Building to Queen's Park and you might imagine you were in a warmer version of England. At least until a passing local calls out a lilting “good day.” Then you'll know you're in the Caribbean. Barbados offers a unique mix of British infrastructure and African roots, and its people are known for their lighthearted attitude to live and their civility. Oral traditions honed generations ago around equatorial cook fires live on in a love for storytelling, an appreciation for the double entendre and a wealth of colorful colloquialisms. Cultural fusions are heard in the music of tuk bands, which get feet moving with an infectious blend of African rhythms and British folk tunes. Barbados is a sporting island. Cricket is still king, but football, rugby union and basketball matches will all draw a crowd. A uniquely Bajan invention is road tennis, which is a fast-paced blend of tennis and ping-pong played on a swath of tarmac using a six-inch net and wooden paddles. Winter visitors can enjoy an assortment of festivals devoted to food, wine, chocolate, song and art, but the island's big event is the summer's Crop Over Festival, which keeps the party going with a full twelve weeks of dances, parties and parades. Another ongoing island tradition is the weekly fish fry's that take place at locations such as Oistins Bay Garden. In addition to savory seafood offerings, these community gatherings become outdoor concerts and lively marketplaces for arts and crafts.

Electricity, Phone and Internet Access

Electricity in Barbados is 115/230 volts/50 cycles. Standard plugs use 2 flat pin or 2 flat pin plus 1 round grounding plug. North American appliances and electronics will not need a converter.

The island uses solar power mainly for hot-water systems.

There are a few on island phone and internet suppliers that you can use if you have an international plan on your cell phone or roaming charges will apply. Most hotels offer WiFi, as well as some restaurants, bars, coffee shops and cafes.

The international direct dialing code/area code for Barbados is (1–246), followed by a seven-digit local number.

Water Quality

Barbados was one of the first Caribbean Islands to have piped water, it is safe to drink right from the tap.

Language & Currency

English is the official language of Barbados, although the Bajan dialect, which is a combination of British English and various West African languages, can be heard all around the island.

The local currency is the Barbados Dollar. The Barbados Dollar is fixed to the US Dollar at a rate of 1 USD = 1.98 BDS. Check the current rate here.

US currency is accepted across the island, and most stores and restaurants accept major credit cards.

There are many commercial banks in Barbados (mostly British and Canadian) and most have ATM's that will accept credit cards. They all dispense funds in Barbados dollars at the current rate of exchange. Make sure to have your PIN number and to let your credit card company know you will be out of the country so the charge will go through. Local currency offers $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100 bills and coins of 5 cents, 10 cents, 25 cents and $1.


Barbados is in the Atlantic Time Zone (AST) and does not observe Daylight Savings Time. Barbados is 4 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (-4 GMT).​

Location, Size and Population

Barbados is the Easternmost island in the Caribbean. Barbados is in the West Indies and located in the Atlantic Ocean. The island is approximately 300 miles north of Venezuela. Barbados is 166 square miles, divided into 11 parishes. Its capital city is Bridgetown,

Barbados is 21 miles long and 14 miles wide.

Driving in Barbados is on the left side of the road and the majority of vehicles are “right-hand drive.” The island has an extensive road network of paved roads. A highway links the north and the south of the island. There are a number of ways to get around the island by hired car, taxis and buses; all are safe, reliable and convenient. The population of Barbados is 285,006 (2016).