Dariece Swift By
Posted 21 Jun, 2016 | 14 Comments
Posted in: Barbados, Travel Blogs

The name “Barbados” automatically conjures up tantalizing images of white sand beaches, crystal clear water, palm trees and rum punches, and while the island has all of those amazing things, it also has much more to offer!

If you’re planning to visit Barbados, try to peel yourself away from the idyllic beaches to explore some of the island’s lesser known areas and also enjoy the country as the local Bajans do.

Here are 10 things that you shouldn’t miss on your next trip to Barbados.

See Also: Our First Impressions of Barbados

1. Hit Up A Barbecue

Bajans love their grills and the smokey aroma of grilled meats and spicy sauces can be smelled wafting all over the island, especially on weekends. Just follow your nose to one of the many roadside or beachside barbecues and taste some of the nation’s best food.

This is one of the things to do in Barbados that you won’t likely find on other lists, but it’s the best way to meet locals and enjoy some traditional barbecued meats. When we were there, we always hit up the road side places, and the food was always delicious.

A couple of barbecues to try include the Sunday Lunch at Crystal Waters, where you can join the older crowd and enjoy live music and a healthy portion of barbecued lamb, chicken or fish with lots of sides.

food in barbados

Also, if you don’t mind travelling a little ways for your meal, head to St. George and just up the hill from the Cheffette Restaurant you’ll find Belly Full Barbecue, arguably the most friendly and flavourful food stand on the island! We ate here many times and loved it.

2. Eat A Flying Fish Cutter

You really haven’t been to Barbados until you’ve eaten the famous Flying Fish Cutter. While this tasty sandwich can be found with swordfish, marlin and mahi mahi, the original (and possibly the best) is with flying fish.

cutters sandwish barbados

The sandwich is made with a freshly baked salt roll. This delicious bread is not salty at all and it is typically crunchy on the outside, and soft and fluffy on the inside. The roll is cut in half and stuffed with delicious grilled fish, lettuce, tomatoes and your choice of sauce (don’t pass on the spicy Bajan Pepper Sauce).

My favourite Flying Fish Cutter can be found at Cuz’s Fish Shack right off of the parking lot at the stunning Carlisle Bay Beach near Bridgetown.

3. Go On A Rum Tour

I think we’ve listed enough eating in Barbados so far! Now it’s time to talk about drinks. The island once earned much of its fortune from delicious rums, and you can go on a rum tour to see how this sugar based liquor is made.

Mount Gay Rum is the country’s pride and joy and the Mount Gay Distillery puts on excellent rum tours where you can learn about the history of rum production in Barbados, while trying a few samples along the way.

4. Visit Harrison’s Cave

Harrison’s Cave is truly one of the natural wonders of Barbados. Located in the central uplands, the interior of this cave boasts breathtaking, crystallized limestone that drip water into impossibly clear pools.

The cave is far away from most of the tourist hotels, but there are many tours that can take you to the cave, or you can rent a car and head there on your own.

If you’re on a budget, consider taking the local bus for just B$1.50. The bus system in Barbados is really good actually. Buses leave Bridgetown every 30 minutes. You can take the Route 4, Shorey Village bus or the Route 4, Chalky Mount bus which runs at 8:15 a.m.; 11:00 a.m.; 3:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m. The journey is about 1 hr.

5. Explore St. Nicholas Abbey

Here you can learn a bit about Barbados’ 350+ years of history at this wonderfully preserved plantation home. This type of architectural heritage is a brilliant way for visitors to understand what Barbados looked like a few centuries ago.

The old plantation home is set on a beautiful property of tranquil gardens, gullies and orchards with the adjacent Cherry Tree Hill. The home itself has some beautiful antique furniture and decorations.

You can also visit the boiling house and rum distillery which is still working every day to produce the famous St.Nicholas Abbey Rum.

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6. Chill on Carlisle Bay Beach

There are plenty of blissfully perfect beaches on the island of Barbados, but our personal favourite is the powder stretch of white sand at Carlisle Bay — this is one of the best beaches in the Caribbean. The water here is always calm, there are a few places on the beach and nearby where you can pick up snacks and cheap beer and sunset from this spot is fantastic.

Check out our full review of Carlisle Bay Beach on Virgin Holidays’ Trending Travel Guide. 

carlisle bay barbados

It’s worth noting that Accra Beach is also a fantastic place to go for a swim. If you do end up at Accra, check out Tiki Bar for some tasty burgers and good prices on drinks – which includes a lounge chair.

7. Walk The Boardwalk

Stretching for 1.6 km between Camelot and the aforementioned Accra beach, this beautiful wooden walkway wanders along the sea and past many bars and restaurants. It’s well lit in some parts, but there are stretches of dark areas at night and it’s not recommended to walk late in the evening.

However, during the day this makes for the perfect place for a stroll along the water. We recommend starting in Camelot in the late afternoon and arriving at Accra for sunset. You can bring your own drinks and sit on the sand, or head into Tikki Bar.

8. Check Out Fish Fry Fridays

Oistins Fish Fry Friday is an absolute must when visiting Barbados. This weekly party and fish festival is held on a serene beach on Barbados’ southwest coast and it’s the perfect place to meet new friends, both foreign and local.

You won’t find a better plate of fish anywhere on the island. The food is delicious, the atmosphere is great, and there is lot of dancing and music. Everybody seems to be in a good mood. It is on Friday after all!

To get to Oistins, you need to take an Oistins, Airport, Silver Sands, Sam Lords Castle, Fairy Valley or St. Christopher bus, depending on where you are staying. Either way, the cost is $2 BBD per person per ride.

9. Caribbean Crop Over

At the end of each sugarcane season, Barbados puts on its biggest festival of the year and they call it Crop Over Summer Festival. It’s the island’s most popular and colourful get together and it’s origins can be traced all the way back to the 1700’s when Barbados was the world’s largest sugar producer.

When the sugar industry on the island declined in the 1940’s, this famous festival followed suit, but luckily it was revived along with other elements of Barbadian culture in 1974 and today it’s a culture infused extravaganza and it attracts hundreds of party lovers from around the world.

The festival happens every year from May to August, with the largest celebrations happening at the end with carnival celebrations. If you plan your trip to Barbados at that time, you may not only get to party like crazy, but you may share the streets with world-famous Bajan pop & hip hop star Rihanna.

10. BH3 Barbados

If you have read our articles about Hashing in Grenada, you’ll know that we love these international social hiking groups. BH3 Barbados is owned and run by Hash House Harriers and it’s another great way to meet local people, get some exercise and enjoy some local rum shack culture on either end of the walk!

Click Here to find out about upcoming hikes and runs in different areas around the island.

hiking in barbados

More than just beaches…

This 430 km² island has dozens of beaches and mile after mile of pristine coastline, but there’s more to Barbados than sun loungers and beach bars. Once you get away from the sand, you’ll start to understand the island a little better and you’ll have an opportunity to meet more of the nation’s lovely people and explore its diverse landscapes. Enjoy!

For more about Barbados, check out

Have you ever been to Barbados? What were your favourite things to see and do? Please share with us in the comments below so we can help other travellers to better enjoy this beautiful Caribbean island.

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Dariece Swift

Written by

Dariece is a co-founder of Goats On The Road, and together with her best friend, travel partner and love of her life, Nick, she’s been travelling and living abroad since 2008…experiencing some of the least visited corners of our planet. She loves meeting new people, trying new cuisines, and learning about the unique cultures of our world. Her advice about travel, remote work, and location independence has been featured on the Lonely Planet, CNN Money, Business Insider and Forbes.

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14 thoughts on “10 Cool Things To Do in Barbados

  1. That ‘flying fish cutter’ looks unbelievably tasty haha! Although, I could eat anything if it was put in a bap with some lettuce and ketchup.

    Would love to visit Barbados one day.

  2. I first started vacationing in Barbados in 1964 and have been there 23 out of the last 25 years. This past year, we stayed for month. We sail on the “Silver Moon II” catamaran at least once a week while we in Barbados and have now sailed on her 38 times. It is always our favourite day in Barbados. Four Square rum tour offers a nice, quite variation than the Mount Gay rum tour. A visit Earth Works Pottery and then to the North Point Park is a wonderful outing and one can take in the vistas of Cheery Tree Hill while up island. Just after viewing the rugged eats coast from Cherry Tree Hill, stopping for an authentic flying fish cutter, macaroni pie and a “Banks” beer at Sand Dunes is recommended. I also recommended Hunte’s Garden Tour. It is amazing what Mr. Hunte has done with his tropical gulley. If you are looking for a nice quite beach, give Enterprise Beach (also called Miami Beach) a try. Many locals swim there. The Banks Beer tour is also pretty good. Enjoy!

  3. I do feel almost Bajan. Many of our Bajan friends that we have made over the years have visited us here in Canada. There is one restaurant that when I call to make reservations, I don’t even have to tell them who is calling; they recognize my voice. It is our “go-to” place when travelling to the Caribbean. We often get a little vacation from our vacation when in B’dos by flying over to another island for a couple of days, but we are always glad to get back to our ‘home away from home”. This past year we went to Palm Island (one of the Grenadines), the year before to Martinique. We have been to Bequia, Carriacou, Grenada, St. Lucia, Union Island. St. Vincent, St. Bart’s, the Virgin islands, Turks and Caicos, Bermuda, etc. B’dos is still our favourite.

  4. I am just off jetBlue’s new service out of JFK (fabulous!), part of a celebration trip for Barbados’ 50th anniversary of independence for travel professionals. The villas and condos that our company rents on Barbados are ideal to enjoy the best of the island! Have to add Tiami Catamaran Cruises to your list as we had an absolute blast on our evening cruise, and will be recommending this ‘adventure’ to our clients.

  5. I have always wanted to visit Barbados. Carlisle Bay looks like an amazing beach. Plus a rum tour would be interesting too. Thanks for the great info!

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