37 Best Things To Do In Barbados [UPDATED 2023]



The author sits on a stone bench in a small cave overlooking the ocean in Barbados. She is smiling and wearing yellow sunglasses and a green tank top

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Barbados may be a small island, but it’s packed with fun things to do and see. Whether you love amazing beaches, historical sites, culinary exploration, guided tours, snorkeling, or a little of everything, Barbados has something for everyone.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some amazing Barbados activities, tours, excursions, and sights. In no particular order, here are 37 of the best things to do in Barbados!

36 Best Things To Do In Barbados

#1 Carlisle Bay

Carlisle Bay Barbados

The beautiful Carlisle Bay is a must-see spot when visiting Barbados. Located just outside of Bridgetown, Carlisle Bay is a calm, clear stretch of beach with white sand and turquoise waters. Here, you can enjoy water sports, snorkeling shipwrecks, kayaking, or simply relaxing on a beach lounger. 

There are plenty of beach clubs, restaurants, and gear rental stands lining the clear waters, so you’ll definitely want to dedicate a day to exploring Carlisle Bay.

#2 Snorkeling Tour

woman snorkeling over a shipwreck in Carlisle Bay

Snorkeling in Barbados is a real treat. From the shipwrecks in Carlisle Bay to the calm reefs of the west coast, Barbados snorkeling can’t be missed. You can rent snorkel gear on the beach in Carlisle Bay or explore deeper sites by taking a catamaran cruise or guided snorkel tour. 

You can also go snorkeling with Harbour Lights or Boatyard Beach Club. Folkestone Marine Park, Dover Beach, and Paynes Beach are other popular snorkeling spots.

#3 Surfing Lessons

A surf instructor gives a lesson to two students under a palm tree by Freights Bay, Barbados. Best Barbados Surf Schools

Believe it or not, Barbados is one of the best surf destinations in the Caribbean. If you’re a total beginner, the gentle waves of Freights Bay are perfect for learning the ropes. There are plenty of amazing Barbados surf schools where you can learn techniques from experienced instructors.

(I recommend taking surfing lessons with Bodie’s School of Surf in Oistins.) 

If you’re an experienced surfer, head to the east coast Barbados surf spots for more of a challenge. Waves are bigger in the winter months, so plan accordingly if surfing is a priority. 

#4 Animal Flower Cave

Cliff views at Animal Flower Cave Barbados

Located on the rugged north coast of Barbados, you’ll find Animal Flower Cave. Take a walk along the breathtaking cliffs, enjoy a tour of the sea cave, and even go for a swim in the natural lagoon. 

When you’re done exploring, make sure to grab a bite to eat at the famous Animal Flower Cave restaurant, one of the best restaurants in Barbados, complete with sea views. 

#5 St. Nicholas Abbey

The Great House at St. Nicholas Abbey

St. Nicholas Abbey is a historical home and sugar plantation in central Barbados with a rum distillery and train line. Tour the great house, sample delicious rums, and ride the heritage railway to Cherry Tree Hill, one of the best lookout points on the island.

Guided tours of St. Nicholas Abbey and distillery are also available.

#6 Sam Lord’s Castle

Sam Lord's Castle is one of the best things to do in Barbados

Located on the south coast in St. Philip, Sam Lord’s Castle is a fascinating historical site with a mysterious past. It was once the home of buccaneer Sam Lord and it later became a luxurious hotel. Now, guests can visit the ruins of the property and what remains of the gardens and lookout points.

#7 Shark Hole Beach

Families swimming at shark hole beach at sunset

If you want to take a quick, refreshing dip, head to the Shark Hole swimming spot. The unique shape of the reef formed this small swimming hole which is protected from the rough seas surrounding it. Don’t worry, contrary to the name, there aren’t any sharks here.

#8 Relaxing Beach Day

beach shops where you can rent sup boards and kayaks under palm trees

There’s a lot to love about a relaxing beach day, and there are dozens of excellent Barbados beaches to choose from.

Dover Beach, Miami Beach / Enterprise Beach, and Worthing Beach were three of my favorite spots since they had ultra-clear water for swimming, beach chair rentals, and nearby amenities like restaurants and beach bars. Beach chair and umbrella rentals usually range from $10-$20 BBD per day. 

I also loved going for a swim at Pebbles Beach near Bridgetown. Go early in the morning to see the racehorses exercising in the water!

#9 Barbados Magic Lounge

Hans leaning over a blue table with coins on it, preparing for a close-up magic trick

For evening entertainment and mind-boggling magic tricks, head to the Barbados Magic Lounge located in Castaways restaurant in the St. Lawrence Gap. The theater is cozy and limited to 24 guests at a time, which means you’ll have a close-up view as resident magician Hans Grane performs. Make sure to book dinner at Castaways after the show for a delicious meal with a dreamy sea view.

You can book tickets on the Barbados Magic Lounge website.

#10 Boatyard Beach Club

clear blue water and boatyard beach club

Boatyard Beach Club is one of the best ways to relax in Barbados, and it’s a great deal! Arrive in the morning and pay the day rate for admission. 

Then you’ll get access to beach chairs, umbrellas, and a free snorkeling excursion, as well as amenities like bathrooms, showers, WiFi, and an onsite restaurant. Kids will love the beach toys and inflatables, and the water here is perfect for swimming. 

#11 Harbour Lights Beach Club

Like Boatyard, Harbour Lights Beach Club is a great way to spend the day in the sun. You can book packages that include beach chairs, umbrellas, snorkeling tours, and even optional jet ski rentals, making this a great spot for relaxation in Carlisle Bay. 

#12 Oistins Friday Night Fish Fry

Dinner at the Oistins Fish Fry

On Friday nights, head to Oistins, Barbados for the famous fish fry. Located next to the fresh fish market, the fish fry consists of dozens of food stalls where vendors cook daily caught fish and other local classics.

I’ve never had a bad meal at the Oistins Fish Fry, and there’s also live music and entertainment. The casual but fun atmosphere is the perfect way to wind down the week with some top-notch Bajan cuisine. Definitely one of the best places to eat in Oistins, if not the whole island!

#13 Catamaran Cruise

clear blue water with two boats on the horizon

Take to the seas with a Barbados catamaran cruise. Daytime and sunset cruises are available and most leave from Bridgetown. I recommend going with Captain Nick from Calypso Cruises. His cruise includes snorkeling at shipwrecks in Carlisle Bay, swimming with sea turtles, and unlimited food and drinks. 

A catamaran cruise is the perfect combination of relaxation and adventure, and it’s a great way to see the island from a new vantage point.

#14 SCUBA Dive

With warm, clear water and fascinating shipwrecks teeming with life, Barbados is an incredible SCUBA destination. Take SCUBA lessons with one of the highly-rated Barbados SCUBA companies and head out to explore the reefs and wrecks around the Bajan coast.

#15 Harrisons Cave

Harrison’s Cave is one of the most impressive natural wonders in Barbados and a great place to enjoy the island’s geology. Take a tram tour through the limestone caves and see clear pools, stalactites, stalagmites, and towering caverns. Wear good walking shoes and a light jacket since it can get chilly in the caves. 

#16 Bridgetown Historical Walking Tour

pathway along the waterfront with colorful houses on one side

Discover the unique history of Bridgetown on this informative walking tour. Learn about the oldest street and church in the city, as well as the history behind the Parliament buildings and the Blackwood Screw Dock. Great for history fans and anyone who wants to learn more about the interesting capital city.

#17 Barbados Wildlife Reserve

The Barbados Wildlife Reserve is located in the northern part of the island and is a protected area where animals can roam freely. Iguanas, peacocks, deer, and tropical birds all call the wildlife reserve home, and you might also see the famous Barbados Green Monkeys. Come in the afternoon for the best chance of seeing them since this is feeding time.

#18 Folkestone Marine Park

Folkestone Marine Park is located on the platinum west coast near Holetown. Here, you’ll find a quiet beach with designated swimming and snorkeling area, as well as areas to rent kayaks, water toys, and beach loungers. 

Palm trees provide shade and there’s a playground, paved walkway, visitor center, and other amenities like restrooms and showers. 

#19 Andromeda Botanical Gardens

The Andromeda Botanical Gardens are located on the eastern coast of Barbados and are part of the Barbados National Trust. These stunning gardens date back to the 1950s and guests can enjoy over 400 plant species, as well as educational classes and an onsite cafe. 

#20 Welchman Hall Gully

Welchman Hall Gully is a tropical garden and forest area in a collapsed cave. It’s believed that grapefruit originated here and guests can see different flora and fauna, including monkeys! 

The monkeys are wild but they frequently call this gully home. There are guided tours every weekday morning at 10:30 am during high season, but you can also explore independently. There’s an onsite cafe and if you’re visiting Barbados with kids, don’t miss the children’s adventure park.

#21 Hunte’s Gardens

Hunte’s Gardens is the perfect place to reconnect with nature. Nestled into a gully, this exotic garden escape is centrally located and a friendly place to relax. They’re open every day and refreshments are available. 

#22 PEG Farm and Nature Reserve

The PEG Farm and Nature Reserve is a biological farm, cafe, and education center. Take a tour to learn about sustainable farming, interact with free-range animals, and enjoy a farm-to-table meal a the Farm House Cafe. 

For those who want to get even closer to nature, camping is available on the property. There are also weekly events like guided walks and sunset hikes. 

#23 Watch surfers on the east coast

surfboard on the beach on the east coast of barbados

The east coast has many advanced spots for experienced surfers, including the world-famous Soup Bowl. Even if you aren’t catching waves yourself, it’s fun to spend the day watching the surfers ride unbelievable waves. 

Bring a blanket and kick back on Bathsheba Beach or the nearby Bathsheba Park. Bathsheba Park has grass, shade, and picnic tables. You can also enjoy a meal with a view at Round House, Dina’s Bar, or Zaccios. 

#24 Island Safari Barbados

panoramic view of the east coast of barbados

Spend the day on an exhilarating 4×4 jeep tour with Island Safari Barbados. Go off the beaten path on the east and north side of the island and experience some of the best natural viewpoints around. This tour includes hotel pick-up and a local buffet lunch at Sandy’s Chattel Bar. 

#25 East Coast E-Bike Tour

the beach at bathsheba on the east coast

Explore the east coast cliffs and natural beauty on this guided e-bike tour. Follow trails to see amazing panoramic views, Codrington College, Hackleton’s Cliff, and other historic buildings around the rural Bajan countryside. This tour includes an e-bike as well as safety equipment and a knowledgeable guide.

#26 Mount Gay Rum Distillery

The Mount Gay Rum Distillery has been producing Bajan rum for over 300 years. To experience these fabulous rums for yourself, plan a tour at the Mount Gay Rum Visitors Center in Bridgetown. Learn about the history of Mount Gay through the museum and an informative tasting session.

#27 Foursquare Distillery

Continue your Bajan rum experience at the Foursquare Distillery. Located on the southern side of the island, Foursquare has a museum, factory, and even a play area for families. It’s free to visit and a variety of rums are available for purchase.

#28 Cricket Match at the Kensington Oval

When in Barbados, enjoy the national sport of cricket! The Kensington Oval is the impressive cricket stadium located in Bridgetown and the perfect place to watch one of the most popular sports on the island. Cricket has been played at The Kensington Oval site since 1882.

#29 The Garrison Savannah Horse Racing Track

Sunset over the Garrison race track

The Garrison Savannah is a horse racing track and part of the Historic Bridgetown and the Garrison UNESCO World Heritage site. If you visit on race day, the energy is high and you can purchase a ticket or watch from the grassy areas around the track. 

When there aren’t races being held, the track is open to the public for exercising. You can also tour the nearby Barbados Museum and Historical Society to learn about Bajan culture and military heritage. 

#30 George Washington House

Located within the UNESCO World Heritage site of Bridgetown and the Garrison, The George Washington House is a historical home where US president George Washington is believed to have stayed in 1751. If you like American and Bajan history, this unique landmark is worth a visit.

#31 Arlington House Museum

The Arlington House Museum is a Barbados National Trust property in Speightstown. Visitors can tour the renovated eighteenth-century property while learning about the history of Barbados.

#32 Take a Food Tour

Want to experience Bajan food like a local? Take a Bridgetown food tour. This guided walking tour will show you off-the-beaten-path culinary delicacies.

The tour takes about three hours and guests rave about the delicious food and informative guides. If you want to see less-visited spots around Bridgetown, this is the tour for you.

#33 Take a Rum Tour

On a similar note, you can learn all about Bajan rum with this guided rum tour around the island. Visit both the Foursquare and Mount Gay Distilleries, learn about the history of rum in Barbados, and of course, taste plenty of samples. 

#34 Harbour Lights Beach Club Dinner Extravaganza

Enjoy dinner and a show at the Harbour Lights Beach Club dinner extravaganza. There’s live music, entertainment, unlimited drinks, and a bottomless buffet of classic Bajan dishes. The party is out by the beach so you can listen to the waves and feel the sand under your toes.

#35 Atlantis Submarine Tour

Explore coral reefs, tropical fish, sunken ships, and local marine life on board the Atlantis Submarine Tour. You’ll descend into the ocean onboard a submarine and take in the sights through large windows. The tour lasts for forty minutes and leaves from Bridgetown.

#36 Nightlife in St. Lawrence Gap

The beach at St. Lawrence Gap

St. Lawrence Gap is known for being the nightlife hub of Barbados. Here, there are dozens of lively beach bars, nightclubs, and restaurants that serve food and drinks long into the night. For music, dancing, and more, head to St. Lawrence Gap on the south coast.

#37 Watch Sunset at La Cabane

Tables with umbrellas at La Cabane Beach Club

Wind down for the evening at one of the best sunset spots in Barbados, La Cabane. This restaurant is known for being a celebrity hot spot and the perfect place to sip cocktails with your toes in the sand.

Final Thoughts: Fun Things to Do in Barbados

As you can see, there are so many fun things to do in Barbados for all types of travelers. I hope this list gives you great ideas for your Barbados bucket list and the trip of your dreams.

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