Bridgetown Barbados as a Travel Destinationadmin
Discover Barbados | Places to Visit in Barbados
Your Bridge to Barbados
Looking for offbeat places to do adventurous things is the order of the day. One of many such destinations is Bridgetown, the capital and largest city in Barbados. A major West Indies tourist destination, Bridgetown is listed as a World Heritage Site of UNESCO for its breathtaking British colonial architecture.
A testimony to the widespread British colonial empire, the town is picturesquely dotted with historic buildings with a blend of modern amenities.
A modern day epitome of the British rule, Bridgetown was once the center of trade, science, culture, communication and administration. The town played a pivotal role in the development of the English colonies in the Atlantic World.
Originally named ‘The Indian Bridge’, the Barbadian capital derived its name from the bridge constructed by the early Indian settlers. Later during the English settlement around the 17th century the current name of Bridgetown was born.
The city was a key hub for commerce and trade with its harbor packed with trading vessels. The city was also often the first port of call for African ships making the trans-Atlantic journey. Owing to the abundance and prosperity most of the colonial powers viz. England, France, Holland and Spain were at war over the Caribbean islands.
The fortification along with western coast of the country reflects the importance of protecting the colonies from invaders.
Barbados as a destination is well-known among the travel enthusiasts. Offering a range of interesting to do’s, the country intrigues all kind of travelers. From its quaint architectural beauty to the scenic beaches there is something in store for everyone.
Bridgetown in particular is a shopper’s haven, offering duty-free shopping at city shopping hubs as well as cruise ship terminals. For someone looking to ‘live it up’ on their trip, the town offers everything from yachting to a lively nightlife. Bridgetown is also known for its historically significant sites such as the Barbados Museum, National Heroes Square and more.
It is also the seat for the oldest synagogue in the western hemisphere. Furthermore Bridgetown is quite well-known amongst Americans as it was the only city that George Washington visited outside present day US. The house he stayed in as well as the church he attended are popular tourist attractions.
Well connected to the United States, Canada and United Kingdom many international carries run non-stop flights to Bridgetown. Tourists can access daily flights via the Sir Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) located on ABC Highway.
New York, Miami, Texas, Toronto, Montreal, London, Manchester, Frankfurt are some of the cities that have non-stop flights to Barbados. The Barbados Tourism Authority has also tied up with a number of travel partners to make your travel simple – Travelocity, Expedia, American Airlines being some of them.
Barbados enjoys sunny and warm weather most of the year. December to April is the busiest time of the year so unless you are ready to shell out extra money, this time of the year can be avoided. Mid April to June the weather is pleasant and the prices decent. Bridgetown is best enjoyed between July and November with prices dropping over 50%.
Depending on whether you are there to splurge or save, Bridgetown offers a number of options from the refined luxury of a resort to the comfortable and intimate guest-house.
Radisson Aquatica Resort Barbados and Courtyard by Marriott Bridgetown are two of the many resorts options available at Bridgetown. With tourists looking for maximum freedom the city also offers a number of holiday rentals. Check for reviews and ranking on travel websites before zeroing on one.
Getting around in Bridgetown is not a challenge. If you are ready to clock the miles the town can also be discovered on foot. Public transport options are aplenty with buses to taxicabs available easily. If you would like to explore all that the island offers then rent a car or ‘moke’ as called by the locals. Tourists cars have number plates starting with ‘H’ thus making it easily identifiable. Locals are helpful and accommodating of your requests for direction.
See & Do
Bridgetown has no dearth of sightseeing options with everything from historic sites to beaches to water activities. Typical of all Caribbean islands Bridgetown too boasts of pristine white beaches and plenty of sunny weather. Brighton Beach is a major attraction that is popular among tourists. The beach offers scuba diving opportunities alongside a beautiful coral reef. Other activities include water sports, jet skiing and more at The Carlisle Bay Marine Park.
Bridgetown contains a high concentration of memorials, statues and important monuments honouring moments in history. Step back in time and rediscover Barbados at the Tyrol Cot Heritage Village or be awe struck by the colonial architectural beauty that is the St. Michael’s Cathedral. Visit The Emancipation Statue, Chamberlain Bridge, Independence Arch, National Heroes Square (formerly Trafalgar Square), Cenotaph War Memorial, the Fountain Gardens along with the law courts and parliament building. Make sure to keep your camera handy and capture these moments in time.
The Barbados Museum need a special mention being the store house of colonial artifacts, information about the island’s emancipation and also displays relating to slavery and its eventual abolition. Also drop by at Wildey House, another museum-type attraction filled with antiquities.
Bridgetown is also the perfect base to stay, set out and explore the rest of the island.
Eat & Shop
Bajan cuisine is a unique blend of Caribbean, Africa, West Indian and European with fish being the mainstay. Seafood lovers ahoy, Bajan cuisine serves everything from dolphins to snapper to the national fish – flying fish on a platter. The local cuisine mainly uses cooking techniques like grilling, roasting and baking. Vegetarian options though sparse are available at established restaurants.
Barbados is considered the birthplace of Rum which you will find in abundance here. If you are curious about the origin then make sure you visit the Mount Gay or Malibu Rum distilleries else you can also pick some from the duty-free shops.
Bridgetown is a great shopping hub with variety of shops to choose from. Located in the heart of the city, Broad Street is home to number stores selling everything from emerald jewelry to handicraft items. The city offers shoppers a chance to buy hand-dyed fabrics, handcrafted jewelry, custom shoes and leather sandals and more. The Barbados dollar is tied to the US dollar which is widely accepted in Bridgetown as well as other parts of the island. Hotels, restaurants and large stories also accept cards and traveler checks.
Things to remember
Though Bajan is the local language English is widely spoken in Bridgetown
Most hotels provide convertors for European or Asian appliances. Tourist from North America will need to carry their own
Pack your bags for warm tropical weather – cotton clothes, shorts, sundresses and wraps. Pack swimwear for the beach and dress casually for other activities such as shopping or dining
Normal business hours from Monday to Friday are 8.30 am to 4.30 pm and till 1 pm on Saturday. Most shops are closed on Sunday
Driving in Bridgetown is on the left side of the road with vehicles being “right hand drive”
The city as a modern communication infrastructure with phone, internet and e-mail services readily available
— VR Experts (@VRPExperts) August 14, 2017
A getaway to Bridgetown is an experience that you’ll cherish forever so make the most of your holiday and enjoy everything the beautiful island paradise has to offer.
Post by Angella Grey, the marketing manager at The Vacation Rentals Experts – an online and offline digital marketing strategy that creates marketing solutions for vacation rentals, holiday homes and brands.
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