Destinations

Barbados Travel Guide (2024): Everything You Need To Know About Visiting This Caribbean Island!

Last updated on April 6th, 2024

Barbados is one of the most popular Caribbean Islands and there is a reason for that! This Barbados Travel Guide will have you familiar with the island before you visit and will also have you visiting the coolest spots there!

It was our first time visiting Barbados and this island truly stole my heart. I went in with no big expectations- just thinking “Well its obviously going to be nice, relaxing and hot” like most Caribbean islands but Barbados definitely has a special vibe to it.

Aside from the obvious weather and beaches, Barbados has so much to offer. There are so many things to do in Barbados that I was honestly surprised by it all.

I hope this Barbados travel guide inspires you to visit yourself!

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How to get to Barbados from North America?

Barbados with Kids

Barbados is a quick 6 hour plane ride from Toronto! Air Canada and West Jet fly there directly multiple times a week and even fly there directly year round! This isn’t always the case with Caribbean islands so there is no stopping you from visiting at any point in the year.

There are also tons of direct flights from the UK and from the USA! If you want to fast track the customs line they have a Fast Track pass you can buy which was amazing!! It took us less than 10 minutes to get through!

Should I Rent a Car in Barbados?

If you want to really get a feel of the island, I would 100% recommend renting a car. While your hotel or resort may have a lot of offerings and not give you much reason to leave, I still personally think it’s worth it to rent one.

Here’s the thing though- you don’t really need one for a full week if your hotel or resort is really great. What I would recommend is renting one for 2-3 days so you have the option to visit some other restaurants, see some activities etc. We rented one and it got dropped right at our hotel directly which was so convenient!

When to Visit Barbados?

HIGH SEASON: The peak/high season in Barbados runs from December to April with the most popular times to visit being Christmas, New Year’s, March Break and Easter. During these months you can expect minimal rain, temperatures in the 80’s and overall great weather.

BARBADOS IN MARCH: We visited the Island in March and the weather in Barbados in March was literally perfect. There was one day where there was a sun shower ( hello magical) and it only lasted 20 minutes.

LOW SEASON: Low season in Barbados is considered July to November where hurricane and rain is more of a threat. However given the position of the island, it normally does not get hit directly from many hurricanes which is such a bonus!

The driest month is February with 9 mm of rainfall and 27 perfect sunny days while the rainiest month is September with 60 mm of rain.

How Many Days Do You Need In Barbados?

We stayed 4 nights in Barbados and left feeling like we wished we had another 1-2 nights. A week is probably the perfect amount of time for most people but you can certainly still see a lot with only 4 nights. I wouldn’t recommend anything less than 4 nights and for me, anything more than 7 nights would have felt too long.

Best Places to Stay in Barbados

Barbados is the kind of place that offers a lot of different accommodation options.

Whatever your budget is, you can find something in Barbados that suits it. There are larger resorts and hotels, Air Bnbs in Barbados and what I really loved about the island- a ton of boutique options!

Sea Breeze Beach House

The Sea Breeze Beach House, located on the South west side of the island, is a boutique all inclusive resort and is filled with charm at every corner. This is where we stayed as a family of four and we honestly could not have been more happy!

The Sea Breeze has over 6 + different restaurants on site ( many of which are A La Carte) and has 3 different pools ( 1 being an adult only one for those looking for pure relaxation).

HERE ARE SOME THINGS WE SPECIFICALLY LOVED ABOUT STAYING HERE:

  • The Beach: The hotel was situated on a perfect stretch of sand ( soo white!) and we were the only hotel located on the beach it so it felt super private
  • The Kids Club: Our 5 year old enjoyed visiting here once a day where she got to do all sorts of activities like bracelet making, scavenger hunts and painting. They have a daily schedule and they are open from 9AM-5PM
  • The Rooms: We opted for a 2 bedroom suite which was AMAZING for our family. Our daughters shared a room with two single beds and we had our own privacy in a completely separate bedroom. There was also a living room area and large bathroom with a soaking tub!! Loved!
  • The Rum Bar: Pictured above on the right was the resort’s Rum bar and what a hang out spot it was! We had every happy hour here where we ended up meeting other hotel guests and they had an awesome corn hole set up on the lawn which the kids loved. It was such a great gathering spot and not to mention- so cute!

O2 Beach Club

Do you love the colour pink? If so you need to stay at the O2 Beach Club where pops of pink can be found everywhere (specially on their loungers and umbrellas) and boy oh boy is it cute!

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02 Beach Club is actually the sophisticated older sister of the Sea Breeze Beach House where we stayed and while we were initially looking to stay here we decided on the Seabreeze for our young kids. If I was travelling with just the hubs, I would definitely stay here. They have a wonderful on site spa, gorgeous pool and even a rooftop space where you can swim! We checked it out for lunch one day and it was fabulous.

The Good Little Harbour

The Good Little Harbour is a boutique luxury resort located on the west coast of Barbados. It offers beautifully designed and thought-out rooms, the on site restaurant The Fish Pot ( which I write about below) and a pretty nice spa!

If you are looking for a quiet escape, this would be a great spot.

Cobbler’s Cove

Things to do in Barbados

Cobbler’s Cove is one of the OG luxury hotels in Barbados that is still going strong. It is very, very, very cute, is family owned and located in a prime area on the island. This place is smaller which if you didn’t guess yet- I love. Unlike some of the options above, this place is not all inclusive and is not for budget travelers but if you are looking to splurge and have top notch service, Cobber’s Cove is a great option!

Barbados Travel Guide: The Best Restaurants in Barbados

Barbados Travel Guide

An important part of any trip for us is to have an EAT-interary where we basically eat up all of the best restaurants and bars. Barbados had no shortage of places to try and made it very easy for us to fill up our schedules with places to visit.

While our hotel was all inclusive, we still wanted to experience the restaurant and dining scene and actually loved having both options!

Here are some favourite Barbados restaurants that you should eat or drink at:

The Fish Pot

Located on the North West part of the island, The Fish Pot gives off the ultimate “Coastal Grandma” vibes. It is so aesthetically pleasing with white washed wood and pastel teal finishes and charming pieces at every corner.

They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner making it an easy spot to visit! We ate there in the morning and can’t imagine how delightful it would be at sunset! What a location.

La Cabane

La Cabane is a restaurant that I call “the Tulum of Barbados”. It truly made me feel like I was transported there with it’s boho vibe, outdoor only seating options, and rustic wood elements. You enter the space through a teepee wooden entrance tunnel and are welcomed by the best ambience imaginable.

The drinks were strong, the tuna tartare was mouth watering and our meat was cooked right infront of us in the outside grill. *Chef’s Kiss*. I would recommend heading here for lunch or an early sunset dinner.

QP Bistro

QP Bistro was recommended to us over 10 times by my followers on Instagram who claimed it was the “prettiest and best spot on the island”. They weren’t lying. QP Bistro should be on everyone’s list for a nice dinner out!

The menu features a mix of international dishes with a Caribbean twist, using fresh, local ingredients. The restaurant often has live music or entertainment, adding to its lively ambiance. Check their live events page on their website for all the latest happenings!

Drift Barbados

Drift Barbados is one of the newer restaurants in town and has gotten popular quickly for good reason! Its located in Holetown and is the perfect blend of sophisticated, trendy and casual. They have little string lights hanging from palm tree to palm tree and bar stools that look out onto the ocean for the ultimate sunset vibes!

Best Bars in Barbados

Image Via 1.11 East Facebook Page

Drinks at sunset is a thing in Barbados. It’s a time when locals often meet up to catch up over the day or week and this way of life has rolled over into tourist territory. Sunset drinks are popular on the island and a lot of places cater to it! There are SO many cute bars to hit up for this but here are some of our favourites:

  • Sea shed Barbados: File this spot under “The Ultimate spot for Sunset drinks”. While Sea shed has a full menu to enjoy, the big draw here is it’s cocktails and DJ sets!
  • Ju Ju’s Beach Bar: This place came recommended from a friend who visits Barbados twice a year so we trusted his opinion! This casual little watering hole has the best vibes and is located on a prime piece of real estate ( literally sandwiched between all the 5 star hotels!) Drinks are strong and cheap! I’m looking at you Rum Punch!
  • 1.11 East- Prime location, cute aesthetic and hand crafted cocktails? What more can you ask for! Add this spot to your list for a little drink.

Things to do in Barbados

For an island with so many beaches, there is seriously a ton to do in Barbados outside of sitting by the ocean and sipping on Pina Colada’s! Here is a list of some of the best things to do in Barbados:

Visit the Animal Flower Cave

The Animal Flower Cave is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Barbados! It is located at the most northern tip of the island and is known for it’s stunning rock formations. The coast on this side is completely different than the Barbados beaches that you have in your head! I felt like I was transported to Ireland here as the coast line was rugged and green.

The Animal Flower Cave itself is an accessible water cave where you hike down steps into a cave that looks out into the ocean. In the cave itself there are natural water pools and sea anemones ( known locally as “animal flowers”).

Things to know about visiting the Animal Flower Cave

  • You need to get tickets for a tour to access the stairs to the cave. You cannot go down by yourself
  • We did the tour with our kiddos aged 2 and 5. It was definitely a bit steep for the 5 year old and we carried the 2 year old. It was doable but just be mindful that anyone younger than 3 would need to be carried!
  • The tour itself takes about 30 minutes and is really informative! We loved learning about all the facts and history behind it
  • You can swim in the caves so bring your bathing suits.
  • Call before visiting as sometimes depending on the currents and tides the caves are filled with water and you can’t go down so they close for the day. This normally only happens during low season when rainfall is higher
  • They have a beautiful restaurant on site which offers amazing views of the rock formations and water. The tacos are incredible!
  • If you don’t want to do a tour, you can just visit the restaurant or see the coast line at no additional charge!
  • Adults $40 Bds and Children 12 and under are $20 Bds
  • They are closed Mondays
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Unique Things To Do in Barbados- Explore Some of the Botanical Gardens

Feeling like you need a break from the beach and sun, head inland to one of the many tropical gardens! This was surprisingly one of my favourite things that we did and I would consider this a very unique thing to do in Barbados!

We chose to visit Flower Farm Garden which was rated 4.8 stars on Google! Every review said it was like visiting “heaven” and they weren’t lying. It felt like stepping into a serene paradise in a dream world.

This lush botanical garden has so many different flower and plant varieties, it smells AMAZING and is so incredibly well landscaped. This garden offers beautiful views of the east coast as well making it worth while for that alone!

The entire garden took us about 45 minutes or so! If you are craving more there are a bunch of other flower farms in the area such as Hunte’s Garden and Tropical Garden Farm

Do a Catamaran Tour

Barbados Activities

I feel like a Catamaran tour should be on everyone’s Caribbean island to do list! It just gives such a good opportunity to see different beaches on the island and also see the island from a different view point.

A lot of time the tours have food and bevy’s included in the price and it’s great value for your money…especially because the rum punch is also made stiff!

The tours in Barbados are especially great as they often add a snorkel element and the island is known to have some great sea turtle locations that many of the tours stop at!

Ostini’s Fish Fry

If you go to Barbados you literally cannot miss Ostini’s. Its a right of passage on the island and gives you such an insight to the beautiful Bahan culture. There are fish and seafood stalls filled with offerings, rum punch being offered every few feet and on the weekends they have full on parties with live music and entertainers!

Even if you don’t like fish or rum punch, the people watching alone is worth the visit!

Visit Harrison’s Cave

This is another extremely popular activity in Barbados and for good reason. Harrison’s Cave is genuinely very cool!

Doing a tour here gives you a bit of history, a bit of geology and a bit of adventure. You get to hop on a mini train that rails through the cave. I felt like I was on a ride at Disneyland at times. It’s a perfect activity in Barbados for kids and adults alike which I loved!

Another Unique Thing to do in Barbados- Visit Rihanna’s Childhood home!

Calling all Riri fans!! This activity in Barbados is for you….and the best part of this one is that it’s free!

Rihanna’s home that she grew up in can be visited ( just from the outside) and is located on: Westbury New Road.

At the end of the street there is a little plaque board that gives a bit of history of Rihanna and the significance of the street.

Want to take things a bit further? Rihanna’s house is actually rentable for the night on Air bnb!


Barbados with Kids

We visited Barbados with Kids ( ours were 2.5 and 5 at the time) and I think I can confidently say it’s an amazing island to visit as a family. It’s safe, the locals are SO friendly and most of the beaches are great for swimming.

While there are a lot of adult only options in Barbados ( we can’t blame the honeymooners!), there are a ton of hotels that cater to children in Barbados. I would recommend visiting Barbados with kids of any ages ( baby, toddler or young teens) as there are so many activities in and around the island depending on your families interests!

If you forget something ( we didn’t pack enough diapers), there are a TON of big grocery stores with plenty of baby items similar to North America.

Looking to book your flight? I always book mine with Cheap O Air

What To Know Before Visiting Barbados

  • Plugs are the same as the US and Canada!
  • Most of the restaurants accept credit cards but it is best to bring some USD or Barbados Dollar in case. A lot of the menus are in Barbados dollar’s so don’t get scared haha
  • We found the prices there to be a bit more expensive compared to home so I would make sure to buy some alcohol at a store to enjoy in your hotel to save a bit and if you have kids definitely have some snacks on hand!
  • Drivers sit on the right hand side of the car! I can’t tell you how many times I went to the wrong side haha
  • The locals are called “Bajan’s” so don’t be surprised to hear terms like “Bajan food” or “That’s the Bajan way”

I hope you enjoyed this Barbados travel guide and make your way to this stunning island! I can’t wait to return and spend more time there!!

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