Barbados is amongst the most iconic islands in the entire Atlantic and is home to a variety of towns that show off a rich culture and unforgettable experiences. From the capital city to smaller and more obscure villages, Barbados is filled with diverse atmospheres, unique environments, and special offerings that, despite their differences, all speak to the wonders of this island country.

    Whether you're looking inland or by the coast, you'll always find something exciting. Take a look at some of the best towns and resorts in Barbados and discover the adventure that awaits on this vibrant island.

    1

    Bridgetown

    Check out the capital

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    • Families
    • History

    Bridgetown, the capital of Barbados and its largest city, is where you'll find a rich history that showcases a blend of African, American, and British heritages. The entire town, including its historic Garrison, is an officially designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    When you visit, you'll find several different museums that offer even more insight into the local history and culture than the monuments alone do. Additionally, you may notice that the buildings in town tend to be particularly colourful, with pastel shades covering the walls in alternating patterns down many streets. You can find the capital on the southwest side of the island.

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    2

    Holetown

    Visit the site of the first British landing on the island

    Holetown is one of the oldest settlements on the island and home to a rich history, fun seasonal festivals, gorgeous natural features, and a thriving nightlife scene. One of the most popular spots in town is Holetown Beach, where the waters are calm enough for family-friendly swimming. Kayaking is also common there.

    If you're looking to take in the local nightlife, you won't have to look far. The weekends are especially vibrant, but you can find dancing and cocktails virtually every night of the week. Karaoke is popular here, but you'll also find more laid-back and relaxing places. Plus, you'll find resorts like Sandpiper with tropical-style rooms. Holetown is located on the west side of the island.

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    3

    Oistins

    Relax in a fishing village

    Oistins is a quaint fishing village with a bustling market that offers some of the best fresh catches and seafood you'll find on the entire island. You're always free to do some fishing yourself here, but you may find yourself spending more time at the local market, where you'll find a variety of skilfully caught and cleaned fish from vendors.

    Seafood is the speciality here, as you might expect, so make sure you stop by local eateries. The Fish Fry, held every Friday and Saturday night, is the best time to taste the local cuisine with fresh fish on offer. You can find this village just southeast of Bridgetown on the southern coast.

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    4

    Bathsheba

    See one of the island's most famous beaches

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    • Adventure

    Bathsheba is a beach town on the east coast where you'll find impressive geological formations, a notably photogenic environment, and opportunities for surfing amongst stunning waves. The dramatic rock formations are quite impressive, and some even have small buildings built directly into them.

    If you're interested in surfing, be sure to check out what's called the Soup Bowl. This is a designated surfing area with incredible waves that draw in surfers from all over the world. Just keep in mind that the waters here are far too intense for swimming.

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    5

    Carlisle Bay

    Explore the wonders underwater

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    • Adventure

    Carlisle Bay is a welcoming coastal town where you can dive under the water to explore natural marine life and remnants of excursions from centuries past. Scuba diving is amongst the most popular activities in the area, and the historic cannonballs and shipwrecks underwater make it easy to see why.

    When you visit the coast here, you'll find plenty of boat charters and services that can get you out in the water safely. You can even book a training class if you don't have any experience with diving. The bay is located along the southwest corner of the island, just south of Bridgetown.

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    photo by P. Hughes (CC0 1.0) modified

    6

    Speightstown

    Immerse yourself in historic charm

    Speightstown is an old colonial town that has retained much of its charm with historic sites while still offering modern attractions and conveniences alongside natural splendour. Amongst the well-maintained colonial buildings, you'll also find modern buildings constructed in the mix that showcase the town's growing influence and advancement.

    The vibrancy and charm of this town are never compromised by its more modern aspects since even the newer structures are often utilised for traditional vendors offering freshly caught fish or fresh fruit. The beaches here are also quite impressive, and you can find resorts like Cobbler Cove with decorated balconies. You'll find the town on the northwest side of the island.

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    photo by Postdlf (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    7

    Fitts Village

    Relax amongst vibrant nature

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    Fitts Village is a quaint community known for its relaxing, natural Caribbean features, including clear-blue waters and soft, white sands, that offer a quiet escape from the city. While the village is primarily a fishing town, you'll find plenty of room along the coast to relax on the shore with only the sounds of the waves to keep you company if you like.

    Because of the clear waters, snorkelling is one of the most prominent activities in the area, so this is a prime destination for those interested in underwater exploration. Sea turtles also frequent this village, so you can enjoy an impressive sight. It's all located on the island's west coast, north of Bridgetown.

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    8

    Saint Lawrence Gap

    Find fun after dark

    Saint Lawrence Gap is a stretch of road in the Christ Church area where you'll find a bustling nightlife along with stunning restaurants offering local fare. After dark, you can make your way to several different nightclubs playing all different types of musical genres, including electronic, hip-hop, and reggae.

    Restaurants have much to offer here, especially the stunning seafood for which the island is so well known. Of course, you'll find plenty of smaller vendors as well who are usually happy to offer some samples when you stop by. All-inclusive resorts like Sandals Royal Barbados make the town even easier to enjoy. You'll find this area on the southern coast, east of Bridgetown.

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    photo by Mtaylor848 (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    9

    Mullins

    Have endless fun on the beach

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    • Families
    • Adventure

    Mullins is the premier destination for travellers who want fun by the beach to relax, swim, or take off into the water in a boat or jet ski. Chairs and umbrellas are available throughout the beach, and there's plenty of space, so you won't feel crowded.

    Swimming is allowed in the roped-off sections that are shallow and calm enough for the whole family to swim safely. Of course, you're free to venture out into deeper waters on a boat or a water scooter, with the latter being especially popular. You'll find it all on the west coast in the Saint Peter area.

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    10

    Hastings

    Spend time by a boardwalk

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    • Couples
    • Families
    • Adventure

    Hastings is a small village by the beach that's best known for its long boardwalk packed with attractions and unforgettable surfing opportunities. The local boardwalk is so long that it actually stretches all the way to the neighbouring community of Rockley. Along the boardwalk, you'll find playgrounds, food, and facilities.

    Surfers tend to love this beach, thanks to the impressive waves here, but that does mean it's not exactly safe for casual swimmers and children. If you want to swim, you'll need to opt for one of the nearby tidal pools. You'll find this town in the southwest corner of the island.

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    Attractions and experiences recommended in our guides may be affected. Please check local guidance before you travel.

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