Things to do in Barbados, by Travelzoo Deal Experts
Whether you're looking to sample some of the best street food on the island, rub shoulders with the locals at a family-owned rum-shack, or learn how to nose out the perfect beach for a romantic picnic, our deal experts have put their heads together to bring you their best travel tips.
The following deal experts from Travelzoo's London and Manchester offices contributed to this post: Hayley Ackerley (HA), Amanda Bellamy (AB), Louise Hodges (LH), Stephen Dunk (SD), Felicity Pont (FP) and Alastair Price (AP).
Places to eat and drink in Barbados
HA: "The rum shacks near Bridgetown are great fun - they're a local institution, the food is really authentic and drinks tend to be much cheaper than in the bars in the main tourist areas. Barbados as a whole feels really safe, so we were happy enough to wander off the beaten track and mingle with the islanders."
LH: "Head to Oistins for the best Barbadian street food. You'll find stalls selling incredible, freshly caught local fish, served up with traditional peas and beans, and it's popular with both tourists and locals. We dined at Sandy Lane and spent 10 times the amount on dinner, but it wasn't a patch on this!"
AP: "Be sure to check out a small chain called Just Grillin'. There are two or three across the island and the food is absolutely amazing!"
SD: "The most famous restaurant in Barbados is The Cliff. It's a real celeb favourite, and is situated on a beautiful, torch-lit clifftop overlooking the ocean waves. It's pricey, but the situation makes it worthwhile for a special treat."
Free things to do in Barbados
AP: "All beaches are public in Barbados, so you can top up your tan on any of them for free - including the ones at the 5-star hotels!"
SD: "You really need to visit Crane Beach – the famous pink sand beach."
AP: "Time your visit to coincide with one of the island's famous Carnivals - the Crop Over summer festival is the most popular and colourful festival in Barbados, but there are plenty of other things going on throughout the year."
SD: "You can't swim on the east coast (the one that borders the Atlantic) as the water is pretty rough, but it’s worth a visit as it’s very rugged and great to walk along."
If you do one thing in Barbados, make sure it's…
AP: "A catamaran trip. Our favourite is a boat called Cool Runnings. The day trip includes lunch, drinks and snorkelling equipment. It’s amazing!"
AB: "Harrison Caves. It's right in the centre of the island, so it can be a bit of a trek, but it has underground pools and rock formations like you've never seen!"
AP: "Go and watch a cricket match at the Kensington Oval. Amazing atmosphere and much cheaper than a match in England."
FP: "You can swim with turtles. We went on a catamaran trip down the west coast and did quite a few turtle stops. I saw loads - including the hawksbill and the leatherback, which I'm told are two of the world's rarest!"
Activities and tours
SD: "To commune with nature, go to the Flower Forest. It has over seven acres of protected wild gardens, and there are panoramic views over Chalky Mount all the way to the east coast."
HA: "The reggae reggae buses are amazing - taxis are really expensive, but on the bus you only need to pay £2 to go as far as you like!"
FP: "I second the reggae reggae buses. We got them a couple of times up and down the coast to Bridgetown. They cost next to nothing and this super loud reggae music blares out the whole journey. It’s funny as old ladies get on and don’t even seem bothered by the deafening music."
SD: "Hire a Mini Moke – they're topless, doorless hire cars, and are perfect for exploring the island."
FP: "There are so many boat trips you can do round the island, from super luxury to the Jolly Roger, the latter being a boozy pirate ship with a plank and swing rope."
And finally, here's something you might not know about Barbados…
FP: "Barbados has really pure water, so you can drink straight from the tap."