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8 Questions about Barbados

As one of the top tourist destinations in the world, persons travelling to the island of Barbados may have a few questions about the ins and outs of the country. Here, we present answers to some of the most common questions that should be answered before you visit our shores. 

Click The Questions Below For Answers

How do I get to Barbados?

Barbados is certainly one of the Caribbean’s most captivating islands and a cruise to the island is a picture perfect way to reach the stunning shores of Barbados. It is said that no other Caribbean port of call rivals the modern, island port, while the island is a veritable melting pot of culture, hospitality, beautiful landscapes and white sandy beaches. The state-of-the-art port is complete with excellent shopping at more than 20 duty free stores, while including amenities such as restaurants, bars and a communication center. Also, just a mile away is the capital city of Bridgetown.

However, the most popular way to travel to the island is via airplane. The island is served by numerous airlines of the regional and international variety including British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, American Airlines, Jet Blue, and LIAT to name a few. Below are some of the flying times from common departure locations to the Grantley Adams International Airport in Barbados:

Location Flying Time
Brazil ( Sao Paulo ) 5 hrs 40 mins
Dominica Less than 1 hr
Germany ( Frankfurt) 8 hrs 40 mins
Grenada Less than 1 hr
London 8 hrs 40 mins
Manchester 8 hrs 40 mins
Martininque Less than 1 hr
Miami 3 hrs 40 mins
Montreal 5 hrs
New York, New York 4hrs 20 mins
St. Lucia Less than 1 hr
St. Vincent Less than 1 hr
Texas ( Fort Worth ) 5 hrs 30 mins
Toronto 5 hrs
Trinidad & Tobago Less than 1 hr

 

When is the best time to visit?

All year round! The weather in Barbados is usually excellent throughout the year. However, the weather may become a bit wetter during the hurricane season which runs from June until November each year, sometimes bringing thunderstorms or tropical storms. Outside of this period, it remains sunny with temperatures usually nesting between 24 and 30 degrees Celsius daily. Therefore most persons prefer to travel during this dry season which lasts from January through to April/May.

Other aspects to consider when visiting the island are the activities and festivities. One of the biggest events that draw persons to the island is the annual Crop Over Festival, the island’s premier event. This festival usually runs from July through to early August with the big culmination, Kadooment Day, the most popular event. Other key events include the Food and Wine & Rum Festival (in November) and the Reggae Festival (in April).

Where do I stay?

There is no shortage of places to stay in Barbados on each of the islands’ four coasts (North, South, East and West). If you desire to stay where there is a hub of activity, we recommend the South and West Coasts, which have two of the most active activity centres, St Lawrence Gap (on the South Coast) and 1st and 2nd streets (on the West Coast). Popular places to stay close to these areas include the Yellow Bird Hotel and Silver Point Hotel (South Coast) and the Treasure Beach Hotel and Mango Bay Hotel (West Coast). If you are looking for somewhere close to the capital Bridgetown, you can try the Hilton Resort, for panoramic views and scenery you can try the Atlantis Hotel in St. Joseph, while for something serene and cosy in the countryside you can try the lovely Guinea Plantation in St. John.

How do I get around the island?

Driving in Barbados can be a pleasant experience and a great way to explore the island. Simply remember to drive on the left and obtain a valid Barbados license for $5 US (valid for two months) or $50 (valid for 1 year), by carrying your valid national or international license to a police station or authorized car-rental company (ask when booking if they can manage this for you before you arrive).

Other modes of transport include taxis and buses. Most Bajans will know and be able to refer you to a reliable taxi man but your hotel or accommodation may have a recommended driver. Taxis in Barbados are all marked with a “Taxi” sign on top and carry “Z” license plates. Flag one down or consult the phone book and be sure to ask the Taxi service what the rate will be before leaving. These rates are also at the airport if you need to catch a taxi from there.

Getting around on the bus is an easy way to save money while on holiday.  Public transport is only $1.00 (USD) and it is a convenient way of traveling to the beach, the mall, other places of interest. Barbados has three major types of public transportation available: blue buses with yellow stripes (government owned), yellow buses with blue stripes and white vans with burgundy stripes (both privately owned)

Which currency is best?

When you arrive in Barbados, you can either exchange your money for Bajan money at banks, or make withdrawals at any of the hundreds of ATMs island wide. ATM machines can be found outside banks or at most 24hr gas stations. Barbados issues bank notes in $2, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 bills, while coins are issued in 5 cent, 10 cent, 25 cent and $1 pieces.

Most places in Barbados usually accept US dollars (at a rate of $1.98 BDS to $1 USD), however, no other currency is usually accepted except at banks. Additionally, you can also use visa credit or debit cards to make your purchases.

 

What do I wear in Barbados?

With the warm weather in Barbados, it is wise pack your sundress, shorts, tropical shirts and slippers for the day but at night most restaurants and clubs require you to be elegantly casual. You can’t go wrong if you remember the following:

1. It is illegal to wear camouflage gear of any kind.
2.Bare feet or bare backs are not allowed in most stores.
3. Sneakers are frowned upon at some clubs & restaurants.
4. Try elegantly casual for fine dining – call beforehand if you need to be sure.
5. Shorts of a reasonable length are mostly acceptable in this cool climate but if in doubt call ahead to your destination and ask.

With the sunny weather, it is advisable to protect your skin as well by packing sunblock and sunglasses to protect your eyes. Also, avoid heavy clothing, stick to natural fabrics such as cotton and also choose light coloured clothing as these attract less of the sun’s rays than dark coloured clothing. And of course, pack a swimsuit or three for the many days you will spend at the beach!

What is the weather like?

As stated previously, the weather across the island is usually warm and sunny all year round, with peak temperatures in the early 30 degree Celsius range, cool island breezes and clear blue skies. Thus, Barbados has ideal tropical weather for on sea and on land activities during your stay. Hurricane season lasts between June and November while the driest times on the island are during January and May. Nights tend to be cooler than the days as well.

What Language Do Barbadians Speak

English is the official language of the island but many speak the local Bajan dialect as well. Barbadians use the British standard of English as opposed to the American and this is due to the long and storied history of colonialism. In most formal settings you will hear the standard English spoken. However when you go out on the town or in more casual settings you will hear Bajans speaking quickly in a heavy dialect affectionately called ‘Bajan’. This dialect is a combination of British and West African languages.

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