Referred to by locals as “The City,” or sometimes simply “town,” Bridgetown is the only true city on the tiny island of Barbados. Cruise ships that come to this neck of the woods, then, often make a stop at this picturesque port of call. Founded by the British back in 1628, Bridgetown sprang out of nothingness as the island of Barbados had been abandoned and uninhabited at that time. Today, this once-abandoned island is now a mecca of the Caribbean vacation world, drawing in thousands of visitors who are eager to enjoy its secluded beaches, unbeatable snorkeling and the fun and excitement of Broad Street in central Bridgetown.
Sightseeing & Things To Do
Barbados is a real heaven on earth, and Bridgetown boasts the best of what this tiny Caribbean island nation has to offer. The locals here welcome visitors with open arms, and there’s never a bad time to come. If your cruise stops in at Bridgetown, make it a point to get off and have a little look around. Between the unique local cuisine, the sumptuous beaches and the quirky local attractions, you’ll be very glad that you did.
Although Bridgetown is relatively small, there are enough things to do to keep you busy and to keep boredom at bay. Within the city itself, there is a nice assortment of attractions to enjoy; just beyond its limits, there are beaches galore. Consider the following attractions:
The Parliament Building
Situated on Trafalgar Square in central Bridgetown, the Parliament building is a neat place to stop when in this part of Barbados. When in session, you can actually come in and observe the proceedings in order to get a better feel for how government works in this tiny island nation.
The Barbados Museum
One of the most intriguing things about the Barbados Museum is that it is housed in what used to be the British Military Prison. Today, the museum houses exhibits that tell the story of Barbados from its inception – i.e., when it first sprang up from the ocean – up to the present day.
If you’re having trouble making the connection between Bridgetown and its colonial past, stop over at Kensington Oval where locals play cricket with as much passion as their British counterparts. If you are lucky, a match might be in session when you’re in Bridgetown; if so, try to stop in and check it out.
There is no shortage of suitable beaches in and around Bridgetown and Barbados in general. If time is limited, though, you should shoot over to Weiser’s Beach to experience a real Barbados beach without having to venture very far from the ship. Indeed, Weiser’s Beach is actually within sight of the cruise ship terminal, making it phenomenally convenient.
The Careenage is the place to shop in Bridgetown. Once a port for ships, it now houses a plethora of great shops, restaurants, bars and other places. It is located on the water, but you are protected from the open sea and can roam about comfortably. With excellent shopping to one side – and a delightful view of the water to the other – the Careenage is definitely the place to experience if you want topnotch shopping and entertainment.
Best Souvenir To Bring Back To the Cruise Ship
Sea shells and beads are both very popular options when it comes to souvenirs in Bridgetown. You can find excellent examples of each at shops all over Bridgetown, so scoop up something that catches your fancy and use it to remember your time in Barbados.
Eating – Sample the Local Cuisine
Eating is a true joy in Barbados. In Bridgetown, you can take your pick from many flavorful, delicious delicacies. Give your taste buds a pleasant jolt by sampling a pumpkin; satisfy your hunger with mouthwatering fish Creole. At every turn in Bridgetown, there’s a restaurant, food stand or vendor ready to treat you to culinary delights. Feeling adventurous? Try pudding and sous, which is made from a pig’s boiled head, ears and snout then pickled with cucumber. No matter what your tastes are, it’s imperative to try out a delicious local dish while in Bridgetown.
When, Where, and How
When To Go
Although some would warn that coming to Barbados in July and August is problematic because of hurricane season, the fact is that this is when Bridgetown is generally at its finest. However, there’s truly no “wrong” time to come Bridgetown – you will have a delightful time no matter when you arrive.
Where You’re Docked
If your cruise ship comes to Bridgetown, then it is going to dock over at the Bridgetown Cruise Terminal. This spot is located about a mile west of town, so it is not too far flung to get over to Bridgetown and see the sights. Most people who dock at Bridgetown do get off the ship and do a bit of exploring.
Which Cruise Ships Go Here?
Many of the major cruise lines have itineraries that include stops at Bridgetown. A few of the most popular cruise lines that stop in Bridgetown are Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruises, Fred Olsen Cruises and Celebrity Cruises. However, there are many other options to choose from in terms of ships, dates, days in port and at sea when it comes to Bridgetown.