Explore the capital and largest city for historical reference and even more great beaches and other activities, including the world’s oldest rum.
Bridgetown is the capital of Barbados and a city with a lot of history. When the English arrived to declare the area a British colony in the 17th century they found an abandoned Indian settlement and bridge and later gave the area the Bridgetown name. The harbor became a critical port for ships traveling across the Atlantic and was heavily protected against attack from other colonizing European powers.
Visit the Bridgetown Garrison, initially constructed starting in 1705 as a British fortification, and now an internationally protected World Heritage Site. Take a guided walking tour to appreciate the historic significance of the military, commercial and social activities of the 18th and 19th centuries in Barbados. Points of interest include St. Mary’s and St. Michael’s churches, Queen’s Park, Jewish Synagogue, Heroes Square and Parliament Building.
Walk in the footsteps of earlier world leaders by visiting the George Washington House and the Lord Nelson Monument in Heroes Square (formerly Trafalgar Square) in front of the Parliament Building.
For a lighter look at history, tour the Mount Gay Rum Factory bottling facility which claims to be the best and oldest rum in the world. It has been made in Barbados since 1703. Make reservations to enjoy taste testing on weekdays; children can participate but not drink. On Saturdays, watch thoroughbred horses race at Garrison Savannah, where horses have been running for over 150 years.
Bridgetown is the largest city on Barbados, with a population of nearly 100,000. It is the center for transportation, shopping and arranging excursions, a convenient hub for activities across the island. You can stay in a hotel in Bridgetown and drive or take a bus or taxi to any of the beaches and other attractions on the island in two hours or less. Or, from the city center drive or take a taxi to one of half a dozen beaches within 10 minutes.
Bridgetown is just 20 minutes from the international airport.