Barbados’ nightlife can be as good as it gets. There’s something for everyone in Barbados from reggae to mellow jazz. But to have a truly memorable evening – in a good way – follow these guidelines. Take heed, fellow travelers, then get on your dancing shoes and head out!
1. Know what you want. Select your type of enjoyment and do a little research. If you like jazz, reggae or rock, make a few enquiries to discover the best type of evening. Fine dining and a walk in the surf? A chilled evening kicking back with some quiet music and good conversation? It’s your choice.
2. Dress a bit more formally than you would at a beach resort in the States. As part of the British Commmonwealth, more conservative dress is called for: dresses or slacks for women and collared shirts for men; no cut-off jeans. And no camouflage-print material: it’s illegal in Barbados.
3. Decide on your location. West coast? South coast? Broadly, these are your options. The West coast is focused on Holetown, where First and Second streets have their own collection of restaurants and bars, but also radiates out into other offbeat spots which can be fun. On the South coast you’ll likely end up in St. Lawrence Gap or Oistins, each with its own personality and entertainment options.
4. Plan the evening. A good night is usually a planned night, even though those plans are loose enough for wonderful opportunities that may arise. Dancing only? Snacks and dancing? Hanging out in charming local pubs (called “rum shops”)? Full dinner? Or you can do them all at The Plantation, where entertainment, dinner, and dancing go hand in hand.
5. Pick your companions well. Good friends make a good evening. You may want to invite some folks you’ve met at your hotel or apartment. Or you may just want to be a romantic couple for the evening. But use good sense when inviting obvious hangers-on, whether locals or tourists. You want a great experience without any regrets later. This applies mostly to single women travelers, who can be prey to insincere Lotharios.
6. Take cash, but don’t flash. Most restaurants take credit cards, but if you’re going bar hopping, cash is the answer. US dollars are accepted everywhere (at 2 Barbados dollars each) but local cash is more discreet. And don’t let strangers see how much you’re carrying. Our experience is that Bajans are overwhelmingly honest, but they’re human after all.
7. Always know where you are. If you’re taking a taxi, know what part of the island you’re in, and where to get a cab back when you’re ready. Barbadian taxi drivers are good people, but you want to be able to find one and give directions, even after a night of enjoying the country’s fine rum.
8. Work out a plan to get back to your hotel or condo. Driving? Work out retracing your route, as the streets aren’t well marked in Barbados. Walking? Keep some landmarks in mind. If you plan to end the night in historic, action-packed St. Lawrence Gap (easy if you’re staying there) there’s a good security presence most of the evening.
9. Barbados is a generally safe island – and you’ll want to explore every inch – but don’t be stupid. Stay off the beaches at night.
10. Watch your rum intake. Rum was created in Barbados; Mount Gay is famous the world over. But it sneaks up on you in our famous rum punch and Mojitos.
Enjoy Barbados! Fun on our sugar-white beaches by day and in our clubs by night can’t be beat.