Barbados’ 11 parishes offer breathtaking taking sceneries as well as unique and historic adventure, making it an irresistible destination to explore.
Here’s how to visit each parish and make the most of your trip – yes, in two days!
1. Visit The Parliament Buildings In The Heart Of Barbados – St. Michael
Barbados is home to the third oldest Parliament in the Commonwealth which is located in the heart of Bridgetown. The Parliament Museum is open to all on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Persons can also tour the buildings, view the Clock Tower and even attend debates – subject to the approval of the Clerk of Parliament and the Speaker of the House.
Cost: With an entrance fee of 5US for adults, this is the perfect way to kick-start your two-day escapade in Barbados. Whatsmore, if you are a student in Barbados, it’s free!
#FunFact – Bridgetown is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
2. Visit The Soul Of Barbados – “God’s Acre”, At St. James Parish Church – St. James
Located in Holetown (originally known as Jamestown) this is one of four of Barbados’ oldest surviving churches. This church also features a bell, bearing the inscription – “God Bless King William, 1696”. You’d be surprised that this bell is 50+ years older than the famous American Liberty Bell.
Not only will you be blown away by yet another historic landmark on the island of Barbados, but you will also be in awe of its amazing workmanship and artistry!
Cost: Free – but donations are excepted.
#FunFact: with the original wooden structure built in 1628 St. James Parish Church is the oldest and the first Anglican Church in Barbados!
3. Play Peek-A-Boo With Sea Anemones At The Animal Flower Cave – St.Lucy
Located at the northern end of the island, this is where you will find the ‘Animal Flower Cave’, affectionately named after the sea anemones that reside in the ocean filled pools.
It’s an amazing sight to poke a sea anemone and watch as it immediately closes. Although the vast majority of the sea anemones are no longer, the cave itself is also a spectacular site, with openings that show itself to breathtaking views of the ocean as well as to watch as the waves break angrily a mere few feet away.
Cost: As if it could not get any better, at $10US (adults) and $5US (children 5 – 12 years) you’d be guided through the cave and later you can also feel free to take a dip in the larger pool – but be warned, it can be a bit cold at times but refreshing nonetheless!
Bonus: With changing rooms, shops, bathrooms, a playground and even a waterside restaurant all on site, you’d never want to leave!
4. Play With The Cheeky Monkeys At The Barbados Wildlife Reserve – St. Peter
Primarily a monkey reserve, this is a once in a lifetime experience (if you’ve never encountered monkeys before) because nothing is quite as animated as these cheeky little creatures coming right up to you and taking a banana straight from the palm of your hand!
Not only will you have the opportunity of seeing our wonderful green monkeys in abundance, you’ll also have the chance of discovering a variety of wildlife such as peacocks, tortoises, iguanas and much more!
Cost: With an entrance of $15US, this also entitles you admission to the ‘Grenade Hall Signal Station & Educational Forest’ which is conveniently located next to ‘The Reserve’.
Tip: If you are going just to see the monkeys, the best time to venture there would be in the afternoon around 2:00 p.m. as they can really come out in their numbers during feeding time!
#FunFact: ‘The Grenade Hall Signal Station & Educational Forest’ is one of six signal stations on the island and here you’ll be able to capture the breathtaking views of the ‘East Coast’ of the island.
5. Visit The Morgan Lewis Windmill… A National Symbol – St. Andrew
Overlooking the scenic eastern coastline of the island and the ‘Scotland District’, the ‘Morgan Lewis Windmill’ is the only intact wind-powered sugar mill on the face of the island.
It is truly a sight to behold as it symbolises a time in history where a sugar-based economy sustained by slavery was the backbone of the economy.
Cost: Opened Monday to Friday with entrance only allowed during the Crop season, the entrance fee is a mere $10US to bare witness to this once in a lifetime grinding session and to also taste some of the cane juice which is produced from this demonstration. Although it is technically not opened on the weekends, you can still pass by and view the surroundings free of charge!
#FunFact: In 1846, Barbados had on record a whopping 506 windmills and the ‘Morgan Lewis Windmill’ is one of only two functioning sugar windmills in the world!
6. Take A Picture With The Lion At The Gun Hill Signal Station – St. George
Due to its captivating panoramic views of the entire island, the signal stations sighted any advances made towards the island – whether friendly or not. Furthermore, beyond housing a collection of military memorabilia, at the base of the signal station is a remarkable white lion statue carved entirely out of a single piece of rock – yes, really!
Cost: With an entry fee of $6US per person (half the cost for children), the ‘Gun Hill Signal Station’ is yet another attribute that adds to the historic nature that makes Barbados one of a kind!
Tip: With a cafe on site, you can enjoy a nice cup of coffee while you enjoy the perfectly manicured gardens.
#FunFact: The signal stations were also used to warn of slave rebellions on the island.
7. Experience The Natural Wonder That Is Harrison’s Cave – St.Thomas
Imagine boarding a tram and travelling into the cooling depths of a cave where stalactites effortlessly drape from the roof of the cave, and stalagmites that emerge from the ground like a rugged blanket – made almost entirely of limestone!
Cost: With an entrance fee of $31US per adult and $16US per child and tours running daily from 8:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., you will be able to get out of the tram and get up close and personal to a tranquil cascading waterfalls which plunge into deep pools and streams of crystal clear water.
This truly is a spectacular phenomenon!
#FunFact – the highest point in Barbados (Mount Hillaby) is also located in the parish of St.Thomas and is only 1,100 feet above sea level!
8. Surf’s up at the Soup Bowl – St. Joseph
Not only is Bathsheba Beach one of the best surfing locations on the face of the island, it is also home to many local and international surfing championships. Located on the rugged East Coast of the island, this beach truly a surfer’s paradise and although it is not suited for the weak swimmer, this picturesque beach with huge rock formations and exhilarating foamy white breakers certainly appeals to all.
Tip: although the beach itself can be quite choppy, there are some shallow inshore pools for you to take a dip in!
#FunFact: 11 time ‘World Surf League’ Champion Kelly Slater names the ‘Soup Bowl’ as one of his favourite waves!
9. Feed The Fish And The Ducks At Codrington College – St.John
Completed in 1748, ‘Codrington College’ serves as the grounds for the first institution of higher learning in the West Indies. Not only is the architecture, the carvings of scriptures and other religious texts awe-inspiring, but the entrance alone is a sight to behold.
With a magnificent lily pond filled with fish (and nearby wondering ducks) as well as majestic driveway lined with palm trees. Beyond the entrance and through the arches of the college you will find a breathtaking view of the scenic east coast and a sundial.
If this theological college represents what heaven is like, you’d be nothing short of impressed!
#FunFact: built in 1743, ‘Codrington College’ is the oldest Anglican theological college in the Western Hemisphere!
10. Take A Step Back In Time (Way Back) At The Sunbury Plantation House – St.Philip
Renowned for its collection of horse-drawn carriages, mahogany antiques and old prints, this historic plantation house which dates back to 300+ years overflows with history. It also features a special candlelight plantation dinner at an impressive 200+-year-old table as well as a delicious lunch in the ‘Courtyard Restaurant’.
Cost: With an entry fee of $10US per person and open 7 days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (with the last tour at 4:30 p.m.), this promises to a be highly informative and an entertaining visit for all history buffs out there!
#FunFact: In 1846, Barbados had 491 active Sugar Plantations
11. Indulge In The Taste Of Barbados At Oistins Fish Fry – Christ Church
If you happen to be in Barbados on a Friday night, without a doubt, Oistins should be your last stop as it is the place to be for locals and tourists alike to unwind from a hectic week by enjoying the food, drinks as well as some entertainment.
With many different vendors to choose from, the one constant is the fish, and plenty of it. Whether you’re having tuna, swordfish, marlin, mahi-mahi (just to name a few), you’d be well satisfied.
Everything about Oistins is authentic and you’d truly enjoy the food and the atmosphere – ‘Bajan’ Style!
Cost: Free to enjoy the welcoming atmosphere and the entertainment but the delicious food ranges from $10US and up.
#FunFact – Not only is Oistins Barbados’ smallest city, it is also historically known as a fishing town – that explains a lot!
A TWO DAY EXTRAORDINARY ESCAPADE – BAJAN STYLE!
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