By the 1690s, Bridgetown was one of the two largest English port cities in the Americas. This once bustling hub of sea trade is now a picturesque careenage and bay, filled with pleasure boats.
Bridgetown’s retention of a 17th century English medieval street layout is unique in the Americas. The historic architecture is still very evident throughout the city. Bearing testament to the old adage that 'change is the only constant', Bridgetown’s fortunes have waxed and waned over the past 400 years, but its long life has left a legacy of character and charm.
In June 2011, Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison joined the ranks of iconic global landmarks as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Wherever you go in Bridgetown, up Broad Street, down Swan Street or wandering through Cheapside you can be sure of a real Barbados experience, unlike anything else in the world.
Guided Tours of Parliament
This tour of the neo-Gothic buildings, one of the most impressive in Bridgetown, takes in both Houses of Parliament, providing the house is not in session.
Mount Gay Visitor Centre
The Mount Gay Visitor Centre on the outskirts of Historic Bridgetown welcomes you to discover the secrets behind Barbados’ finest and most celebrated spirit.
Cricket Legends Museum & Kensington Oval
A modest museum boasting memorabilia and cleverly curated information about West Indies cricket over the past century. It is easy to visit Kensington Oval across the road.
St. Michael’s & All Angels Cathedral
Built in 1664 and rebuilt several times, Barbados’ Anglican cathedral has a wide array of interesting funerary plaques and graves dating from the 17th and 18th centuries.
Open Monday to Saturday but Saturday morning is the best time to go shopping there.
Browse Through Bridgetown
The best way to explore Bridgetown is to meander down its high streets and back alleys. The nearly 400 years of history is very apparent and you never know what you may find!
Walking Tours of Bridgetown UNESCO World Heritage Site and Speightstown
Karl Watson, retired professor of history and archaeology, offers fascinating walking tours of Bridgetown covering social/natural history, architecture and archaeology (BB$60pp). Call (246) 427-4509 or 241-1554
CHAT Audio Tours offer private guided and self guided tours enhanced by the use of Orpheo brand audio equipment. Visit their website chatbarbados.com for more information. For bookings call (246) 232 7531
Eat Like a Local
There are a few no frills joints to grab some tasty local fare on a Bridgetown shopping expedition: Hunter’s Bar on Tudor Street serves their famous pudding and souse on Saturday and Bajan cutters with fish, ham or cheese; Mustor’s on McGregor Street sells hot lunches of delicious local specialties like macaroni pie, breadfruit cou cou with stewed pork chops and our national dish, flying fish and cou cou. At Tim’s on Broad Street be sure to sample the barbeque pig tails and wash it down with an ice cold Banks beer or, for something different try mauby, a bitter-sweet local drink made from the bark of a tree.