Holidays to Bridgetown bring textbook tropical sands and one of the Caribbean’s liveliest city scenes together.
When you reel off the most popular Caribbean capitals, Barbados’ Bridgetown is right amongst the frontrunners. It’s on the south-west coast of the island, and more than half the population live here. The result’s a bustling centre that’s loaded with markets, shopping streets and restaurants. And because it’s been popular for so long, you’ll find plenty of culture, as well, with more old-school landmarks than anywhere else on the island.
Dose of history
The Downtown and Garrison neighbourhoods in Bridgetown are brimming with history – there’s so much here that UNESCO have officially accredited the areas. You’ve got colonial buildings around almost every corner, plus sites like the George Washington House – a preserved home which you can tour. Learn about military escapades in years gone by at the Museum of Barbados, and check out the symbolic arch that celebrates Barbados achieving independence. There’s a nod to its British history, too, with a statue of Admiral Nelson in National Heroes Square.
Beaches, bargains and ball games
Despite the strong city vibe, it only takes minutes to get into beach mode. Bridgetown is right on the coast, so there are a handful of sugar-soft stretches that you can walk to in no time. Pebbles Beach – which is actually sandy – is the pick of the bunch, and there are four or five other streaks of sand that branch off elsewhere. For sunbathing supplies or souvenirs, Cheapside Market sets up shop close to Brandons Beach. This part of the city’s also home to ‘The Mecca of Cricket’, the Kensington Oval, and a rum distillery that creates one of the world’s best drops, Mount Gay.