Wednesday 23 September, 2020

Barbados Travel:10 attractions cruise visitors can visit in Bridgetown

Parliament Buildings from Heroes Square at the top of Broad Street in Bridgetown, Barbados.

Parliament Buildings from Heroes Square at the top of Broad Street in Bridgetown, Barbados.

Ever wondered why Barbados continues to win so many cruise awards?

Here's reason number one - the port is surrounded by culture, attractions, beautiful beaches and amazing food spots. The cruise terminal in Barbados is located in the capital city of Bridgetown.

But today we will check out some of the best attractions in a walking distance from the port.

With time being of the essence when hopping from port to port during a vacation cruise, here are 10 attractions or points of interest in Historic Bridgetown that you can explore in under four hours once you dock in Barbados.

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And all of these suggestions are fully-accessible.

1. Jubilee Gardens

Formerly a bus terminal, at this site you can actually see the original cobblestone that was used for roads in Historic Bridgetown. Walk up to the glass case and look down. You will literally look down at a piece of Barbados' history.

2. Parliament buildings and the Parliament Museum

Located at the top of Broad Street, in the capital city of Bridgetown, these historic Parliament Buildings (once known as the Public Buildings) are home to the House of Assembly and Senate. Packing more than 350 years of history, these buildings were built from local limestone and completed in 1874 by a Gothic Architecture.

In 1873, the East Wing was completed. These imposing 19th century Parliament Buildings of Barbados are filled with a great amount of craftsmanship and detail that the whole island can be justly proud of. 

During late 1885 into early 1886, the clock and bells were relocated to their present position in the West Wing. (Barbados Pocket Guide website)

Tip - If you venture in besides to check out the Parliament Musuem, look out for the biblical quotation "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's...." on the main stairways of the West Wing.

The Parliament Museum is opened Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10 am to 4 pm and Saturdays from 10 am to 3 pm.

Guided tours are conducted subject to availability. Tickets are $10 for adults and be bought at reception on the day.

3. Independence Square

Home of the Father of Independence Errol Barrow's statue, this Square features a cool ground fountain and many tridents. It also has benches and trees which provide shade if your wish to read or picnic while looking at the boats in the Careenage. If you're lucky you may catch the Swing Bridge lifting. What a treat! There us also a public restroom facility at the Square. 

4. Heroes Square

Once known as Trafalgar Square, a statue of Admiral Nelson still stands erected here to this day. English and European tourists would also spend a minute here to see The Cenotaph War Memorial where wreaths of poppies are laid every Remembrance Day annually and the Doplhin Fountain sits beside the Dolphin Fountain. It is said that the fountain marks the introduction of piped water in Bridgetown and was built in 1865.

Tip: At Christmas time Heroes Square, Independence Square and Jubilee Gardens are transformed. If you visit in December, you'll get a sparkly gift. 


5. Nidhe Israel Synagogue

The Nidhe Israel Synagogue was built in 1654 by Sephardic Jews who arrived in the Island of Barbados from Brazil. The Mikvah was constructed sometime between 1651 - 54 and the building housing the museum in 1750.

Admission to the synagogue: FREE

Admission to the museum: Adults BDS $25 | Children $12 | Children under 5 years: FREE

Both the Nidhe Israel Synagogue and the Nidhe Israel Museum will be open for public viewing Monday to Friday between 9 am - 4 pm. There is an admission fee to view the museum. If your boat docks on Saturday or Sunday, have no fear - weekend viewing is by appointment only. Call 1-(246)436-6869

6. Baobab tree in Queen's Park

How did a 1,000-year-old tree from West Africa end up in the centre of Bridgetown when no European or African set foot on Barbados until the 16th century?

The Queen’s Park Baobab is not only old, at 91ft (26m) tall and with a circumference of 81ft (25m), it’s big too. So you’d need at least 15 hand-holding tree huggers to give it a proper squeeze.

Persons posit that it came on an ocean current about 1000AD. (Secret Barbados)

It's one of the wonders or mysteries of Barbados. Take a pic trying to hug it!


7. Rihanna Drive

Robyn 'Rihanna' Fenty never forgets her roots and now tourists can go visit her childhood community, neighbourhood, street and home. 

8. Mighty Grynner Highway

The Mighty Grynner, real name Macdonald Blenman, is a Barbadian calypsonian who has held the most Tune of the Crop or Road March wins. This award is judged on the day of Grand Kadooment and announced after the bands have all paraded. It's the true climax to the Crop Over Festival. The Spring Garden Highway was renamed The Mighty Grynner Highway in of this year, 2019, as a fitting tribute to the man who keeps soca lovers chanting 'We want more Grynner, we want more!'

9. Carnegie Library

The Carnegie Free Library in Barbados was the first public library erected outside of the Americas or the United Kingdom. At the time it was a significant achievement. It was post–emancipation.

(Historicising the Carnegie Free Library: The Case of Barbados by Beverley Hinds)

10. Montefiore Fountain 

The Montefiore Fountain was originally located in Beckwith Place, Lower Broad Street in the city of Bridgetown, Barbados but was subsequently moved to its present location at Coleridge Street in 1940. It actually stands outside the gates of the Carnegie Library.

Ironically, the Montefiore Fountain has no running water attached to it but back in 1865, it was used as a drinking fountain that was donated to the city of Bridgetown by Jewish businessman John Montefiore. (Barbados Pocket Guide website)

So, whether you're a history buff, a Rihanna fan, a lover of the Caribbean or just ticking places off your Bucket List and Barbados was on of your must-see destinations, these 10 places would help you check off 'Visit Barbados' with style!


Editor's Note: If you're not much of a walker, you can get a taxi and make these stops into your own version of a Bridgetown tour; just tell the taxi driver your selected sites and he should be able to give you a good rate.

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