Really enjoyed Barbados. Totally lives up to the hype. When I went I was somewhere in between luxury and budget – willing to explore both approaches to see what I could get for my Barbadian Dollar.
And what I found was that you could have equally a good time with both expenditures, you just might need a little more of my tried and tested advice when it comes to doing Barbados on a budget. Going luxury means lux-u-ry in Barbados, and possibly a pipe dream for you and I, but let’s see what we could get if we did ever win that lottery.
Best thing to do in Barbados?
Check out my review on Oistins Fish Fry in Barbados for Virgin Holidays’ Trending Travel Guide
Accommodation in Barbados
BUDGET: You could stay at somewhere like SunBay for £100 a night, if you didn’t want to forego staying by the beach. Or, if you’re happy to sit back from the coast a bit, then try the budget apartments in Christ Church and Saint Lawrence – starting at around £50.
LUXURY: you could check out the Barbados villas on the beach. You can get a villa from $400 per night, right up to $15,000. Bargain.
Transport in Barbados
BUDGET: Public buses in Barbados are $2BBD a pop. They follow a set route and you’ll easily be able to tell where you’re going thanks to the signs on the front of the bus. Drivers are super friendly and you can just tell them where you want to go and they’ll make sure you get off at the right spot. Keep in mind that you might be totally squashed in when you board – as long as there are customers, there’s space! The locals are totally used to it so don’t feel bad about forcing them to squash up.
LUXURY: Or, you could hire a driver for the day to take you to the best attractions and give you a guided tour of the island. They’d make sure you’re well air-conditioned and looked after and you can go wherever you want. Can’t beat having a chauffeur to take you round a caribbean island, surely.
Breakfast in Barbados
BUDGET: Go to the Surfer’s Café in Oistins. I thoroughly enjoyed my sausage and egg butty sat in the window looking out to the beach. With a coffee to top it off it was less than £10.
LUXURY: The Crane Beach Resort is one of the fanciest in Barbados and Crane Beach is often cited as one of the best beaches in the world. Start your Sunday of sun worshipping off with a luxurious gospel brunch in the restaurant upstairs. Just make sure you book early to get in, and confirm your booking before you set off.
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Lunch in Barbados
BUDGET: My second favourite thing I ate in Barbados was the flying fish cutter at Cutters, near Crane Beach. Flying Fish is Barbados’ national dish so it’s a must while you’re there and this is one of the best places to try it. This little feastwas £22.35, but I did also have a rum punch and a litre of San Pelligrino.
READ MORE: The Best Restaurants in Barbados
LUXURY: Head to the Port Charles Yacht Club – it’s lovely. With a swimming pool and kayaks to rent you can work up the hunger. Or you can just relax and chill out. I tried the fresh tuna and it was delicious. I could happily spend a day here trying all the dishes, if someone else was paying that is.
Afternoon Tea in Barbados
BUDGET: Head to the Art Splash Centre in Hastings. I had a vegan red velvet cake here and it was sensational – yes, I would go that far to describe it. With a (tasty) coffee it was less than £5.
LUXURY: Totally splashed out on afternoon tea at the Sandy Lane Hotel, and it was worth it. I ended up spending about £55 on cakes and sandwiches, for just me. One. And if I’d have added the Champagne option on top it would’ve been closer to £80. One of those once in a lifetime experiences though isn’t it?
Dinner in Barbados
BUDGET: My favourite meal in Barbados was the sushi at Nara Restaurant. Now, it wasn’t totally budget – sure there are cheaper places, but it was ruddy delicious. I paid £40 for two sushi sides, water, a huge main plate of sushi and a sake and rum cocktail.
LUXURY: The number one rated restaurant in Barbados is either Tides or The Cliff. I didn’t go to either because they cost a fortune and you’ll need to book way in advance. But if you’ve got the money, flaunt it my friend.
And lovers of budget and luxury alike head to Oistins on a Friday for the fish fry.
Activities in Barbados
BUDGET: The Jammin Catamaran tour was well worth the £80, nothing cheaper would be comparable. If you do one thing during your week / fortnight there, this would be my recommendation. So. Much. Fun. And you get as much rum as you can drink, and breakfast and lunch. Bargain!
LUXURY: If you’ve got the cash to splash then you can get rid of it on the golf course, or charter a sailing boat or deep sea fishing – just so you know, I couldn’t actually afford to do any of this, but maybe you could? Let me know how it goes.
READ MORE: The Best Hotels in Barbados
Shopping in Barbados
BUDGET: Go to the Farmer’s Market in Hastings. Here you can pick up a few handicrafts and locally produced items to eat, take home or wear.
LUXURY: There’s a whole precinct of fancy shops set up in Barbados at Little Switzerland and LimeGrove Lifestyle Centre, featuring names like TAG Heuer, Ralph Lauren and Louis Vuitton. You could definitely spend some serious cash!
Sunbathing in Barbados
BUDGET: All Barbados’ beaches are public spaces which means that despite what the hoteliers have to say, you’re allowed on any of them. However, the hoteliers and restaurants can charge whatever they like for you to bask on their sun loungers. The only free place I found was Browne’s Beach where you could just buy a rum punch to lounge all day.
LUXURY: Crane’s Beach was $10USD per day per lounger, which included the umbrella. Or you could just stay at the hotel, get w wristband, and lounger for free.