11 Best Souvenirs from Barbados to Remember Your Trip By

Barbados is famous for white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, endless blue skies, stunning sunsets, soca music, Rihanna and of course, it’s rum. What better way to remember your trip (although you’re not too likely to forget this paradise island) than with this list of the best souvenirs from Barbados.

best souvenirs from Barbados

Barbados is one of the most famous Caribbean islands, where hundreds of thousands visit every year. It’s quite clear to see the draw, as it really does live up to those idyllic beach postcard perceptions. But Barbados isn’t just beaches, where lots of people love to indulge in the local culture, history and activities.

From water sports, visiting historically and socially important former plantations, sampling at the world’s oldest rum distillery, there’s so much to see and do in Barbados you’ll have a difficult time saying goodbye. I always like to bring a little memento from any trip as I think it sweetens the journey back every so slightly.

With so many local artisans, produce and iconic emblems, there’s actually plenty of ideas to choose from for a keepsake. Some of the best souvenirs from Barbados will no doubt be from places you’ve visited while you’re there. But if you’re stuck on ideas, my list of top things to buy in Barbados can help.

11 best souvenirs from Barbados

If you’re looking for a way to bring back a piece of Barbados, then these souvenir ideas can help. From cooking spices to crafts to a bottle of rum, there are lots for you to choose from.

1. Bajan rum

Barbadian rum, or Bajan rum for short, is famous across the world. You’ll probably have heard of, or maybe even tried, Mount Gay Rum which is a kind of Bajan rum produced right here in Barbados. It dates back to the 17th century, where the first Mount Gay rum was made and sold. 

With sugarcane growing everywhere in Barbados, it’s no doubt rum is one of the best souvenirs to buy from the island. If you visit the north side of the island, you can visit the Mount Gay distillery in St Lucy, which is the oldest rum distillery in the world. Here you can see the ageing and blending techniques and then grab a bottle to take back home with you.

From white rums and gold rums to dark rums and spiced rums there’s lots to try (and buy) from Barbados to help you slip back into holiday mode at home.

2. Bajan hot sauce

Known for its intense heat and fiery flavour, Bajan hot sauce is a culinary keepsake to continue your holiday from within your own kitchen. Its distinctive blend of Scotch bonnet peppers, mustard, garlic and vinegar mean it’s a unique taste.

Luxury in Barbados

Bajan hot sauce is widely available all over the island and comes in a variety of different bottles, small enough not to take over your packed suitcase on your way back but big enough to keep your taste buds satisfied until your next holiday.

The bottles also come in lots of different designs, which make for nice decorative pieces once you’ve finished too. And you can use it with pretty much everything – you’ll no doubt have tried it in many of the dishes at restaurants around.

Speaking of places to eat, make sure you check out these 11 restaurants in Barbados while you’re there!

3. Mahogany souvenirs

Mahogany trees are a natural feature of Barbados so it’s no surprise that this wonderful native resource is frequently used to make beautiful pieces of furniture, utensils, figurines and keepsakes. The trees have come to be one of the symbols of Barbados, which make them great souvenirs from the island.

some of the best souvenirs from Barbados are made from Mahogany
Pelican Village Craft Centre

The famous deep reddish-brown silky smooth wood is transformed into large-scale pieces (perhaps too big for that one suitcase) to homeware and trinkets which are perfectly packable! Thankfully now sustainably sourced and often reforested, buying mahogany from Barbados is a great gift that celebrates local artisan and craftsmanship without depleting the natural resource.

Whilst it is available all over the island, check out Bridgetown’s craft fairs to buy directly from the artisans themselves!

4. Local arts and crafts 

Both the Pelican Craft Centre in Bridgetown and the Chattel Village in Holetown are great places to buy some local art and crafts as souvenirs.

Chattel Village in Holetown
Chattel Village in Holetown

The island’s rich cultural heritage provides a vast range of products, which are inspired by African, British and West Indian influences. They’re really colourful and vibrant, which reflects the Bajan’s multi-cultural way of life.

Pottery, jewellery, sculpture and textiles are just some of the delights available for you to buy to take home with you as a souvenir from Barbados.

5. Bay leaves

If hot sauce and spices are a little too much for you then how about some Bay leaves? They’re regularly used throughout Bajan cooking, and can be bought dried, which makes it really easier to pack in your suitcase.

Bay leaf tea

They can be used in stews and soups and even teas, which can fill your home with the aroma of traditional Caribbean cooking. 

6. Bajan rum cake

If you have a sweet tooth then you’ll probably love Bajan rum cake. It’s often used to celebrate weddings, birthdays and special events, but you can also celebrate your holiday there by indulging in some it.

Just a word of warning – it’s very moreish.

Bajan rum cake - souvenirs from Barbados

Bajan rum cake is typically made from fruits like prunes, raisins, cherries as well as rum, obviously, or brandy. Another word of warning – it is possible to get a little tipsy of rum cake, depending on how much has been put in it, and how much you eat.

Not only will cake charm your taste buds but the cakes are often sold in creative and ornate tins which in itself are a lasting souvenir from Barbados. 

7. Soca music from Barbados

Soca music is the celebratory, life-affirming, sizzling music which originated in the Caribbean and you will have heard all over the island. Infectious melodies and beats run throughout the music and no doubt through your holiday!

You’ll be able to buy soca music easily to take back home from local markets or street vendors. There’s CDs, vinyls and different formats to let you listen to the sounds of Barbados back home. It’s also one of the best souvenirs from Barbados as it supports local artists too.

Don’t just let the music be a memory though, purchase a CD or vinyl record of your favourite sounds to have with you at home and share with your friends and family whilst also supporting the local artists! 

8. Bajan seasoning

A lot of the best souvenirs from Barbados are great for food lovers. But perhaps one of the most simple ways to take it back is through seasoning. That way you can make any dish at home resemble Bajan cooking, and it typically lasts longer than buying something freshly made.

Bajan seasoning used on chicken wings

The smells of Bajan seasoning are very intoxicating. They just scream ‘good food is being made here’, thanks to the combination of thyme, marjoram, chives, onion, garlic, and parsley. If you’re trying to find a way to show off how good your trip to Barbados was to friends back home, throw them a feast soaked in Bajan seasoning.

9. Paintings of Barbados

It should come as no surprise that with such stunning scenery such as the perfect beaches, glorious sunsets and tranquil waters, that Barbados has a thriving local artist community. There are many art galleries on the island which proudly display and sell works by local artists on canvas.

Caribbean Art Gallery
Caribbean Art Gallery

I know we all have phones in our pockets these days to be able to take a photo but how about a hand-painted canvas produced by someone born and raised on the island to take home with you instead? You’ll be able to remember the beautiful views through the eyes of a painter with Barbados in their veins!

You may want to visit one of the galleries for yourself, two of the most prominent being the Gallery of Caribbean art and the Zemicon Gallery and grab yourself an authentic piece of the island’s character.

10. Conch shells

The mention of conch always brings me back to high school learning about ‘Lord of the Flies’. Fortunately, Barbados is far from an island where a group of young boys struggle over power. But there are still lots of conches.

conch shells barbados

The large spirally coral-coloured shell is a thing of beauty and would make a top souvenir from Barbados. Due to their differing sizes, they can make a wonderful little pocket-sized memento or a statement-making decorative ornament for your home.

Many of the local markets will sell them for reasonable prices depending upon size and condition (and your own bartering skills). Whilst you could perhaps pick up a conch shell from a local beach yourself please be mindful that some areas are protected and therefore you may not be allowed to take them. We want you to have a glorious souvenir from Barbados but not a customs nightmare (anyone remember Bridget Jones 2?). So, purchased conch shells are definitely a safer bet!

11. Chocolate

Whilst other Caribbean islands are more famous for producing their own chocolate, did you know that Barbados has an emerging chocolate manufacturing scene? Up in the north and east parts of the island are where the Cacao trees grow and the beans are infused with the island’s climate.

Agapey Chocolate Factory
Agapey Chocolate Factory

You can also visit the Agapey Chocolate Factory & Shop in Bridgetown. Here they have antique vintage machinery as well as tastings of course. It’s a really nice idea if you love chocolate and want to see how it’s made and has been made on the island for years.

Chocolates are always good gift ideas, which is why they make for some of the best souvenir ideas from Barbados. But make sure you buy some for yourself too.

What souvenirs should you buy from Barbados?

It would be impossible not to have had an amazing time holidaying in the paradise of Barbados. The Bajan perfect beaches, the startlingly blue seas, the tropical climate and wonderful culture…how awful!

But it can be difficult to think of things to bring back, especially when a lot of the things that make Barbados so famous aren’t really things you can take home with you. But this list of souvenirs from Barbados covers lots of items than you can put on a plane.

There’s a range of food and culinary items, rum-based souvenirs, and arts and crafts. You can always head to souvenir shops and buy something more touristy of course, such as flags, keyrings, postcards etc. But it’s nice to find something that really embodies the culture of Barbados, or supports local craftsmen.

Buying a souvenir from Barbados doesn’t have to be expensive either, with lots of cheap options on offer. In fact, my article on how to save money in Barbados is handy for keeping the whole costs of the trip down too.

Quicklist of the best souvenirs from Barbados

  1. Rum
  2. Bajan hot sauce
  3. Mahogany souvenirs
  4. Local arts and crafts
  5. Bay leaves
  6. Bajan rum cake
  7. Soca music from Barbados
  8. Bajan seasoning
  9. Paintings of Barbados
  10. Conch shells
  11. Chocolate

What products is Barbados known for?

Perhaps the most emblematic product of Barbados is rum, claiming to be its birthplace. The island boasts several distilleries producing some of the world’s finest rums, such as the acclaimed Mount Gay (which is also the oldest).

Additionally, Barbados has a vibrant craft scene, which sees artisans creating distinctive items from materials like clay, straw, leather, and shells. On the culinary front, the hot sauces, Bajan seasoning and rum cake are iconic to the island and wider Caribbean vicinity.

What gifts can you buy in Barbados?

Barbados has so many gift options to choose from. You could go iconic with a bottle of Barbadian rum or a rum-infused cake. Or for those appreciative of art, there’s local art pieces, ranging from serene landscape paintings to mahogany-based souvenirs.

Is Barbados good for shopping?

From high-end luxury boutiques in areas like Holetown and Bridgetown, to local crafts markets like Pelican Village, there’s lots of options for shopping in Barbados. There’s also Broad Street in Bridgetown, which is the primary shopping street, housing various shops, duty-free stores, and malls. The island is particularly great for those interested in buying local art, crafts, jewellery, and of course, rum. Additionally, Barbados has a VAT (Value Added Tax) refund for tourists on eligible purchases, making shopping even better.

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