The capital of Barbados is a small town known as Bridgetown Barbados and is located at the south west corner of the island. This is in the parish of St Michael Barbados along Carlisle Bay.
A little history of Bridgetown Barbados…
The city was originally founded by British settlers in 1628.
arriving at a protected river inlet known as the Careenage, they found
a small bridge across this river which they called the Indian Bridge.
The bridge was then rebuilt by the British later in 1654 and the Careenage became a major hub for trading vessels.
The area eventually became known as Bridgetown and was the centre for the first government of the Windward Islands of the Caribbean.
The bridge has since been replaced by a more modern lift bridge and renamed The Chamberlain Bridge. Bridgetown is now the island's major commercial and governmental centre.
The Careenage is no longer used for trading vessels as the Bridgetown Shipping Port was later constructed. It is however now home to many yachts and catamarans. Bridgetown is often referred to as ’Town’ by the locals and is our only major city.
The population of Bridgetown is about 97,000 with an area of 35 km sq or 13.5 sq. miles. This is more than 1/3 of the entire island’s population!
It is therefore a very small, dense and busy city.
A Tour Of Bridgetown Barbados
The best way to explore this town is by foot and should only take a few hours.
The main street of the town is Broad Street and is the perfect place to start your tour. This is considered the main area to go shopping in Bridgetown Barbados and it should take you a few hours to explore the numerous duty free shops and craft stores along this street.
At the west end of Broad Street you will find St.Mary’s Anglican Church, the 2nd oldest church on the island, which was built in 1825.
As you travel east along this street you will come across a great store to visit on Broad Street called Cave Shepherd. This is the island’s leading duty free shopping centre. You can pretty much find anything here from souvenirs and beach wear to high end jewelry and cosmetics.
Once you have reached the east end of Broad Street you will be in the heart of the capital and should take a moment to take a few pictures of the Barbados Parliament Building. There is a beautiful clock tower attached to it.
Just to your right there are also some other tourist attractions in Bridgetown you should consider taking a look at. These include National Heroes Square, a tiny square built as a tribute to the island’s many heroes, as well as The War Memorial and Fountain Gardens.
The Chamberlain Bridge will be just behind you along Wharf Street.
Here you will find docked the many yachts and catamarans aboard which
the Barbados sea turtle tours begin.
Barbados helicopter tours begin at this heliport.
your stroll you will notice the HMBS Wiloughby Fort, the old home of the
Barbados Coast Guard Division of the Barbados Defence Force.
This is a shopping village which offers visitors the widest selection of Barbados handcrafts and art work. Here you can take a rest, grab some local food at the Cou-Cou village restaurant and wind down your foot tour of the city.
Getting Downtown and Driving in Bridgetown Barbados
You must be wary of the numerous one-way streets throughout the city. These one-way streets can be seen on the interactive map with red arrows depicting the direction of traffic flow.
But if you are staying at a hotel that offers a free shopping shuttle bus to Bridgetown, such as Butterfly Beach Hotel, then you won’t have to worry about parking.
Local public buses and route taxis also run along the south and west coast of the island to the Bridgetown bus terminal (Fairchild Street Bus Station) and van stand (Route Taxi Stop) for a flat rate of $1.50 BDS (75 cents USD).
If you are staying along the south coast in one of the Bridgetown Barbados Hotels , you can catch a bus from one of the many bus stops along Highway 7 (also called “The South Coast Road).
And if you are coming from the west coast you can catch a bus in to the town along Highway 1 (also called “The West Coast Road”).
Facts on Bridgetown Barbados
Location: In St.Michael along the southwest corner of the island.
Best Duty Free Shopping: Cave Shepherd
Best Craft Shopping: Pelican Village
Main Shopping Area: Broad Street
Some Bridgetown Landmarks To See:
• Barbados Parliament Buildings
• National Heroes Square
• War Memorial and Fountain Gardens
• St. Mary’s Anglican Church
• Pelican Village