The Insider Guide

Sitting pretty in the Caribbean sea, Barbados is best known for its scenic, sandy beaches – and of course, for being the birthplace of Rihanna. It’s also home to mouthwatering cuisine and is the age-old birthplace of rum. Cocktails, sunshine and good tunes? Cheers (I’ll drink to that)!

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The Main Attractions

Barbados is a small island – roughly 20mi (32km) in length and 15mi (24km) in width – but the island is beloved around the world for very good reason, and it’s not just for the 3,000 plus hours of sunshine it receives on average each year. Bridgetown is the capital of the island, and where Rihanna grew up. There is both a monument and a road named after the singer – Rihanna Drive (devastatingly not called Shut Up & Drive). Bridgetown is the best place to try out the local food. Don’t leave without eating the delicious national dish, Cou Cou and Flying Fish. Head to Bathsheba, Barbados, and you’ll find a small fishing village, a beautiful beach – and more to the point, amazing surf. There are actually a whole lot of waves around Barbados, but the reef known as the Soup Bowl is legendary. For sightseeing, head to the north of the island and to Animal Flower Cave. This isn't exactly a tourist attraction as such – it's a sea cave with all that entails. It's slippery and it's wet, but it’s also simply mesmerising. The name comes from the sea anemones found in the pools of the cave and you'll notice the walls are all sorts of oranges and greens. It looks almost like the backdrop of a Van Gogh painting. The rum of Barbados is world-famous, the best known being Mount Gay, but you can combine a distillery trip with a historical one by going to St Nicholas Abbey, a plantation house, museum and rum distillery dating back to the 1600s. For particularly nice beaches, head to Holetown beach, Miami Beach, near Oistins, Bottom Bay or Paynes Bay Beach (which is particularly hidden away). Of course, there’s plenty more waiting for you...

Neighborhoods in Barbados