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Bridgetown Barbados

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Bridgetown is the largest city and capital of the island of Barbados. Bridgetown is located in the parish of St Michael on the west coast and has a population of just under one hundred thousand. It is the main port of call for visiting cruise liners and the cruise terminal is conveniently located just west of the city centre. No visit to the island of Barbados would be complete without the opportunity to explore this interesting city.

Promenade Bridgetown

Parliament Building Bridgetown

The Promenade Bridgetown

Parliament Building, Bridgetown Barbados


At the centre of Bridgetown is the Careenage and Constitution River. The Careenage is a marina for visiting yachts and the Constitution River drains the surrounding area during the rainy season. This modest and shallow body of water divides the city in two halves which are linked by the Chamberlain Bridge (hence, the name "Bridgetown").

Bridgetown Wharf

History of the town's name: What is now Bridgetown Barbados was discovered by the British around 1628 after they settled in Jamestown (now called Holetown) on the west coast of Barbados in 1625. When the British arrived, Barbados had been totally abandoned; however, there was a primitive wooden bridge over the Careenage which had been built by the Arawak Indians. The British named this area "Indian Bridge" in 1628. Later in 1654 a new bridge was constructed and the area was known as "The Town of Saint Michael" which again later changed to the current "Bridgetown". In 1824 the town became a city.

Rainy day in Bridgetown

Bridgetown Market

Rainy Day in Bridgetown Barbados

Cheapside Market Bridgetown


The main attractions in Bridgetown include the waterfront area, Pierhead development, Broad Street (the main shopping street), the Parliament Buildings, Fort Charles, National Heroes Square, the Cathedral, Barbados Museum, Barbados Gallery of Art, George Washington House, Carlisle Bay and the Cheapside market.

Part of the historic town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site together with with parts of Old Havana (in the Republic of Cuba); Willemstad (in Curacao) and Old San Juan (in Puerto Rico).

Interactive Satellite Image
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Cruise Terminal: The Barbados Cruise dock shares facilities with commercial shipping and is very much a working port with acres of containers stacked one top of one another, cranes and industrial buildings. The harbour can accommodate 4 large cruise ships and all passengers are required to use the efficient bus service between your ship and the terminal building (a few minutes at most). Shopping at the cruise terminal is good with some quality souvenir stores. Further shopping is located mostly on Broad Street in Bridgetown; however, for casual purchases or souvenirs the cruise port has a better selection.

From the cruise port, visitors can get a taxi to Broad St (under $10) or share a minibus with other passengers ($3) called the 'shuttle'. If you are reasonably fit you can walk into Bridgetown from the cruise dock in around ten minutes (less than a mile) and if you stuck in heavy traffic in hot minibus you may look enviously at those fellow ship passengers who chose to walk! Exit the harbour main gate beyond the taxi rank, walk straight ahead over the roundabout and down Princess Alice Highway and take a left turn at Cumberland Street or Cowell Street or Prince Alfred Street; any of these will bring you to Lower Broad Street.

(Click on the "Sat" on the interactive satellite image and tick "Show Labels" (will display some of the main street names) and then pan left and slightly up to see the route from the cruise terminal).

Bridgetown Cruise Terminal

Broad Street Bridgetown

Bridgetown Cruise Port

Broad St Bridgetown

Bridgetown Barbados travel guide
All text and photographs are Copyright Paradise Islands org


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