Whether you’re looking forward to a holiday where you can be active every second of it or bask in the sunlight and just sip cocktails, you’ll find all that and so much more in Barbados.
There’s a wealth of things to do and see on this island, and you’ll return home feeling fulfilled and reborn. Barbados is a Caribbean gift waiting to be unwrapped.
By now, you’re probably sold on Barbados, but like many others, you may be wondering what the best time to visit this idyllic island is.
Leave that to us. You just plan your itinerary and prepare to explore it on your terms — we’ll help you decide when to go.
Why You Should Visit Barbados
Picture this: world-famous, white sand beaches, finger-licking cuisine, rich history, warm locals, and even warmer weather.
Barbados is a destination you’ll return to time and time again. And this isn’t just an ordinary holiday. It’s a Caribbean adventure of epic proportions.
Here’s why you should go for it:
- Top-notch hospitality. Looking for a restaurant recommendation? Got lost? Need help with your little ones? The locals’ hospitality won’t just leave you in awe — it will also be one of the main things that will make you come back to Barbados.
- Mouth-watering cuisine. You can’t fully experience the island until you sample your way through the traditional dishes like a real tourist foodie.
- Magnificent beaches. Whether you’re taking a nap under a palm tree, surfing on strong waves, or working on your tan, going to a Barbados beach is always fun, relaxing, and pleasant.
- Fun recreational activities. While most of the activities are water-based, each provides a different level of excitement. Feel free to take your pick from jet-skiing, surfing, kayaking, paddle boarding, or kite surfing. That said, the island allows for some land activities as well, such as hiking or biking.
- Careless shopping spree. There’s more to Barbados than meets the eye. While the out-of-this-world beaches and crystal waters are stunning to look at, shopping in Bridgetown, with its many malls, is just as fun.
- Rich history. To fully understand the island and the Barbadian people, you need to embrace your inner history buff. Throughout the island, you can marvel at important sites such as George Washington House, Gun Hill Signal Station, the Parliament Buildings, and St. Nicholas Abbey.
- Island entertainment. Experiencing the island during the day is one thing, but exploring it at night is completely different. Between local bars and clubs buzzing with energy, Barbados’ nightlife is as vibrant as the island itself.
- Exotic wildlife. Barbados is home to a myriad of fantastic creatures, including hawksbill and leatherback turtles, green monkeys, translucent whistling frogs, red-footed tortoises, various lizard species, and so on.
Overall Best Time to Visit Barbados
In general, the best time to visit Barbados is anytime during the December–April period.
This may be quite a wide range, but that’s only because the dry season attracts a vast number of travelers who wish to avoid the hurricane season and take advantage of the warm yet dry weather.
December has average temperatures fluctuating between 81.7°F and 79.7°F. December sees the shortest days in the whole year in Bridgetown. As December is much drier than the previous months, note you’re entering the beginning of the high season.
With Christmas being around the corner, prices soar, and crowds arrive. January, like December, is a warm month with temperatures varying between 80.6°F and 78.8°F in Barbados’ capital city.
If you happen to visit in January, check out Barbados Sailing Week for a week filled with exciting races, kiteboarding competitions, and wing surfing.
Being the coldest month (if we can talk about cold weather at all), February sees the lowest temperatures (which are still quite high) — an average high of 80.2°F and an average low of 78.3°F.
February is also the month with the least rainfall in the entire year, with just 13 mm of precipitation, hence why we recommend going in the dry season.
February visitors should add the Holetown Festival to their calendars and get ready for a week-long celebration featuring events such as folk dancing and singing, games, sports, and street parades.
It’s also the perfect month to take a stroll through the stunning Hunte’s Gardens and explore picturesque mini-gardens and soak in the rare plants’ exotic beauty. In March, get ready for temperatures varying between 78.4°F and 80.4°F.
Then, like March, April is yet another hot spring month, with average temperatures hovering around 79°F during the day and around 81.3°F at night. The month is ideal for vibrant events such as the Barbados Reggae Festival.
Loved by both local and foreign reggae enthusiasts, the Barbados Reggae Festival opens its doors toward the end of April and features some of the most renowned reggae names.
Cheapest Time to Visit Barbados
If you’re trying to stick to a budget, consider going to Barbados during one of its shoulder months, i.e., May or June.
Accommodation prices can quickly soar, especially at some of the top holiday resorts, so finding the right month to go can help you go easy on your wallet. May is a moderately warm month, with average temperatures varying between 82.9°F and 80.2°F.
If you’re visiting Barbados in May, you have to visit the Celtic Festival and add a bit of a cultural touch to your getaway. It’s an experience that never goes unnoticed.
May is an awesome month for those hoping to spot tree turtles too! June sees temperatures fluctuating between 81.1°F and 83.1°F. It’s also the month with the longest days.
For something more adventurous, check out the Sol Rally Barbados (Sol RB) event. Attracting drivers from across the entire world, this dynamic event is a haven for adrenaline seekers.
Another June event worth attending is the FABA-Fest (For Alumni, by Alumni). Celebrating HBCU excellence, it might very well be the event you never knew you needed as part of your voyage.
Least Busy Time to Visit Barbados
The least busy time to visit Barbados is anytime between September and early November.
If you’re looking for a laid-back holiday or a quiet trip, this is the best time to go. That said, just because things are quieter than usual doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot going on.
For example, in September, you can pay the Atlantis Submarines a visit, go to the Flower Forest Botanical Gardens, or go shopping at Earthworks Pottery without any crowds or peak-season queues.
September, being the first autumn month, has average temperatures fluctuating between 84°F and 81.9°F. October sees similar temperatures — an average high of 84°F and an average low of 82°F. These two months are the warmest months in Bridgetown.
If you visit in October, don’t forget to check out the Barbados Food and Rum Festival and see all your foodie dreams come live.
With a plethora of experts to intrigue your taste buds, the festival is a must-see event. November, is also a warm month, with average temperatures ranging between 82°F and 81.5°F.
It’s also the month when you can surf Soup Bowl. This period is great for those who want to watch some international competitions such as the Independence Surf Pro and the Caribbean Junior Championships.
Worst Time to Visit Barbados
If you’re not a fan of hurricane-prone weather and holidays spiced up with humidity, avoid visiting Barbados in the July-November period.
Similarly to the dry season, this may cover a wide scope, but that’s because Barbados has two seasons throughout the year — the dry and the wet season.
July temperatures are like the above-mentioned June temperatures — an average high of 83.1°F accompanied by an average low of 81.1°F.
In August, the temperatures vary between 83.8°F and 81.5°F. Both months are perfect for travelers who want to enjoy the dynamic Crop Over Festival.
Since its inception in the colonial period, it has been significantly transformed into one of the biggest events that take place in Barbados, with parties, singing competitions, parades, and carnival events.
To escape the annoying showers, consider visiting attractions or museums, such as Harrison’s Cave, where you can marvel at the rock formations, or join the St. Nicholas Abbey’s rum distillery tour.
Things to Consider
What else should you know to ensure your Barbados trip goes smoothly? Here are our top tips and practical pieces of advice to make sure you have a wonderful stay:
- While the official currency is the Barbados Dollar (BBD), US dollars are also widely accepted. With that being said, if you pay in US dollars, you’ll probably get change in Barbados dollars.
- Driving is on the left, so unless you’re comfortable with it, we suggest avoiding driving. What’s more, locals are said to drive a bit recklessly, and the roads have potholes and speed bumps, so you may be better off sticking to other forms of transport (read more about it in the FAQ section).
- English is widely spoken and understood, so miscommunication is rare.
- As you can see, the temperatures in Barbados don’t vary much throughout the entire year. What makes things tricky, however, is the irregular rain schedule. The rains can be truly unpredictable from month to month. Plus, most of the time, they occur in the form of heavy thunderstorms or downpours, so they’re intense. That said, they don’t last long and don’t really affect the sunshine hours that much.
- June, August, and November have an average humidity of 77%, which makes them the most humid Bridgetown months.
- If you go when it’s really hot, remember to reapply sunscreen regularly and stay hydrated, especially if you engage in more demanding activities such as hiking.
- For diving, snorkeling, and other water-based fun, make sure the temperatures are between 77°F and 84.2°F — otherwise, spending time in the water won’t be comfortable. Do note that if you visit Bridgetown, for example, the coldest seawater months are February and March, with an average sea temperature of 80.8°F.
- In most restaurants, a service charge is included in the bill, so you don’t need to worry about tipping. That said, it’s common to also round up the bill if you’re happy with the service you received.
- Being a tropical island, cool, casual clothing is recommended. The nights are chilly, so packing a sweater or a jacket is advisable as well. Do note that wearing camouflage clothing isn’t allowed.
- LGBT travelers should keep a low profile, as local attitudes toward this community are still somewhat conservative. Certain same-sex activities are even illegal.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it safe in Barbados for tourists?
Yes, Barbados is generally safe for tourists. And while most visits to the island are trouble-free, it’s still advisable to show some level of caution (as you would anywhere, really).
Namely, some petty crimes such as pickpocketing are common. Also, avoiding certain neighborhoods such as Crab Hill, Nelson Street (Bridgetown), and Wellington Street (Bridgetown) is recommended.
Note that Bridgetown is safer during the day than late at night. Avoid wandering the city alone, don’t flash your valuables, and don’t carry large amounts of cash with you.
Finally, the murder rate has gone up in recent years as a result of gang-related shootings. But this happens only in specific neighborhoods, and tourists don’t venture to these parts during their holidays anyway, so there’s no reason for panic or concern.
Is Barbados a cheap place to visit?
We’re going to be straightforward with you — Barbados isn’t the most affordable destination out there. Even if you plan to visit during its low season, it isn’t cheap. Eating out is also quite expensive, flights can be pricey, and even all-inclusive resorts can be costly.
However, there are plenty of inexpensive options for those looking to save some money and willing to do in-depth research about the island.
What’s more, Barbados is worth every penny, and if you analyze your travel style, you can easily calculate how much money you should expect to spend on a daily basis during your stay there. Here are some estimates to help with that:
- The average price of a three-day weekend trip to Bridgetown costs:
- $916 for a solo traveler;
- $1558 for a couple;
- $2016 for a family of four.
- Hotel prices in the center of the city range between $302 and $756, whereas Airbnb rentals are 95$ per night for the entire apartment.
- Travelers need to set aside $103 per day per person to cover restaurant and transportation expenses.
Do note that the above-mentioned figures are approximations and, as such, are subject to change.
Are people from Barbados friendly?
Yes, Barbadians are said to be very friendly and welcoming. They’re open by nature, generous both to locals and tourists, and thoughtful.
Don’t be surprised if a random person greets you on the street, even if you’ve never met them before. You’ll see that fitting in with the locals is a piece of cake.
What is the traditional food of Barbados?
Enjoyed by locals and island guests alike, Barbadian cuisine is a unique mixture of various cultures. From Portuguese, African, and Indian flavors to Creole, British, and Irish influences, Barbados’ traditional dishes feature a plethora of “foreign” ingredients accompanied by home-grown spices and herbs.
This means that even if you’ve already tried a specific meal before, Barbadian spices will transform it to the point that it becomes unrecognizable to your taste buds.
Here are some specific Barbadian dishes you should try during your stay:
- Flying fish, served with a side of cou-cou (the most well-known Barbadian traditional dish);
- Fish cakes, a unique delicacy;
- Jug Jug, which resembles the well-known Scottish haggis;
- Chicken curry but with the extra special Barbadian seasoning;
- Mahi Mahi, with a side of fries;
- Roti, a Barbadian burrito;
- Pepperpot, served with bread or rice;
- Brown stew chicken, prepared in the Caribbean way.
You can’t fully grasp Barbadian cuisine without trying some traditional drinks such as: Rum Punch, Ginger Beer, Mauby Drink, Sorrel, and Banks Beer.
What are some fun facts about Barbados?
Here are some fun facts about Barbados you probably didn’t know:
- It is believed rum and grapefruit originated on the island of Barbados.
- Barbados used to be a British colony, but gained its independence in 1966.
- Barbados is also called “the Land of Flying Fish” (flying fish is literally a fish native to the Barbadian waters).
- Besides Barbadians, locals also refer to themselves as Bajans.
- Tourism is the main industry on the island.
- The Barbados Parliament is the third oldest parliament in the Commonwealth.
- Cricket is the island’s national sport.
- Back in 2018, Barbados had its first-ever female Prime Minister elected.
- The island is home to one of the oldest Jewish synagogues in the Western Hemisphere, The Nidhe Israel Synagogue.
- Locals perceive a mongoose crossing your path as a good omen.
What part of Barbados is best to stay?
All things considered, we believe the best areas on the island are along the south and west coast. That said, each area provides a different experience, so it depends on what you hope to get out of your journey.
For example, if you choose the southern coast, know that this is the best region for surf-related activities. Here you can also go to Barbados’ best golf club. The western coast is great for exploring historical sites, fishing, and a bit of shopping.
Finally, the eastern coast of the island is all about connecting with nature, having a good trek, or visiting botanical gardens.
All in all, the best part to stay in Barbados depends on your personal travel expectations, but considering the island is only 166,4 square miles, regardless of where you stay, you’ll still be able to explore the other areas very easily.
Is 5 days in Barbados enough?
The way we see it, you should spend at least five days in Barbados to get the gist of the island. Now whether that’s enough or you need to stay longer depends on your budget, the people you travel with, the activities you wish to engage in on the island, and so on.
In general, staying less than five days (or even five days) means you won’t have the time to see or do everything, so you’ll need to choose what to visit.
Staying for a whole week or more allows you to explore the island in greater detail and soak in each Barbadian experience the way you should — stress-free and without any rushing.
Are natural disasters common in Barbados?
Barbados is at risk of numerous natural disasters, including hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, droughts, and occasional landslides. Barbados’ official hurricane season runs from June to November.
We suggest following the US National Hurricane Centre for updates, alongside any local advice from The Barbados Government Information Service (BGIS).
While earthquakes are an occasional occurrence in the Caribbean, it’s wise to be informed about how to protect yourself during an earthquake and what to do afterward well in advance. Check out the US Federal Emergency Management Agency to learn more.
How do you get around in Barbados?
To navigate the island, you can take advantage of the Barbados Transport Board, Route Taxis/ZR, Taxi Cabs, and Public Service Vehicles (PSVs). Note that taxis don’t operate on a metered system.
There are so-called “standard taxi fares” for the majority of destinations. In any case, before you accept the ride, clear up the details with your driver upfront, such as the cost of the ride, the currency you will be paying in, and so on.
Public transport is the cheapest option. That said, some minibus drivers often drive above the recommended speed limit.
Is Barbados good for swimming?
While most beaches in Barbados are safe, and the water’s generally fine for swimming, you still need to take care at all times when engaging in water-based activities.
Namely, currents can be strong on both south and west coast beaches. Also, some beaches have neither warning flags nor lifeguards, so make sure to look after yourself. Incidents, including drownings, have been known to take place.
In that regard, the east coast beaches should be your last option, as it isn’t recommended due to the deceptively strong currents. In any case, follow local advice and monitor the beach you’re visiting carefully.
Can you swim with sea turtles in Barbados?
Thanks to the unrealistically clear and transparent waters, travelers can swim with sea turtles in Barbados and freely observe these cute little fellas. Some of the best places for sea turtle spotting include Drill Hall, Holetown, Carlisle Bay, and Dover Beach.
There are many sea turtle tours in Barbados that you can book via accredited operators located on the island. Most tours feature catamarans with snorkeling gear. Refreshments or even lunch is usually included.
Most trips include shipwreck exploration and stopping at beaches along the way. This is perfect for those who wish to make the most out of their time in Barbados, as it allows them to see and do more in a smaller period of time.
So, When Should You Travel to Barbados?
- All things considered, the prime time to visit Barbados is in the dry season, that is, during the December–April period. That said, when you plan your trip, factor in the increased demand these months and book your accommodation alongside other popular excursions well in advance to ensure availability and avoid unpleasant surprises.
- If you want to visit Barbados without breaking the bank, plan your trip in May or June. Mind you, a cheaper trip in the country’s shoulder season doesn’t mean you don’t get to enjoy the same activities, weather, or attractions as you would in other months. In fact, you not only get to enjoy them fully — you also get to do so at a much lower rate.
- The least busy period to visit Barbados is anytime between September and early November. During this off-season, travelers get to enjoy the island without worrying about all accommodations being sold out or the front-row beach spots being taken at all times.
- The worst time to find yourself in Barbados is during the country’s wet season or in the July–November period. However, the rain periods are brief and, most of the time, won’t interfere with your travel plans.
It’s clear by now that the ideal time to go depends on your travel preferences, who you’re traveling with, your budget, the festivals you wish to attend, and the activities you hope to engage in once you’re there.
With that said, there really isn’t a bad time to travel to this amazing island. Whichever season you pick, you’ll be thrilled with your stay.
Even if (or should we say when?) it rains, you’re bound to have an awesome time. After all, locals refer to rain as “liquid sunshine,” and what’s not to like about a burst of liquid sunshine?! Happy travels!