Getting Around Barbados

Getting around Barbados doesn't need to be confusing.  Let’s Take a Look at Travel and Transportation Options in Barbados.

Barbados has an excellent transportation system with several modes of transportation from which to choose.  Unless you’ve made private arrangements ahead of time, chances are the airport will be the first place you’ll need transportation when you arrive in Barbados, so let’s start there.

Taxi Stand on Upper Broad Street, Bridgetown

Ground Transportation at the Barbados Airport

There are many convenient taxi cabs available at Grantley Adams International Airport waiting to whisk you away to your destination.  At times, several flights arrive simultaneously and it would appear that the taxi drivers are overwhelmed.  Rest assured - local cab drivers are quite familiar with the daily flight schedules and “all hands are on deck”.  The resident transportation dispatcher will quickly assign a taxi to you. 

Some hotels pre-arrange free shuttle service to and from the airport and this alleviates any transportation concerns visitors might have.  Many hotels also offer a free shuttle service to and from Bridgetown as a courtesy to the hotel guests.  

One thing worth mentioning:  Several website operators offer an online transportation service from the Barbados airport to various hotels on the island.  Signing up for this service is unnecessary, in my opinion, as taxis are always readily available.  The rates are higher than the local airport rates.  However, if the convenience of booking ahead of time is important to you, then this is a viable option. 

Public Transportation in Barbados

Public transportation is convenient, cheap, and now offers a lot more than just getting from Point A to Point B.  For instance, the Barbados government owned bus line now offers mini island tours.  Many visitors are now opting for this mode of transportation. 

Public transportation in Bridgetown is located at two major points – Upper Broad Street at the Fairchild Street Bus Terminal and lower Broad Street terminal near Pelican Village shops.  

Barbados Government Owned and Operated Transport Board Bus Line

There is no rail service for ground transportation in Barbados.  Construction started in 1877 and the service was introduced as a means of transport not just for passengers, but for sugar cane as well.   

The service operated between Bridgetown and Belleplaine in the parish of St. Andrew.  The line was closed in 1934 due to major maintenance costs, which were further exacerbated by corrosion from the ocean sprays.  The railway parts were sold locally and overseas, and today a few remnants of the track can still be seen along certain areas of the East Coast.   

Due to the dense population and the island’s land mass, it would be senseless to operate such a system.  For starters, it would be a costly undertaking.  Couple that with the fact that it takes just about 1 ½ hours to travel from the northern tip of the island to the southernmost point renders  rail service unwarranted.   

Car Rentals in Barbados

Do you love the freedom of being on the open road?  If you’re up for a challenge and would like to tackle left side driving to explore the ins and outs of Barbados, then adventure awaits you.  With many makes and models to choose from, you will be able to take your pick from the many car rental agencies available on the island.  

Scooter Rentals

Small scooters and bicycles can also be rented for travel and transportation in Barbados but I would recommend staying away from the major highways if you’re not familiar with the island’s roadways and rotaries.  There are great seaside villages for this type of travel like the East Coast, for instance, or the northern tip of the island near Speightstown in the north.  The roads tend to be smaller and there is less vehicular traffic.  

Group Travel

This requires the use of small vans or large coach buses and can be reserved with a personal driver at an affordable price.  There are several private owners offering this type of service.  Here are my personal recommendations.  

It's Your Vacation.. Get out There and Enjoy it! 

Based on your individual needs and length of stay, it is best to determine ahead of time what suits you the best for travel and transportation in Barbados. 

  • Taxi stands are conveniently located at many hotels or at a central location.  Most times, the drivers are at hand to transport you to your destination quickly.  Costs can add up quickly.

  • Buses are great if you want to experience a little island culture and your vacation schedule is unstructured. There are also mini island tours available on public buses for a nominal fee.  

  • If you’d like to take in the sights and sounds of Barbados and discover the island on your own and at your own pace, then renting a car would be your best option.  It’s not your cheapest option but it offers more flexibility.  However, if you're squeamish about driving in Barbados, guided island tours can be made through a local tour operator at your hotel or with your personal cab driver. 

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