Barbados Local Customs

  • Local Customs
    by Assenczo
  • Local Customs
    by Assenczo
  • Local Customs
    by Assenczo

Barbados Local Customs

  • Mass Tourism

    A little warning about the Barbados set up should include a paragraph or so about the mass tourism and its impact on this tiny spec of a land in the Atlantic Ocean. The government has decided, apparently, that the tourism is going to be the next sugar cane crop and acts accordingly. The airport has been upgraded to receive the largest aircraft in...

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  • Hotel dilema

    Looking at the accommodation sites related to Barbados, one might get the impression that the lodging is quite expensive. Yes, it is not cheap but there is hope. The best approach for people with small luggage and patience is to pick a hotel of acceptable value and then check it out without reserving in advance. Sometimes it might work right away...

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  • Taxi hassle

    The prices for standard taxi rides all over the island have been regulated. They are written on boards at the taxi stand of the airport. Still, some taxi drivers are trying to insist on more using different excuses. It is up to you to stand your ground or give in and set bad example. For instance, airport to St. Lawrence is supposed to be 31...

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  • Free Pulpit

    The vast majority of Barbadians (Bajans) appear to be gentle souls. Some exceptions are very vocal though finding appropriately crowded venues to express their frustrations; main bus station or traffic jammed Independence square rank very high. Common theme across the Caribbean must be the lack of institutions for the mentally challenged. So they...

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  • Fish Fry Night

    An update for you all - Oistens has been refurbishing the area for Fish Fry nights, and I have now included some photographs to show you the refurbishment. It really has tidied up the area, and the vendors stalls are so colourful. All in all Oistens has been regenerated in this area. Do go to Oistens on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night to...

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  • Photographer

    Our wedding photographer, Eleanor, was just superb. She is highly in demand for weddings across the island and has links with many of the hotels so is very experienced at making the perfect record of the day (in fact, she recently took the pictures when Tiger Woods was married at the Sandy Lane Hotel!) Her package prices are extremely reasonable...

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  • Hairdresser

    I wasn't too sure where to post this tip, so 'local customs' will have to do!I had a wonderful hairdresser, Valerie, for my big day. She has her own salon at the main shopping centre in Holetown, and the package we booked with her included a hair trial at the salon the day before, with Valerie coming to the villa we stayed at a few hours before the...

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  • Marrying in Barbados

    We had a lot of help in organising our marriage in Barbados, but one thing we did have to do ourselves was purchase the marriage licence. Take your passport and birth certificates (and, if relevant, decree absolute or death certificate of your previous spouse) to the Ministry of Home Affairs, which is near the General Post Office in Bridgetown. You...

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  • Chattel Houses - Keeping up a tradition.

    These few pictures show a Chattel house on the St. Lawrence Road, Christchurch that was in desperate need of repair. The first picture shows the beginning of the wooden structure, the foundation having been left.The next two pictures show the nearly completed outside of the property. Pictures 1 and 2 were taken about a week apart, and picture 3...

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  • Hurricane Shelters

    You will find dotted about the island, Hurricane Shelters in the form of the local Church. This particular photograph is of the St. Lawrence Church which was consecrated on 5th November 1839, and established a Parish on 15th January 1977.As the Church is the centre of the Community, it makes sense to have them as the gathering place in an...

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  • Sundays are religious days

    If you want to see the locals dressed up get a bus on a Sunday and just go for a ride on it, the ladies wear grand dresses,hats and shoes to match, bless um. The guys are in suits and look very posh, its a pleasure to see them and they know they look good too even if they are about 20yrs out of date!!!!!

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  • Legendary Friday Nights

    If you are in Barbados on a Friday you must make it to Oistins, on the South shore, for the fish fry put on by the locals. The different grilled fish fillets are offered by about a dozen or more vendors, but almost all offer flying fish, the local speciality. Walk around first and check different one out; most offer free samples. Prices are good,...

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  • Cricket

    Bajans have a habit of taking something English and making it their own - cricket is a good example. The sport was first played here by the colonists and remains hugely popular. During the annual international home matches (usually March to June), everyone is talking cricket. You'll see old men with transistor radios, taxi drivers will have it on...

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  • Look closely at the pavers..

    In many of the older buildings in the country, you can see inscriptions on the pavers and bricks used both in the foundations or in the construction of the surrounding walkways and gardens.These bricks were used as ballast in the old sugar freighters and then reused in construction after the freighters left with their cargo. The names refer to...

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  • Indigenous to Barbados - Road Tennis

    This sport of Road Tennis is a sport they call their own.The game started as far back as the 1930's in the parish of St. Michael, and has often been referred to as the "poor man's tennis".Equipment is very basic, consisting of two pieces of wood,an old tennis ball, and the court chalked out on the ground on the road. Once when we were on a country...

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  • Bajan National Dish

    A Bajan national dish is Cou-cou and salt fish. Cou-cou is a cornmeal and okra pudding. It is ladled with gravy and served with a salt fish stew. Cou-cou in the making is a wonderful sight to see and a challenge, much energy is put into the stirring, for if any lumps are allowed to form, it is considered a failure. The finished mixture is packed...

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  • Saturday tradition

    Bajan tradition is for "pudding and souse" - an old island dish still made everywhere, and served on Saturdays.The pudding is made from grated and well-seasoned sweet potato, which is stuffed into the cleaned pig's intestines called "belly" which is then steamed. The cooked pudding looks like a long dark sausage. This is cut into clices and served...

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  • Holetown Festival - St. James Parish

    Here in February the Holetown Festival takes place, commemorating the first settlers landing in 1627. There is a week of special performances, which ends with a two day street fair.There are many stalls - craft, art, local food, -a Tuk Band usually makes an appearance, Visitors and locals alike have a wonderful time.

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  • Independence Day

    Independence Day - November 30th, is celebrated by the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts.There are competitions in dance, drama, song, paintings, writing and other art forms.

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  • Crop Over

    There are four major festivals on the Barbados calendar and the largest and the longest is CROP OVER. This is a revival of the traditional celebration of the sugar cane harvest. It is a season for the Decorated Cart Parade, the Calypso Monarch Competition, numerous neighbourhead parties, and culminates on Kadooment Day with costumed revelry and...

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  • Immigration Fees

    When you leave Barbados it is important to remember that you will have to pay an immigration fee of 25 BDS per person if you want to get out. You cannot leave the island without paying, so remember to budget for this.

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  • Bajan People

    People in Barbados call themselves Bajan, so the peole in general are called Bajans. The people on the island are generally very friendly, and will wave or say 'hello' as you pass by. It is well received if you wave back or say 'hello' to them. Many of the locals will be more than happy to chat with you over a beer or glass of rum, and it is an...

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  • Begging?

    On the beaches of Barbados there are a number of locals who think that instead of actually working for a living, they can just sponge off tourists. These people don't see what they do as begging, but actually believe that visitors to the island should give them something for nothing. You will be able to spot these people as they wander up and down...

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  • Chattel Houses

    Chattel houses are a unique part of the Bajan landscape.The name chattel was confusing to me, but the word "chattel" comes from the English common law. It refers to personal property as distinguished from real property (land as in real estate). Plantation workers on the sugar cane plantations had houses that could be disassembled and put up again...

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  • Got Rum?

    Rum is something that Barbados is famous for. There're several distilleries on the island, and Bajans know their rum! It's omnipresent, it's a big part of the local culture, and it tends to be pretty damn good, as well as cheap. Rum punch is probably the most common drink that's mixed with it.

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  • Honking

    In Barbados honking your horn is second nature. It's a universal jesture, that works equally well as a greeting and as a display of a driver's frustration. Though usually it is a greeting. And since for some reason every taxi driver on the island knows just about EVERYONE of the island's 250,000 residents, the horns don't stay silent for long......

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  • Red Plastic Bag (Barbados music)

    While we was driving around in our hired Jeep we heard this song called "Volcano" on our car radio and then in our Hotel bar. I asked the Barman and he told me the song was by Red plastic bag. Fantastic I said, I will buy this Album. It went down a treat, as we got everyone listening to it before the Holiday was over.

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  • Fish fry

    Please go to Oistins for fish. Enjoy the sweet strains of calypso and reggae music coming from the sidewalk stalls. Of course dancing to all that music builds up an appetite, so head for the food and beverage stalls and enjoy traditional Bajan fare such as fish cakes, fried fish and pudding and souse, all washed down with a cool Banks Beer. Local...

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  • Be polite, but determined!

    Men in Barbados like women - a lot! Sometimes their way of expressing that can seem a little agressive, and make your stay stressful and uncomfortable. I got a really helpful tip concerning this: "If you are not interested in getting romanticly (or in other ways) involved with the guy approaching you - just tell him straight! Don't try to be nice,...

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  • Tipping

    Also,a 10% tip is expected here,but make sure that it has not already been added to the bill as some places add it on automatically. Bathing suits should only be worn on the beach,not around shops and also skimpy clothes will be out of place in a town.Remeber that you have to pay a departure tax when you fly back home of around bds $25,so budjet...

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  • Manners go along way

    You should always greet someone before asking directions etc.Barbados is influenced alot by north America and Canada and you will see this on the island in daily life.Barbados is also one of the richest islands in the Caribbean.Barbados is politically stable and has a generous government,so lots of foreign investors are attracted here.

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  • Good manners are very...

    Good manners are very important in Barbados.Guests should say please and thankyou and always ask permission before taking anyones picture.It is considered impolite not to greet someone with goodmorning,good afternoon when you pass then on a road or enter a shop.

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  • A Few Words of Slang

    Doin' Dixie- The attention-hog at a party, or in a nicer manner, the life of the party.Wukkin' Up- A high energy dance that makes you look like a demon trying to suck out some-ones sole.Gully-Boar- A person with no class... white trashSkettel- A mean woman, so steer clear of one.Gap- Another way to say street.

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  • Here's a publication that may help.

    When we arrived to Barbados, we found a copy of a magazine that you may find helpful. It's called THE IN'S AND OUT'S OF BARBADOS. They are published by Miller Publishing Company Ltd. Edgehill, St. Thomas, Barbados. There's a lot of information about things to do and places to see. This publication is now also online.

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  • Barbados is a very beautiful...

    Barbados is a very beautiful island, with lots of art, activities, night life, music, history and some of the best restaurants to be found anywhere. But what makes Barbados even more special, and the reason why so many visitors keep returning to the island year after year, is the people. Barbadians, called Bajans, are warm and friendly souls,...

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  • Barbados is the eastern-most...

    Barbados is the eastern-most Caribbean island. It is located at 13.4N, 54.4W. The island, which is less that one million years old, was created by the collision of the Atlantic crustal and Caribbean plates, along with a volcanic eruption. Later coral formed, accumulating to approximately 300 feet. It is geologically unique, being actually two land...

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  • Because the English used to...

    Because the English used to own Barbados as a colony, there are many old colonial buildings scattered over the island, and if you just drive a round you will many of them, and visit the ones that are open for tourist.

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  • Lewd dancing or wining in the...

    Lewd dancing or wining in the streets for Kadooment can result in a fine and if you can't pay the fine, jail! We as Trinis found this outrageous, so we danced like normal and taunted the police to take us to jail.I don't know of anyone who was ever jailed or fined!

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  • Between Lawrence gap and...

    Between Lawrence gap and Worthing beach you will often see local people walking along the beach looking for 'fifth' empty bottles of Mount Gay Rum. You'll see these people later on stopping at hotels etc on the beach offering Aloe Vera (natural after sun lotion). You agree the price first (2 or 3 pounds) and then there is a very pleasant 30 minutes...

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  • The people of the island are...

    The people of the island are laid back , but they have there formal side. i.e. don't wear your bathing suit in the supermarket, use the same rule you do at home for there. you may be on vacation but ,they are not!dress for dinner at the resteraunts.

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  • Don't be afraid to ask the...

    Don't be afraid to ask the local's about finding good places to eat and entertainment,some of the off the beaten path places are the most fun. open air clubs that look like nothing gets transformed to party central after 10pm.

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  • Barbadians dont care about...

    Barbadians dont care about time and they do not liked to be rushed.They take life slowly and things get done,but always tomorrow.When you go out for a meal,expect it to take all night.Just chill out,relax and enjoy the slow unhurried pace of Barbados:) Here is a local woman selling fresh veggies in Bridgetown.

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Barbados Hotels

See all 105 Hotels in Barbados
  • Little Arches Hotel

    Enterprise Coast Rd, , Barbados, Caribbean

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Business

    Hotel Class 4 out of 5 stars

  • Blue Horizon

    Rockley Beach 1, Christ Church, Caribbean

    Satisfaction: Average

    Good for: Solo

    Hotel Class 3 out of 5 stars

  • Atlantis Hotel

    Tent Bay, St. Joseph, Bathsheba, Barbados, Caribbean

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Business

    Hotel Class 4 out of 5 stars

Top Barbados Hotels

Bridgetown Hotels
53 Reviews - 167 Photos
Hastings Hotels
4 Reviews - 14 Photos
Dover Hotels
4 Reviews - 17 Photos
Saint Lawrence Hotels
8 Reviews - 37 Photos
Oistins Hotels
1 Review - 14 Photos
Holetown Hotels
3 Reviews - 9 Photos
Maxwell Coast Hotels
2 Hotels
Porters Hotels
3 Hotels
Maynards Hotels
1 Hotel
Worthing Hotels
15 Reviews - 27 Photos
Westmoreland Hotels
2 Hotels
Sunset Crest Hotels
5 Hotels
Speightstown Hotels
1 Review - 5 Photos
Silver Sands Hotels
2 Hotels
Sandy Lane Hotels
2 Hotels

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Barbados Local Customs

Reviews and photos of Barbados local customs posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Barbados sightseeing.
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