The official Barbados Tourism website urges you to “wake up when the sun goes down,” and we want to help you get there. Nothing pairs with beachy afterglow and balmy nights like Caribbean nightlife, and Barbados is among its royalty.
This verdant island is dotted with venues serving up elaborate, refreshing spirits from North to South, in venues ranging from beachfront rum shops to speakeasy-style cocktail clubs. Barbados’ main nightlife drags are generally situated along the Eastern coast, but with 360 degrees of ocean surrounding this secluded oasis, it’s impossible to choose a bad spot to hang your hat.
Barbados presents so many options that it can border on overwhelming! So, here are our picks for its best areas to discover the nightlife, and your best bets for bars and venues to remember.
1. St. Lawrence Gap
Visitors looking for the whole package choose to visit – or stay in – the St. Lawrence Gap in Christ Church. Affectionately dubbed “the gap,” this lively strip is home to countless vibrant bars, a sea of restaurants, and many local shops and market stalls. A number of hotels also dot the coastline, which is home to Dover beach. With nothing between you and the ocean, this stretch of nightlife exists where water meets land, calm meets bustle, and tourists meet Barbados’ electric personality.
For dinner, Primo Bar & Bistro is a gorgeous fine-dining bistro that kisses the water serving up surf and turf at its finest – mussels, oysters, gumbo, and shrimp await you. You can find more waterfront delicacies at Beach One, enjoying a cocktail as the shore greets the evening waves.
Pop into Scoopie’s Jazz for a sip and a listen if you’re feeling low-key, or simply follow your ears: part of the appeal of the gap is walking around and taking in the sights and sounds. Mostly free of motor traffic, it is a pedestrian paradise. You’re guaranteed to hear a melded symphony of reggae, r&b, salsa, and more on any given night.
Way back in 1627, the first English settlers arrived in what is now known as Holetown located in the parish of Saint James. Today, this seaside town is known for its luxurious lean, with a handful of luxury resorts and a selection of upscale restaurants both Caribbean and otherwise. One of its main landmarks, St. James Parish Church, is a quaint sanctuary founded just one year after Barbados was settled, making it a veritable piece of history.
First and Second streets, joining to form a horseshoe, mark the centre of Holetown’s nightlife scene. Hopping from place to place is encouraged, as no two venues are more than a stone’s throw apart. It would be difficult to find a restaurant with a less-than-stellar reputation inside this loop, starting with Lime Bar & Restaurant, a fan favourite. It sits within the Limegrove Lifestyle Centre, a hub for shopping, food, events, and culture. Go observe Lime Bar’s mixologists in their element, and enjoy sipping your drink in the open air.
If you’re craving a wide selection, head down to The Beach House, which boasts a seaside terrace with a sunset view. Here, Caribbean and Mediterranean cuisines collide in an elegant environment, making it a Holetown dining hotspot. Lemongrass, a Thai wonder, will transport you to the other side of the world. To top off the evening, try the Red Door lounge, where cocktails and music come alive in an upbeat, modern, club-style environment.
3. Harbour Lights
Now that we’ve covered Barbados’ most beloved areas for dining and nightlife, it’s time for an honourable mention. Harbour Lights, located in Barbados’ capital of Bridgetown, is one of those special venues. The city itself is a very popular tourist destination, one if its main draws being its British colonial architecture and a notably neo-gothic Parliament building. It is also an official UNESCO World Heritage site.
While Bridgetown is not necessarily a nightlife powerhouse, it offers a number of shopping destinations, including duty-free destinations, as well as countless opportunities for water activities using the impressive beachfront of as a home base. Pleasure craft and yacht spottings are common here.
Harbour Lights sits on crystal-clear Carlisle Bay, with views of the night sky obscured only by dreamy bistro lights. Local DJ’s bring the lively nightclub atmosphere to life, the perfect backdrop to dancing, mingling, or enjoying the club’s two dance floors. To refuel, try one of its two beach bars, or the grill for a more substantial snack. Just make sure to plan ahead: Harbour Lights is open Wednesday and Friday nights only, plus Sunday during beach party season, making its elusiveness yet another dimension of its allure.
With your night all planned out, the one thing left to do is choosing a basecamp. Let Rental Escapes lead you to your perfect villa in Barbados.