The Barbados party montage – the best bars, clubs and festivals on the island


Organize your party at Crop Over

More than 100,000 people gather each year in Barbados for the lively Crop Over festival (above), which traditionally marked the end of the sugar cane season. The festivities kick off in June with the opening gala, kicking off two months of street food markets, live soca and calypso music, art exhibits and carnival. It culminates on Grand Kadooment Day (early August) when masquerade groups parade down the Spring Garden Highway, accompanied by revelers wearing wings and adorned with sequins, dancing and playing music. As you’ll hear Bajans say, “Crop Over, it sweet fuh days!”

Go pub hopping in St Lawrence Gap

Impossible to visit Barbados without spending an evening at The Gap. Just south of Bridgetown, this low-key neighborhood is home to a handful of open-air bars, adorned with vibrant wood planks and neon lights. Watch the sunset with a rum punch in hand at Mimosas Trattoria and Bar, before heading to Hal’s Carpark Bar for karaoke or Cocktail Kitchen for a more refined affair. End the night at McBride’s; their reggae nights are famous all over the island (doors close at 4am).

Enjoy the relaxing charms of John Moore Bar

Savor delicious rum and fried fish in the relaxed setting of the John Moore Bar

(Visit Barbados)

Rub shoulders with the locals at this legendary beach bar and rum shop, perched on the waters edge near Mount Standfast. It’s a bit out of the way but worth a visit for its rustic charm, friendly service, and postcard-perfect views of paradise Weston Beach. If you’ve worked up an appetite, order the fried fish fresh off the boat; the bar is a few meters from the local seafood market. Wash it down with a Mount Gay XO on the rocks rum and take home a bottle as a souvenir.

Drink a beer on the beach at Carib Beach Bar

Take a stroll north of The Gap and you’ll find the quieter beach of Worthing, home to the Carib Beach Bar. Palm trees and lounge chairs sway on the white sand, backed by crystal blue waters. Take a seat and within minutes you’ll be sipping an ice-cold local Banks beer, accompanied by a platter of fishcakes. Keep an eye out for turtles hopping to breathe in the bay.

Sing karaoke at TML One Love Bar

At first glance, One Love looks like an unassuming yellow and blue watering hole. However, after 9 p.m. the party really begins; the music mounts as locals and tourists pour onto the sidewalk, Banks beers in hand. Expect very reasonable prices and a lively atmosphere. Sunday is karaoke night, so warm up your vocal chords, ready for a rendition or two of purple rain.

Enjoy sunset cocktails at the Drift Ocean Terrace Lounge

Sipping cocktails while watching the sunset is a must in Barbados

(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

For an aperitif, there is no better place than the Drift Ocean Terrace Lounge. Pale gray cladding and subdued lighting create an intimate atmosphere. Take a seat on the bar stools facing the sea just before 5.30pm (sunset times are pretty consistent all year round). Order the Mermaids Mane cocktail, featuring tangerine flavored vodka, passion fruit puree and orange juice, topped with prosecco and glasses to clink as the sun turns crimson pink.

Party at the Red Door Lounge

Described as the “crown jewel” of Barbados’ bar scene, Red Door is a must-visit late-night pit stop in Holetown. Step through the dimly lit entrance and you’ll discover a surprisingly glitzy urban space, far from the nearby beach bars. Live DJ sets and craft cocktails are the real highlights here; order the tangy rum punch, served in a jar of jam with a slice of grilled orange and a sprig of mint. Just be sure to dress for the occasion – this is not a shorts and flip flops type place.

Watch amazing shows at Harbor Lights

Watch a seaside show at Harbor Lights on Bridgetown’s Brownes Beach

(Alamy Photo)

Discover the flamboyant culture of the Caribbean at Harbor Lights on Brownes Beach in Bridgetown. By day it is a popular beach club. At night, it turns into a dinner-show venue and a nightclub. Arrive on a Wednesday or Thursday night for a barbecue dinner as fire eaters, feather dancers and stilt walkers parade around your table. Tickets also include shuttle service to any West or South Coast hotel.

For more ideas and inspiration for your stay in Bajan and great deals on everything from accommodations to trips and experiences, head over to Visit Barbados


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