Bridgetown is Barbados’s charming capital and boasts UNESCO World Heritage Site status due to its historic downtown.
Bridgetown is the largest city on the Caribbean island of Barbados and its capital. It’s a lively hub of Caribbean culture and commerce. There’s a rich history here, which gives the city a unique English character, which combines well with the local West Indian laidback lifestyle. The downtown area of the city was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2012, and by all accounts it is worth a visit if nothing else. In Bridgetown, you will find a bustling urban metropolis that blends old and new architecture seamlessly, a gorgeous coastline with pristine sandy beaches and perfectly warm Caribbean waters, and one of the Caribbean’s oldest rum distilleries. There’s plenty to do whether you’re in town for a spot of casual sight-seeing, or you’re looking to put down roots and call Bridgetown home. If you’re feeling especially adventurous, you can make the most of the crystal clear waters by putting on some diving gear and exploring the hugely popular dive sites, the S.S. Stavronikita.
Where to live in Bridgetown
Wherever you decide to live in Bridgetown, you shouldn’t be more than a 10-15 minute drive from the coast and the glorious crystal clear waters and sandy beaches. If you want the best property money can buy, then consider some of the neighborhoods which sit right on the water. Otherwise, if you’re more restricted with a budget, you can take a look at properties further inland but still with great access to the water.
Best Neighborhoods in Bridgetown
If you’re relocating to Barbados, the chances are you’re going to want to find property as close to the water as humanly possible. Fortunately, Bridgetown’s coastal location means that several of its neighborhoods such as Needhams point, and Goodland are right next to some of the best beaches on the island. If you prefer the idea of somewhere inland though, with easy access to the city center by car, then you might like to consider Fort George Heights instead.
Quick Facts About BridgetownBridgetown is the largest city in Barbados with a population of around 110,000 people. This makes it one of the most popular spots to visit on the island of Barbados, and one of the more populated cities in the Carribean. Read on for some interesting facts about Bridgetown that should give you a clear idea of what to expect:
It blends old and newThe city of Bridgetown is a classic example of a town that blends the old with the new seamlessly. It has a charming historic downtown which was granted the title of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and buildings such as St. Michael’s Anglican Cathedral and The General’s House are stunning examples of architecture.
There’s a statue of Horatio NelsonThere’s a statue of the English admiral Horatio Nelson in National Heroes Square, which was once called Trafalgar Square like its London counterpart. The statue was built in 1813.
The city was founded in 1628The city of Bridgetown was founded in 1628 by English settlers. As a result, there is still strong evidence of an English presence in the city in the monuments, landmarks, and culture. In fact, the city was built to resemble a small Medieval village in England.
It was ravaged by fires and choleraBridgetown has had a rough past, with everything from hurricanes to great fires, and even cholera taking a toll on the town and its population. The cholera epidemic took the lives of around 20,000 people in 1854, in a town which had already suffered damage from many fires.
There’s a World War CenotaphAnother monument in the square is a cenotaph that commemorates Barbadians who died in the two World Wars. Originally built as a homage to those who served and died in World War I in 1925, the cenotaph was updated to include those who lost their lives in World War II at a later date.
It has a distinct English feelIn Bridgetown there is a mix of English culture and West Indian laidback culture, which can be seen primarily in the architecture. As a result of the British colonial history that surrounds the Caribbean island, there’s still an English influence to this day.
There’s a historic cricket groundThe West Indies has a fine history of cricket, and usually performs well on the world stage. For fans of the sport, a visit to the Kensington Oval is a fun activity. It’s a world-famous cricket ground that dates back to 1871 and once hosted the International Cricket Council World Cup.
It was called Indian Bridge beforeThe city was colloquially called ‘Indian Bridge’ by British settlers. This is because there was some semblance of a city when the British first arrived on the island, and there was an old bridge that was thought to be the creation of the Tainos, an indigenous tribe of the Carribean.
Work in Bridgetown
As the largest city in Barbados and the capital, Bridgetown has the most work opportunities of anywhere on the island. It’s a hub of business and culture, and you can expect to find something that suits your skillset if you look in the right places. The top employers in Bridgetown are London-based EY, a global leader in consulting and tax services; KPMG, one of the world’s largest accounting firms; and PwC, a large network of firms specializing in advisory, assurance, and tax services.
How good is Bridgetown for Digital Nomads or Remote Work
Remote work is changing how the global workspace operates. In a trend that is showing no signs of slowing down, remote work is rapidly on the increase all around the world—especially in a place like Bridgetown. And about 25% of remote workers describe themselves as digital nomads—those who like to travel or stay in cities around the world while they work. So, how good is Bridgetown for both of these growing movements?
Average Internet SpeedThere’s an average internet speed of around 54.04 MB/s download speed and an average of 27.27 Mb/s upload speed. This should be plenty to get all of your remote work done, when you’re not basking in the sun on one of Barbado’s many sandy beaches.
Work-friendly Coffee ShopsIt may be a stereotype, but the digital nomad lifestyle wouldn’t be complete without a cozy work-friendly coffee shop to set up shop in. Here are the top spots for working in Bridgetown: Coffee Barbados Cafe: Coffee Barbados Cafe is an excellent spot to relax in and get a light spot of work done. There is sumptuous cuisine, plenty of plants around, and some sheltered outdoor seating. The ArtSplash Centre Cafe: The ArtSplash Centre Cafe is the breakfast spot that you always hope to find on your travels. Waffles, scrambled eggs, salmon; you name it, this cafe does it. There’s also comfortable outdoor benches you can work from. The Coffee Bean: The Coffee Bean is your traditional coffee-lovers haven. With plenty of options on the menu, this coffee shop should give the caffeine fix you need to get through a tough work project with energy to spare.
Coworking SpacesWe’re not going to lie to you: there are only a couple of coworking spaces in and around Bridgetown. It isn’t the end of the world though, since you only need one coworking space, right? Here are the top-rated options: TEN Habitat: Fortunately, there is one excellent coworking space right in the heart of Bridgetown. TEN Habitat is an innovation hub and the perfect spot to meet like-minded people and spaces to work. Regus One Welches: Regus One Welchesis located in Welches on the island of Barbados. It’s a grade A office space with several meeting rooms available. TEN Habitat is located in Bridgetown, while Regus One Welches is in Welches. So you should be able to find a great option near you.
Suitable Level for Digital NomadsIn recent years, Barbados has become one of the best destinations for digital nomads due to the introduction of the digital nomad visa, which allows you to relocate without having to jump through quite so many administrative hoops. Bridgetown is also on the rise, with more coffee shops popping up, and the potential for more coworking spaces too. Aside from the practical work side of the digital nomad life, though, hands-down the most compelling reason to move to the island is for the dreamlike existence you can live out there.
Visa RequirementsIn what is fantastic news for digital nomads looking to relocate to the Carribean, Barbados recewntly introduced a remote work visa in 2020. This remote work visa is called the ‘12 Month Barbados Welcome Stamp’, and it is exactly what it sounds like: a year-long pass to work and live on the island. This remote work-friendly visa should come as exciting news for anyone tempted to dip their toes in the Caribbean waters and discover whether life in Barbados is all it’s cracked up to be. From cramped office spaces to pristine beaches and crystal clear waters, it’s a tempting proposition. This visa will cost $2000 for an individual, and $3000 for a family or couple, and requires an income of $50,000 a year. You will also need to gather some documents for the process.
Food and Drink in Bridgetown
The food and drink in Bridgetown features a variety of influences from the Bajan cuisine served in Oistins to British pubs that will make you feel like your in the Queen’s homeland. Breakfast is a big deal on the island, and Bridgetown is home to plenty of cozy spots serving up mouthwatering delights to kickstart your day. Head to Coffee Barbados Cafe or Tiki Pies bakery to start your day right. If you’re looking for a seaside dining experience - which if you’re on the island you probably will - head to Cuz’s fish stand for some of the best fish sandwiches you’ll ever lay hands on. For something more refined, try Lobster Alive for some elegant seafood dishes. As for drinks, there’s no shortage of cocktails to be found in the city. You have several options, inspired by a variety of cultures, from the American-inspired Bert’s Bar to the Mexican-themed Cafe Sol or the distinctly CaribbeanTiki Bar, there’ll be somewhere for you.
Top 6 Things To Do in Bridgetown
If you’re a fan of water-based activities and sports, then you’re in luck. The possibilities for maritime activities are endless, whether you want to watch the world go by as you bob around on a boat or take a more active approach and dive into the crystal clear water, you’re covered in Bridgetown. There’s the Catamaran snorkeling cruises, the deep diving to the popular diving site the sunken ship Stavronikita, and the joys of lounging on one of the many pristine beaches such as Carlisle Bay or Browne’s Beach. For non-aquatic activities, there’s the Mount Gay rum distillery, the historic Kensington Oval cricket ground, and an array of architecture including St. Michael’s cathedral.
Barbados Pleasure Tours
Richard Haynes Boardwalk Main Road, Bridgetown
Bethel Methodist Church
Highway 7, Bridgetown
Mallalieu Motor Collection
Island Safari (B'dos) Ltd
Sun Group Inc, Froster Hall
The Tiki Bar
Rockley Beach, Bridgetown
Blackwoods Screw Dock Barbados