Getting Around Barbados
If you have read some of the other posts on our blog, you’ll already know that Barbados is full of exciting places to explore. With fantastic beaches, stunning nature, awesome places to eat and drink and an array of historical sites, not to mention all the activities, events and festivals we put on, you’ll want to spend some of your holiday visiting our great attractions. Luckily, getting around Barbados is easy to do and, in this post, we’ll show you some of the varied ways you can do it.
Car hire is the obvious solution for those wanting to spend time exploring the island and with plenty of hire companies around, there’s a good deal of choice available, including luxury models. Prices are very reasonable, too. We recommend you choose a car with air conditioning and, just in case you get lost, GPS.
British travellers will be pleased to know that in Barbados, we also drive on the left, so there should be no problem getting used to driving here. However, unlike the UK, visitors need to be 21 before they can rent a car and rental companies usually require over 2 years’ driving experience (sometimes more) before they’ll hand over the keys. If you are over 70, you’ll need a medical certificate that states you are fit to drive. Obviously, you’ll also need to bring your driver’s licence.
Other things to be aware of on Barbadian roads are that seat belts are compulsory, as are child safety seats for under-fives, and speed limits signs are for kilometres per hour rather than miles per hour.
Surprisingly, there is no legal alcohol limit for driving in Barbados, however, drink driving is never recommended and you can still be prosecuted for careless driving. There is also a risk that any insurance claim you make for an accident may be rejected if you have driven under the influence.
Given that you may want to have a drink or two while enjoying your holiday, perhaps the safest way to travel to and from a restaurant or bar is by taxi. Registered taxis can easily be identified by the letter Z on their registration plates and while you can hail one, it is perhaps best to pre-book one or ask your concierge to do this for you. Aside from standard taxis, there’s also the option to hire more luxurious models and even limousines.
There are also plenty of taxis available at the airport which will be able to take you to your hotel or resort. Although rates are set by the government, do check the price with the driver before starting your journey.
Barbados has both public and privately-run bus services which offer very reasonable fares and which can easily take you to most parts of the island.
Public buses which are blue in colour with a yellow stripe are a cheap and efficient way to travel with a standard fare of only 2 Barbadian dollars (about 77p). You can use these not just to visit the major towns but also to go to many of the tourist attractions. There’s even a public bus that will take you on a scenic tour.
You can find out the bus times and plan your journey by visiting the Barbados Transport Board website. You can recognise a bus stop from its red, black and white signs.
Privately run buses are known as ZRs because they have the letters ZR on their registration plates. A sort of a cross between a taxi and a bus, these are small vans or minibuses that have a reputation for being crowded and for having drivers that play loud music and who compete with each other to attract customers. This is a lively way to travel and can be an experience in itself. It's popular with both Barbadians and tourists alike. You can recognise ZR buses because they are white with a maroon stripe.
At 21 miles long and 14 miles wide, Barbados is small enough for most people to explore on two wheels. One of the advantages is that, with a bike, you also get the chance to travel on some of the routes which aren’t accessible by car which means you can experience the places that others don’t get to see. Indeed, the island has some excellent bike routes – for both road and mountain biking, both of which are very popular on the island.
However, if you like the idea of two wheels but don’t fancy the leg work, you can always opt for a moped.
If you are looking for something a little different to tour the island, why not hire a Mini Moke? Topless and doorless, these small, automatic cars add a sense of adventure to your exploring, helping you feel much closer to the island as you travel through it and ensuring you get a decent breeze to cool you down while you move.
A modified version of the Kia Picanto, the Mini Moke can accommodate four people plus additional baggage. For added safety, there is a rollover bar to protect occupants and this makes a great accessory for strapping surfboards to!
Barbados has so much to offer, it just has to be explored. Thankfully, doing this is easy. With cars, public and private buses, taxis, cycles, mopeds and Mini Mokes to hire, there’s a mode of transport for all tastes and all occasions.
If you are looking for luxury accommodation that is within easy reach of the island’s special places, take a look at the stunning villas and apartments here at the prestigious Royal Westmoreland.