It is no secret that when the sun goes down in Barbados, there is still much more to see and do. As some places close their doors, others are just opening. Barbados is the best Caribbean island for nightlife. It is then, after dark, that the time comes to change out of your swimsuit, don your “party frock” and journey to the numerous bars, restaurants, clubs and other entertainment venues where you can enjoy a great atmosphere and music as part of Barbados’ nightlife.
The West Coast
The west coast of Barbados is known for its pristine beaches which are a hive of activity by day. Travellers for many decades have been coming from far and wide to lay and play on its stunning shores. But when the sun sets, the west coast comes alive, particularly in Holetown - one of this country’s major towns - to become a spot for some of the best nightlife in Barbados. Persons who stay at the many hotels, condos and apartments in this area have the benefit of a built-in entertainment scene and are within walking distance to any number of great nighttime entertainment establishments. First and Second Street are trendy bar and Barbados nightclub scenes! On these conjoined roads, you can find several upscale (and more localised) watering holes such as the Jamestown Bar and Grill, TML, One Love Bar and the 1627 Bar and Lounge, and you will also find the popular nightclub Red Door Lounge where you can party into the wee hours of the morning to the best mix of music.
Of course, you will also find a great mix of dining options in Holetown to suit every craving from Sushi at Nishi Restaurant or burgers and wings at Sharkey’s Tropical Café. Craving a fantastic thin-crust pizza? Try Zaccios, which is opposite the Massy Superstore ( a popular supermarket & landmark).
Well-hidden behind the post office is Surfside Restaurant and Beach Bar - a great bar and restaurant on the beach. The drinks and cocktails here are unparalleled, and the atmosphere is made better by the background music, which sometimes includes local steelpan players.
Not to be left out is the iconic Limegrove Lifestyle Centre which also hosts a range of bars and restaurants including; the West Bar (where you can enjoy famous local talented artists who perform live, like the popular JJ & Chadd). Upstairs you can find the Limegrove Cinemas for an unmatched experience that makes for a great date night, as well as the Grove Gallery - stroll through and take in great pieces of art or make a purchase!
There is much to do on the West Coast! Conversely, on the northern outskirts of Holetown, you can also find more of Barbados’ nightlife nearby. There you will discover Luca’s Stop, a great bar where the drinks keep flowing, or the Seacat Restaurant for great cuisine. On a nice cool night in Holetown, you won’t want to be anywhere else, and we certainly don’t blame you.
The Fishing Village
Fishing villages prove to be great hubs of activities during the night, especially if you are hoping to have a more relaxed, local, one of a kind experience. Of significant note is the time to be had at two particular fishing villages on opposite ends of the country. These spots are Oistins in the south and Moontown in the north of the island. Both of these locations are well known for their big weekend Fish Fries which traditionally attract a large crowd.
Enjoy succulent local cuisines such as roasted breadfruit, rice and macaroni pie with your choice of grilled or fried fish, which come in many varieties. Here you can eat and drink your belly full like a local! And wash down your meal with the locally produced Banks Beer or Mount Gay Rum. Karaoke is also the popular form of entertainment in both of these locations, and regular people can take the opportunity to moonlight as a superstar, belting out the biggest hits on stage.
Friday nights at Oistins stands out as a bit more of a party scene than Moontown. There, patrons enjoy the free ‘jam’ that takes place in the Oistins Bay Gardens complex, facilitated by a series of Dee-Jayed music which pumps from the speakers.
St. Lawrence Gap
It would be remiss of us to talk about Barbados’ nightlife on the South Coast without at all mentioning the hub of activity that is St. Lawrence Gap. “The Gap” as it is known colloquially, is a stretch of road on the South Coast that is a 1.3 km long diversion off the main highway. This stretch is acclaimed for fine dining in Barbados, partying, live music and accommodations which line this small street on either side.
Also nestled in the corner is the St. Lawrence Anglican Church, which one would think would stick out like a sore thumb in a place famous for its party scene. The opposite somehow proves to be accurate, as the presence of this church compliments the atmosphere and blends with the surrounding accommodations, including the properties of the Yellow Bird Hotel and Infinity on the Beach along with high rise condominiums.
Persons who stay here really get a front-row view to the action, as on any given night, St. Lawrence Gap is a buzz of activity, night owls weave in and out of the various establishments, enjoying all that is on offer.
The strip can meet all of your dining and entertainment needs! The best of local cuisine can be acquired at several street vendors, who ply their trade along the sidewalk. The lovely smell of fish cakes and fried chicken fill the air, encouraging you to stop at every vendor for something delicious to eat. If you prefer a more formal dining experience, you can choose from the many restaurants in The Gap. Dine at Apsara Samudra (for Indian food), one of the best fine dining restaurants on the island. Or try outstanding seafood cuisine at Primo Restaurant, Sharkeys, Mimosas or the new Tabu Restaurant & Lounge.
After tasting some of the best food, the island has to offer, enjoy the great party vibes at the scattering of clubs on this stretch where the house DJs play hit after hit to keep you dancing and entertained throughout the night. Here the vibe is always lively, and you will mix, mingle and party with the warm and welcoming locals who have made St. Lawrence Gap their entertainment hub of choice.
This list of the island's hotspots is by no means exhaustive. Excellent social activities ( known as ‘limes’) can be found at bars, restaurants, rum shops and the homes of many locals around the island. Regardless, no matter where you go on this beautiful island and no matter whether day or night you are sure to have an enjoyable time. But, your experience of Barbadian nightlife is sure to be one of many highlights of your stay in beautiful Barbados.