Barbados Nightlife: What Tourists Need to Know
Barbados nightlife is exciting and vibrant! Every night is party night and every bar is the best rum bar. The party never stops – sometimes even past sunrise. So brace yourself and take some sort of liver supplement! We are off to party in Barbados!
Barbados Nightlife Basics
Opulent VIP nightclubs include Limegrove bar in Holetown, as well as the Duke’s Night Lounge. These are frequented by the likes of Rihanna and Mariah Carey and they are definitely the place for over-the-top glamour. Dress to impress or else you might not even get in!
On the other end of the spectrum, you have cosy local bars. They come alive on weekends, though they are pretty fun on weeknights as well. Mullins Beach Bar, First Avenue Holetown and Harbour Lights are among my personal favourites, with St Lawrence Gap as an honorary mention (it has been getting a little more commercial lately, but it’s still not super pretentious)!
The thing to remember about Barbados nightlife is:
Either go all out or go barefoot!
This is the best analogy I have for it. While affluent vacationers swing their Gucci covered hips and sip champagne, the more casual, fun-loving people don’t even bother with footwear. Both aspects of Barbados nightlife are cool and they are both worth exploring. Provided that you can afford the former, of course!
Celebrity Watching in Barbados
Believe it or not, you could casually spot Rihanna on a Barbadian beach. For a chance to see some A-listers, hit up the posh, glitzy West side of the island. The Sandy Lane hotel is the quintessential location for that, though the tab could easily give you a stroke.
West Side Wonders
Holetown is arguably the most popular nightlife location on this side of the island. It’s the first city on the island, established back in early 17th century. It offers a charming mix of history, beautiful nature and beaches, and remarkable nightlife.
In February, it comes alive with the Holetown festival. In this week-long event with colourful street performances, live music and quirky performances. Among the key nightlife venues here are:
- Duke’s Night Lounge
- Red Door Lounge
- The Coral Reef Club
These are all higher-end locations, especially Duke’s. This upscale club is getting more and more popular by the minute. Not only do they have the perfect mix of commercial plus cool tropical EDM, they also offer perfect service, and the cocktails are to die for!
The Famous John Moore Bar
Rum shops are a Barbadian staple. You can’t and you mustn’t leave the island without visiting one. John Moore is among the more popular but it’s still not overly touristy or commercial. The location is simply ideal – with tables over a wild, non-touristy beach.
The friendly atmosphere and the beautiful sunset over the waves would be enough to have me at John Moore every night of the week. But there is also great rum!
Oh, and getting there could not be easier – the bus stop is right in front of it!
Scarlet: Mojitos All Day, Every Day
Scarlet is another St James location that has turned legendary. At first glance, there is nothing that special about it. It’s a restaurant by day and a bar by night. Somehow, though, they have managed to win over visitors and locals alike.
This is what they have to say about themselves:
Scarlet is a fun, modern bistro on the west coast of Barbados. Our food has some great twists on classics as well as a little Caribbean flare. Our cocktails are fab! Reservations are recommended.
Their secret is quality. Every item on the menu is prepared with great love and care. The pop art décor and the dim lights make for a chic atmosphere and the mojitos are out of this world. Of course, if you prefer, you could also get one of their weirder cocktails.
Southern Barbados has a more rugged and relaxed vibe. This is the barefoot dancing hotspot (although there are still some fancier places). The best clubs and bars are in St Lawrence Gap, affectionately nicknamed The Gap.
Here are some key locations for an all-night southern Barbados party:
Café Sol: Margarita Heaven In The Gap
An open-air margarita bar is pretty much always a good idea. Unlike other wilder locations, the Café Sol is civilised and even slightly posh. By day, it’s a Mexican restaurant and they also serve delicious coffee drinks. You could spend 24 hours at the Café Sol and not be bored. Heck, even bring your computer and do some work if you want!
Looking to save some buck? There is a happy hour every night. 5 to 7 PM is usually the better timeslot, as it’s not yet too crowded. The second happy hour period is between 10PM and midnight. If you want to stay and dance, this is your time to load up on margaritas for cheap!
As for the crowd, the bar is very popular with airline crews, for whatever reason. Not the most hardcore party crowd but the girls are always cute! No, they don’t wear their uniform when they are out drinking, sorry to shatter your fantasy!
The Old Jamm Inn: … And A Bottle Of Rum
The Old Jamm Inn is one of those rare places where tourists and locals mix completely seamlessly. Saturday nights are an Old Jamm classic, with great rum, loud music, and a vibrant atmosphere.
There is a live band on most nights, playing reggae classics. That, along with the cheap booze, means locals will absolutely be present. The 2 for 1 offer on rum makes it all the more enticing.
Make sure you stay more or less aware of your surroundings, though. This is a calm area and people are generally friendly. Still, some visitors have described worrying interactions with locals. As long as you are not being an annoying drunk foreigner, you are safe from that!
By the way, the Old Jamm Inn is also a great place to sample traditional Barbadian food. They make awesome chicken in about a thousand different ways and their portions are cheap and generous. That’s what I love about the south coast!
Harbour Lights: The Capital Of Barbados Nightlife
If you only go to one of these clubs, make it Harbour Lights. Located in Bridgetown, the capital and largest city of Barbados, Harbour Lights gives you the quintessential Barbadian party experience.
This large-scale venue can accommodate hundreds of party people. It’s an open-air nightclub south of the city, with a beautiful beach right next to it. The clear Carlisle Bay waters attract families by day but are best enjoyed at dusk. Get a bottle of wine for pre-drinks and then head over to the club.
Alternatively, you could make it a dinner and after-party experience
Every Monday and Wednesday is a Beach Extravaganza Dinner Show. At BB$150 per person, you can enjoy a traditional dinner, drinks, and the show, which includes various live acts. It’s a fun experience for couples, families, and solo travellers alike. The vibe is 100% touristy but the setting is great and the food is mouth-watering.
After the show on Wednesday, as well as on Friday nights, Harbour Lights transitions into a normal nightclub and it doesn’t close until the crack of dawn.
Friday night admission will set you back BB$60 and it includes all you can drink until 2AM. After that, if you can still handle it, you’d have to pay for drinks. If you purchased a dinner package on a Wednesday and you stay for the party, your drinks are included as well.
Sundays are the least crowded night of the week and they are the most budget-friendly as well. You pay a BB$20 admission that doesn’t include drinks but there are several happy hours and BB$5 on all shots throughout the evening. Bear in mind that on Sundays they close at midnight, so come early. 6-7PM, as early as it sounds, is actually the perfect time to show up.
Barbados Nightlife: Come Prepared
There are three things people worry about when it comes to the Barbados nightlife:
- What do I wear?
- How much should I budget?
- Do I get drunk?
For budgeting, I recommend at least BB$70. Depending on the venue, this might not even cover everything. In some bars, it’s enough to drink yourself into a coma. If you want variety, though, budget around that amount so you can comfortably enjoy your evening without counting every penny.
For dress code, the most upscale venues won’t let you in if you look too casual. Flip-flops and socks under sandals are never a good idea! Steer clear of Hawaiian shirts if you want any chance with girls at all! Locals favour an Earthy palette and cool, breezy materials like linen.
Finally, for getting drunk… Just be as responsible as you normally are at home. If you’re partying solo, you would have to be more careful. Although Barbados is safe as a whole, you don’t want to put yourself in a situation where you’re defenceless.
Oh, and remember to have fun! That is why you’re in Barbados after all…
PS: You can try to meet girls online with Caribbean Cupid.
Read More: Caribbean Cupid Guide