Traveling in Barbados

North America

Bus: You can get to practically every corner of Barbados by bus. There are three types of buses: the government-run buses are blue with a yellow stripe; privately operated minibuses are yellow with a blue stripe and route taxis, private minivans (indicated by a “ZR” on the license plate) are white. All three bus types pay the same tariff: 1.50 Barbados dollars to anywhere on the island.

According to constructmaterials, the bus stops in Barbados are marked by red and white signs. The bus destinations are usually marked on or above the windshield.
Buses on the main routes (e.g. Bridgetown to Oistins or Speightstown) run relatively frequently from morning to midnight and are often overcrowded during rush hour.

The route taxis run all over the island and can be stopped anywhere. You have no set timetables.

Car rental: There are no branches of the major international car rental companies in Barbados, but dozens of national and regional car rental companies.
Despite the numerous companies, the rental prices do not differ very much. A small car costs around 150 Barbados dollars per day including unlimited mileage and insurance (as of 2009). Gasoline is relatively cheap in Barbados. Rental cars are identified by an “H” on their license plate.
Most car rental companies do not have a representative at the airport, but they will bring the car to your hotel. Note that some of the smaller agencies are not particularly professional and complaints keep coming up. The larger, established companies include:Direct Rentals, Courtesy Rent-A-Car, Top Class Car Rentals and Stoutes Car Rental.

A temporary visitor’s driver’s license can be obtained from the Ministry of Transport, at the airport and in police stations (fee: 10 Bahamian dollars). The car rental companies can usually help with paperwork. You must also have a valid national or international driver’s license.

There is left-hand traffic in Barbados. The road network of Barbados is relatively well developed, there is a new connection road to the east coast. Bridgetown to Speightstown takes around half an hour by car, and Holetown and Oistins around 20 minutes.

Taxis have a “Z” on their license plate and usually a “Taxi” sign on the roof. They are easy to find and often wait in long lines in tourist areas.
Although the tariffs are set by the government, many taxis do not have a meter and you have to bargain for a fair price. The price per kilometer is around 2 Barbados dollars, the hourly rate is 50 Barbados dollars. An exact price list can be obtained from the tourist office.

Barbados is mostly flat and is good for cycling. Most bike rental companies require a credit card or Barbados $ 100 deposit. Hotels can usually arrange rental bicycles, but bicycles are usually also available around the cruise ship port.

Barbados – money

Local currency: 1 Barbados dollar equals 100 cents

Currency abbreviations: BDS $, BBD

Banknotes are in circulation to the denomination of 100, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 2 BBD. Coins are issued in denominations of 1, 5, 10 and 25 cents as well as 1 BBD.

Currency Exchange: The Barbados dollar is pegged to the US dollar with a fixed exchange rate. It is best to take US dollars or euros with you in cash. Banks offer the cheapest exchange rates, but common currencies can also be exchanged in hotels. You will find branches of the major banks in Bridgetown, Worthing, Hastings, Speightstown and Holetown. Some banks only exchange US dollars.

Exchange rate

Currency converter at OANDA

Credit Cards: Common credit cards such as American Express, Visa and MasterCard are accepted in numerous restaurants, shops and hotels, and more rarely the Discover Card.

ATMs are available in Barbados. Many machines also accept cards with the Cirrus or Maestro symbol.

Travelers checks should be made out in US dollars and are accepted by all banks.

Foreign exchange regulations: There are no restrictions on the import and export of local and foreign currency, but the amount must be declared if the equivalent value is more than 10,000 BBD.

Bank opening times: Mon – Thu 8 a.m. – 3 p.m., Fri 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Some banks are also open on Saturdays.

Health and Diseases in Barbados

Vaccination protection

There are no compulsory vaccinations to enter Barbados. Exceptions are entries from a yellow fever area, in which case a valid yellow fever vaccination must be proven.

Although vaccinations are not required, vaccinations against tetanus, hepatitis A and diphtheria are recommended for short trips to Barbados. If you are staying for a long time, you should also be vaccinated against typhoid and hepatitis B.


Barabados is malaria free.

Dengue fever

Dengue fever, transmitted by diurnal mosquitoes, occurs in Barbados. There are no vaccinations against dengue, the only safe protection is to prevent mosquito bites (for example with mosquito nets or mosquito repellants).


In Barbados (similar to the other Caribbean islands) HIV / AIDS is widespread. Especially with holiday acquaintances one should exercise caution (condoms).


When eating fruit, fish, meat, seafood and vegetables in Barbados, be sure to follow thorough hygiene measures. The tap water is heavily chlorinated and cannot be recommended as drinking water. Virtually all grocery stores sell bottled drinking water.

Medical supplies

Although medical care in Barbados is relatively good, it is essential that you take out international travel health insurance before traveling. Make sure that return transport is also covered in an emergency.

In addition to my general disclaimer, please note the following important note:

A guarantee for the correctness and completeness of the medical information and liability for any damage that may occur cannot be assumed. You stay responsible for your healthy.

Traveling in Barbados