Barbados is generally considered more of an upscale holiday spot than a budget travel destination. It attracts well-heeled tourists with its high-end hotels, fine restaurants, luxury shopping and sophisticated range of activities/attractions. However, there’s a flip side to the island that can appeal to those without money to burn. A lot of experiences are free for the taking, or less costly than the upmarket options. Many of these low-end ideas actually bring you a more authentic connection to the local people, culture and landscapes than their highbrow counterparts. So whether you want to save or splurge – or a bit of both – on your Barbados vacation, here are 12 contrasting choices of what to see and do in this Caribbean paradise.
1. West Coast of Barbados
The west side of Barbados is known as the “Platinum Coast”. Most of the 5-star hotels, resorts, villas and restaurants are located here, taking full advantage of the stunning beaches and ocean views. Sunset is particularly spectacular, and on a clear day you might even see the elusive “green flash”. The west coast is where you’ll find ultra-chic establishments like Sandy Lane and The Cliff. (Budget tip: have a drink in the Cliff bar to soak in the ambiance without shelling out for dinner). In Holetown you’ll find the Limegrove Lifestyle Centre, an upscale shopping, dining and entertainment complex featuring top luxury brands.