Our Culture

Barbados is 21 miles long and a smile wide (14 miles) at its widest points.  166 sq. miles or 430 sq. km, located at Latitude 13.9 N, Longitude 59.32 W. It has a tropical climate cooled mainly by easterly trade winds. The island is mostly dry and sunny with occasional showers. English is the language spoken although its own dialect ‘Bajan’ can be heard spoken throughout the island. The population of Barbados reaches over 280,000 persons. The majority of the population in Barbados is Protestant Christians, Anglican and Roman Catholic. Other religions like Muslims, Jews, Rastafarians are also present.

The island draws on its rich history from its English, African and West Indian roots and is brimming with culture. Its music ranges from Jazz, to reggae to the local music ‘Soca’ made for our national festival, Crop Over. It has a multitude of artistic talented people, internationally recognized like our own “Rihanna”. Other cultural categories include sports, film, photography and culinary works.

It boosts a number of Great Plantation Houses such as St. Nicholas Abbey, Sunbury Plantation or George Washington House that are open to the public for the viewing of its rich history and many antique furnishings. Tours of these properties are available and to other great houses conducted by The Barbados National Trust where the schedule can be found on its site www.barbadosnationaltrust.org .

In 2011, Historic Bridgetown and the Greater Garrison area were accredited as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The area has been described in World Heritage Tourism by TravelerInsights as “an outstanding example of British colonial architecture consisting of a well preserved old town built in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries”.  

Barbados achieved independence from Britain on November 30, 1966 and has one of the oldest Westminster-style Parliaments in the western hemisphere. 375 years of Parliamentary was celebrated in February 2014 making it the third oldest parliament in the Commonwealth, surpassed only by Britain and Bermuda.  It was founded in 1639. Elections are held every five (5) years with the next election constitutionally due in 2018. The Barbados unit of currency is the dollar which is divided into one hundred cents. For international travellers in Barbados, the American currency is generally accepted at US $1 to BDS $2 value island-wide.