As you’d expect from the capital city of nearly any country, the list of things to do in Nassau is long and varied. Nassau attractions cover the full range of activities famous in the Bahamas, from relaxing on the beach to swimming with dolphins, and from gaming in casinos to shopping in high-class stores and malls. The extent of activities in Nassau is enough to keep most tastes satisfied; the main problem here can be choosing what to include in your packed itinerary.
Swim with Dolphins
The Bahamas Dolphin Encounters Company provides a fantastic opportunity to mix it with one of the sea’s most elegant creatures. Its various swims, trips, and packages allow you to take to the water and swim with, touch, and ride a pod of dolphins. What’s more, your selected program will come with free access to the secluded beach on Blue Lagoon Island, which is in itself a reason why swimming with dolphins is considered one of the top Nassau attractions available.
Capital cities normally herald cultural monuments and ongoing artistic output, and, as Nassau is no different, spending a day more or more going to museums is one of the better activities in Nassau. The National Art Gallery of the Bahamas is a good place to start. It showcases an impressive collection of Bahamian art that spans the precolonial era to the present day. Fort Fincastle and the excellent Pirate Museum (definitely one for the whole family) are also top-ranking things to do in Nassau.
The Queen’s Staircase
Comprising 65 steps carved into—and out of—a limestone wall, the Queen’s Staircase is undoubtedly one of the more visually impressive Nassau attractions. Completed at the turn of the twentieth century and named in the honor of Britain’s Queen Victoria, the staircase was designed to offer soldiers a safe route into Fort Fincastle. Today it’s a permanent feature on tourists' maps and a convenient linking passage combining many things to do in Nassau, such as the fort itself, Straw Market, and the Christchurch Cathedral.
Two atmospheric and memorable areas in Nassau are the backbone of the city’s shopping opportunities. The first, Bay Street, dissects downtown Nassau and features a wide array of designer shops, general stores, and boutique cafes. The second, Straw Market, is exactly what its name suggests: a market where you can buy goods made of straw, such as mats, hats, and the like. Together, both ensure shopping is one of the most popular activities in Nassau.
The Bahamas’ beaches are uniformly gorgeous, tropical affairs, and the beaches close to Nassau are no different. The Western Esplanade, for example, is only about a ten-minute stroll from downtown Nassau. Also known as Junkanoo Beach, it’s a prime stretch of sand that comes well-equipped with tourist infrastructure such as changing rooms and places to get a quick snack or a more substantial meal.
Nassau’s Old Town is a charming mixture of slightly crumbling colonial edifices and bright-colored Caribbean architecture. Take a few hours and just explore this interesting area, making sure to visit the Pink Parliament building while you’re at it.