Ever since the English arrived in Barbados in the year 1627, Barbados has been a site of trading and shopping activity. Barbados shopping ranges from basic marketplaces to upscale shops. Shopping in Barbados is especially popular because of its tax free shopping. Visitors can take home high quality goods duty-free, as long as they show their passport and ticket for departure.
Barbados is commonly known as the tax-free haven of
the Caribbean islands.
Many items can be purchased in Barbados for up to 50%
lower than what a visitor would pay in North America or Europe. Tax free shopping in Barbados
can be found at the airport and at shops in Bridgetown, Christ Church, and St.
Peter. Along with Barbados currency, many duty free
shops accept American dollars as well as visa, mastercard,
or discover cards, making shopping easy and convenient.
Shopping in Barbados is especially popular in the capital city of Bridgetown. A trip to a Barbados market on Broad Street, Bridgetown's main shopping street, is a perfect way to spend the day. Bridgetown is a great place to pick up high quality jewelry, ceramics, and art. Bridgetown is also known for small shops which sell locally produced rum and handicrafts. No trip to Bridgetown is complete without a trip to Fairfield Market and the surrounding attractions, including St. Michael's cathedral which dates back to the late 1700's, Government House, the Old Synagogue, and the Barbados Museum.
Most of the shops will only take Barbados currency or credit cards, so be sure to have some cash on hand. Two Barbados dollars is approximately equal to one U.S. dollar. Of course, the Barbados currency fluctuates as the economy changes. While certain purchases such as perfume and jewelry can be found at discounted prices, other items, such as clothing, is more expensive. This is especially true in St. Peter and Bridgetown.
Visitors will also find a variety of Barbados shopping opportunities in the city of Speightstown. This West Indian village has some great Barbados market places that sell souvenirs and antiques dating back to the early days of Barbados. In addition to Barbados shopping, Speightstown has a variety of old churches and historical homes worth exploring.
Most stores are open from 9:00 to 5:00 Monday to Friday and on Saturday from 8:30 until 4:00. Although certain Barbados market venues are open on Sundays, this is a rare practice. The grocery stores are always closed on Saturdays. You'll have better luck doing your Barbados during the weekday.
Barbados is full of great shopping and offers an excellent opportunity to stock up on alcohol, jewelry, and fragrances without paying tax. Whether you're looking for the perfect souvenir for your loved one back at home or the perfect piece for your art collection, you'll find what you're looking for in Barbados.