Bridgetown Introduction Walking Tour (Self Guided), Bridgetown

If you knew that Bridgetown was famous for its duty-free shopping, then guess what? - This is not all the city can boast of! There is a plethora of other things in Bridgetown fit to sparkle one's interest, and local landmarks are just one of them. Going by the obvious British influence present in the sculpture and architecture, one might think they are in London, but no - this is Barbados! Follow this orientation walk and discover Bridgetown's top attractions for yourself!
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Bridgetown Introduction Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Bridgetown Introduction Walking Tour
Guide Location: Barbados » Bridgetown (See other walking tours in Bridgetown)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 11
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 Km or 1.6 Miles
Author: HelenF
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Independence Square
  • Independence Arch
  • Chamberlain Bridge
  • Empire Theater
  • St. Michael's Cathedral
  • Parliament Buildings
  • Statue of Lord Horatio Nelson
  • Broad Street
  • Nidhe Israel Synagogue
  • Cheapside Public Market
  • Pelican Craft Centre
Independence Square

1) Independence Square

Independence Square is a recently built recreational square, which extends over an area of approximately 50,000 sq. ft. It comprises two wonderful fountains and a 9 ft bronze statue, which was sculpted in honour of the Father of Independence in Barbados - Errol Barrow. The area, which is covered today by the square, used to be a place for political meetings, where Barrow was also present.
Independence Arch

2) Independence Arch (must see)

The Independence Arch is a valuable piece of architecture, which was built with the purpose of commemorating the 21st Anniversary of Barbados’ Independence. Built in 1987, it was adorned with images of National Emblems characteristic of Barbados and there are also some interesting facts referring to the Independence of Barbados inside the Arch.
Chamberlain Bridge

3) Chamberlain Bridge (must see)

The Chamberlain Bridge is a bridge in Bridgetown, the capital and largest city of the nation of Barbados. In 1872, it was a draw bridge or swing bridge across the marine inlet channel of the Careenage River (Constitution River) at Carlisle Bay.

The archaic steel structure was dismantled and rebuilt in 2005–2006 as a lifting bridge with the state-of the-art modern technology of an all-composite single-leaf bascule design. This design is a counterweighted bridge span that pivots upward, permitting ships to pass through an inlet channel. The bridge was built using fibre-reinforced plastic (FRP), which is lighter, long lasting and non-corrosive. There are two bridges in use in Bridgetown. The Charles Duncan O'Neal Bridge is large and modern in design, commencing from the National Heroes Square, while Chamberlain Bridge is the more "decorative humpbacked bridge" built to replace the original swing bridge after the Great Hurricane in 1898 with funds generated through the efforts of the then British Colonial Secretary, Joseph Chamberlain (1836–1914).
Sight description based on wikipedia
Empire Theater

4) Empire Theater

The Empire Theater was the first one in Bridgetown to present motion picture, so it basically has served as a multi-functional building since 1922, when it was opened. It had 859 seats and was a single screen venue; unfortunately its “lifespan” ended around 1975. The theater’s colonial revival structure makes it quite a unique finding in Bridgetown’s centre.
St. Michael's Cathedral

5) St. Michael's Cathedral (must see)

The Cathedral Church of Saint Michael and All Angels (formerly The St. Michael's Parish Church), is an Anglican church located on St. Michael's Row at the centre of Bridgetown. The Cathedral is the highest of the Anglican's houses of worship within Barbados. Originally consecrated in 1665, and then rebuilt in 1789 it was elevated to Cathedral status in 1825 with the appointing of Bishop Coleridge to head the newly created Diocese of Barbados and the Leeward Islands. The first parish church to be built was the St. Michael's Parish Church, which was located where the St. Mary's Anglican Church now stands.

The original St. Michael's Parish Church was a small wooden church constructed between 1660 and 1665. Destroyed by a hurricane in 1780, the church was rebuilt nine years later. The church was later damaged in the great hurricane of 1831 but not destroyed. When the Diocese of Barbados was established, the St. Michael's Parish Church became the St. Michael's Cathedral with Bishop William Hart Coleridge as its first bishop in 1825. The St. Michael Cathedral is made of coral stone with a beautiful tower and stunning stained glass windows. Inside the church one can see a marble font which dates back to the 1600s, The Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament was added in 1938 and features a roof covered in wallaba heartwood shingles and a Canterbury Cross on the northern wall.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Parliament Buildings

6) Parliament Buildings (must see)

The Parliament Buildings (also known as The Public Buildings, or more rarely Parliament House), is the seat of the Parliament of Barbados. Built between 1870 and 1874, the buildings have been the meeting place for both chambers of Parliament since 16 June 1874, and a former site of Colonial administration of Barbados.

It consists of two buildings which poses neo-Gothic architectural style, and are reminiscent of the Victorian era of Great Britain. The buildings are situated along, the north bank of the Constitution River and are bordered by Upper Broad Street and National Heroes Square to the south; strategically at the heart of the capital city Bridgetown. Prior to the establishment of the buildings the legislature met at the Town Hall building on Coleridge Street. In 1989 the Public Buildings were officially renamed the Parliament Buildings by Act of Parliament. In 2011 both buildings were designated as UNESCO protected properties within the World Heritage Site of Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison area.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Statue of Lord Horatio Nelson

7) Statue of Lord Horatio Nelson

The Statue of Lord Horatio Nelson gives Bridgetown a little touch of England. Actually it was built before London's Lord Nelson column, in 1813. This majestic bronze statue was made by the well known sculptor Sir Richard Westmacott. It is located in Heroes Square, formerly known as Old Trafalgar Square. It is, undoubtedly, something that one would not have imagined to be in Bridgetown.
Broad Street

8) Broad Street (must see)

The street that will blow up your mind, in shopping terms, of course, is Broad Street. This area is a mix of malls and duty free shops, where you will be able to purchase jewelry, watches, tobacco products, perfume, rum, antiques, gifts and almost everything. Be sure to check out Sunny Shoes, which is another renowned shop on Broad Street. Most of the shops are closed on Sundays.
Nidhe Israel Synagogue

9) Nidhe Israel Synagogue

The Nidhe Israel Synagogue is currently the only synagogue situated in Bridgetown. It also holds the distinction of being one of the oldest synagogues in the western hemisphere and a Barbados National Trust property. In 2011 the Synagogue and excavated Mikvah were designated as UNESCO protected properties within the World Heritage Site of Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison area.

Built in 1654, it was destroyed by a hurricane in 1831, was rebuilt, fell into disrepair until it was sold in 1929. Haim Isaac Carigal was in Barbados, perhaps acting as rabbi of the congregation, at the time of his death in 1777. About 300 Jewish people of Recife, Brazil, persecuted by the Portuguese, settled in Barbados in the 1660s. Skilled in the sugar industry, they quickly introduced the sugarcane crop and passed on their skills in cultivation and production to the Barbados land owners. With their help, Barbados went on to become one of the world's major sugar producers and one of the richest European territories in the West Indies. The Nidhe Israel Museum was opened in 2008.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Cheapside Public Market

10) Cheapside Public Market

Cheapside Public Market is the biggest market of its kind in Barbados and is a main feature of activity in Bridgetown.
Pelican Craft Centre

11) Pelican Craft Centre (must see)

Pelican Craft Centre is a unique place where you will find only 100% Barbadian made items. The centre is renowned throughout the island of Barbados for its amazing, creative craft work. If you are looking for the perfect souvenir, this is your top choice; you will find carvings, glass art, paintings, pottery and other fine works. Do not miss the “performances” of the talented craftspersons, who make their pieces of art right on the spot.

Walking Tours in Bridgetown, Barbados

Create Your Own Walk in Bridgetown

Create Your Own Walk in Bridgetown

Creating your own self-guided walk in Bridgetown is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Bridgetown Shopping Tour

Bridgetown Shopping Tour

Bridgetown is the city that will surprise you with the number of duty free shops and department stores it has, but it will also charm you with its handicrafts. Walk the main shopping streets of the city to find items at amazing prices, visit the little local shops and choose the perfect Barbadian gifts and souvenirs. The following tour will guide you through your little shopping adventure in...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles
Top Religious Sites

Top Religious Sites

Bridgetown, the capital of the island of Barbados, unites various denominations within its perimeter. This is a result of Barbados’ past, which involved the island’s fall into the British colony net. Today, the most dominant denomination is the Anglican one, with quite a number of churches. Take this tour to find out more about religion in Bridgetown and its evolution.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles