Nassau travel guide

Nassau Tourism | Nassau Guide

You're Going to Love Nassau

Nassau is the largest city and one of the most popular destinations in the Bahamas. Whether you are stopping over during a cruise or decide to spend a couple of weeks on the island, you are going to love the mix of historic architecture and modern restaurants, bars, and coffeehouses.

New Providence Island has a very interesting history as a pirate's den. Nassau was originally founded as a Spanish colony before being burnt down and rebuilt by the British. Delve into the island's past as you visit some of the old forts and take in the colonial architecture.

There are plenty of things to do in Nassau, including shopping on Bay Street, relaxing on Cable Beach, or visiting the luxurious Atlantis resort on nearby Paradise Island. You can also explore the more rural parts of New Providence Island to discover the wildlife and landscapes.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Nassau

1. Explore Nassau's Past

Many pirates used Nassau as a base due to its proximity to the main trade routes. You can learn more about this aspect of the island's history by visiting the Pirates of Nassau Museum or by taking a tour of Fort Fincastle, Fort Charlotte, and Fort Montagu.

2. The Architecture Is Truly Unique

You can explore the downtown area and see some of the old colonial buildings by taking a tour in a horse-drawn carriage. There are many historic buildings with pink facades in the hills behind the downtown area, including the Parliament building.

3. Paradise Island Is A Luxurious Destination

Paradise Island is a small island just across from Nassau. This is where you will find Atlantis Resort, its water park, restaurants, aquarium, and casino.

4. The White Sand Beaches

Cable Beach and the Western Esplanade Beach look like gorgeous Caribbean landscapes you see on postcards. Head to Cable Beach to have a drink at a beach bar, shop for T-shirts, or choose a more secluded beach.

5. Discover Caribbean Wildlife

You can swim with dolphins on Blue Lagoon Island and see unique animals at the Ardastra Gardens. If you enjoy birdwatching, the Caribbean Birding Trail will be an amazing experience.

What to do in Nassau

1. Paradise Island: Need We Say More?

This world-famous resort area is well known for the all-inclusive hotel Atlantis, its iconic towers the staple of the country. On site, visitors can enjoy all kinds of nautical adventures: an epic water park with rides like the "Leap of Faith", and high-speed slides that soar through replicas of Mayan temples. Venturing further afield, visit Dolphin Cay for the quintessential Caribbean experience. There is also Paradise Beach, and a plethora of golf courses to enjoy.

2. Cable Beach: Beach Vacation at its Best

Pearly white sand of the finest quality and glimmering crystal-clear waters await at this popular beach. The views are out of this world, and the soothing routine of swimming and sunbathing and swimming again never gets old. Resources of all kinds surround the destination, from casinos to restaurants to golf courses, so you are surely in for a day of fun. Come sundown, nightlife becomes the name of the game along this stretch, letting visitors enjoy Cable Beach day and night.

3. Downtown Nassau: Eat, Shop, Explore

The Bahamas are a haven for duty-free shopping, so a trip to Nassau would not be complete without a little spree on Bay Street. This is the opportunity to pick up gifts from jewelry to clothing - even if it's just for yourself. The open air "Straw Market" is an atmospheric place to look for unique souvenirs. The Pirates of Nassau Museum offers a fun break from the sun, and monuments like the Christ Church Cathedral and the Queen's Staircase bring history to the forefront.

4. Blue Lagoon Island: Universal Perfection

Out at sea, this pristine little island with a sparkling lagoon invites tourists to spend their day in heaven. There is something for everyone to enjoy... Relax beneath the palm trees or catch rays in the sun. Hit the ocean for water sports, or float through the peaceful natural pool. The café will serve all your needs, and hammocks for when you're really ready to kick back. And don't forget to spend time with the frolicking dolphins and sea lions, lucky enough to call this place home.

5. Ardastra Gardens: Tropical Mini-Zoo

Not far from Bay Street, tourists will find the only zoo in the Bahamas - a true tropical wonderland. The Ardastra Gardens is home to countless exciting species over a colorful and lush landscape. The trained, marching band of flamingoes is the greatest highlight, with the great, bright pink birds putting on a show every day. The institution is also a conservation center, dedicated to the Caribbean's diversity of species.

1. Paradise Island: Need We Say More?

This world-famous resort area is well known for the all-inclusive hotel Atlantis, its iconic towers the staple of the country. On site, visitors can enjoy all kinds of nautical adventures: an epic water park with rides like the "Leap of Faith", and high-speed slides that soar through replicas of Mayan temples. Venturing further afield, visit Dolphin Cay for the quintessential Caribbean experience. There is also Paradise Beach, and a plethora of golf courses to enjoy.

2. Cable Beach: Beach Vacation at its Best

Pearly white sand of the finest quality and glimmering crystal-clear waters await at this popular beach. The views are out of this world, and the soothing routine of swimming and sunbathing and swimming again never gets old. Resources of all kinds surround the destination, from casinos to restaurants to golf courses, so you are surely in for a day of fun. Come sundown, nightlife becomes the name of the game along this stretch, letting visitors enjoy Cable Beach day and night.

3. Downtown Nassau: Eat, Shop, Explore

The Bahamas are a haven for duty-free shopping, so a trip to Nassau would not be complete without a little spree on Bay Street. This is the opportunity to pick up gifts from jewelry to clothing - even if it's just for yourself. The open air "Straw Market" is an atmospheric place to look for unique souvenirs. The Pirates of Nassau Museum offers a fun break from the sun, and monuments like the Christ Church Cathedral and the Queen's Staircase bring history to the forefront.

4. Blue Lagoon Island: Universal Perfection

Out at sea, this pristine little island with a sparkling lagoon invites tourists to spend their day in heaven. There is something for everyone to enjoy... Relax beneath the palm trees or catch rays in the sun. Hit the ocean for water sports, or float through the peaceful natural pool. The café will serve all your needs, and hammocks for when you're really ready to kick back. And don't forget to spend time with the frolicking dolphins and sea lions, lucky enough to call this place home.

5. Ardastra Gardens: Tropical Mini-Zoo

Not far from Bay Street, tourists will find the only zoo in the Bahamas - a true tropical wonderland. The Ardastra Gardens is home to countless exciting species over a colorful and lush landscape. The trained, marching band of flamingoes is the greatest highlight, with the great, bright pink birds putting on a show every day. The institution is also a conservation center, dedicated to the Caribbean's diversity of species.

Where to Eat in Nassau

Bay Street is the best place to find restaurants, bars, and cafes but you can have a more authentic experience if you stop at one of the small hole-in-the-wall cafes in the downtown area. Potter's Cay is the best place to try conch fritters, conch salad, and other traditional Caribbean street foods. Make sure you try seafood at an upscale place like Cafe Mattisse or Graycliff Restaurant. The Shoal Restaurant and Lounge also has excellent seafood and desserts and is more affordable. You can also enjoy seafood and drinks at the Tiki Bikini Hut or at the Bearded Clams Sports Bar. An upscale meal can cost B$50 or more but you should be able to eat traditional Caribbean fare for B$10 to B$20 if you choose a more affordable restaurant.

When to visit Nassau

Nassau in December
Estimated hotel price
C$ 330
1 night at 3-star hotel
Nassau in December
Estimated hotel price
C$ 330
1 night at 3-star hotel

The climate in Nassau is subtropical and is warm all year round but the nights can feel cold during the winter. You will run into crowds if you visit the island between mid-December and mid-April. Traveling to Nassau between April and May or between September and December is ideal if you want to avoid crowds.

Data provided by weatherbase
Temperatures
Temperatures
Average
Celcius (°C)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Nassau

Plane

The Lynden Pindling International Airport (NAS) is 10 miles away from downtown Nassau. You can easily drive from the airport to the downtown area by taking John F. Kennedy Drive. There are shuttles between the airport and all the main hotels and resorts. A shuttle between the airport and the downtown area typically costs B$30 and a shuttle to Cable Beach should cost B$18. Taxis are also available and should cost about the same as shuttles. The cheapest way to travel from the airport to your hotel or resort is to take a minivan or jitney for B$3.

Car

You can reach Nassau from Paradise Island by taking the Sir Sidney Poitier Bridge. If you come from the west of the island, follow West Bay Street until you get to Nassau. Taking a taxi from Paradise Island to downtown Nassau should cost B$20 and taxi fare between Cable Beach and downtown should cost B$25.

Airports near Nassau

Airlines serving Nassau

United Airlines
Good (2,466 reviews)
American Airlines
Good (3,902 reviews)
KLM
Good (292 reviews)
Air France
Good (298 reviews)
Delta
Excellent (2,656 reviews)
British Airways
Good (939 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Good (932 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (641 reviews)
Emirates
Excellent (663 reviews)
JetBlue
Good (1,136 reviews)
Frontier
Good (1,443 reviews)
Copa Airlines
Good (446 reviews)
Southwest
Good (1,472 reviews)
Virgin Atlantic
Good (195 reviews)
WestJet
Good (296 reviews)
Caribbean Airlines
Excellent (15 reviews)
Silver Airways
Good (47 reviews)
Bahamasair
Okay (14 reviews)
interCaribbean Airways
Excellent (4 reviews)
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Where to stay in Nassau

Staying at the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island is an ideal choice for an all-inclusive luxurious experience. You will find more affordable options in Nassau itself. Consider the Quality Inn Nassau Bahamas or the Breezes Resort Bahamas located just west of Nassau. If you want to be near the beach, the British Colonial Hilton Nassau, and the El Greco Hotel are great choices.

Popular neighbourhoods in Nassau

Bay Street - Bay Street is a busy street that runs along the coastline. You will find many jewelry shops, souvenir shops, restaurants, and bars.

Downtown - the downtown area is where you will find most of the tourist attractions, including the Parliament building and the statue of Queen Victoria. Take a stroll through the downtown area to admire the brightly painted facades and the colonial architecture.

Paradise Island - this small island is located north of Nassau. You will find the luxurious Atlantis resort, a casino, a mall, a golf course, a marina, and a lagoon.

Most popular hotel in Nassau by neighborhood

Where to stay in popular areas of Nassau

Most booked hotels in Nassau

Grand Hyatt Baha Mar
Excellent (8.2, Excellent reviews)
C$ 470+
The Coral at Atlantis
Good (7.9, Good reviews)
C$ 259+
The Royal at Atlantis
Good (7.7, Good reviews)
C$ 430+
Riu Palace Paradise Island - Adults Only
Good (7.6, Good reviews)
C$ 375+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Nassau

Public Transportation

There are several minibuses, also known as jitneys, that will take you around Nassau. Head to Bay Street or Charlotte Street to find a jitney. Fares are typically B$1.25 but can cost up to B$3 if you head to a different zone.

Taxi

Taxis are a convenient way to get around Nassau, especially at night since jitneys typically stop operating between 6 and 7 pm. A lot of taxis are actually minivans that you have to share with other passengers. Agree on the fare in advance. The fare between downtown and Cable Beach should cost B$15 and between Paradise Island and downtown should be B$11. You can also take a water taxi to Paradise Island for B$6.

Car

You can rent a car for B$50 a day. There is an Avis, Budget, Thrifty, and Hertz at the airport. Driving in the downtown area is not ideal but renting a car is a great way to discover the rest of the island.

The Cost of Living in Nassau

Shopping Streets

Head to the Straw Market on Bay Street to haggle for souvenirs and traditional clothes. Potter's Cay, a market located under the bridge to Paradise Island that is a great place to try street food or shop for crafts and souvenirs. You will also find many duty free stores inside hotels, on Bay Street, and on Paradise Island.

Groceries and Other

There are several grocery stores around Nassau, including Bayside Food Store on Bay Street, Centreville Food Store in the downtown area, and several Super Value locations around Nassau. Expect to pay B$2.15 for a quart of milk, B$3.90 for a dozen eggs, and B$3.50 for a loaf of bread.

Cheap meal
C$ 19.25
A pair of jeans
C$ 93.70
Single public transport ticket
C$ 1.61
Cappuccino
C$ 5.86