Blessed with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, lapped by azure waters and home to some of the best seafood on the planet, Barbados has been a holiday hotspot for decades. However, while there are plenty of sights to see and opportunities to relax, holidays to Barbados just aren’t the same without going shopping.
Shopping in Barbados can be as upmarket or as street-level as you want. You’ll find everything from air-conditioned and contemporary shopping malls, selling big-name brands, independent boutiques stocked with hand-crafted goods, and street stalls selling unique souvenirs and mementos. Whatever you want from your Barbados shopping experience, this stunning island will make it memorable.
To experience all the colour, hustle and bustle of a busy Barbadian high street, kick your Barbados shopping trip off in Bridgetown. You’ll find duty-free shops all over the island’s capital, allowing you to pick up those cheeky little extras at very reasonable prices.
If you feel like living it up, be sure to head to Broad Street. This retail hotspot is a highlight for anyone shopping in Barbados, offering high-end jewellers, including the likes of Cave Shepherd and Diamonds International. By Barbadian standards, they’re expensive places to shop but, compared to what you’d pay back home, this is the place to pick up some impressive jewellery without breaking the bank.
While its name might not sell the idea of luxury shopping, Holetown is home to the Limegrove Lifestyle Centre. A top of the range shopping centre, it offers over 920 square metres of designer shops, including Ralph Lauren, Hugo Boss, and Cartier. In addition, you’ll find some sumptuous restaurants where you can enjoy a leisurely lunch or a delicious dinner, and the two cinemas can turn your Barbados shopping trip into a day out for all the family.
If bargain-hunting takes its toll, you can recharge your batteries in the onsite spa, or enjoy a refreshing drink in one of the upmarket bars.
If you like to enjoy shopping in Barbados cooled by air conditioning, and with everything you need in easy reach, head to the Sky Mall in St Michael. With a huge array of shops, from designer outlets to local independents, you could easily spend a day just browsing. However, while the shops are the main attraction, don’t pass up the chance to visit the mall’s food court, where you’ll find cuisine from across the globe, with something to please even the pickiest of palates.
While the centre of Bridgetown might be the place to go for high-end, luxury goods, head to the outskirts and you can enjoy a completely different Barbados shopping experience. Pelican Village is the place to go if you want a more leisurely shopping trip and one in which you can browse arts, crafts and handmade goods. Popular with the locals, you can buy anything from hand-crafted hats and paintings by local artists, to decorative wall-hangings and superb examples of batik textiles. You’ll also have the opportunity to indulge in some authentic, Barbadian treats: hit one of the local cafés, order an aromatic coffee and a slice of sweet, sticky rum cake.
Alternatively, and for a unique Barbados shopping trip, head to the outskirts of Holetown and look for the Chattel Village. Here, authentic, wooden chattel houses, that were built to be movable, have been transformed to create a boutique shopping street. Slightly more upmarket than Pelican Village, this is the place to buy fashion brands, handmade and exquisite jewellery, and gourmet food ingredients.
Markets in Barbados
For truly authentic Barbados shopping, you can’t get much better than a trip to one of the local markets. Bridgetown Market opens on a Saturday morning and is frequented by locals looking to bag a bargain, as much as visitors looking for a unique souvenir or two.
If you’re self-catering or you’re looking for some speciality foodstuffs to take back home, the Cheapside Farmers’ Market is where you want to be. Also housed in Bridgetown, it’s packed with fresh fish, delicious meats and an astonishing array of fruit and veg. Grab yourself a freshly-cut coconut and a straw, before parking yourself on the street-side to watch the haggling and trading get into full swing.
Brighton Farmers’ Market, held in the St George district every Saturday, is another popular place for shopping in Barbados. In addition to the mind-boggling selection of food, sweets and treats, there are hand-crafted wood and leather goods on sale.
Whichever market you head to, don’t be afraid to try your hand at haggling; it’s almost a mandatory part of market shopping in Barbados and can only help to make your day out more memorable.