The 7 must-do things in the Bahamas

Flying to the Bahamas? You’re in luck! Here’s our selection of the 6 must-do things to do in this tropical gem!

The Bahamas, a coral archipelago in the northern Caribbean Sea, is an English-speaking country of 700 islands halfway between Cuba, Haiti and Florida. A tropical paradise – and tax haven – first discovered by Christopher Columbus, occupied by the Spanish and the British, the Bahamas’ turbulent history is peppered with battles, struggles against slavery and colonization. With a total population of 395,361 (2017) spread over 700 islands and 260,000 km², population density is very low (24 inh./km²).

What to do in the Bahamas? You’ll never be bored: paradisiacal beaches, diving spots, nature treks, beaches and towns where you can party and meet the locals, magnificent natural landscapes combined with Bahamian cuisine, waters warmed by the Gulf Stream and a tropical climate, will make your trip even more memorable!

If you’re looking for things to do in the Bahamas, or even a place to stay, read on to find out what you can’t miss when visiting the Bahamas.

1. Nassau

Phare de Nassau, Bahamas

Photo credit: Flickr – Gilles Messian

Nassau, the country’s capital, is also its commercial and cultural hub and largest city with 266,100 inhabitants (2017), and represents almost the entire surface area of the island of New Providence. Downtown Nassau – and Paradise Island, just across the street – offer most of the city’s attractions. The first thing you notice is that, as in many island countries, the inhabitants continue to live quietly to the rhythm of the sun and the sea.

The downtown area is very busy with tourists fresh off the ferry. Places to visit in Nassau: Fort Montagu (18th century) – if you’re a history buff – Rawson Square and Parliament Square, the Bahamian Supreme Court, historic buildings of colonial architecture. Take the Queen’s Staircase, a staircase and shaded passageway leading to Fort Fincastle. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the Bahamas on a gastronomic walking tour that will introduce you to local specialties!

2. Paradise Island

Paradise Island, Bahamas

Photo credit: Flickr – Thomas Hawk

New Paradise Island, opposite Nassau, is world-famous for its countless duty-free stores, attracting thousands of tourists. If you love history and culture, take a tour of the Bahamas Society Historical Museum. Finally, a trip to Paradise Island – and its Atlantis resort – is a must. Numerous bars and hotels where to stay in Nassau dot the city’s alleyways.

3. Eleuthera and Harbour Island

Looking for dream beaches when visiting the Bahamas? Eleuthera is one of the Bahamas’ most emblematic islands. Take the opportunity to see the Glass Window Bridge, a magical natural bridge between the deep-blue Atlantic and the turquoise waters of the bay.

To the south, head for Surfer’s Beach to see Hatchet Bay Cave, a 1.5-kilometer-long cavern filled with stalactites and stalagmites. The town of Dunmore Town offers everything you need to stay on Eleuthera, including shops, restaurants, bars and the splendid Pink Sands Beach, sometimes described as one of the most beautiful beaches in the Bahamas, stretching over 5 kilometers. Its striking color comes from foraminifera, microscopic pink-shelled coral insects that live in coral reefs.

Hotels are also available on Harbour Island. As for beaches, French Leave Beach, with its immense expanse of fine sand, is one of the most beautiful, located just outside the governor’s harbor. For a real postcard picture, head for Ben Bay Beach, at the extreme north of the island, in a cove of the Atlantic Ocean.

4. Great Harbour Cay

Plage Shelly Beach, Bahamas

Photo credit: Flickr – MikePScott

Peace and quiet are the watchwords here. Great Harbour Cay, with its population of just 353 (2010), is the perfect place to feel cut off from the world: Sugar Cave, Bardot Beach, Shark Creek (where you can observe sharks, rays and sea turtles) and Shelling Beach are the island’s must-sees. Bullock Harbour is the island’s main village, with hotels, bars, restaurants and shops.

5. Exuma Islands

After the sublime lagoons and warm, peaceful waters, what else is there to do in the Bahamas? Great Exuma and Little Exuma, both islands linked by a bridge, are a must. A number of historic sites can be found here, including the Pompey statue to Stevenson, a man who initiated the rebellion against European slavery.

South of Great Exuma, Man-o-War Cay is one of the most beautiful islets in the blue lagoons. A detour to Stocking Island is a must for all tourists visiting the Bahamas: it’s a long, narrow strip of land off Georgetown harbour, home to a few seaside resorts and, as is often the case in the archipelago, a rather low level of urbanization. If you head south to Little Exuma, you’ll be able to lie exactly on the line of the Tropic of Cancer, at its namesake beach, which couldn’t be prettier or more romantic.

6. Long Island

Long Island, Bahamas

Photo credit: Flickr – bookfinch

A visit to the Bahamas without a trip to Long Island to see Dean ‘s Blue Hole would be a shame: it’s a 202-metre-deep hole located to the west of Clarence Town Bay. With its cliffs, vegetation and colors, it’s almost like being on a Greek island. With a diameter of 25 to 35 metres, it is the second deepest in the world after the Dragon’s Hole (southern China). Another must-see on this island is Cape Santa Maria. Here, too, you’ll find a magnificent beach with pure white sand and crystal-clear water.

7. A boat trip


Photo credit: Shutterstock – Michael D Edwards

To make the most of the archipelago and its crystal-clear waters, what could be better than a boat trip?

In fact, renting a boat allows you to enjoy breathtaking panoramas, from cliffs to coves nestled in a heavenly setting.

And having your own small boat gives you the choice of stopping wherever you like to explore the rich seabed all around the island. An unforgettable experience for families and friends!

Find a boat to rent in the Bahamas

How to get to the Bahamas

Two international airports serve Bahamian cities: Nassau’s Lynden Pindling airport, with international flights to the USA, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe – only London with British Airways – and Central America. Almost all the islands have a small airport for internal flights from Nassau: it is almost always necessary to go back via Nassau to get from one island to another.

Grand Bahama airport mainly serves the United States, Europe (Milan, Paris) and Canada (Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Winnipeg). To find a flight at the best price, visit the website of our partner Ulysse, which offers a wide range of flexible options.

Bahamas Ferries ‘ high-speed catamarans operate between the islands from Nassau, serving Eleuthera, Andros and Great Exuma.

Where to stay in the Bahamas?

When it comes to accommodation in the Bahamas, hotels are the best option: camping is forbidden, youth hostels are non-existent, and guesthouses are almost non-existent. So you’ll have to go for the often more expensive luxury hotels in Nassau, Freeport, Cat island and Long island: you’ll find them at the best price on this hotel comparison site.

Alternatively, you can try homestay, in villas and apartments when owners offer their property for rent on Airbnb.

Map of hotels and accommodations – Bahamas