Top 6 Cheap Things to do in Nassau, Bahamas
What to do in Nassau, Paradise Island
Nassau is the largest city and capital of the Bahamas and has a population of over 200,000. Located on New Providence Island, Nassau is a known tourist spot and frequent cruise stop. The tropical climate and natural beauty of the island and ocean-side beaches has largely contributed to its popularity.
Nassau, Bahamas Weather
The climate in Nassau is typical for the islands in the region with summers averaging around 90 degrees Fahrenheit and winter months averaging between 73 and 81 degrees. The water remains warm year-round, but the island does face a significant monsoon. During this season the island sees a lot of rain and stormy seas.
So we all know what it means when people say it’s a tourist city – everything gets expensive. If you’re planning on really splurging during your visit I recommend Blue Lagoon Island, Aquaventure Water Park at Atlantis Paradise Island, Scuba diving, paid snorkeling tours, Sea Lion encounters, and staying at an all-inclusive resort. There are so many fun adventures to be had on the island (and the islands nearby). Unfortunately these activities are often incredibly expensive. Luckily you can take a Bahamas Vacation on a budget.
This is a quick list of things to do when porting or staying in Nassau.
1) The Beaches
First and foremost, you’re going to the Bahamas. This means that you’re probably interested in spending time at the beach. Luckily you have no shortage of options. Many hotels, apartments, time-shares, and rentable houses have their own private beaches. Chances are you won’t have to go far to find a fun beach to explore.
Beaches are one of the top free things to do in the Bahamas. You can visit one (or several) of the numerous public beaches in the area, most of which won't cost you a cent to enjoy. They’re all beautiful, the water is warm, and many of them have awesome beach-side bars with delicious tropical drinks.
The most popular beaches in Nassau are:
- Cable Beach
- Jaws Beach
- Cabbage Beach
- Junkanoo Beach
2) John Watling’s Distillery (Free Tour)
“Why is the rum always gone?”
The Bahamas is known for its rum, and for good reason. John Watling’s Distillery is one of those wonderful places that supplies your drunk. You’re greeted at the door with a drink sample (pina colada when we visited) and can take yourselves on a self-guided tour or join a tour group. We took the self-guided option and wandered through the beautiful distillery grounds. There were signs describing the process their rum goes through and you can actually see the barrels of rum lined inside.
My personal favorite part of the tour was when it ends at the bar. You can buy a taster of the three different kinds of rum that is truly extraordinary. The flight of three rums costs only $6.50 and it is worth the small investment. The bartender talks you through how to best drink the three rums and provides water for clearing your pallet. If you have fun with him they often give you tasters of their other drinks as well. The pina coladas and mamas are delicious if you’re feeling like getting good and tipsy before you leave. For three small girls a rum flight each was enough to get us tipsy.
You can stay here as long as you want, the whole trip probably varies between a half hour and two hours – depending on how much you want to drink. I strongly recommend it!
3) Pirates of Nassau Museum
Located in the middle of the city, and not far from where cruise ships dock, this museum is a fun way to spend an hour. One of the best bonuses – this museum is air conditioned. It’s a great way to escape the high heat of the day.
If you’ve ever liked pirates, read about pirates, or watched pirates of the Caribbean you’ll probably like this museum. It’s a short (and mostly low-tech) taste of the life of a pirate. The museum is full of interesting facts and artifacts. Overall it successfully separates facts from fiction and gives you insights into the lives of pirates.
4) Arawak Cay (Fish Fry)
This is my number one recommendation for food. Arawak Cay is all bright colors and delicious seafood. Also known by the name Fish Fry this little strip of restaurants is an easy bus ride away from the main bulk of the city and is conveniently located next to a beach. The prices are reasonable and the food is good.
Top four recommended restaurants:
- Twin Brothers
- Oh Andrus
- King Bar
- Big Yard
I would say eating is one of the most fun things to do in Nassau because the seafood is fresh, unique, and delicious. So during your visit make a point to eat out as much as possible and enjoy what Nassau has to offer.
5) The Daiquiri Shack
You will never look at daiquiris the same again. These drinks are made with fruit fresh from the market (selected that morning) and delicious local rum. Each daiquiri was six dollars but that didn’t stop me from purchasing them as often as possible. They offered every combination of local and fresh fruits (I recommend strawberry plum). If you can see a fruit in the shack it’s available to be turned into a daiquiri. If you can’t see it, they’re out and you can’t get it. These drinks are guaranteed to be fresh and delicious. No matter how nice your resort is, the drinks won’t possibly be this good. In my opinion this is one of the best things to do in Nassau. Whether you're in the city for a day or a week, stop by the Daiquiri Shack, you won't be disappointed.
6) Queen’s Staircase
The city is crowded and often full of tourists. The Queen’s Staircase is a fun little getaway tucked in the center of the city. In a city surrounded by water the greens and nature of the staircase is an unexpected, and appreciated, surprise. Its history is beautiful and tragic (hand crafted by slaves) and its worth the visit to marvel at.
The Queen’s Staircase is free but often there are locals at the top and bottom who want to give you a little bit of its history for tips. Since there isn’t much literature on it or signage in the area I would recommend taking them up on their offer.
What are you most excited to do in the Bahamas?
Overall I would recommend a Nassau vacation, no matter your budget. While these are my top recommendations (based on my own experience and research) check out the Nassau Tripadvisor to find more things to do. Whether you're doing a Bahamas vacation all-inclusive or attempting a budget trip to this popular destination, I hope you have a great time and make some memories.