I have always associated the city of Nassau in the Bahamas with pirates: strong rum, sailing ships flying the black flag - you can say that once the island of New Providence was the second Tortuga for sea robbers. By the way, Nassau is one of the locations of the famous computer game Assassin's Creed: Black Flag. The illustration below is a screenshot from the game. Probably, this is exactly how I, like many others, imagined the Bahamas: azure waters, palm trees, wooden boats and completely wild nature ...
My real acquaintance with this famous tropical city began when the cruise ship approached the port of Nassau, and I went down to the pier. Of course, the real Nassau of the 21st century has very little in common with how it looked (or could have looked) three centuries ago: instead of wooden pirate ships in the port - huge cruise ships, instead of shacks and shacks - houses in a colonial style with fresh paint on the walls . A neat promenade stretches along the coastline, and tall bridges lead to the neighboring island.
This was the last stop of my ship, and I wanted to take the last sip of vivid impressions by the end of the trip. It seems to me that a great way to spend time in Nassau is just to walk around the city and plunge into its daily life: enjoy the views of the colonial buildings and beautiful colorful houses, admire the tropical trees and well-kept gardens, go to the local Catholic churches - albeit not so richly decorated as Orthodox, but very authentic.
And, of course, Nassau - these are stunning beaches with palm trees, white sand, alluring water of turquoise and azure colors and a beautiful underwater world.
By the way, in my article I will often talk about Caribbean cruises that stop in Nassau, because it is a very popular port - every day thousands of tourists come to Nassau for one day in huge beautiful ships.
How to get there
The Bahamas is an entire archipelago stretching hundreds of meters from north to south and from west to east. New Providence, on which Nassau is located, is only one of 700 islands. Consequently, the main routes to Nassau run through water and air.
I must say, from Russia there are no direct flights to Nassau. Therefore, when flying to the Bahamas, you will have to make at least one transfer. The best-priced and longest routes run through Miami and New York. But even the fastest flights for someone can be a test. If you have the time and desire, I advise you to consider staying in one of these cities for a day or two, so as not to kill all day on flights and take a little breath. By the way, we have excellent articles on our site about both Miami and New York. And you can always compare the airfare for your dates here to find the best one for the price and duration of the flight.
Flights from Moscow are made by Aeroflot from Sheremetyevo Airport. By itself, a flight to Miami lasts an average of 11.5-12.5 hours, to New York - 10. But if you want to fly without stopping, transfers between flights will take a lot of time.
Via New York:
- The cheapest flight from Moscow to Nassau via New York will take 24.5 hours and will cost from 345 USD (20 000 RUB). A serious drawback is that you have to spend the whole night at the airport. But this option is the cheapest flight and includes only one change.
- There is an option to fly with two transfers: in New York and in the Florida city of Fort Lauderdale. This option will cost from 420 USD (24,500 RUB), and will only take 19.5 hours: the connection time is short both there and there.
- You can fly in 22.5 hours and 465 USD (27 000 RUB) with transfers in New York and Orlando - another city in Florida, where, by the way, Disneyland is located.
You can read about flying to Miami in this article, which I already referred to above. And here is a detailed flight schedule from Miami to Nassau, with which you can certainly find the suitable option. The flight from Florida to the Bahamas lasts only an hour and is quite cheap: from 65-70 USD (4000 RUB).
To get from the northern capital to New York or Miami and from there fly to Nassau, you first need to be in Moscow. Details are written here. Depending on the chosen mode of transport, the trip will cost from 13.5 USD (800 RUB).
From Nassau Airport to the city center
Nassau Airport is quite small, but the queues for customs control are very long. One thing pleases: while standing in line, you can listen to national music performed by colorful musicians.
The Linden Pindling Nassau International Airport is some distance from the city center and the port, although it is quite close to some resort areas.
On average, a taxi ride to the city center or Paradise Island will cost 25-30 USD and take about half an hour. Somewhere I saw information that inexpensive buses go from the airport to the center, the fare on which will cost you only 5-7 USD, but, firstly, it’s rather difficult to find a stop, and secondly, buses go to Nassau very unpleasant - they greatly exceed the speed and perform quite sharp maneuvers. If you are still willing to take a chance, then you should ask about the bus stop at the airport. If not, the whole queue of taxis stretches right at the exit.
Despite the fact that Nassau is located on an island almost in the middle of the ocean, getting to it by water from neighboring Florida or even less from Russia will be quite problematic, but there are options. And in any case, you have to fly - the most logical, of course, to Florida. And from there you can move to the Bahamas by water. There are three main cities from which you can get to Nassau by water:
- Fort Lauderdale;
There seems to be no direct connection between Florida and Nassau, but there is an option to go there by cruise. So, the famous company Carnival offers a four-day sea trip to the Bahamas from Miami:
- The first day - landing on the liner and the beginning of the journey.
- The second day is sea (believe me, there is something to do on the ship).
- The third day - a stop on one of the Bahamas (Little San Salvador or Princesses Case).
- The fourth day - a stop in Nassau.
- The fifth day - arrival in Miami.
The price of such a pleasure will be from 189 USD per person, excluding taxes. But in fact it will cost much more, even if you take the simplest interior windowless cabin. Firstly, taxes, secondly, mandatory tips, and thirdly, port charges. In short, a double cruise will cost from $ 675, taking into account all those points that American travel companies love to omit, waving signs with attractive prices. If you like to relax luxuriously, then for sure you will be more comfortable with a suite. In this case, the cruise will cost from 1350 USD for two. If you are traveling together, then a third person will cost less - a fixed 260 USD (with taxes and other pleasures) in the inner cabin, in the suite.
There are other interesting options for a sea voyage, including a visit to Nassau. The equally well-known Norwegian Cruise Line offers seven-day Caribbean cruises, some of which include a day in Nassau. A 3-day cruise with two stops in the Bahamas costs from USD 490 per person (again, not including taxes and fees).
All cruise liners arrive at Prince George Wharf. It is located on the other side of the island with respect to the airport - in the center of Nassau. You can walk almost anywhere in the area from the pier, but if you need to cover a fairly large distance, you should take the bus (stop at the port exit) for 4 USD or catch a taxi - I will tell you about tariffs below.hint: Nassau - time is now09: 0613 OctoberDifference in hours: Moscow & plus; 7 Kazan & plus; 7 Samara & plus; 8 Yekaterinburg & plus; 9 Novosibirsk & plus; 11 Vladivostok & plus; fourteen
When is the season. When is the best time to go?
The Bahamas have a very mild, pleasant climate for relaxation. The main difference between “season” and “off season” is the amount of rainfall. If the period from December to April is arid, then from May to November the rainy season lasts.
Tropical rains in the Caribbean are a sight to behold!
As for the number of tourists, it, of course, is directly dependent on weather conditions, but there are always those who want to relax on a paradise island. Moreover, we can say that there are always tourists on the island: as long as there is a large seaport in Nassau, huge cruise ships with thousands of passengers on board will arrive there every day.
Prices vary in different months, but not too much. Therefore, you should choose a time for rest, based on what temperature of air and water is comfortable for you.
Nassau in the summer
Fans of comfortable temperature and perfect weather should not go to Nassau in the summer, unless you are traveling on a cruise ship and there is a stop in the Bahamas in your route.
The air temperature reaches + 30-32 ° C, so it is very difficult to be on the street. In addition, the peak of the rainy season is in the summer. Showers can last more than an hour and are usually accompanied by a hurricane.
On the other hand, at this time in the Bahamas there are much fewer tourists, and accommodation prices are much lower. Most travelers come from America, especially from nearby states. Not the largest number of holidaymakers on the islands is due to the fact that at this time in the United States it is warm enough not to go anywhere. But do not flatter yourself! In popular hotels in July-August, there is a queue for check-in, so you need to book a room in any case in advance. And you can’t say that there are no tourists at all. Water in the sea warms up to + 28-30 ° C, and this is a very pleasant temperature for swimming.
In general, if low prices and a warm sea attract you, and showers and heat do not scare you at all, then you can go to Nassau in the summer.
Nassau in the fall
The rainy season is coming to an end in October, and the high tourist season begins in November, when residents of the surrounding States seek shelter from the cold under the warm Bahamian sun and sprawling palm branches.
The air temperature from September to October is still “summer” (in the region of + 28-29 ° С), but in November it gradually drops to a comfortable 26 ° С. I can call about the same numbers when talking about the temperature of the water in these months.
Nassau in the spring
The time from March to April refers to the high tourist season. The air temperature at this time is almost comfortable and reaches + 26-28 ° С. Water is far not as warm as in summer: + 24-25 ° С. Although personally, such a temperature in the sea never bothered me! Still, this is not a jacuzzi in which you can soak forever without moving, but an unlimited space for movement.
In May, the season drops, the air heats up to + 28-29 ° С, and water - up to +27 ° С. It can be said that this is a favorable time for a trip - apart from the fact that the rainy season is gaining strength again.
Nassau in winter
During all three winter months, the average air temperature fluctuates around + 25-26 ° С, and the water is kept at + 24-25 ° С. Obviously, the high tourist season lasts all winter. Although I recall my trip there in February - no, the streets were not so crowded, except in the port area.
One way or another, you need to book accommodation in advance at any time of the year, but this especially applies to the winter period. The fact is that in Nassau there are popular and simply incredibly cool hotels (which I will tell you about below), and if you want to have your place in the sun, you need to take care of this in advance - at least 3 weeks before departure.
Nassau - monthly weatherHint: Nassau - weather for the months of January January + 21.0 February ± 21.0 March ± 22.0 April ± 23.0 May ± 25.0 June ± 27.0 July ± 27.5 August ± 28.0 September ± 27.5 October ± 26.0 November ± 26.0 24.5 December & plus; 22.0
Areas. Where is better to live
As for where it is better to live in Nassau, I can not give a definite answer. Accommodation options vary in location, price and features of the holiday. On the map below I tried to identify the main areas in which the hotels are located.
- In a purple oval, I enclosed Paradise Island - the pearl of New Providence, the main resort area of Nassau. Here is, perhaps, one of the best hotels in the world Atlantis, about which I will talk a little more in detail below. Prices go up to 3100 USD per night, but there are also more mundane options for 150-170 USD, 305-370 USD - it all depends on the hotel building that you choose to stay, and, of course, the room itself. By the way, booking hotels here seems to be on the official website: everything seems to be bought out at Bucking. Strictly speaking, I would not call Paradise Island part of Nassau. Staying there, it seems to me, is a little contrary to the trip, the purpose of which is to explore a new place, enjoy the spirit of adventure. On the other hand, nothing prevents you from settling there to please yourself with a beach holiday in a luxury hotel, and at some point when you are in the mood, go to Nassau itself and see the city.
- Red (in the upper right part) I circled the location of another unique hotel - the British Colonial Hilton. The hotel of the well-known chain has a rich history and, as it seems to me, deserves a separate mention. The building was built at the beginning of the 20th century on the site of the old Nassau fort, the decision on the demolition of which was made long before that. The classic colonial-style hotel has been operating since 1924 and has changed owners many times, and in the 1990s, the Hilton chain expanded its collection with a wonderful acquisition. I was very impressed with the hotel building - grand, beautiful, very atmospheric. In addition, this is the only hotel (not counting those that are on Paradise Island) that has its own beach. It doesn’t matter if you are going to settle here during your trip or not, remember the location of this hotel. It so happened that a lot of interesting and worthy of attention is located near Hilton.
- The Green Oval is the northwest coast of New Providence, which also houses several change houses and houses. Prices vary dramatically: from the dubious 100 and more convincing 200 USD and up to 1500 USD. The last option is the price for a stay in a house on the beach with 7 rooms and a pool.
- In the orange circle (well, almost a circle ...) are the most budget options - for the most part, apartments, the price of accommodation in which will be from 120 to 350 USD. There are a couple of houses near the coast - they are rented out for 250-500 USD per day.
- An area in which you can rent a villa or townhouse falls into the blue circle. I must say, this part of the island, in my opinion, is not so interesting for tourists and is more suitable for those who seek solitude. Prices range from 120 to 180 USD.
I do not recommend settling in the central part of the island. Not only is the sea far away, it is also dangerous and just not very beautiful. Outside beautiful beaches and luxury hotels, there is a poverty line, and behind it slums begin and not the most pleasant places. The deeper you get into the island, the more you come across dilapidated and abandoned houses. My impression was compounded by the fact that huge dry palm leaves and branches of other trees were scattered everywhere: apparently, a hurricane was raging recently on the island. In general, take care of yourself and your mood during your vacation - it is better to settle in safe areas well-populated by tourists.
But, of course, a place to live on vacation is a matter of taste. Book hotels I recommend at Bucking. If you prefer to rent housing, here you can see the options.
What are the prices for vacation
You can relax in Nassau on a budget or on a grand scale. Although if you already forked out for a flight here, it hardly makes sense to significantly save on housing. But if you intend to rent a house on the beach or other similar housing, then the golden rule applies: long-term rents are much cheaper than short-term rents, if you count the daily payment.
About the prices for accommodation in different parts of the island I described above. You can also compare prices here.
Currency in the Bahamas - logically, Bahamian dollars, BSD.Since the rate is tied to US dollars in a ratio of 1: 1, then you can not bother with the exchange. USD is accepted everywhere calmly, I have never been refused. So own currency is almost conditional.
Traveling by local minibuses costs 4 USD per person. Taxi prices range from 8 to 32 USD depending on the distance - I will describe in more detail below.
Food prices vary by location, of course. But I did not notice that food prices were somehow different, for example, from the USA. A bottle of water 0.5 can cost 0.6-1.5 USD, that is, quite a regular price for the countries of North America. By the way, in our tip below there are prices in restaurants and cafes.
If you do not live in Atlantis, but want to spend a day or two in the territory, get ready for big expenses: all kinds of activities, which I will discuss below, cost from 130 to 265 USD per person. A visit to the aquarium costs 40 USB.hint: Cost of food, accommodation, transport and other currency: Euro, € US dollar, $ Russian ruble, rub
|Eating (lunch / dinner) in a reasonably priced restaurant||1435 rub|
|Lunch / dinner for two, 3 course, middle class restaurant||6850 rub|
|McMill at McDonald's or similar combo lunch||457 rub|
The main attractions. What to watch
There are no world-class attractions in Nassau like Chichen Itza or the Eiffel Tower, but it seems to me that this is not the most important thing for a real traveler. Another thing is important: to get to know at least a little local culture, to look where tourists do not go, to chat with locals. Nassau is a storehouse of local color impressions.
History has left a noticeable imprint on the face and character of this amazing Caribbean city. Founded in the middle of the 17th century by the British as Charlestown, half a century later it turned into Nassau, and for the next century served as a haven for pirates, including the legendary Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard. Hence the love of pirate themes expressed in souvenirs and museums.
During the American War of Independence (1775-1783) who just did not capture Nassau: pirates, loyalists (Americans loyal to the British crown), Spaniards, again loyalists. Ultimately, the island of New Providence passed to Britain and remained its colony for almost two centuries. The consequences are English, a colonial style of architecture. Funny fact: on a banknote of one Bahamian denomination (and in three, too), Queen Elizabeth II is depicted in his youth, and on a hundred-dollar bill (as well as on 10 BSD) - in old age.
My top will turn out to be not quite standard, because I included those attractions that personally impressed me the most. That is, it is unlikely that this list will completely coincide with what other sites offer, but the power of impressions plays a role here, and not an objective set of beautiful churches and important museums.
- Rayi island (Paradise Island) and Atlantis Hotel) When I found out that the passengers of the cruise ship choose the trip to Atlantis from all possible excursions, it surprised me. How can I come to another country for one day and spend it on a hotel? It turned out - you can! But I still didn’t do that :).
- The Straw Market is a place just for those who are not interested in luxury hotels, in the more real life of the local population. Impressions leave conflicting.
- Nassau Museum of Pirates (Pirates of Nassau Museum). One more point about local color. In fact, this is not so much a museum in the usual sense as a large installation. Be that as it may, it is cool, fun and informative here!
- Queen's Staircase. Punched by slaves right in the stone, this 66-step staircase is located between a picturesque waterfall and a sheer cliff. Later, the staircase was named after the British Queen Victoria.
- Restaurant Senior Frog's. Yes, it didn’t seem to you: I included a restaurant in the top attractions of the city, but which one! And to maintain the intrigue, read more about it in the "Recommended Places" section;).
Beaches. Which are better
Although I am not a fan of beach vacations, sometimes I also want to bask in the sun and swing in the waves! Many beaches have water activities: kayaking, water scooters, bananas.
On the map I marked the best beaches in Nassau, more about which I will discuss below. I build my list, starting with the most worthy places. But keep in mind that the beaches of Nassau, of course, do not end there: the length of the coastline of New Providence, according to my conservative estimates, is about 120 km².
- Own Hilton Beach. Small but cozy, with access to the pool, basketball and volleyball courts and various services, clean. A visit, the so-called day pass, is an excellent option for passengers on a cruise ship or for those wishing to enjoy a nice beach for a day. This pleasure costs 60 USD per adult or 33 USD per child. The amount includes a loan for food and drinks in the amount of 40 USD (20 USD per child).
- Paradise beach located ... guess where. Of course, on Paradise Island. Access to this place can be obtained by purchasing a Day Pass in Atlantis, and this will cost at least 130 USD per adult or 95 USD per child 4-12 years old. But, in any case, you will get a wide range, access to 11 pools and 18 slides and other joys of life. It will cost other money to cruise ship passengers who take excursions on the ship: as a rule, the price will increase, but it will include transfer, insurance (the ship will not sail without you) and meals. Therefore, if you are more comfortable with such conditions, check the prices on the website of your cruise company.
- Cabble beach It is located some distance from the main attractions, so it makes sense to take a taxi there if you do not live near this beach. Beautiful, clean, not as crowded as others. You can pay about 45 USD to take advantage of the amenities of neighboring hotels, or you can relax as a savage with a towel. Judging by the reviews, this is one of the best beaches in Nassau, especially considering that it is free. In addition, cruise ships are quite far away, if someone is embarrassed by the proximity of the ships.
- Junkanoo beach located next to the Hilton. The excellent location in the center of Nassau's tourist life is a big plus, especially for passengers on cruise ships who get to this beach 5-10 minutes from the port on foot. On the other hand, this beach is free, there can be quite a lot of people on it, and the cleanliness is doubtful.
- Cabbage beach Paradise Island is very good: white sand, boundless expanse of water, high palm trees ... It goes directly to the Atlantic Ocean, which, however, makes it a little less safe, because it is no longer a lagoon. In addition, there are no showers and changing rooms. If you live in Nassau, then it will take quite a while to get there: by taxi or by minibus and then on foot. The coastline is long, therefore, even if people on the beach in Sochi in the best years, you can still find a place for yourself. Sunbeds cost 10 USD, umbrellas - 20 USD.
One thing is for sure: the taste and color of sand on the beaches is different, so don't be afraid to experiment and look for something new. You can catch a taxi and ask to take you to the best beach, and it is possible that you are lucky to find a place in the sun.
Churches and temples. Which are worth a visit
In Nassau, the areas of Protestantism are widely represented (Baptism, Presbyterianism, Anglicanism and others), as well as Catholicism. This, in turn, determines the appearance of the temples: noticeable, majestic, they are almost devoid of decorations, except perhaps for stained glass windows. Many Nassau churches have a modest but modern interior and even good technical equipment.
- Cathedral of Christ (Christ Church Cathdral) located near the Hilton. This is the so-called mother church for all the Anglican temples of the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands. The white building of the cathedral is very noticeable, it is difficult to miss. At this very place, the church building first appeared in the second half of the 17th century, and the building existing today - the fourth since then - was erected in 1754 and was completed several times.
- Presbyterian Church of St. Andrew (Saint Andrew Presbyterian Kirk). Despite the fact that when I was there, the temple was completely empty, I really liked this place and seemed hospitable. I went there for a short while, out of simple curiosity, and was surprised: over the altar there were two canvases for the projector, on which Thomas Watson's life-affirming quote about God was highlighted, calm pop music played. And next to it there are very beautiful stained-glass windows. Still, I am very surprised and at the same time admired by churches, who are friendly to modernity. I can’t imagine the same thing in a simple Orthodox church in Moscow.
- Cathedral of St. Francis Xavier (Saint Francis Xavier Cathedral). The oldest Catholic temple in the whole Bahamian community, but the building is quite new.
Museums and other attractions. Which are worth a visit
There are not many museums in Nassau, but here I would like to describe the most interesting ones. In addition to museums, I will talk about some other attractions.
Nassau Museum of Pirates (Pirates of Nassau Musem)
The Pirate Museum, which I mentioned above, is one of the most popular and visited. And no wonder: who will not be interested in pirate life, embodied in bright installations and interiors, wax figures in authentic costumes! And at the exit there is a souvenir shop with pirate paraphernalia, from which children and some adults like me will be delighted. In general, I will not tell you more - you will see everything for yourself! ;)
Even if you are not a fan of wax figures, you can bring them here willy-nilly, because the museum is located next to the Hilton. And if you find yourself here between 9 and 10 in the morning, then in the museum you can pass the time before the opening of the Straw Market.
Opening hours and visits. Tickets cost 13 USD per adult and 6.50 USD per child. From Monday to Saturday, the museum is open from 09: 00-18: 00, on Sunday - only until 12:30.
Bahamas The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas
The gallery is located in a charmingly beautiful historic building. And, I think, you will not be surprised at all if I say again that this place is not far from Hilton.
The main theme of the works exhibited here is the liberation from slavery and the struggle of the individual for internal freedom. This is due to the history of the Bahamian population: slavery in the British colonies was finally abolished only by the 1830s.
The exposition is constantly changing, temporary exhibitions are held. What I especially liked on the official site (except that it is beautiful and comfortable) is the question in the FAQ section: "How do I put my work in the Gallery?" Museum curators look at the works of artists and decide whether to exhibit them. I think it's great: everyone can show their work if it turns out to be worthy.
Opening hours and visits. Tickets cost 10 USD per adult, 5 USD for students and people over 65, and admission is free for children under 12 years old. From Tuesday to Saturday the museum is open at 10: 00-17: 00, on Sunday from 12:00, Monday is a day off. The gallery has its own store, which sells, among other things, handmade souvenirs. Artworks exhibited in the gallery are usually not for sale, but you can contact the artist directly and agree.
Bahamas National Heritage Museum (The Heritage Museum of the Bahamas)
A small museum with a large collection of curious artifacts and antiques - from prehistoric times to the present day. Some exhibits can even be touched.
The museum has a gallery with the works of local schoolchildren.
Opening hours and visits. The entrance ticket will cost $ 10, there is an audio guide for an additional fee. In general, a visit will cost up to 20 USD per person, if you take a guide. Open Monday through Friday at 09: 00-17: 00.
Fort Fincastle and the Queen's Staircase
The fort was erected in 1793 by order of the colonial governor John Murray, who at one time led an active battle against supporters of the independence of the United States. Once it was the highest point of the island of New Providence, and therefore served not only as a defensive structure with guns, but also as a lighthouse - until they built a lighthouse on Paradise Island. However, a good panorama still opens from the fort.
An amazing fact: the limestone rock from which the Queen’s staircase was carved went to the construction of the fort. So the fort and the stairs are really a single whole in a sense. And on top of the fort looks like a paddle wheel of a ship.
They say visiting a fort is not worth the time spent, but I cannot agree. Yes, the fort is too loudly said for such a tiny building, but if you like history and are interested in such places, then why not? Once the territory of this fortress was much larger, and the government seems to have plans to restore the fort and clear the area around it.
Life hack: it will be most convenient to visit the fort, going up the road there, and then go down the stairs. Nobody likes to climb 66 steps? :)
Opening hours and visits. Entrance to the fort costs 1 USD, it is open daily from 08:00 to 16:00. You can look at the stairs at any time - for free, of course.
I think the time has come to explain why people spend time and money to visit Paradise Island and Atlantis Hotel located on it. By the way, Atlantis has a twin brother of the same name in Dubai. The Arabian luxury hotel is located on the palm of Jumeirah. You can see it in the photo. Isn't that an Arabian tale?
Bahamian Atlantis is also good. This is not only a luxury hotel, but also a whole entertainment complex. On its territory are located:
- many branded stores, which I’ll talk about in more detail below;
- restaurants, including the institution of the world famous Nobu chain;
- impressive casinos with a huge number of slot machines and tables;
- a large water complex with pools, slides, fountains, waterfalls, lagoons ... you can’t list everything.
Not being a hotel guest, you can go far from everywhere: there is strict control, security checks the bracelets worn by guests at the entrance to certain areas. Although, by the way, I almost walked along with the crowd, only my conscience did not allow me to pretend that I did not hear "Excuse me, lady?" :).
Opening hours and visits. Cash desk and pool open from 09:00. Water slides begin to work from 10:00. The water park closes after sunset with pools.
Prices for visiting the water park:
- Simple visit - from 130 USD per adult, 95 USD per child.
- Lunch visit - from 170 USD per adult, 120 USD per child.
- A swim with dolphins in shallow water - 195 USD from any person over 4 years old. You can talk with dolphins, standing waist-deep in water (only half an hour) and talk with a specialist. During the program, which lasts from an hour to a half, you will be provided with a water suit and a locker for things.
- Deep-sea swim with dolphins - 265 USD per person over 6 years old. Although the swim itself lasts the same half hour, it is already more interesting. You will have the opportunity not only to feed, stroke and even smack a dolphin, but also to ride on it - only not on its back, but standing with its feet on its nose.
- Cruise ships are a separate issue, because you can buy a tour directly on board. One of the cruise companies in Atlantis costs half a day from 145 USD per adult, in another - from 195 USD. There, around 350 USD will cost a combined visit to the water park, swimming with dolphins and lunch. In fact, buying an excursion on a liner in this case is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it is still quite expensive. On the other hand, your tour includes a round-trip transfer from the pier to Atlantis, as well as an absolute guarantee that in case of any force majeure the ship will wait for you, despite being late, and will not sail to the next port. But if you correctly calculate the time, then perhaps a trip to Atlantis is worth undertaking yourself. On foot, this road takes 40 minutes from the marina to the entrance, so this route is suitable for walkers. Local shuttle buses can be reached in 8-10 minutes. Ask the bus drivers parked at the shipyard where you can find a minibus to Atlantis. You need to return to the ship at least an hour before departure, check with the crew.
The price of any ticket includes unlimited descents from all 18 slides, swimming in 11 pools, using towels (you can change them as much as you like) and sunbeds, visiting the aquarium. A separate visit to the aquarium costs about 45 USD per adult per day. Lunch is included in the price of any ticket, except for the simplest one (the one for 130 USD); At your disposal will be 6 eateries on site. Book your visit in advance here.
In Nassau, among all the intricacies of the streets, there are two distinguished by their beauty and quite worthy of the title of tourist.
The long pink stripe on the main part of Nassau is Bay Street, and the purple misunderstanding on Paradise Island is Paradise Island Drive as part of Marina Village.
In general, Bay Street stretches along the entire northern part of the island, and its length is about 23.5 kilometers. Along the street there are hotels, restaurants, shops. If you have the desire and time, you can devote it to a pedestrian march throw from West Bay Street to East Bay Street or vice versa, or break up this marathon for a couple of days. Or you can ride a bike there.
But most tourists will probably be interested in the busiest part of this street - Bay Street, which stretches from Hilton to the bridges on Paradise Island. It is here that cruise ship passengers get from Prince George Wharf, and the recommended tourist routes start from here. There are many souvenir shops, cafes, restaurants, shops. Clothing, diamonds are sold (you can pay attention to the Caribbean company Diamonds International), and decorations for the interior. Local shuttle buses stop. It is very beautiful, neat, safe here.
You can safely turn into the alleys that lead towards the sea, because there are also bars and shops there.
Bay Street overlooks Parliament, a beautiful colonial-style building.
Marina Village is a tourist village located on the shores of a marina with yachts on Paradise Island. And Paradise Island Drive (pictured) is a doll street with almost toy houses and many souvenir shops and cafes.
As for me, this place is more intended for tourists than for travelers. It is very beautiful, cute and pleasant, but, on the other hand, being here does not give an idea of the local flavor, of Nassau. Marina Village with all its colorful houses can be taken and moved to almost anywhere in the world (more or less suitable at least for climatic conditions) without any loss to the atmosphere of the place. The prices here, it seemed to me, are slightly higher than in Nassau itself, especially for souvenirs and food.
One way or another, it is worth taking a walk here, like during the day, when sunlight emphasizes the bright colors in which the houses are painted, and in the evening, with the cozy lighting of lanterns.
What to see in 1 day
A section that is especially relevant for cruise ship passengers who want to get everything done. I remember my ship moored to Nassau at dawn, so the day began early for me.
Plan for active:
- 08: 30-10: 00 - a walk from the pier to the Hilton. One of the possible routes I marked on the map. Almost immediately you will see the Parliament building, walk past the library. On your way you will meet the Presbyterian Church, the Government House with a monument to Columbus. On the way, you can taxi to the pirate museum.
- 10: 00-10: 30 - The straw market. I would not go for a long time here, even with all my love for souvenirs and hand-made. One way or another, I’ll tell you more about it in the “Souvenirs” section.
- 10: 30-11: 30 - you can take a walk along Bay Street towards the bridges to Paradise Island and devote some time to shopping, which I will also discuss below.
- 11: 30-12: 00 - having walked up and in a rush, you can go on foot to Atlantis. Moreover, if you followed my cunning plan, you probably already came to the bridges leading to Paradise Island. Another 5-10 minutes - and you are on the other side.
- 12: 00-13: 00 - walk around Marina Village. Perhaps you are already hungry - you can have a bite to eat in one of the cafes here.
- 13: 00-14: 00 - go to Atlantis, admire the sculptures made of Murano glass, climb onto the hordes of slot machines, look into branded stores. Inspect the territory of the water complex, where you can’t get without a ticket, take a breath and move on - for example, towards the restaurant on the main island.
- 15:30 - most likely, you have already come back to New Providence and ate hearty. You have time to buy souvenirs and generally for whatever your heart desires. If you do not sail away from the island, you can safely walk to the museum of national art, it is not far away.
- 17:00 - walk along the old fort, go down the Queen’s stairs.
An option for those who love water activities and do not want to walk for half a day no one knows where: immediately catch a taxi or minibus in the direction of Atlantis, buy a ticket there for the whole day and enjoy life.
Passengers of cruise ships do not need to rack their brains, because they are offered the following excursions:
- a glass bottom boat (1.5 hours);
- snorkeling (2.5 hours);
- sightseeing tour and tasting of rum (3 hours);
- beach day;
- excursion to Atlantis (various variations);
Another option, the least expensive in terms of money and effort: take a taxi and ask to be taken to the best beach, where you can spend the whole day the way you want.
Not only is the Bahamas an entire archipelago, New Providence itself is surrounded by several stretches of land of an oblong shape. One of them - Paradise Island - is so close and is such an integral part of Nassau that it could not be mentioned here.
However, it is still worth noting the old lighthouse on the western tip of the island - Hog Island Lighthouse. Yes, Paradise Island was once called differently. By the way, the lighthouse is one of the brightest symbols of the island, embodied in souvenirs.
- Rose Island (Rose Island) - a long and narrow strip in the sea; wild, but by no means a deserted place. People come here in search of privacy on undeveloped beaches. Minimum infrastructure and civilization. Sandy Toes travel agency operates here, which offers secluded lodges for spending the night, parties, snorkeling and other entertainments on the island. Go about 20 minutes by boat.
- Blue Lagoon (Blue Lagoon Island) - such a tempting name is, rather, not an island, but a group of islands, between which an amazing blue natural bay formed. Although until 1991 it was a single island, but then the storm blew it apart. Now here you can swim with dolphins for 185 USD with preliminary instruction. There is a Da Grill restaurant and various water activities. The ferry can be reached in 45 minutes.
- Discovery Island with a coastline of just 2 kilometers is a cozy corner. Here is the beach club Balmoral Island, where you can not only lie on the beach, but also swim with dolphins, stingrays. You can buy a place in the sun for the whole day for 70 USD per adult (65 USD per child). You can swim with dolphins for 200 USD per adult (175 USD per child). Chat with stingrays - for 110 USD (100 USD per child). Read more here. The boat ride will take about 30 minutes.
Food. What to try
Living on the island, do not miss the opportunity to eat fresh seafood. Although I do not really like them, I liked everything here.
Separately, I want to talk about one national dish. Conch salad is a popular dish here - or just conch. It also captured the nearest regions - neighboring islands like Jamaica, as well as Miami in Florida. What is it and why is it so popular?
You must have seen large beautiful sinks, as in the photo, more than once in souvenir shops in different countries. Most likely, you even have one at home, or even not one. So, in such shells live tropical mollusks (the scientific name is a giant strombus), carefully growing their houses for a long time. To get it out of a cozy shelter, the locals take a hammer and puncture a hole in a strong shield with an accurate blow, from where they pull out a defenseless clam. Since you are on an island in the middle of the ocean, this practically guarantees the freshness of seafood - the mollusk is cut into a salad without any processing, which also includes fresh tomatoes, onion and pepper chopped into cubes. All of this is poured over with lime juice and sprinkled with pepper, salt to taste. The dish turns out quite sharp, sour and at the same time refreshing. You can ask not to add jalapenos so that it is not so sharp. It seems to me that you need to try it at least once in your life - and below I will tell you exactly where to do it!
There are other ways to cook strombus: boil soup, make fries, deep-fry - everything that only tells the imagination. Each Caribbean island has its own recipes.
Here I will write only about one place - about where I’m returning, coming to Nassau again, and about which my parents dream about, planning a trip there. It's about Señor Frog's, a great restaurant with a great atmosphere.
As I said, a lot of things in this article will be somewhere near either Atlantis or Hilton. So, Señor Frog's restaurant is located right in the Hilton building, only on the outside, and not inside the hotel. You need to approach from the Bay Street.
The institution stands out primarily for its interior. For example - the ceiling :).
The bar is not behind in originality either.
But even more original is the presentation of the very conch salad, which I described above. A mobile table will be rolled up to your place and right before your eyes they will cook a dish from and to: break a shell, get a clam, chop it with vegetables, mix it - voila! The dish is ready, you can eat. Along the way, during the process you will be asked questions whether to add this or that ingredient, or to make it sharper. Guacamole is also interactively prepared. Such a serving in the menu is designated as served tableside, and such a dish costs 12-20 USD.
What else you need to know about Señor Frog's - this is a great party place! Every day people gather here, play loud music, hold funny contests. Disco until the morning, soap parties, laser shows, musical chairs - that's not all. If you are looking for nightlife in Nassau, this is the place for you.
By the way, in the USA, Mexico and the Caribbean there are many branches of this restaurant. But for some reason it seems to me that this particular one is special.
- Tiki Bikini Hut;
- Daiquiri Shack;
- McKenzie's Fresh Fish and Conch;
- Nirvana Beach Bar;
- Gregory's Mediterranean Delights.
- Pirate Republic Brewing;
- Lukka Kairi Restaurant and Bar;
- Athena Cafe & Bar;
- Oh Andros;
- Blue Sail.
- Cafe matisse;
- Graycliff restaurant;
- Luciano's of Chicago.
Holidays in Nassau and the Bahamas in general can be divided into two groups: national and religious. Speaking of the latter, everything is pretty clear here. Bahamian history and culture is closely connected with Western countries, so here, as expected, Christmas is considered one of the most important holidays, more important than the New Year. But there are some peculiarities.
- Junkanoo Festival, or Boxing day (not from the word “boxing”, but from the word “box”) - next day after Christmas, December 26th. This is a carnival, a colorful procession in honor of the upcoming holiday, unbridled fun and bright colors of incredible clothes! Passes, of course, on the Bay Road and adjacent streets. In the days of slavery after Christmas, African slaves in the Bahamas were given three days of freedom, releasing them from the plantations ... And then slavery was gone, but a tradition reminiscent of the difficult history of the people remained. By the way, if you want to see the carnival, but in December you are not going to Nassau, in Atlantis a mini-dzhankana (no, it's not called that) takes place every Friday, admission by tickets. I can’t say that this is a full-fledged alternative to a real carnival, but still an option.
- New Year's Eve under the palm tree is still exotic, don’t you? On New Year's Eve, restaurants, bars, hotels in Nassau do not sleep, vigorously seeing off the old year and meeting the new one. The culmination of the holiday - fireworks over the Atlantic Ocean. Not every year you see this!
- At various times of the year, regattas take place in Nassau periodically. For example, in March, you can watch events such as the Dudley Gamblin Cup Series, Bacardi Rum Cup, Snipe Winter Championship (approximately in the order of listing). In September, the Atlantis Superboat Challenge takes place on Paradise Island.
There are many other holidays that are celebrated in the Bahamas and specifically in Nassau. Local festivals can take place in hotels (for example, Atlantis) and restaurants (the same Señor Frog's). If you are going to Nassau, it is quite possible that you will be greeted by one or another holiday that you did not even suspect of, from the Bahamas Independence Day on July 10 to the Shell Festival in October.
Security. What to watch out for
Exotic is exotic, but safety is also worth considering. Of course, this is not Mexico, where police even in resort and tourist towns go in large groups armed with machine guns. But I have already said that Nassau is a city of contrasts, it can even be compared to a chessboard: the line between the white and black fields is obvious. And if you feel that you are approaching the line, you probably should not go further - at least, alone, with a large amount of money and valuables, with a child, being a girl, and so on. I remember that somehow I was just across the road from my parents, a stream of cars divided us. In the hands - a camera for 600 bucks, in a bag - another 300 green. Then I felt very vulnerable.
To the south and above Bay Road is Shirley Street - also a very civilized street. Even higher is the Government House, or Goverment House, which I marked on the map; he is on a hill.
It struck me how deep the poverty here was. Wooden houses, rusty, leaky roofs, rickety shacks. We walked along a serpentine sidewalk in the middle of a semi-rural-semi-urban wasteland, dumps from somehow hacked together huts and rusty car bodies. Here and there - massive black jeeps and Hammers with tinted windows.
When I first saw this place, the word "slum" came to my mind, although it is not entirely accurate. In any case, if you see something similar to that described above, abandoned houses, deserted streets, better turn back to the colorful colonial houses.
Well, the question of “where” we discussed, now remains “when” - when is it safer? From 9-10 in the morning until 3-5 days, when most of the shops and museums are open. One day my parents went outside at 6 pm to walk along the Bay Road, and they were stopped by a policeman and told them to go back to the hotel, because at that time there was no reason to hang out on the streets. On the other hand, if you see that the street is crowded, then why not walk around, everything is not so bad. I'm not talking about Paradise Island.
Some more general information. The crime rate in the Bahamas is high, but tourists rarely find themselves in the victim's position - and this is primarily a theft. You should not take risks when visiting nightclubs and casinos (except in Atlantis, where it is really absolutely safe), because drugs can be added to alcohol. Cross the road very carefully, because the ride here is unpredictable. Girls should not walk around Nassau alone outside the tourist area.
Things to do
In addition to beach vacations and sightseeing, you can find other activities.
- On Paradise Island there is a golf club with a chic field. Smart prices and dress code requirements can be found here.
- Rum tasting - such an excursion costs 70 USD per person and includes a small sightseeing tour, acquaintance with the history of buccanery (this is not the same as piracy) and local snacks. Such a tour is easy to find on the Internet and book online.
Shopping and shops
Nassau is a good place to shop if you know the places. Just keep in mind that shops, as they are designed more for tourists from ships, close 5 hours, or even 3, if today is a day off. Shopping is best planned for the morning.
Walking along Bay Street towards Hilton, I came across a great luxury clothing store. The local brand is called BAHARI Bahamas. I literally fell in love with her: you rarely see such cool things! It sells men's and women's items, elegant dresses and T-shirts, accessories. Prices range from 35 to 95 USD.
I will not be unfounded - this is the official website of the store where you can see the models. By the way, they have international delivery. To go or something, order a dress ...
- At the intersection of Bay Street and Marlborough, right at Hilton. There is no exact address on the site, but walking along Bay Street will surely find a store.
- # 49 Rosetta Street West. If you are not going to the center of the island, you are unlikely to get there.
Diamonds, emeralds, sapphires, topazes, tanzanites - there are jewelry with various precious stones. Prices range from quite earthly 50 USD per ring to sky-high 20 000 USD - also per ring.
If you like unusual silver rings with bright accents, pay attention to MarahLago jewelry with beautiful blue larimars. This stone will always remind you of the sea.
The store is located on Bay Street near the exit from the pier - you will not miss it.
The Atlantis Hotel - in that part of it where mere mortals can go without paying an admission - there are a number of branded stores. Offhand I can remember my beloved Michael Kors, Gucci, Versace. The prices here are American, that is, high, but still much lower than in Russia.
Bars Where to go
In addition to the wonderful Señor Frog's, I can name at least one more wonderful institution, which you will probably remember for its lamp-like and cool graffiti.
By the way, you can also check in there if you find any marker. The place is called The Bearded Clam (Bearded Shell), and just in case, I will mark it on the map so that you will not get lost :)
The bar is located in a narrow side street between Bay Street and the cruise port. There are also other establishments and souvenir shops.
Clubs and nightlife
Spending a night at one of Nassau's clubs doesn’t seem like a good idea to me simply because it’s not very safe. But two reliable places I can name:
- Hilton's wonderful Señor Frog's.
- Aura Nightclub at Atlantis Hotel. Entrance prices for hotel guests: women - free, men - 25 USD. For guests: women - 25 USD, men - 40 USD. On holidays and special events, the price will be higher.
Extreme sports and other activities
On the island, such entertainment is available as riding a motor boat, a catamaran, a glass bottom boat, a jet ski; parasailing, snorkeling and diving. Last hooked on you? Then I'll tell you one cool place - James Bond Wreck.
It was here, especially for the filming of Bond films such as "Ball Lightning" and "Never Say" Never ", that the real ships that were covered with coral and algae in today's ship flooded. Here you can also see large turtles and stingrays. This is a dive to medium depth, a diver certificate is required and a certificate that you have dived at least once in the last 12 months. Beyond the ships, the bottom drops sharply, it’s really deep there!
Souvenirs. What to bring as a gift
There are many souvenir shops on Bay Street where you can buy magnets, T-shirts of national colors, swimwear and other Chinese joys. Souvenirs can also be purchased on Paradise Island in Marina Village.
Those who find themselves in Nassau somewhere around the New Year (at least from November to February) will surely be able to find such an interesting souvenir - Christmas toys in the form of shells. Real exotic!
But, seeing the prices, I decided that for 10-16 USD I myself would be able to stick a nice bow to the shell :).
You can also buy rum, but here I am not an adviser to you.
To be honest - I wandered around all sorts of shops for a long time and could not find anything special for myself. By a funny coincidence, two places that I liked nevertheless turned out to be 15 meters from each other.
Main Street Ice Cream Parlor
A nice two-story building, again, opposite the Hilton, is an ice cream parlor and a gift shop, and the latter attracted me more. Here you can buy, in addition to obvious souvenirs:
- Local spices, teas, sauces are a good gastronomic gift.
- Cute wooden lighthouses (in the image of what is at the tip of Paradise Island), in blue and red. I am still tearing my hair out because I forgot to buy one before leaving. 10-15 USD - will you bring me?
- Rhodium jewelry inlaid with opalite - a synthetic material. But some look pretty cute. They cost 20-30 USD, sometimes more.
- Seeing these two miles, I literally screeched: finally I found a suitable souvenir for myself. How much they cost - I do not remember, I can only assume that 20-30 USD for each.
One of the main attractions, the Straw Market (still near the Hilton) makes the same double impression as the overall contrasting Nassau. Under a high roof in a large dark room - many rows with benches. On the one hand, there is a lot, a lot of goods, on the other - it’s dark, gloomy, many sellers are sick with something, they always call you to themselves, and quite persistently. All this impressed me Cherkizon.
Nevertheless, this place is worth seeing, because it is here that you can see objects of folk art and needlework. First of all, it is, of course, straw products: hats, bags, purses, baskets embroidered with bright ribbons.
On the street, as well as places in the room, there are benches selling wooden figures of various animals and creatures. Some works are impressive in size and detail!
In general, advice - it’s better not to touch anything again. Just for safety, not to break and not to show too much interest.
The watch market works from 9 (at 10, everyone has completely settled down and laid out their goods) and up to 5.
How to get around the city
Since you are in the Bahamas, your movements will most likely be reduced to the necessary minimum: from the bed to the beach and back. If you want to see something besides sand, your feet will still be useful, because many interesting places are usually within walking distance of hotels, especially if you settled near the pier or on Paradise Island. Wheeled vehicles can also come in handy.
Taxi. What features exist
Nassau has fixed taxi fares.
Important: do not get in a taxi driver’s car without a license.
Between New Providence and Paradise Island boats move for $ 4.
The trip lasts about 10 minutes, the boat leaves every half hour from 09:00 to 18:00.
You can walk the same distance in less than half an hour or take a bus for 8-10 minutes.
At bahamas.com, you can arrange a private trip to neighboring islands.
Shuttle buses, or Jitney, travel around the island. This is the easiest and cheapest way to get from point A to point B: it costs only 1.25 USD (for a long route - up to 2.50 USD). And it works like a simple minibus: stands, fills, rides. Such buses run with enviable regularity, there are really a lot of them.
There is only one blank spot: a map of the routes of these buses. It’s easier to ask the driver or the locals how to get to one place or another and whether this minibus is going there. I can definitely say that the east exit from Atlantis has a bus that goes directly to the pier and back.
Buses are more or less comfortable, more or less modern. Drivers, as a rule, drive quite quickly and sharply.
One of Nassau's most vivid impressions is the local driving style. They drive fast, accelerate sharply, brake sharply or do not brake at all. Crossing the road is simply scary: you don’t understand which way to look, so it’s better to go right and left and up and down.
Cars are both left-hand drive and right-hand drive. This expanse is explained either by the legacy of the British Empire, or by the fact that so many roads are here with one-way traffic. Moreover: the traffic here is so one-sided that New Providence and Paradise Island connect two bridges at once: one leads to it, the other to it. Considering how many times Google Maps let me down in different countries as a navigator, I just don’t even advise you to get into this Brownian movement. But if you think your reaction is good enough, and your desire to move on your own transport is too great, you can search for cars in local rentals or upon arrival at the airport. Prices from 50 USD per day for a simple small car with an automatic transmission.
Tips for motorists
- Do not rent a transport.
I'm serious. It seems to me that riding here is life threatening.
Nassau - Holidays with children
Relax with your kids in Nassau? Why not! Especially if you follow the simple precautions and recommendations described by me above in the "Security" section. Living on Paradise Island, you do not have to think about how to entertain the child, because there is a huge water complex, an oceanarium and nothing more.
There are other activities for children at New Providence:
- The Pirate Museum, which I wrote about above.
- Forts preserved on the island may interest little knights.
- Ardastra Gardens & Zoo - Zoo and nature reserve. Entrance ticket for an adult costs 18 USD, for a child (from 4 to 12 years) - 9 USD, for babies (3 years and younger) - free of charge. You can read about how to get there on the official website.