Time: In accordance with the time zone, the time in Barbados is 5 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time and 8 hours behind Moscow.
Holidays and non-working days: New Year (January 1), Errol Barrow Day (January 21), Good Friday (Good Friday, at different times), Second day after Easter (Easter Monday, at different times), Labor Day (May 1), Spirits Day (at different times), Kadooment Day (at different times), Boxing Day (second day of Christmas, December 26), UN Day (at different times), Independence Day (November 30), Christmas (December 25). Holidays (except Christmas) usually fall on Sunday and continue on Monday.
Climate: According to PROGRAMINGPLEASE, the climate of Barbados is considered one of the healthiest in the West Indies. Due to the mild tropical trade wind climate, the temperature of water and air practically does not change throughout the year. The average temperature in September (the warmest month) is 27*C, in February (the coolest) – 25*C, the average annual temperature is 9.8*C. Trade winds and sea breezes prevent the exhausting heat. The rainy season starts from June to November. The average annual rainfall is 1016 mm. on the coast and 2032 mm. deep in the island. Hurricane winds are possible from June to October.
Language: The official and only language on the island is English. Among local residents who call themselves Bayjans, dialectal phrases and characteristic local pronunciation are generally accepted.
Currency: Currency – Barbados dollar, one dollar is equal to 100 cents (Exchange rate on May 19, 2003: 1.9900 BBD = 1 USD ). Although US and Canadian dollars are also accepted on the island, using the local currency gives you a small advantage. Credit cards – American Express, Discover Card, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa, Barclaycard, Cardblansh, Eurocard are accepted for payment in many places, traveler’s checks – by all banks and most hotels. To avoid additional exchange transactions, it is better to take checks in US dollars or pounds sterling with you.
Currency exchange: The most favorable exchange rate in commercial banks. On the island, in addition to the National Bank of Barbados, there are at least six international banks (branches in Hastings, Worthing, Holetown and other cities). Banks are open from 8.00 to 15.00, on Fridays – from 9.00 to 13.00 and from 15.00 to 17.00. Banks and most commercial offices are open five days a week.
Visa: For the majority of foreign citizens visas are not required to enter Barbados, it is enough just to present a passport and confirm the possibility of purchasing a return ticket. US citizens can present a driver’s license instead of a passport. Russian citizens do not need a visa to enter Barbados for a period of less than 28 days. Tourists leaving the island pay an airport tax – 25 Barbados dollars.
Features of customs control: The import of local and foreign currency is not limited (it is obligatory to indicate the amount of imported money in the declaration). The export of local currency is prohibited, foreign – no more than the amount indicated in the declaration upon arrival. You can import duty-free goods worth no more than 100 Barbados dollars ($50).
Transport: Barbados has regular flights to New York, Miami, Toronto, London and Puerto Rico, as well as to airports in most Caribbean islands. Flights are operated by the following companies: American Airlines, AirCanada, BWIA, LIAT. For Russian tourists and business people, regular flights to Saint Vincent, Saint Lucia, Trinidad and other Caribbean islands are operated by British Airways. You can also get to Barbados on board a cruise ship that delivers tourists to the harbor of Bridgetown, where the Carlisle Bay Center is engaged in the service of passengers of ships.
Taxis serve customers at a fixed price of B$30 for the first hour, cheaper thereafter. Before the trip, you should agree with the driver in what currency you are going to pay. Public transport is considered the best in the Antilles. There is a wide bus network. The cost of the city bus ride is 1.5 Barbados dollars. Barbados drives on the left. Car rental is developed, but quite expensive. Driving on the island requires a national or international valid driver’s license. A valid local license is required and can be obtained for 10 Barbados dollars. More than 40 locations offer car rentals for an average of $45 per day plus insurance ($215 per week) with a minimum rental period of 3 days. Gasoline costs 1 Barbados dollar per litre. The maximum allowed speed is 60 km / h, in the city – 21 miles / hour (about 37 km). The length of the highway with asphalt coating on the island is 1570 km; roads covered with gravel, only 97 km.
Car rental agencies: National (tel: 809.426-0603), Dear’s Garage South Coast (tel: 809/429-9277 809/427-7853), Sunny Isle Worthing (tel: 809/428-8009 809/428 -2965).
Electricity: Barbados’ mains voltage is 110/120 volts and uses standard US plugs and sockets. To use electrical appliances made in Europe, you should have an “adapter” and a converter that changes the voltage from 220 to 110 volts.
Communication: All modern means of tele-radio communications operate on the island. There is an automatic telephone connection. The code for Barbados is 809. Except for special ones, all phone numbers start with 42 or 43.
Shops: Most shops in the capital are open from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm Monday to Friday and until 12.00 pm on Saturday. Duty free shops – an undoubted attribute of the Caribbean – offer a large selection of goods: jewelry, precious stones, watches at the lowest prices. For duty-free shopping, you must present your passport and return ticket. Supermarkets are usually open until 18.00. As you know, Barbados is famous for rum, there are more than 1000 rum shops on the island.
Restaurants: Contrary to the notion of Caribbean cuisine, which many believe is characterized by an abundance of pepper, Barbadian restaurants offer gourmet menus. Foods prepared from local seafood are sometimes unique, as some types of fish and shellfish are found only in the coastal waters of Barbados. In most restaurants, you can order a variety of prepared dishes from king and flying fish. A local delicacy is a type of shellfish, called in English “conch”, from which soup is prepared, pancakes are baked, and cocktails are made. Barbadian dishes include Buljol, a cold salad of cod, tomatoes, onions, sweet peppers and pickled parsley. They also include Callaloo – a soup of vegetables, crab meat and the herb of the same name, similar to spinach. As a dessert, you will be served (depending on the season) a mango, a papaya, or a fruit the size of a basketball with giant seeds, called mammyapple in English. The experience of getting to know Caribbean cuisine will not be complete without tasting fruit drinks, the main component of which is rum made in Barbados.
Accommodation: Most of the hotels in Barbados are located on the south coast, closer to the capital and the most popular beaches, and there are many of them on the west. Based on the cost of a standard two-room suite, excluding 5% government tax and 10% service surcharge, they can be divided into four categories: very expensive – over 350 USD, expensive – 250 – 350 USD, moderate cost – 150 – 250 USD, inexpensive – up to 150 USD. In hotels, prices are usually indicated in US dollars, but payment can be made in both US and Barbadian dollars.
Expenses: If you limit yourself to moderate expenses, you can meet $ 50-75 per day (dinner in an inexpensive restaurant – $ 10-25, a room in an inexpensive hotel – $ 20-50 plus public transport).
Tips: A 10% surcharge is added to your hotel bill and most restaurants. If the surcharge is not made, tips for maids are $1 per room per day, for waiters – from 10 to 15%, for taxi drivers – 10% of the payment. Porters at the airport and hotels expect to earn $1 for each piece of luggage carried.
Emergency Phones: Ambulance – 809/426-1113.