Barbados Pocket Guide

Fast Facts

Fast Facts, Barbados Pocket Guide

Fast Facts on Barbados

Fast facts on the island of Barbados give you answers to the many questions you may have and need relatively quick answers/solutions to. As such, we have developed a page within our Barbados Pocket Guide to assist you in finding these answers.

 

Capital City

 Bridgetown is the capital city of Barbados. Many streets, buildings and historic sites are also home to Bridgetown and its outskirts. These include but are not limited to:- Bay Street, Belleville, Broad Street, Cenotaph War Memorial, Chamberlain Bridge, Heroes Square and Lord Nelson Statue to name a few.

 

Airport

The Grantley Adams International Airport in Barbados  provides an integral connection for international air traffic in the Eastern Caribbean, with non-stop daily services to major international destinations like New York, Miami, Toronto, London and the Caribbean. Major airlines flying into Barbados include Air Canada, British Airways, jetBlue, American Arlines and US Airways.


Climate

The climate in Barbados is one that is generally sunny and warm with only brief occasions of intense rain that occurs generally clearing back to sunshine very shortly afterwards. Our summer temperatures hit average highs of 32ºC and our winters hit average temperatures of around 28ºC. The great thing is that we have constant wind blowing off the Atlantic that keeps the islands' daytime temperatures at very comfortable levels. The dry season of the island starts in January and ends in June when the generally wetter conditions start.


Currency

Barbados Dollar (US currency widely accepted)

US $1.00 = BDS $1.98 (this rate is indicative)


Driving

Driving in Barbados is done on the left side of the road. A valid driver's license is required.

 

Education

The educational system in Barbados is modeled after the British system and one that has produced a high literacy rate over the years. School is compulsory up to age 16 and government schools are free at the primary and secondary levels. Beyond that are colleges, a university, vocational and technical training schools, including special ones for the mentally and physically challenged.


Electricity

Most electrical outlets in Barbados are wired with 110-volt AC (50 cycles).

 

Emergencies

In the event of an emergency, please use the following numbers:-

Police Department - Tel: 211

Fire Department - Tel: 311

Ambulance Service - Tel. 511


Geography

The geographical location of Barbados is latitude 13º10' North and longitude 59º 32' West making it the most eastern island of the English Caribbean.


Government

The constitution of Barbados is based on the British style of parliamentary democracy with elections held every 5 years. There are 2 houses of parliament, a senate and a House of Assembly. The Governor General is the Head of State, while executive authority is vested in the Prime Minister and Cabinet, who are collectively responsible for Parliament.


Health

Barbados is renowned for its high health standards. The Queen Elizabeth Hospital is a government managed healthcare facility that provides healthcare to the people of Barbados. Bayview Hospital is a privately owned and operated healthcare facility that caters to Barbadians and visitors alike. Government polyclinics are scattered all over the island to enable easy access to healthcare. These modern healthcare facilities on the island carry state-of-the-art equipment and highly trained doctors. Barbados also has a number of chiropractors, physiotherapists, optometrists, masseuses, and other health professionals to choose from.


Language

English is the official language of Barbados but Dialect is mostly spoken by ta wide cross-section of the people of Barbados. This aspect of our language is predominantly used in informal settings but can easily be considered rude if used in more formal settings.


Legal System

The legal system in Barbados is derived from English common law and statutes. The Courts administer the laws of Barbados, with a judicial system composed of a lower magistrates Court and the Supreme Court, which includes a Court of Appeal and a High Court. The Attorney General is responsible for the administration of the legal and judicial system. Final appeal from Barbadian Courts is referred to the Privy Council in England.


Population

As of 2008, the population of Barbados was recorded at some 280,000 with 80% of African descent, 16% of mixed descent and 4% of European descent. Guyanese, Indians, Chinese and Syrians make up the races of the mixed descent here in Barbados.

 

Religion

Anglicanism is the official religion of Barbados but the island is also home to more than 100 religions including but not limited to Moravian, Pentecostal, Spiritual Baptist, Roman Catholics, Seventh Day Adventists and Jehovah's Witnesses.

 

Seaport

The Bridgetown Port in Barbados is one of the most modern sea ports in the Caribbean with a deep water harbour and a shallow draught facility. This award winning Port is well equipped with container handling and berth facilities for ocean going freighters and passenger vessels, including major luxury liners.

 

A major part of its responsibility has been dedicated to supporting businesses in the import/export trade, a job that it carries out without any government subsidies, unlike the majority of Ports around the Caribbean.

 

Telephone

To call Barbados from the United States, dial 1, then 246 (the area code for Barbados) and the local number. Once in Barbados, to call another number on the island, only the local number is necessary.


Time

Barbados is in the Atlantic time zone, which is four hours behind Greenwich Mean Time. It is one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time; however, the island does not observe daylight-saving time. From April to October, the Eastern time in America is the same as the time in Barbados. From October to April, the East Coast of the United States is one hour behind Barbados.


Visa Entry Requirements

All visitors to Barbados are required to have a valid passport. Nationals of CARICOM, the UK, The USA, Canada and some Commonwealth countries can travel to Barbados with acceptable proof of identification, like a passport, birth certificate or national ID. Visas are required for most other citizens but not for passengers on cruise ships except citizens from Eastern European countries, The People's Republic of China, Taiwan, Korea and South Africa.


Water

Barbados boasts a pure water supply. It's pumped from underground sources in the coral rock that covers a vast majority of the island, and it's safe and ready to drink right away.