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Barbados - Frequently Asked Questions
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Barbados | Frequently Asked Questions

General Info, Travel Info, & FAQs are provided to assist with your vacation.

What is the population?
The population of Barbados is approximately 270,000.

How big is the country/island?
Barbados is 21 miles long and 14 miles at its widest point for a total of 166 sq miles.

Can I drink the tap water?
The tap water is safe to drink.

What are the best things to buy here?
Duty-free items include liquor, tobacco, china, crystal, electronics, cameras, watches, clothing and accessories, perfume and jewellery. Prices are typically 30-50% less than in Europe and North America. Ensure you have your passport or airline ticket with you when making duty-free purchases.

Local souvenirs include straw bags, wall hangings, batik, paintings and rum cakes.

Are there nude beaches?
There are no nude beaches. Nude sunbathing is illegal and it is unacceptable to go topless.

What are the main industries?
Tourism, financial services, agriculture, light manufacturing and component assembly for export are the country's main industries.

What native dishes should I try?
Barbados' national dish is the delicacy flying fish served with cou-cou (cornmeal and okra, breadfruit or green bananas). Other dishes include pudding (pig intestines stuffed with seasoned sweet potato) and souse (boiled pig's head or feet with cold pickled onion, cucumber, lime, parsley and hot and sweet peppers), pepperpot (a spicy stew of meat and okra), and the golden roe of the white sea-egg (a species of sea urchin), another delicacy. Also try dolphin fish, red snapper, salt fish, baked macaroni pie and roti (curried meat or vegetables wrapped inside flat, unleavened bread). Side dishes include rice and peas, sweet potato, okra, plantain and yam.

Local drinks include rum, ginger beer, falernum (partially distilled cane syrup), sorrel (s sort of tea brewed from leaves), bitter-sweet mauby (boiled from a specific tree bark) and juices made with soursop, pawpaw, guava, apples and cherries.

Can I use my calling card from here?
Directory assistance:
International operator assistance, 0
International enquiries, 711
Local enquiries, 411

AT&T: Service is available at select hotels, airports and cruise docks using AT&T Calling Cards, AT&T Corporate Cards, American Express, Diners Club, Discover/NOVUS, MasterCard and Visa. Pay phones may require local payment. Dial 1-800-872-2881 + area code + local number and follow the voice prompts.

You can also dial 1-800 CALL USA to use US calling cards, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and Diners Club.

BT: Dial 1-800-744-1144, input your account number and PIN, then dial the number you require.

Canada Direct: Service is available on public pay phones with calling cards from Bell, MTS, Aliant, SaskTel and Telus. Dial 1-800-744-2580 to reach a Canadian operator directly.

MinutePass Plus: no service available

Sprint: Dial 1-800-534-0042. Calls can only be made from hotels, cruise docks and airports. Some phones may require a coin or phone card deposit. Calls can only be made to the US (including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Guam, and Saipan/Mariana Islands).

For more information see the section in General Info: Telecommunications.

How should I dress to go out?
Dress in Barbados is smart casual. Lightweight cotton dresses and jackets are suitable for formal attire. Beach wear is only suitable for the beach and around the pool.

Can I use my hair dryer and electric shaver?
Electricity is 110 volts, 50 cycles, which is the same as in North America.

How much should I tip?
Tip taxi drivers and waiters about 15%. Most hotels add a 10% service charge to your bill. Some restaurants automatically add your tip to the bill, so check first, as it is not necessary to leave more unless you feel the service was above average.

Disclaimer: Information is provided as a service to visitors and is updated regularly. All information should be verified prior to travel.

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