General Info, Travel Info, & FAQs are provided to assist with your vacation.
ATMs Not all ATMs in the Caribbean operate like those in your home country. Some may only accept a four digit PIN number, so if yours is longer you may want to change it before your trip. Ensure you keep your travel money in your primary chequing account as some ATMs default to this account and will not allow you to choose another. Withdrawal fees are generally much higher outside your home country.
The main banks are Barbados National Bank (tel 246/431-5999), RBTT Bank (tel 246/431-2500), FirstCaribbean International Bank (tel 246/431-5294), RBC Royal Bank of Canada (tel 246/467-4000) and Scotiabank (tel 246/431-3057). Generally they accept MasterCard and Visa on the Cirrus/Maestro and Electron/Plus networks and dispense Barbados dollars. Royal Bank ATMs also accept cards on the Carifs network.
BANKING AND BUSINESS HOURS Banks Mon-Thurs 8am-3pm Fri 8am-5pm Sat 9am-12 noon (RBTT Bank only)
Exceptions are as follows: Barbados National Bank, Six Roads location only Mon-Thurs 10am-6pm Fri 10am-7pm Sat 9am-1pm
Scotiabank, Haggatt Hall location only Mon-Thurs 10am-5pm Fri 10am-6:30pm
Post Office Cheapside main post office: Mon-Fri 7:30am-5pm Other branches: Mon-Fri 8am-3pm
CHURCHES/RELIGIONS Predominantly Protestant, including Anglican, Evangelical, Jehovah's Witness, Methodist, Moravian, Pentecostal and Seventh-day Adventist. Roman Catholic, Jewish, Hinduism, Mormon, Muslim, Quaker, Rastafarian and others are also represented.
CURRENCY AND CREDIT CARDS The local currency is the Barbados dollar (Bds$/BBD), which is fixed to the US dollar. US dollars, traveller's cheques and major credit cards (American Express, Barclaycard, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, EnRoute, Eurocard, MasterCard and Visa) are widely accepted.
To ensure hassle-free purchases during your trip, you may want to contact your credit card company and let them know you will be travelling abroad.
EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBERS American Express: lost or stolen card, 336/393-1111 (call collect); lost or stolen cheques or cheque cards, 800/534-0085 Discover Card: 801/902-3100 MasterCard: 800-1561 Visa: 410/902-8022 (call collect) Western Union: - Bridgetown: Dacosta Mannings (Pierhead), 431-8703 - Christ Church: Big B Supermarket (Perone Plaza, Worthing), 417-5121; Dacosta Mannings (Sheraton Centre), 417-5121; Super Centre Supermarket (Southern Plaza, Oistins), 428-1920; 99 Convenience Store (Quayside, Rockley), 435-8133; J B's Mastermart (Sargeants Village), 426-9830 - St James: Super Centre Supermarket (Sunset Crest), 432-1378 - St Michael: Dacosta Mannings (Fontabelle), 417-5121 and (Warrens), 417-5121; Super Centre (Warrens), 417-5121; United Insurance (Lower Broad St), 417-5121 - St Peter: Dacosta Mannings (Speightstown), 419-8904 - St Philip: Knights Extra (Six Roads), 417-5121
DEPARTURE TAX All departing passengers, except those in transit and children under 12 years old, must pay a Bds$25 departure tax.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS All visitors must have a valid passport and a return ticket, and must provide proof of sufficient funds for the duration of their stay.
Nationals of countries other than Canada, the UK and the US may require visas. Consult your nearest Barbados tourism authority, consulate/embassy or call the Barbados Immigration Department at 246/426-1011.
Cruise ship passengers do not require visas except citizens of the Commonwealth of Independent States, Eastern European countries, People's Republic of China, Taiwan, South Africa and Korea.
Note: As of January 8, 2007, all persons travelling by air to the Caribbean, Mexico and Bermuda will require a valid passport, Air NEXUS card or US Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Document to enter and/or re-enter the United States in accordance with the US Government's Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. For more information visit the US Government's Bureau of Consular Affairs website at www.travel.state.gov.
Some countries require single/lone parents or other adults travelling alone with children to provide documents showing evidence of parental/custodial and/or access rights, and/or documents authorizing consent from the parents, legal guardian, and/or the court for the children to travel. Parents of adopted children, particularly those of a different nationality, should carry the proper documents.
NEAREST FOREIGN REPRESENTATION British High Commission: 430-7800 (Bridgetown) High Commission of Canada: 429-3550 (Bridgetown), 888/949-9993 (toll free in Barbados), 800/387-3124 (toll free to Ottawa) US Embassy, Consular Section: 431-0225 (Cheapside)
As of October 31, 2006
British pound sterling
European Union euro
HEALTH STANDARDS The Queen Elizabeth Hospital (tel 436-6450) is located on Martindales Rd in St Michael and the private BayView Hospital (tel 436-5446) is on St Paul's Ave, Bayville, St Michael. There are also numerous free public clinics, as well as private clinics, including the F M H Emergency Medical Clinic (tel 228-6120/1) on 3rd Ave, Bayville, St Michael. Ambulance attendants are only allowed to perform basic first aid and CPR.
Some facilities may require immediate cash payments. Serious cases may be airlifted to the US. Your home medical program may not provide payment for medical services outside your home country. Obtaining adequate medical/travel insurance, including air ambulance coverage, and consulting a physician or travel medicine specialist six to eight weeks prior to your trip to determine health risks and necessary vaccinations is recommended.
There are numerous pharmacies throughout the island, including the Knights Pharmacy and Pearson's Pharmacy chains. For after-hours emergency service in Christ Church contact David Lewis of Lewis Drug Mart (tel 429-7288) and in Bridgetown contact CS Pharmacy (tel 420-5560).
ILLEGAL ITEMS There are harsh penalties for the importation of illegal drugs.
Prohibited goods include illegal drugs, pornography, fresh fruits from certain countries, base or counterfeit coin of any country, birds from South America, camouflage clothing and materials, and toy guns that discharge any substance with an explosion.
Restricted items must be declared to customs and presented for inspection. They may be detained until permits, licenses or other conditions of the restriction are met. Restricted items include arms and ammunition; bullet-proof vests; fireworks; mace and similar articles; handcuffs of plastic, iron or steel; T-shirts; ratchet knives; spring loaded knives, including flick knives; chemsheild; plant and plant materials; animals, meat and meat products; marijuana, cocaine, heroin, LSD, morphine and amphetamines; specified wireless equipment, such as CB radios.
For more information call Customs and Excise at 246/430-2300.
POSTAGE The general post office (tel 436-4800) is located in Cheapside, Bridgetown. It is open Mon-Fri 7:30am-5pm. All other branches, including those located at Grantley Adams International Airport (tel 228-1084) and the Bridgetown Cruise Terminal (tel 431-9053), are open Mon-Fri 8am-3pm.
To send a letter (not more than 20g) to the Caribbean or North America it costs Bds$0.80 and to any other destination, Bds$1.15. A rate calculator is available on the Barbados Postal Service website, www.bps.gov.bb. Airmail to North America can take one to two weeks and to the UK, two to three weeks. Courier service is also available.
PUBLIC HOLIDAYS Jan 1 New Year's Day Jan 21 Errol Barrow Day Mar/Apr (varies) Good Friday Mar/Apr (varies) Easter Monday Apr 28 Heroes' Day May (varies) Labour Day May/June (varies) Whit Monday Aug (varies) Emancipation Day Aug (varies) Kadooment Day Nov 30 Independence Day Dec 25 Christmas Day Dec 26 Boxing Day
Note: When a designated holiday falls on a Sun, the public holiday is observed on the Mon.
TAXES Each passenger arriving at Bridgetown must pay a US$6 tax. There is a 15% value added tax (VAT) on all goods and services, including meals. A hotel accommodation tax of 7.5% is added to all hotel bills.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS The phone system on Barbados is modern and Internet and cellular services are available.
The country code is 246. Local phone numbers have seven digits. For local directory enquiries dial 411; international directory enquiries, 711; and international operator assistance, 0. For calls to the US and Canada dial 1 + area code + local number. For calls to other countries dial 011 + country code + area code + local number.
Cable & Wireless/C&W (tel 800/804-2994) provides telecommunications services. C&W pay phones, located throughout the island, accept coins as well as Smart Cards, which are inserted into the phone card reader, and credit cards. Prepaid calling cards are also available for use with any Touch-Tone phone, including public pay phones. Simply dial the number on the back of the card and follow the instructions. All phone cards are available at C&W offices and authorized vendors around the island.
To use American Express, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard or Visa dial 1-800-744-7777, or dial the following number based on your language preference and follow the voice prompts: English, 1-800-744-2000 French, 1-800-744-2001 German, 1-800-744-2002 Spanish, 1-800-744-2003 Italian, 1-800-744-2004
To make a collect call to Canada dial 1-800-876-2000.
To call the United States using US calling cards and major credit cards, or to make a collect call, dial 1-800 CALL USA. You can also dial 1-800-876-1000 to make a collect call to the United States.
For more information see the section in FAQs: Can I use my calling card from here?
C&W bmobile (tel 800/804-2994) and Digicel (tel 246/434-3444) provide cellular roaming services. Check with your service provider to see if they have a roaming agreement with one of these companies.
TEMPERATURES Daily maximum temperatures vary between 75°F and 85°F year round. The rainy season is Jul-Dec. Rain usually comes in the form of quick showers followed by sunny skies.
While on the island you can obtain the local time and temperature by dialing 976-TIME. You can also obtain weather reports by dialing 976-CERO.
TIME ZONE The island is on Atlantic Standard Time year round, which is four hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). During the summer the time is the same as on the east coast of North America and during the winter, the time is one hour ahead. Barbados does not observe daylight savings time.
Disclaimer: Information is provided as a service to visitors and is updated regularly. All
information should be verified prior to travel.