Brunette woman in blue dress standing on white sand beach in Nassau bahamas

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Your Must See Things to Do in Nassau Bahamas

So you’ve found yourself in the Bahamas. A destination where pigs swim and they get about 340 sunny days per year. Certainly, it’s hard to have a bad day in the Caribbean. But, what are the “must see” things to do in Nassau Bahamas?

You might envision a singular island when you hear, “Bahamas.” But, it’s actually an archipelago comprised of over 700 islands and 2400 cays! While there are many airports to fly into in the Bahamas, the most popular option is typically the Nassau International Airport. Nassau is also the most visited port by cruise ships, among all the islands. Thus, expect to see quite a few cruise ship goers from time to time.

Without further adieu, here are some of the most popular things to do in Nassau Bahamas – including hidden gems and day trips.

Bahamas Rum Cake Factory

Entrance to the Bahamas Rum Cake Factory
Entrance to the Bahamas Rum Cake Factory, locally owned at operated

Bahamas Rum Cake Factory is owned and operated by a Bahamian local. It’s a small storefront that displays and samples its cakes. The factory portion, where the staff is making the rum cakes is visible to the public from the store floor.

Samples of Rum cake at Bahamas Rum cake factory
Rum cake samples of the day!

Rum cakes are available in a variety of flavors. You can mix and match any 6 of them for $37.50 USD. They’re pretty tasty and make great gifts!

Tip: This store accepts credit cards.

Have a Piña Colada at John Watling’s Distillery

One of the best things to do in Nassau, Bahamas is visit John Watling’s Distillery. It appears as though the free tour has mixed reviews on Trip Advisor. The tour is free, informative and brief. The tour host we had was also very entertaining and engaging.

Rum Barrel's in a bright blue wheel barrel that says John Watling's Distillery
Barrel’s of rum at the entrance of the Distillery

The reason this is a must stop is… the rum is just spectacular. Buy a Piña Colada at the bar. They’re $13, but you won’t regret it.

As I perused the gift shop, many other travelers stopped to gaze at my Pina Colada and ask where they could get one. Having local rum is a must things to do in Nassau Bahamas!

Bright exterior of John Watlings distillery
Entrance to John Watling’s Distillery

Tip: The Piña Colada’s are made with John Watling’s amber rum. It was sold out when I visited, but if it’s in stock when you visit, definitely grab bottle, because it’s amazing.

Shop for Souvenirs at Straw Market

Whether you love a quirky bazaar or bustling market, it is certainly the place where you will find the best deals on souvenirs, hand crafted local goods, oddities and general trinkets. True to it’s name, if you like straw goods, you will be elated at the selection at this market. Fantastic straw woven beach bags, purses, wallets and much more are available for a fraction of the cost you would find them elsewhere.

This is also a great place to find tropical attire – from dresses to men’s polo’s, hats and other such finds. It isn’t as large as other popular souks and markets around the world, however, it’s easy to navigate. A lot of the merchandise can be repetitive, so once we found all the things we wanted to get, we didn’t browse much further.

Tip: You’ll likely want to bring cash to pay here. Most vendors are cash only, however, if you make a large enough purchase they will partner with another vendor so that you can pay with credit card. Bargaining is expected and welcome!

Grab a Coconut at Montagu Beach & Fort Montagu

Montagu Beach is a quieter beach that locals favor to relax or have a picnic lunch. There is also a convenient stand to wet your whistle (an open outdoor bar) close to Fort Montagu. You can buy a drink or a fresh coconut. I highly recommend grabbing a fresh coconut while there and enjoying it on the absolutely beautiful palm tree lined beach.

The Queen’s Staircase & Fort Fincastle

If you like visiting historical sites during your travels, then you’ll likely want to visit the highly photographed Queen’s Staircase. Often referred to as the “66” steps, the major landmark was created out of solid limestone rock, by slaves, in the late 1700’s. Fort Fincastle was built to protect Nassau from pirate invasion.

Brunette woman in a yellow dress with brown glasses and necklaces and a large hat standing in front of the Queens steps
The 66 steps in Nassau Bahamas

Tip: The Queen’s Staircase is an extremely popular attraction. There will likely be people walking up and down it all day. If you want to get photos sans crowds, you’ll likely need to arrive at sunrise or very early. Our guide said that locals even get up at 5am to walk the steps for exercise in the morning.

The Fish Fry at Arawak Cay

If you are seeking Bahamian cuisine with a local flair and delicious drinks in a relaxed atmosphere, look no further. An area referred to as the “Fish Fry” is a hidden gem in Nassau. Foodies and those seeking more of an authentic experience flock to Arawak Cay.

While this is the area locals eat when they want to dine out, socialize or simply enjoy themselves, there are other travelers in the area too.

Front of Twin Brothers Seafood & Steakhouse
Add this stop to your itinerary for a Daiquiri

Tip: A cab from Paradise Island to the Fish Fry at Arawak Cay should cost between $18 – $20. If you are already downtown, it’s walkable. From Bay Street to Arawak Cay, it was a distance but nothing unreasonable. It also makes for a great chance to site see and take photos!

This is honestly one of the “do not miss” things to do in Nassau Bahamas. Here are some foods you might want to try (anywhere) during your time in town, because they are delicious:

Johnny Cakes

Pigeon Peas & Rice

Conch Salad or Tropical Conch Salad

tropical conch salad in a white bowl on a colorful placemat
The tropical conch salad at Oh Andros Restaurant in the Fish Fry

Conch Fritters

This is the national dish of the Bahamas!

plate of conch fritters and dipping sauce
Conch Fritters – Bahamas National Food

Guava Duff

Appearances don’t do this dish justice. Guava duff is one of the most delicious Bahamian foods you can try in Nassau. Keep in mind that when Guavas are in season, fresh fruit is used to make this dish. Otherwise, canned Guavas it is.

Guava duff on a white plate
Guava Duff – so delicious!

Bahamian fare is very seafood centric, however, there are lots of chicken options available, prepared in various ways.

A Few Restaurants to Try that I Loved:

The Fish Fry Restaurant

I dined here twice and the service can be hit or miss, but ultimately it provides delicious food in a laid back environment. There’s also a gorgeous view of the water and some manta ray’s in the wild, if you sit on the patio.

white plate of rice, fries, coleslaw and jerk chicken
Jerk Chicken and Peas & Rice
conch fritters on a white plate
Conch Fritters

Twin Brothers

I didn’t dine here. But they are renowned for serving their self declared “real” Daiquiri’s and I did try one of those! If you intend on just grabbing drinks (which is what they’re known for), there is a stand separate from the main restaurant where you can walk up, pay cash and grab a drink to go.

a clear plastic cup of white and red ice cream daiquiri

Oh Andros

I asked a local, “Where do you like to go get some really delicious Bahamian food?” the response? An emphatic, “Oh Andros!” It will likely be a tradition to visit this restaurant when in Nassau. It truly is a locals spot with yummy, authentic Bahamian food!

the storefront of Oh Andros - a yellow and white building with picnic benches

It’s a very relaxed & comfortable atmosphere.

Oh Andros is cash only. It really isn’t a cheap place either (and, really, nothing is cheap in Nassau or Paradise Island) but it’s worth it and the portions are huge (read: gargantuan) and shareable.

Plate of fried Snapper, peas & rice, Bahamian macaroni and potato salad on a white plate and colorful placemat
Snapper, Peas & Rice, Potato Salad & Macaroni
Plate of fried Lobster & Shrimp, peas & rice, Bahamian macaroni and pickles on a white plate and colorful placemat
Lobster, Shrimp, Peas & Rice, Macaroni & Pikles

Tip: If you partake in boozy beverages, I highly recommend trying the Sky Juice at Oh Andros. Sky Juice is a staple of Bahamian beverage cuisine. It’s made of coconut water, condensed milk and gin.

Go on A Museum Crawl

Did you think Nassau and the Bahamas is just beaches? Don’t get me wrong… the beach is the main event, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t lots of other interesting activities as well!

There are several fascinating museums in downtown Nassau and they are mostly all walking distance from one another.

You can learn so many new things while getting a reprieve from the heat! Here are five museums I visited and enjoyed that I think are worth your time:

Pirates of Nassau

$12 per person

Hooked on pirate lore? This museum is so fun and interactive. If you’re fascinated by the “golden age” of piracy, you’ll definitely want to check this out. You’ll learn a lot and the information is shared in an immersive and engaging way.

Things to do in Nassau Bahamas: Pirates of Nassau Museum (front entrance)
Pirates of Nassau Museum - cannons

Pompey Museum of Slavery and Emancipation

$5.50 per person

Despite being a smaller museum in size, it is absolutely packed with valuable information. It isn’t as visual as some of the other museums, but there are a lot of impactful photographs and lots of important text to read. Given the subject, it is heavy, but it’s important to visit this museum while in Nassau.

pink brick building with white doors and pillars
the inside of the Pompey museum with wood floors

Junkanoo Expo Museum

$10 per person

Junkanoo is a very important festival in the Bahamas that’s been celebrated for hundreds of years now. This is the place to learn about the history of Junkanoo and all that goes into making the magnificent costumes that revelers adorn for the celebration.

yellow building with Junkanoo figures on it
yellow building with a Junkanoo sign on it

This museum focuses on “educulture” – learning about culture in a meaningful way. It’s a tiny, yet jam packed exhibit housed in the former residence of a retired educator. During our visit, the museum curator did give us a tour and overview of the exhibition with some insightful dialogue before she left us to our own browsing.

colorful Junkanoo masks and costumes
colorful costumes, chairs surrounding a long table for crafting

The National Art Gallery of the Bahamas

$10 per person

The National Art Gallery of the Bahamas is located on a beautiful property. There is a seating area outside for you to relax and also a cool mural to take pictures with! This is definitely a fine art gallery, with quirky and very creative pieces. If Beaux Arts aren’t your thing, you may not appreciate this gallery as much. But if you love the arts, you’ll certainly enjoy this.

The front of a beautiful yellow house converted into The National Art Gallery of the Bahamas
Steps leading to the entrance of the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas

Heritage Museum of the Bahamas

$11.25 per person or $20.35 with tour

The Heritage Museum of the Bahamas is a fantastic way to get an overview of the history and background of the Bahamian islands. Whereas all the other museums focus on a very niche topic about the islands, this is more of a macro view of the Bahamas legacy.

Heritage Museum of the Bahamas
Brunette woman standing behind a photo op, sticking her face in a Junkanoo costume

If you’re pressed for time, this is a great museums to check out to understand the past and present of the Bahamas better.

Tip: to get a bit more context and value out of then museum, you have the option of taking a guided tour. Here is a highly rated tour of The Heritage Museum of the Bahamas.

Visit Aquaventure & Atlantis on Paradise Island

beach with beautiful palm trees in a group in front of a lagoon with the Atlantis hotel and resort in the backdrop

One of the most popular things to do when someone finds themselves in Nassau, is to head over the bridge to Paradise Island. You can get a day pass to enjoy the Aquaventure Water Park at the Atlantis Resort. You can also explore the shops, restaurants and casino. The water park is really fun and a great way to escape the heat!

Here is a complete guide to the Atlantis on Paradise Island!

Know Before You Go

• Most Taxi drivers in Nassau are also tour guides. They all seem to charge $60 an hour and will customize your tour according to your interests. It’s a nice way to get a private tour that is fully tailored to the places you want to see. I recommend using a tour to get around the city and take pictures and view points of interest briefly; not to stop at places you’ll want to spend some time, like a museum.

• There are no ride share apps available in the Bahamas. Taxi drivers in Nassau only accept cash. There are pretty set rates for most distances. For example Paradise Island to the Bay Street area should cost $10 – $15 USD.

• USD is widely accepted everywhere in the Bahamas and is equivalent to the Bahamian Dollar. You will need either of these currencies to pay cash for goods and services while on the island.

Have any questions about exploring Nassau, Bahamas? Drop them in the comments, below!

Save for your Bahamas trip planning!

Headed to the Bahamas?

Check these out:

The Ultimate Guide to Enjoying the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island

Travel Tips & Resources to Help You Plan an Epic Trip!

Going – I have been subscribed to Going (formerly, beloved, Scott’s Cheap Flights) awhile now and it’s an amazing resource for finding… did you guess cheap flights? Yes, you can set your preferences from airports to flight class and get destination deals right to your inbox. It’s fab! I use the Premium paid version, but they have a FREE version too. So what are you waiting for?! Let’s get Going!

Booking.com – the majority, if not almost all of my stays are booked on Booking.com. It’s a reliable site to book and manage your reservations. It’s a great way to find boutique stays and unique accommodations at the best rates! You can also easily communicate with your accommodation through the app!

Expedia – If I am looking for a flight to a specific destination for specific dates, I find myself booking the majority of my flights on Expedia. It’s user friendly and straight forward. I often can find the most cost effective rates, while earning points for every flight I book (in tandem with the points I receive from the credit cards I pay with).

Viator – most of the activities, tours and excursions I book for my trips are booked through Viator. Whether you’re seeking a guide for the day, a group tour, a cooking class, Viator has you covered!

Get Your Guide – this is another great marketplace to find tours, excursions and activities to book for your upcoming trip.