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

Originally published: May 31st, 2022

Updated: January 8th, 2024

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’s the gamut of popular things to do in Nassau Bahamas – from tourist attractions to hidden gems and day trips.

Bahamas Rum Cake Factory

Do you love rum cake? Looking for a great gift to bring to someone back home? This might be a place you need to visit. 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.

bright turquoise sign in Nassau, Bahamas that says "Rum cake" at the entrance of Bahamas Rum Cake Factory
Bahamas Rum Cake Factory entrance
two hot pink plates covered with individual samples of rum cake at the Bahamas Rum Cake Factory in Nassau, Bahamas
Various rum cake samples offered at the Rum Cake Factory

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

If you love rum or are simply curious, while in Nassau, Bahamas you must 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. Having taken the tour twice, both times our host was very entertaining and engaging.

bright exterior of John Watlings distillery
Entrance to John Watling’s 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. Both times I’ve visited, a year apart, the same bartender has been at the bar. Not only is he very personable and kind, but he makes one heck of a Piña Colada.

brunette woman in brightly colored floral dress in front of red and blue building
Colorful exterior of John Watling’s
a hand holding a yellow-cream toned Piña Colada in front of the John Watling's rum barrels
The delicious Piña Colada
a bottle of John Watling's famous amber rum
Their famous amber rum

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

Tip: The Piña Colada’s are made with John Watling’s amber rum. It was sold out the first time I visited, but my second visit I was in luck. If it’s in stock when you visit, definitely grab a bottle! Traveling internationally? You will need to check the bottle of rum in to fly with it. I’m typically a carry on traveler, but I put the rum in my suitcase and checked it in to return home.

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.

The front exterior of the world famous Bahamas Straw Market - a brightly  colored orange, green and teal building
The colorful entrance of the World Famous Straw Market

True to it’s name, if you like straw goods, you will be elated at the selection at this market. Fantastic, handmade 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.

bright yellow sign with a wooden frame that says straw market on it, near the entrance of the building
Straw market entrance
the colorful aisles of the Straw Market filled with hand made crafts and goods
Scouring the aisles
an aisle filled with hand made straw goods at the straw market
Straw goods, galore!

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… but also keep in mind that most all of these crafts are handmade and being sold for far less than standard retail prices as it is.

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.

brunette woman in a bright yellow dress standing in front of Fort Montagu in Nassau, Bahamas
Fort Montagu
Two giant palm trees growing on white sand beach with the Caribbean Sea behind them in Nassau Bahamas
Palm tree lined beach of Fort Montagu
a brunette woman in a bright yellow dress with the sparkling Caribbean Sea behind her and two green palm trees in Nassau, Bahamas
I still dream of this fresh coconut

Tip: If you aren’t into history or perhaps aren’t super interested in historical landmarks, you can either drive by Fort Montagu without getting out of the car or just skip it altogether. However, I’d still consider Montagu Beach for a fresh coconut. It’s also a great beach option for those whom want a more mellow environment that’s less of a ‘scene’ than Junkanoo 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 gem in Nassau. Foodies and those seeking more of an authentic Bahamian food 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.

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:

Conch Fritters – this is the Bahamas national dish!

Johnny Cakes

Pigeon Peas & Rice

Conch Salad or Tropical Conch Salad

Guava Duff

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.

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

Restaurants I’ve Tried

Goldie’s Conch House: I asked a few cab drivers and a group of friendly neighborhood folks at The Salty Crab which Bahamian food restaurants they like and it seemed to be conclusive: locals love Goldie’s.

exterior of Goldie's restaurant
The entrance to Goldie’s Conch House

After dining at Goldie’s Conch House, I can tell you: I also love Goldie’s. It’s a really large restaurant with a very tiny bathroom (but at least it has a bathroom, right?). We sat all the way in the back in the window lined dining room that had a gorgeous view of the water. I mean, would you look at this view?

a red Bahama mama drink in a clear plastic cup in front of a windowsill overlooking the Caribbean Sea
Bahama Mama with a view!
yellow and blue skies set ablaze as the sun sets over the turquoise Caribbean Sea
Watched the gorgeous sunset from our booth at Goldie’s

Goldie’s is a completely casual restaurant, but it’s on the spendy side. But, again, what isn’t spendy on the Bahamian islands? Other than the finds you will discover at the Straw Market, you’d be pressed to find many things that aren’t spendy.

That being said, the portions are huge and shareable and everything is delicious. The service is also very good. For an enormous tropical conch salad, a large shareable entree, dessert and two drinks our bill was well over $100 + tip.

It’s worth it though, if you’re seeking authentic, traditional Bahamian food.

a white cup filled with colorful tropical conch salad
Tropical Conch Salad
a white plate with Bahamian mac and cheese, rice, cole slaw and a large fried fish with a lime on top
Fried fish, Pigeon Peas & Rice, Bahamian Mac n’ Cheese
a colorful teal and red plate with guava duff sitting on it
Guava Duff – (a dessert)

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!

The Fish Fry Restaurant

I’ve dined here twice and the service can be hit or miss, but when the service is good here, it’s great. Ultimately, it provides delicious food in a quieter, very laid back environment. It never seems to be crowded at this restaurant, possibly because it’s a relatively newer restaurant at the Fish Fry.

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

If you sit on outside back patio, there’s a gorgeous view of the water and some manta ray’s in the wild! I always sit outside on the back patio here, because who would want to miss the view of this turquoise water?

white plate with heaping portions of fried shrimp, peas and rice, fries, Cole slaw and tiny cups of ketchup at the Fish Fry Restaurant in Nassau, Bahamas
Fried shrimp platter
a white plate with Guava duff served on it at the Fish Fry in Nassau, Bahamas
Guava Duff – so good!

The Fish Fry restaurant offers Bahamian fare, some American dishes as well as a variety of Caribbean specialties.

Tip: The Fish Fry has a large restroom for Guests and also accepts a wide variety of credit cards.

Oh Andros

I asked a local during my first visit to the Bahamas, “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
The front exterior of Oh Andros – outside front patio dining

It’s a very relaxed, comfortable and homey atmosphere with large comfy booth seating and televisions adorning every corner.

Despite its very casual atmosphere, I wouldn’t describe O Andros as inexpensive. But, it’s worth it and the portions are huge (read: gargantuan) and shareable. We were told the portions were big, but we genuinely had no idea that they were leftovers-for-days big. Otherwise, we definitely would’ve only ordered one entree and shared it.

In comparison to all the other similar restaurants I’ve dined at in Nassau and Paradise Island, my bill was the least here and the portions were the largest!

a large white bowl of tropical conch salad at Oh Andros restaurant at the Fish Fry at Nassau, Bahamas
Tropical Conch Salad – enough for at least two – $16 USD
a white plate piled with fried snapper, peas and rice, Bahamian Mac & cheese and at Oh Andros restaurant at the Fish Fry in Nassau, Bahamas
Snapper dinner with peas & rice, Bahamian mac n’ cheese and potato salad – $20 USD
a white plate piled high with peas and rice, fried shrimp, Bahamian Mac n' Cheese & pikliz at Oh Andros restaurant at the Fish Fry in Nassau, Bahamas
Fried shrimp, lobster, peas & rice, Bahamian mac n’ cheese & pikliz – $36 USD

The menu features Bahamian favorites and also a selection of Haitian specialities. After chatting with the server, I decided to try Haitian pikliz. It was soo good, but boy, I think it was the spicest thing I have ever eaten. If you don’t have a spice tolerance – you’ve been warned!

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. Oh Andros is cash only and has no customer restroom, so be prepared!

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 white structure with a circular sign that says, "Daiquiri Shack" in Nassau, Bahamas
Twin Brothers has a “to-go” window for daiquiris and drinks
a bright red swirl drink sitting in a plastic cup at Twin Brothers in Nassau, Bahamas
Twin Brothers famous daiquiri
The Twin brothers drink menu in Nassau, Bahamas
Twin Brothers drink menu

Tip: Even if you don’t dine at Twin Brothers, I think it’s definitely worth it to stop by their Daiquiri Shack and snag a flavored Daiquiri of your choice to go!

Stroll along Junkanoo Beach

Junkanoo Beach is a bonafide tourist attraction nowadays. It’s a hot spot for cruise ship goers to hang out in Nassau for the day – be it at the beach or guzzling rum punch or Bahama Mama’s somewhere.

many colorful signs stacked one on top of the other at Junkanoo Beach in Nassau, Bahamas
Signs at Junkanoo Beach
a woman's hand holding a cup filled with a Bahama Mama beverage with wooden picnic tables sitting on a sandy beach with blue skies and the Caribbean Sea behind it in Nassau, Bahamas
a Bahama Mama at Salty Crab in the fall
the gem colored Caribbean Sea set against Blue Skies on Junkanoo Beach in Nassau, Bahamas
Ocean views at Junkanoo Beach

While there are other beaches I’d likely park myself on for hours, I do love strolling down Junkanoo Beach. Firstly, it’s a nice scenic walk down to the Fish Fry at Arawak Caye. Secondly, I love buying handmade earrings from the locals that have setup shop on tables along the way. Lastly, I love the Salty Crab!

Tip: Salty Crab is a beach bar that serves some chow as well. It’s owned by a very friendly and hospitable Bahamian local. Stop by for a drink when you’re in the area!

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 in Nassau, Bahamas
Brunette woman standing behind a photo op, sticking her face in a Junkanoo costume in Nassau, Bahamas

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

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!

An Independence Day float display at the Atlantis, celebrating 50 years of Independence
Bahamas celebrated 50 years of independence in 2023
The Atlantis resort and casino's private stretch of beach on Paradise Island
Atlantis’s private beach
The pink toned hotel buildings at the Atlantis resort on Paradise Island
Center of Atlantis resort

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

Enjoy a Spa Experience

Since you’ve made it to the end, I have a gift for you. Okay, it’s well known that the majority of resorts on the islands have spas – some of them being very posh.

The only thing is, you’ll be paying through the nose for them. Which, if it’s something you’ve planned to do, want to do or are just in the mood to splurge on, by all means. Please do.

a large white colonial manor converted into a day spa in Nassau, Bahamas
Front entrance of Baha-Retreat Anti-Aging Spa

However, if you, similar to me, can’t bare the thought of paying $300 USD for a massage that might just be mediocre at best, then you’re in luck. My first visit, I was trying to find a mobile masseuse that would come to my hotel room. I didn’t have much luck with that, despite reaching out to a couple operators. It was spring and the few available on the island were already booked.

On my second visit to the Bahamas, when I got off the plane I was determined to find a spa to rejuvenate in until our hotel room was ready.

Cue: angels singing.

Sidewalk sign outside of Baha Retreat Spa in Nassau, Bahamas
Sidewalk sign outside of Baha Retreat Spa
A massage table in a dimly lit room
The treatment room I received my massage
wooden floors and nail chairs fill up a brightly lit room at Baha Retreat Spa in Nassau, Bahamas
The nail spa area

I stumbled upon the Baha Retreat Spa online, gave them a ring and they could accommodate me! The spa is housed in a manor from the 1800’s. There are several different areas and rooms and they appear to be a full service spa.

While the facilities aren’t what one would describe as luxurious, they are clean, comfy and the services are very high quality for the prices charged.

Tip: I highly recommend making an appointment. Baha retreat accepts a variety of credit cards. I inquired at the front desk about the tipping practices at the spa and was informed that tips are greatly appreciated (any amount, but no specific percentage is anticipated or expected. I chose to follow the standard 20% tipping practice in states.

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. Almost all 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’ve subscribed to Going (formerly, beloved, Scott’s Cheap Flights) for 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 many flights on Expedia. It’s user friendly and straight forward. I often 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.