Nassau, the capital of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, is a city on New Providence Island. Experience Old World colonial charm in an agreeable climate with natural beauty, world-class shopping and island recreation. In the 17th century, pirates-including the infamous Blackbeard-dominated the territory. Today you'll find much of Nassau's past preserved in Old Town, with its colorful structures in Caribbean style. Breathtaking beaches teem with sunbathing, swimming and water-sport enthusiasts.
Places to Explore
- Parliament Building
Helmed by a statue of Queen Victoria-a remnant and reminder of the island's British colonial past.
- Fort Charlotte
The largest and most interesting of the island's 3 forts. Visitors can tour its moat, dungeons, underground passageways, 42 cannons, 100 acres and enjoy an expansive view of Nassau Harbor and Paradise Island.
- Queen's Staircase & Fort Fincastle
A 102 foot climb up 65 steps carved out of solid limestone by slaves in the 18th century. At the end of the staircase is Fort Fincastle, with its famous visage shaped like a ship's bow.
- Versailles Gardens & The Cloisters
Wander through gardens in full bloom past statues, fountains, waterfalls and reflecting pools on your way to the Cloisters, which were assembled from stones that once stood as a 12th-century Augustine monastery.
- Bay Street & Straw Market
Nassau's main thoroughfare for prime shopping. Among historic buildings, shops, bars and restaurants is the Straw Market, home to an amazing array of handmade mats, hats and baskets; along with jewelry, woodcarvings and guava jellies.
- Graycliff Hotel and Restaurant
The only 5-star restaurant in the Caribbean, with a wine cellar of over 170,000 bottles and spectacular handmade cigar selection. Graycliff's gourmet dishes have been enjoyed by royal families and celebrities.
- Paradise Island: Atlantis Resort
Withdraw to the world's largest open-air marine habitat, casino gaming, world-class shopping and lush landscaped grounds.
English is the national language, though often with British or Bahamian intonations.
Though legal tender is the Bahamian dollar, U.S. currency is also accepted, as are credit cards and travelers' checks.
- How to Get Around
- Taxis are readily available around hotels and casinos. Though most have meters, drivers usually settle upfront fares individually. Make sure to agree to an amount before you begin your ride.
- "Jitneys" are minivans that cost a dollar per ride, and operate as the closest thing to a bus system in Nassau.
- U.S. car rental agencies operate but you must drive on the left-hand side of the road and expect the occasional roundabout.