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8 Fun Ideas for What To Do In Nassau, Bahamas

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What to do in Nassau on vacation is a question we get asked a lot! Since we both work on cruise ships, this is a very popular destination that we are lucky to visit quite often.

We decided to make a full list of everything the capital of the Bahamas has to offer. (By the way, if you want to know more about working on cruise ships, make sure to click here)  

Nassau is one of the most famous cruise ports there is. The capital of the Bahamas is definitely not a crew member's favorite, but there are plenty of ways to enjoy this port. Known for its famous Atlantis resort, this island has a lot to offer. Here is a guide of what to do in Nassau, with all the different ways to explore this island.

Where is Nassau?

Nassau is the capital of the biggest city in the Bahamas, and is located on New Providence Island. The Bahamas are a series of 700 coral islands that are situated in the Caribbean.

where is Nassau, Bahamas

Nassau is the capital of the Bahamas, which are in the Caribbean.

Getting to Nassau

Nassau is the most popular of all the islands in the Bahamas, as it is the capital and main island, You can either get to Nassau by flying or by visiting on a cruise ship. Nassau is also the main hub for being able to reach the other islands around the Bahamas, so it can be reached by ferry if you are already exploring the islands in the area.

Getting to Nassau by Flight

Nassau is served by Lynden Pindling National Airport, formerly known as Nassau International Airport. It is the gateway to the Bahamas, and has both domestic and international flights from Baltimore, Ft Lauderdale, Miami, Houston, Newark, New York, Boston, and Toronto. There are also plenty of other Caribbean islands that fly here such as Jamaica, Cuba, and Haiti.

Getting to Nassau by Cruise

Cruise ships frequent the island of Nassau so much that the port is always full. Most Eastern Caribbean or Bahamas Cruise Itineraries include Nassau, making it rather easy to visit. You can visit Nassau with plenty of companies such as Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Carnival, Disney, and plenty others.

cruising to Nassau, Bahamas

The view from the cruise ship sailing into Nassau

Entry Requirements for the Bahamas

Now that you know how to get to Nassau, here are the requirements for entering this Caribbean island chain.

Visa Entry Requirements for the Bahamas

I'm not sure why, but when I was working on cruise ships there were SO many people who thought that they didn't need a passport to travel to the Bahamas. The Bahamas are in fact their own country, and you will definitely need a passport if you are traveling there. 

Americans can visit the Bahamas visa-free for up to 30 days, while Canadians can stay up to eight months. Latin American citizens can stay up to the 3 months without a visa, and it varies for other countries throughout the world. Visa requirements for the Bahamas vary from country to country, so make sure to check before going.

Covid Entry Requirements for the Bahamas

The good news is that the Bahamas has lifted all restrictions when it comes to Covid. However, many people visit the Bahamas via cruise ship, and each cruise line has their own rules for being onboard. Some require vaccinations, while others just require a negative Covid test. Make sure to inquire with your cruise line if this is how you'll be visiting Nassau.

Local Adjustments

Whenever you travel there are things that may be different from where you are coming from. Here are a few of the "local adjustments" to keep in mind while traveling to the islands of the Bahamas.


The official language across all of the islands in the Bahamas is English.


The currency used in the Bahamas is the Bahamaian dollar. It is actually a 1:1 ratio with the USD, so pretty much everywhere accepts USD. Credit cards can be used in most restaurants and shops. If you'd like to get your hair braided or buy drinks on the beach make sure to bring cash.


The outlets across the Bahamas are the same as the US, which are types A & B. The standard voltage is 120 V and 60 Hz.

Water Potability

The water in Nassau is perfectly safe to drink, so you can have some straight from the tap without any issues.

Tipping Culture

The tipping culture in the Bahamas is pretty big, as it is super touristic. 15% is generally accepted as the norm. However, we suggest if it is a big party or special type of place to tip between 18-20%.

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What to Do in Nassau

The island may be small, but there is plenty to explore! Here are eight fun ideas of what to do in Nassau Bahamas.

1. Have a Tour of Downtown Nassau

If you're looking for what to do in Nassau the city, then a great way to start is by having a city tour. There are a few different highlights, and having a local show you around is the perfect way to learn about the history of the island and the culture of the Bahamas.

If you'd like someone to show you around, there will be plenty bombarding you around the gates of the cruise port. However, we'd rather have it organized in advance, as it can be quite overwhelming and annoying having people swarm you and try to see a tour to you as soon as you arrive.

Here are a few options for booking a tour around Nassau in advance:

2. Explore the Atlantis Resort

The Atlantis resort is without a doubt, the most popular place to go in Nassau. The building is iconic, and it is full of things to do. Equipped with a casino, aquarium, and a water park, this resort is easy to spend an entire day in.

Day passes are available via cruise lines, or just by walking in. There are different packages to choose from, whether you want to add dining, a pass to the water park, or swimming with the dolphins. This will definitely be an expensive option though, as prices range from $70-$350, depending on what you want included.

In order to get here, you can book an excursion through your ship (if you are on a cruise), or you can take a shared taxi from downtown Nassau for just $4/person. There are plenty of taxis available in downtown, and at the Atlantis, so transportation is never an issue.

Atlantis- what to do in Nassau Bahamas

The Atlantis is the symbol of Nassau, and is the first place you see upon sailing into the port.

To Be Noted

*This is a place we prefer to see from the outside, as it is very crowded. We also find it much more pleasant to visit Atlantis at night.

**We urge people not to swim with the dolphins, as we don't support programs that use animals in enclosed spaces for people's entertainment.

3. Relax at Paradise Beach

Paradise beach is the most famous beach that sits right next to the Atlantis resort. Here you can enjoy the most gorgeous water and a relaxing day at the beach. To get here you can take the water taxi, or a regular taxi, costing $5 each way. 

For $20 you can get a pineapple or coconut full of an alcoholic beverage with unlimited refills. There is also a restaurant that will serve you right on the beach. Just be careful of the seagulls!

If you're looking for what to do in Nassau, we seriously recommend you to try this.

Paradise Beach- what to do in Nassau Bahamas

Paradise Island is one of the best beaches in Nassau, sitting right in front of the Atlantis.

4. Take a Day Trip to One of the Islands

Right near Nassau, there are a few private island paradises just a short boat ride away! They are great for a day trip, especially if you are cruising. 

On paradise island (just over the bridge from where the ships dock) is a dock where several boats sail from to visit these islands. Each are private so there are no public ferries. To book these just go to the dock and decide which package you want, whether it’s with a meal or to do any extra activities.

A plus is that they will bring you straight to the ship (if you are on a cruise) on the return journey. Also, if you are on a cruise, these are available more easily by excursion straight with the ship.

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Blue Lagoon

Blue Lagoon is located 30 minutes away by boat and offers the most amount of activities. Here you can enjoy various areas of the island, whether it is relaxing in a cabana, swinging in a hammock, kayaking in the lagoons, or doing one of the extra activities.

Swimming with the dolphins, or with the sea lions, are two activities that are offered for extra. Segway tours are also available to discover the area, although it is a very walkable island.

There is also a small shop, as well as a restaurant. We suggest adding the food option on to your package, as it is well worth having the buffet as opposed to paying when you get there, as there is only one place to eat on this small island.

Blue Lagoon, what to do in Nassau, Bahamas
The Blue Lagoon in Nassau, Bahamas
Blue Lagoon, What to do in Nassau

The Blue Lagoon in Nassau is a great island to get away from it all.

Pearl Island

Pearl island is a 15 minute boat ride away and is the most natural looking of the islands. Here you can enjoy the beach, go snorkeling, or visit the light house. VIP cabanas are also available for rent.

Balmoral Island

Balmoral island is also like a small resort. Here there is a VIP area with air conditioning and private beach area. There are plenty of chairs available on the beach. We suggest adding the food option, as a la cart is extremely expensive (about $30 for a burger and fries).

On this island you can also swim with the stingrays. Unlike most places in the Caribbean, this is one of the places that we support doing animal interactions.

Swimming with the stingrays- what to do in Nassau Bahamas

Unlike most places in the Caribbean, these stingrays were saved and are well taken care of.

Although they are in an enclosed area, they have been rescued, and are returned to their natural habitat when the staff at Balmoral are confident they will be able to survive again in the wild.

5. Have a Bite to Eat at Fish Fry

Here’s an area that’s a little more local. A 20-30 minute walk from the port, or just a few minutes on the local bus, this is an area next to a beach with vibrant colors and local restaurants. Don’t miss out on the great conch salad! Almost every restaurant will be serving this delicious local specialty.

Don't have time to read the whole article and want to save it for later? Just pin it!

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what to do in Nassau Pin
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6. Soak up the Sun at Cable Beach

This beach is where many of the resorts are located. The beach is beautiful and the resorts are definitely something to check out. Hop on a local bus and it’ll take you right over to this area where you can walk along the beach and be next to the biggest resorts. DM us on our instagram for which resorts to hit up and how to go for the day.

Grand Hyatt Nassau Bahamas

The Grand Hyatt is one of the resorts located right on Cable Beach.

7. Snorkel at Athol Island

Athol Island is a small island in the Bahamas, which lies 0.75 miles east of Paradise Island,  directly off of New Providence island. The island is uninhabited and it runs 2 miles west to east.

The island is part of the National Marine Park, and is a great place to go snorkeling! Grab an excursion from your cruise ship, or barter with a local to get you over there.

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8. Snorkel the Underwater Sculpture Garden

Known now as a living and breathing art gallery, the Bahamas Reef Environment Education Foundation (BREEF) Sir Nicholas Nuttall Coral Reef Sculpture Garden is one of New Providence's most popular snorkeling areas. 

This underwater sculpture garden is located on the West end of Nassau in Clifton Heritage Park. You can either get the local bus to the West End, which would take about an hour, rent a car, or get a taxi to get you there in a little over a half hour.

Want to book a tour that includes the sculpture garden? We have a great one that we found below:

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What to Do in Nassau, Bahamas: Food & Drink

Chances are that you already have a cruise ship or all inclusive resort waiting for you, where you will drink and eat whatever you want, While that may sound great, we suggest you heading out and enjoying some of the local food. Here are some of our suggestions:

What to Eat in Nassau, Bahamas

The Bahamas is most famous for its conch creations. Conch is a shellfish that is super healthy and delicious!

Our personal favorite is conch salad, which is made up of cooked conch, tomatoes, onions, vinegar, and a little bit of freshly squeezed lemon, lime, or orange. 

Make your conch salad tropical for just a few more dollars and they will add fresh fruits in the mix! A big bowl usually runs for anywhere between $8-$12.

Bahamian Conch Salad

Conch salad is a must try when visiting Nassau Bahamas.

Conch fritters are another great snack. They are small bites of local queen conch meat fried in a savory batter with a combination of peppery seasonings. Conch chowder is also great, although it might be too hot for soup!

Another great thing is to try the barbecued meat plates. Many places have juicy marinated meat or chicken served with rice & beans, potatoes, or coleslaw.

When it comes to drinks, get a fresh coconut! And for alcoholic beverages, you just can't leave the Bahamas without trying a Bahama Mama.

Where to Eat in Nassau, Bahamas

The best restaurants to go to are the local ones. Avoid places like Señor Frogs and Margaritaville. There are just overpriced, and mediocre at best. Fish Fry is the best area for local food!

Another place we really liked, is near Cable Beach. There is a large parking lot full of food trucks- it doesn't get more local than that! For just $6-10 you can get a large takeaway container of food.

Jerk chicken is one of the popular options, a very local Caribbean dish. Most meals are accompanied with rice & beans, and with some sort of vegetable such as corn on the cob or coleslaw.

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How to Get Around Nassau Bahamas

Taxis drivers are impossible to escape in Nassau! They may come off as very intense, but if you are uninterested just don't let their persistence get to you. If you are looking to get to Paradise Island, taxi is the only way.

If you are trying to go to other parts of the island, there are plenty of  buses throughout the city. Just ask a local for which bus you are trying to find, as they don't seem as organized and easy to figure out as some other places. If you are in Nassau for more than half a day, you can also rent a car or bike to get around and explore.

Getting to Other Islands Nearby

Want to visit one of the many islands nearby? There are water taxis that go to some other islands, as well as small planes from the Nassau airport.

However, not any island can be reached simply by ferry. Private islands must be reached by designated ferries, or by excursion from a cruise ship.

Want to splurge a little? Another option is to charter a boat with your family or friends. This certainly isn't the most budget friendly option, but it does give you more flexibility to go where you want on your own schedule.

Balmoral island

Balmoral is a private island so it can only be reached by one boat company, or by excursion.

Where to Stay in Nassau, Bahamas

Many people visit Nassau on cruise ships, but Nassau is also a great place to start if you plan on visiting several islands of the Bahamas. If you'd like to be well connected with public buses, and be walking distance to restaurants and shops, then you'll want to stay in downtown Nassau. If you want a relaxing beach stay, then there are plenty of resorts to choose from along the beaches of Nassau. 

Want to see the different options? Simple refer to the map below:

Things to Avoid in Nassau, Bahamas

Now that you know what to do in Nassau, Bahamas, we're going to share a few things not to do! Here are some things to be aware of:

Keep Your Guard Up With Locals Selling to You

When it comes to the downtown area and beach areas, you will get offered 3 things: souvenirs, hair braiding, and drugs. We definitely suggest avoiding any drug offers, as you never know what you are getting, and wouldn't want to be mixed up in trouble.

Hair braiding is very expensive, and unless you settle on a price first, don't let anyone start touching your hair.

Let’s be honest...who doesn’t want to have the best vacation in the Caribbean? The area is full of paradise beaches, crystal clear waters and a relaxing vibe. The list of places to go is huge. But while they are might be amazing, they can be super pricey if you don't

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Skip the Shopping

The Bahamas has beautiful beaches, and this is what you should spend your time on. Almost every shop has the same cheap souvenirs, that you will end up never doing anything with anyway. Save your time and money and enjoy the natural beauty of the island instead.

Eat Local

We can't say it enough, but trying local food is one of the best parts of traveling! Stay away from horrible chains, or the restaurants that line the main street near the cruise port. The further in town you go, the better (and cheaper) food you will find.

Stay to the Right Side of the Port Area

Normally we are all for exploring off the beaten path. However, there is one particular area that is said to get pretty dangerous at night. Once the sun starts going down just make sure to stay to the right side of the port area (if you are coming from a cruise ship). This is the main touristy area, and you'll be fine walking along these streets.

Is Nassau Safe?

Overall, the Bahamas are pretty safe. However, there are areas of Nassau that are a bit more dangerous than others, and should definitely be avoided by tourists. The east side of the city (the area right of the cruise terminal when you are facing the ships) has higher poverty and crime rates. Especially at night, we suggest avoiding this area, and staying in larger groups while walking around in the dark.

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Other Things to Know About Visiting Nassau, Bahamas

Now that you know what to do in Nassau and how to get around, here are a few other things to keep in mind.

Weather in Nassau, Bahamas

Being located in the Caribbean, Nassau experiences hot temperatures year-round. It is particularly humid in the summer months, while the winters are dry and sunny.

The Best Time to Visit Nassau, Bahamas

The best time to visit Nassau is in the dry months from November to April. We would avoid visiting the Bahamas in the summer months, as it is unbearably hot and humid during July and August. September and October are also hurricane season, so it is best to avoid visiting at this time as well. We personally love Nassau in December, January, and February the most.

what to do in Nassau, Bahamas

The Bahamas are always hot and sunny.

Packing for a Trip to Nassau, Bahamas

When it comes to what to do in Nassau for luggage, it is pretty simple. Pack light, beachy clothing. Swim suits, a towel, and a good sunscreen are a must, and if you have a waterproof case for your phone or GoPro, those are the best when it comes to photography.

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Nassau, Bahamas can be a great place to enjoy the laid back Caribbean lifestyle. Although it isn't our favorite of the Bahamian islands, it certainly has some perks about it. Being that it is one of the most popular, it is well connected with the surrounding islands, and has plenty of different types of accommodation.

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