The Heritage Museum of the Bahamas is home to a mesmerizing collection of artifacts. Located in the Graycliff Bahamas area, all travelers visiting Nassau should check it out.
If you’re looking for a Nassau destination that lets you take a tour through the colorful history of the Bahamas, you’ll find it at the Heritage Museum of the Bahamas. Located on the grounds of the famous Graycliff Hotel & Restaurant, the museum exhibits an eclectic collection of artifacts, goods, and more.
The Heritage Museum of the Bahamas opened its doors to the public in 2014. It’s part of the Heritage Village, a stretch of attractions operated by the Graycliff Hotel and Restaurant.
The hotel itself (right across the street from the museum) is in a historic mansion that dates back to 1740. After its initial construction, the building switched hands several times before passing to its current owners in 1973. Throughout the years, it accommodated many famous guests, including the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and Sir Winston Churchill.
The Heritage Museum of the Bahamas exhibits the collection of Hamilton White, a famous British antiques collector.
The artifacts on display allow you to walk through several periods of Bahamian history. The Golden Age of Piracy, slavery and plantation life, the arrival of Columbus, and 19th Century colonial life are some of the many epochs represented.
There’s also a recreated chocolate shop, epitomizing the colonial connection of the Bahamas with Great Britain.
While the Heritage Museum of the Bahamas is home to many antiques, the oldest artifact pre-dates human history by a couple of billion years – 4.5 billion, to be exact. White acquired a slice of a meteorite, which is now on display in the museum.
The relics and artifacts of the museum are the undeniable stars of the show. That said, the building that houses the Heritage Museum of the Bahamas is also worth appreciating. It’s in the historic Mountbatten House, which was constructed sometime around 1850.
With the exception of two walls, everything inside the building is original. The family that manages the museum wanted to keep it as close as possible to its original state.
Interestingly, some locals believe the Mountbatten House to be haunted. As you walk from room to room, you can report whether you felt any paranormal activity to the staff once your tour concludes.
The Heritage Museum of the Bahamas is in Downtown Nassau, making it a popular and accessible destination for tourists staying on the island and day-trippers alike.
If you’re looking to visit the museum from the Nassau cruise terminal, it’ll take you around 10 minutes to walk there. While you can also taxi if it’s raining or sweltering, walking is the most straightforward way to reach Graycliff Bahamas.
Once you arrive at the museum, adults can expect to pay $18.50 to enter, and children $12.25 (as of 2023). Museum hours run from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday.
You can choose whether you want a self-guided tour, an audio tour, or a guided tour upon entry.
Given that the Heritage Museum of the Bahamas is in an old building, you’ll feel like you’re in a maze as you traverse the exhibits. As each part of the museum displays something different, make sure you don’t miss a room or section.
Once you finish touring the museum, the Graycliff Bahamas Heritage Village is home to several other attractions you’ll want to visit. From making chocolate at the chocolatier to viewing (or purchasing) art at the gallery, it’s easy to spend a couple of hours exploring the stretch of venues.
While the Heritage Museum of the Bahamas is home to a huge amount of artifacts, it’s a private collection, which makes it eclectic. If you have a lingering craving for history after touring the museum, stop by the Bahamas Historical Society. It also exhibits a fantastic collection of artifacts, albeit in a less eclectic manner.
The Heritage Museum of the Bahamas is home to myriad relics and artifacts, all of which offer insight into the rich history of the Bahamas. From costumes and art to piracy and slavery, the collection is a can’t-miss Nassau attraction.
After poking around the other sites in the Graycliff Bahamas Heritage Village, you should have time to add a few more Nassau highlights to your itinerary. Fort Fincastle and Queen’s Staircase are close by and also display Bahamian history, while nearby Arawak Cay houses some of the best places to eat in Nassau.
Looking to learn more about the top things to do in Nassau? Check out our other travel posts, and make sure to explore our interactive travel map of Nassau & Paradise Island.Explore our Nassau Travel Guides