Queens Staircase Nassau transports visitors back to an era when pirates roamed the seas and rival European powers threatened the livelihood of the Bahamas. From Fort Fincastle at the top to the steps themselves, the staircase is a Nassau highlight.
Known for being one of the top historical attractions on the island, the Queens Staircase is a flight of 66 steps carved into solid limestone. Their construction method and historical significance make the site a great place to visit, take pictures, and learn more about the country’s colorful past.
Like many of the historical sites in the area, Queens Staircase Nassau has its origins in the late 1700s. During that time, the Bahamas faced several threats as a British colony. Pirate raids were prevalent, and other European powers constantly sought to expand their own colonial empires.
To combat those threats, the local government constructed several forts on New Providence. Fort Fincastle was one of these defensive structures and is on top of Bennet Hill, the highest point of the island. To access the fort and make the most of its strategic position, the local government ordered the construction of Queens Steps Nassau.
Commonly known as the 66 Steps, the staircase leads to the fort above. It took 600 slaves 16 years to use pickaxes and other tools to cut through solid limestone and complete the project.
Decades later, the name of the site became the Queens Staircase Nassau, which paid homage to Queen Victoria, who had abolished slavery in 1837.
The main highlight of Queens Steps Nassau is, of course, the staircase itself. As the steps are part of a solid limestone formation and feature lush foliage all around them, the entire site feels tropical and exotic. You’ll see many people snapping pictures at the base of the staircase, as well as on the steps themselves. You’ll probably want to do the same!
Besides being beautiful, seeing the stairs hundreds of years after their construction makes you appreciate the grueling labor that went into constructing them. With nothing but simple tools and their hands, a group of slaves was able to create a structure that has stood the test of time.
The beauty and historical significance of the site are what make it so worthwhile to visit.
As mentioned, at the top of the staircase is another one of the top Nassau attractions: Fort Fincastle. With sweeping views of the Nassau area, towering walls and cannons, and a convenient Downtown location, Fort Fincastle is one of the best Nassau forts to visit.
New Providence has two other forts: Fort Montagu and Fort Charlotte. While you should try to find time to visit all three, as each has something unique to offer, Fort Fincastle is the standout.
If you’re not looking to walk down the Queens Steps again, you can find another flight of stairs that leads toward Nassau.
The Queens Staircase Nassau is one of the easiest sites to visit on New Providence. As it’s in Downtown Nassau, you won’t have to worry about traveling far to reach it, even if you’re only in Nassau for an afternoon.
If you’re trying to visit the 66 Steps Bahamas from the cruise terminal, you can get there on foot in around 15 minutes. Just head down East Street until you see the yellow public treasury building. While the walk is uphill, it shouldn’t be difficult by any means.
Travelers staying at Nassau hotels can taxi to Downtown Nassau and then explore the area from there.
As you approach the Queens Staircase Nassau, you’ll pass through a long, shaded walkway. This offers some respite from the hot sun, which can be hard to escape on other parts of the island.
After climbing the 66 Steps Bahamas, you can take a right, walk up another hill, and pass through a market to reach Fort Fincastle.
Queens Staircase Nassau is beautiful, but it isn’t very accessible to people with different movement capabilities. If you or someone you’re traveling with struggles to get around, they might have a difficult time climbing the staircase. Be prepared to take the stairs slowly, one step at a time.
Alternatively, you can have a taxi driver drop you off at Fort Fincastle. After touring the fort, you won’t need to worry about climbing the 66 Steps Bahamas, just going down.
Queens Staircase Nassau is an island highlight. Combining jaw-dropping construction methods, unique history, and excellent access to nearby attractions, it’s an easy and worthwhile destination to visit.
At the top of 66 Steps Bahamas, you’ll find Fort Fincastle, one of the three New Providence forts. In the surrounding area, you’ll also want to visit the Bahamas Historical Society, Parliament Square, the Nassau Public Library, and the Bahamas Rum Cake Factory.
Nassau is home to many fascinating and beautiful attractions. To learn more about these, read through our other travel guides. You can also browse our interactive Nassau travel map.Explore our Nassau Travel Guides