Nassau – the capital of the Bahamas and main settlement on New Providence Island, is the beating heart of the Bahamas Islands, and hides and exciting array of top things to do in Nassau Bahamas. With over 700 islands that make up the Bahamas archipelago, Nassau makes a perfect hub for visiting the Bahamas Out islands and Bahamas Air Tours operates Bahamas Day Trips by plane to the Exumas and Harbour Island – the 2 most popular islands to visit.
Aside the beaches on Nassau, it’s easy to miss the rich history and culture that lies outside the glistening hotels and towering resorts in Nassau and Paradise Island. Nassau boasts a rich tapestry of history, culture and cuisine. So no better way to discover the Bahamian Culture than to grab our list of the top things to do in Nassau Bahamas and see how many of them you can tick off on your next Bahamas Vacation!
Looking for What to do in Nassau Bahamas?
Try these 27 Amazing things to do in Nassau Bahamas and Paradise Island:
1. Paradise Island
The smaller sister to New Providence Island, Paradise Island sits just off the coast of Nassau. Connected by two road bridges that soar into the Nassau skyline, Paradise island is easily reached by road or boat (frequent boat taxi service departs from downtown waterfront).
Paradise Island is the where you go for fun, excitement and family adventure. Home to the sprawling Atlantis Bahamas resort which features white sandy beaches, the Aquaventure Waterpark, a casino, shopping arcade, conference center and a golf course. 5-star hotels like the Ocean Club that was featured in the 2006 James Bond Casino Royale film, are also located on Paradise Island.
2. Day Trips to Exuma
The number #1 things to do in Nassau Bahamas is visiting the Bahamas Swimming Pigs at Pig Beach (Big Major Cay) in the Exuma Cays archipelago.
Take a Nassau to Exuma Day Trip with Bahamas Air Tours by plane and fly to Swimming Pigs Island for the ultimate Exuma Excursion day trip. You’ll also be able to go Swimming with Sharks at Compass Cay Marina in the Exuma Cays too.
3. Junkanoo Beach
Junkanoo Beach is the closest stretch of white sand to downtown and old town Nassau. It’s a stunning stretch of beach backed by swaying palm trees and tiki huts. Local vendors offer Bahamian cuisine, cocktails and drinks from the colorful tiki huts and stalls.
4. Parliament Square
Parliament Square was built in 1815 and proudly erected in the front of the building is an unmissable statue of Queen Victoria from 1905. Behind the parliament is the Senate Buildings which contains the Supreme Court (there are often prisoner vans delivering prisoners for trial here).
5. Government House
The official residence of the Governor General of the Bahamas, Government House is an icon of the colonial era.
A statue of Christopher Columbus is proudly on display on the steps that lead upto government house. Columbus was the pioneer who first discovered the Bahamas and named them Baha Mar (Spanish for shallow waters).
6. Graycliff Heritage Village
Running along W Hill Street is the Graycliff Heritage, operated by the Graycliff Hotel. Another historic things to do in Nassau Bahamas, Graycliff is home to the Heritage Museum of the Bahamas (opened in 2014). Also onsite is the Graycliff Cigar company, Graycliff Chocolatier and Bahama Barrels wine tasting.
7. Cabbage Beach
The longest stretch of white sandy beach on Paradise Island, Cabbage beach is the backdrop for some of the finest hotels in Nassau including Atlantis Resort, Rio and Four Seasons Ocean Club.
Named after the farm land that used to occupy Paradise Island (pig farming – it was originally called “Hog Island”) and the cabbages that supported this type of farming. You can find some of the best watersport things to do in Nassau Bahamas here, including water-skiing, jet skiing, snorkeling and parasailing.
8. Pompey Museum
The Pompey Museum of Slavery and Emancipation sits just off Pompey Square (between the downtown waterfront and bay street, adjacent to the Nassau Straw Market). Pompey Museum documents the history of slavery in the Bahamas. The building actually dates back to the 1760s when it was originally a market building. Painted Pink (as with all Government Buildings) and a unique History, Pompey Museum is an interesting things to do in Nassau Bahamas.
9. Pirates of Nassau
The only interactive Pirate experience in Nassau, Pirates of Nassau will transport you back in time to 1716 and the era of pirating making it one of the exciting things to do in Nassau Bahamas. Adorned with many interesting exhibits and recreations, visitors can experience the Golden Age of Piracy that began in 1969 when privateer Henry Every brought the ship the Fancy and having bribed local officials established Nassau as a base that pirates could operate from safely.
Next door is the Smugglers Restaurant, set in the Old Town of Nassau underneath the spire of Christ Church Anglican Cathedral, it is a very picturesque street.
10. Heritage Museum of the Bahamas
Owned by the Graycliff estate, the Heritage Museum of the Bahamas is housed in the Mountbatten House, a historical listed building. The exhibitions and collections are owned by Hamilton White, a well known British antiques collector. Enjoy the colorful scenes along W Hill Street and visit the rest of the Graycliff Heritage Village on your visit.
11. Queens Staircase
The impressive Queen’s Staircase has 65 steps carved into the limestone cliffs. They were built in the 1790’s by salves. The staircase provided an escape route from Fort Fincastle which sits on top of the hill. Beside the Queen’s staircase is a cascading waterfall and tropical plants.
12. Fort Fincastle
For visitors who climb the nearby Queen’s Staircase, Fort Fincastle provides well earned views across the skyline of New Providence Island and Nassau Cruise Port. One of the most popular things to do in Nassau Bahamas because all guided tours stop here from cruise ship tours. The Fort was built by Lord Dunmore in 1793 to protect Nassau from Pirates.
13. Blue Lagoon
Blue Lagoon is a small island (Salt Cay) just off Paradise Island. Visitors are given a scenic boat ride from Nassau Harbour to reach the private island. It is frequently voted one of the top things to do in Nassau Bahamas. The Island offers many exciting activities including; Stingray Encounter, Segway tour, Shark encounter, Beach day, sea lion encounter and the top attraction; Dolphin encounter and swim.
14. John Watlings Distillery
One of the top things to do in Nassau Bahamas for Adults! The recently restored John Watlings distillery from the Buena Vista Estate – featured in the James Bond film Casino Royale. Look for the sign post on the lawn in the grounds! The John Watling’s distillery offers guided tours, a museum, and bar for trying cocktails and rum tasting!
15. Bahamas National Art Gallery
The NAGB – National Art Gallery of the Bahamas is presented within the grounds of the stunning Villa Doyle, a mansion built in the 1860s and home to the first chief justice in the Bahamas. It took 7 years to restore the building before opening in 1996. The NAGB collects, preserves and exhibits historic and contemporary Bahamian art.
16. Downtown Waterfront
The Nassau Downtown Waterfront area runs along Woodes Rodgers Walk street. With expansive harbour views of Nassau Port it is the main landing ground for cruise ship visitors on their day visits to Nassau. With this huge footfall of visitors the Waterfront area is adorned with many bars and restaurants. The largest which is Senor Frogs. You will also fin the James Bond Never Say Never Bar & Grill, the Tropicana Bar, Lukka Kairi, Fat Tuesdays and the Pirate Republic Brewing.
17. French Cloister and Versailles Gardens on Paradise Island
A unique 14th century Augustinian monastery which was dismantled and imported from Europe by William Randolph Hearst, the French Cloister is the center piece of the Versailles Gardens in Paradise Island. It’s actually private property of and owned by the Four Seasons One & Only Ocean Club but you can view it from the public street.
18. Nassau Straw Market
A popular stop to buy souvenirs, the Nassau Straw Market is a central point of Bay Street and the Nassau Downtown Waterside area. There are many local vendors here with stalls selling local handicrafts and gifts.
19. Atlantis Resort Aquaventure
Aquaventure is the Bahamas largest waterpark. Located within the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island. Certainly the most fun things to do in Nassau Bahamas, Aquaventure is accessible by guests not staying at Atlantis. You can purchase a day pass with access to the Cove Beach and swimming pools also. The waterpark is home to many water slides, river rides,20 swimming areas, a kids play area and 11 swimming pools.
20. Hilton Colonial Hotel Beach
The only downtown hotel with direct beach access, the Hilton Colonial Hotel has a large outdoor swimming pool and restaurant. The white sand beach is a mecca for day visitors from Cruise Ships.
21. Festival Place
Festival Place is the main cruise port terminal with an outdoor shopping area where you can buy souvenirs, organize day trips/tours and try local Bahamian cuisines. Not one of the top things to do in Nassau Bahamas, but an interesting place even if you’re not from a cruise ship!
22. Arawak Cay (Touristy Fish Fry)
Arawak Cay, at the end of Junkanoo Beach is about 20 minute walk from downtown Nassau. It is considered as the touristy fish fry with up market locally run restaurants like the ever popular Twin Brothers. This is the place to come for Bahamian Fish and Chips!
23. Potters Cay (Local Fish Fry)
Perhaps the best kept secret of Nassau is Potters Cay, situated under the Paradise Island road bridges, it’s the local’s Fish Fry. Here you can find the locals enjoying beers and cocktails alongside plate-fulls of conch salads and fired fish. This is the place to come if you want to experience authentic local Bahamian cooking! And the prices are far cheaper than all other restaurants in Nassau.
24. Clifton Heritage Park
At the far Western shores of New Providence Island, the Clifton Heritage is one of our favorite things to do in Nassau Bahamas. Covering 208 hectares of land its home to unique collections of historical and culturally important sites in Nassau. As well as a diverse ecosystem, caves and nature trails, aswell as the one-of-0a-kind underwater sculpture park, the Clifton Heritage Park is on of the top Nassau Attractions.
25. Cable Beach
Cable Beach a stretch of fine white sand upon which some of Nassau’s most luxurious resorts and hotels sit; The Melia Nassau, Baha Mar, Sandals Bahamian are all top choices of resorts to stay in Nassau. Named after the telephone cable that came ashore here on New Providence Island, it is without doubt one of the finest beaches in Nassau.
26. Primeval Forest
Managed by the Bahamas National Trust, the Primeval Forest is a stunning ecological paradise. Located on the western end of New Providence its a 30 minute drive from downtown Nassau (past the Airport). A dense and spectacular tropical forest sits ontop of limestone caves and sink holes. Keep a look out for the diverse wildlife that lives here!
27. Rose Island
Rose Island is a top day trippers destination. The long but thin island, closest to Nassau and Paradise island is home to un-spoilt white sand beaches and tropical vegetation. It has some of the best snorkeling in Nassau making it on of the top things to do in Nassau Bahamas.
Looking for the best things to do in Nassau Bahamas?
Then look no further than Bahamas Air Tours Nassau to Exuma Day Trips by plane! Fly direct from Nassau to the Swimming Pigs in Exuma – considered the best thing sot o din Nassau Bahamas. Escape the hustle and bustle of Nassau with a day excursion to the spectacular Exuma Cays and Big Major Cay (Pig Island).
Looking for more things to do in Nassau Bahamas? Then download our free Bahamas Travel Guide and Bahamas Destination Guides.
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