Travel Itinerary: 1 Day in Nassau, Bahamas
Island with sandy beaches and paved pedestrian/car roads
Mostly hot, bright, and sunny all year round
Lynden Pindling International Airport or Cruise Terminals
Taxi or walking. Downtown area is accessible by walking.
Bahamian Dollar or United States Dollar
$100-300 per day
Hotels downtown, Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island, or on a cruise ship.
Snorkeling, fishing, historic tours, eating, shopping, relaxing on the beach
The Queen's Staircase, Fort Fincastle, Fort Charlotte, Fort Montagu, Heritage Museum of the Bahamas, Pirates of Nassau Museum, Junkanoo Festival (seasonal)
Restaurants: Señor Frogs, Dali Tapas, Bahamian Cookin Restaurant and Bar, The Bearded Clam Sports Bar and Restaurant, Pirate Republic Brewing, Sharkeez Bar & Grill, Hard Rock Cafe
Casual: Crabs&Ting, Tiki Bikini Hut, Subways, Starbucks
Good reviews for Señor Frogs and Ibiza Bahama Beach Club. Resorts may also have their own spots
If you find your way to Nassau, Bahamas, you are most likely either on a cruise ship or have opted to stay at the Atlantis resort on Paradise Island. This island is the capital of the Bahamas with a lively downtown commerce area and historical sights. A lot of resorts will offer their own activities but there's plenty to do on the island if you want to stroll around. One day in Nassau offers you a glimpse of the laid-back Bahamian life. This island, like many islands, is a place of disparity. There are the super rich and super poor. There are tourist spots and areas you shouldn't spend too much time lingering around. The first few minutes we were there, my friend saw a guy get arrested. I assured her it's nothing unlike New York, but that this event was an abnormality. We asked some kind officers directions to the Queen's Staircase. Last time I was here, I hit up the Tourism Office and got a few maps. The woman working there was exceptionally nice and even offered us a ride towards the staircase (my instincts said this ride was ok, but please use your judgment). Overall the people are nice and welcoming.
My day in Nassau, Bahamas (itinerary repeated twice) consisted of the following. I slept on a cruise ship so my transportation costs and sleeping costs were built into my vacation (roughly $90 per night including all meals and entertainment). I decided the second time to eat meals on the ship since I had already tried conch fritters last time. I would like to try Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island one day but that resort, along with the other hotels/resorts on this island can be a little pricey.
7:00 AM - Ate breakfast and made my way towards downtown area where passports are needed.
8:00 AM - Walked 10 minutes to The Queen's Staircase, up the staircase and into the Fort Fincastle complex. Explored the fort for $1 entrance fee and enjoyed a guided tour with optional tip.
9:00 AM - Made out way back to the downtown area. Took pictures outside Señor Frogs and the strip from the restaurant to the docks. You can explore the Straw Market where vendors sell their wares in the downtown area. Vendors will try to sweet talk you and some can be pushy, but remember this is their livelihood and sometimes they'll have the souvenir you want.
11:30 AM - We went back to the cruise ship for lunch but there are lots of great options downtown. Conch is a specialty and for those of you who are feeling a bit adventurous, try conch fritters.
1:00 PM - Refueled and ready to go, we explored the Junkanoo beach area, soaking our feet in to the sand. There are lots of stands selling food, drinks, and rentals like chairs and umbrellas. This beach is free if you choose not to buy anything.
2:30 PM - We strolled around the downtown shopping area. Rum cake is a big thing here and lots of people want the cake for souvenirs. You'll find many shops that sell the Tortuga Rum Cake (they have a beige yellow packaging in a hexagonal shape). Check your country for liquor laws but generally I take home a bottle of liquor tax free if my shelve are a little low. We also went collecting gem necklaces which are cheap little things but a fun treasure hut gimmick for cruise shippers.
4:00 PM - I think we retired to the cruise ship before 4:00 PM since it was hot and personally, I get sunburnt really fast. I didn't spend much money here except for souvenirs.
Overall, the experience is what you make of it. Is this place a tourist trap? Yes. But isn't that the idea of it?