Cruise and Beach Destinations
in the Caribbean, Mexico & Beyond

Best Nassau Bahamas Tourist Attractions

Atlantis Bahamas
Atlantis Bahamas. Credit: Pixabay Creative Commons license

Nassau Bahamas tourist attractions are similar to other well-developed destinations such as Cancun. They emphasize dining, shopping and nightlife.

But unique Caribbean attractions often have their roots in nature or history, and the Bahamas are no different.

Noteworthy standard attractions include two golf courses and a large number of watersports activities including many snorkeling and scuba diving operators.

The following attractions stand out more than many others for their uniqueness to Nassau.

1) Atlantis Waterpark

The biggest Nassau tourist attraction is the Atlantis resort complex. It’s hard to miss Atlantis for anyone visiting Nassau by cruise or for a week. The pink towers of the Atlantis resort is a dominant sight two miles over the water from the Nassau cruise terminal.

Aquaventure, which opened in 2007, is a 141-acre water park at Atlantis that contains 200 million gallons of water. The park has slides, lazy rivers and rapids. Power Tower contains four waterslides. Visitors also can shop, dine and relax on a beach.

Cruise lines offer excursions to the park for a fee. Cruise visitors also can take a quick taxi to get there.

2) Nassau Shopping District

Shoppers will find a massive number of shops and restaurants in the Nassau shopping district, which begins right off the cruise docks.

Although it’s large, it doesn’t have quite the same festive atmosphere as other shopping districts in the Caribbean such as Playa del Carmen. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a beach right next to it like Philipsburg St. Maarten.

3) Straw Market

The Straw Market is one of the biggest of its kind in the Caribbean. Vendors offer many hand-crafted goods for sale, some made locally and some not. Check out the wood carver stands at the side of the market farthest from the cruise terminal.

The market is on the water within walking distance of the cruise terminal. If visiting by cruise, go through the terminal and take a right. Go down the road in front of the terminal about three blocks to reach the market.

4) Fort Charlotte

The largest fort in the Bahamas sits on a hill with views of Nassau, the harbor and Paradise Island. It has a moat, dungeons, underground passages and many cannon on 100 acres of land. The entrance fee is $5 for adults, $2 for children (under 12) and $3 for seniors.

5) Cable Beach

Cable Beach is the best-known beach on New Providence island. It is six miles or about 15 miles west of the cruise port.

Taxi rates are fixed by zones on New Providence. The rate for two people to go from downtown by the cruise port to Cable Beach is $12 one way. Additional people are $3 apiece. Budget travelers will save money over taxies by using the public bus system.

6) Fort Fincastle

Fort Fincastle, Nassau Bahamas
Fort Fincastle; © Bahamas Tourism Authority

Fincastle is located on Bennett’s Hill within walking distance of downtown Nassau. Fort Charlotte is a better choice, but Fincastle is a quick and educational visit, and it’s each to reach.

The fort, shaped like a paddle-wheel steamer, was built in 1793. Because Nassau was never attacked, this fort was used first as a lighthouse and then as a signal tower.

It is open to the public Monday through Sunday, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free.

This small fort is worth a visit for anyone on a tight budget and with extra time on their hands. Visitors can see the nearby Queen’s Staircase during the same trip.

7) Queen’s Staircase

This quiet (and free) attraction in Nassau has 65 steps that were carved out of solid limestone by slaves in the 18th century. It is a good spot for taking interesting photos.

The staircase was named in honor of Queen Victoria, who reigned for 65 years. The top of the stairs lie near Fort Fincastle and Nassau’s Water Tower. Tourists should combine both sites in a single visit.

It’s a quick side trip from Fort Fincastle that takes only 10 to 15 minutes. We were the only people there during our visit.

8) Pirates of Nassau

This interactive entertainment tells the story of pirates in an educational, historically accurate way. The facility has a pirate-themed pub and gift shop. Admission is $13.50 for adults and $6.75 for children. Prices are subject to change.

Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas. He is the author of four books about cruising in the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexican Riviera.
December 26, 2020