The energy of Nassau, the capital of the glorious Bahamanian archipelago, lives up to its rowdy pirate history, with tumbledown colonial buildings, a sprawling casino, and a raucous nightlife scene. If that’s all a bit much for you, you can always retreat to the glistening white sand beach with a book.
Flights to Nassau
Nassau International Airport (NAS), formally known as Lynden Pindling International Airport, is the number one gateway to the Bahamas. It’s located near the capital city of Nassau on New Providence Island. NAS is undergoing a renovation and upgrade to world-class standards, expected to be complete in 2015. The more than 3 million passengers who go through its gates each year are treated to vaulted ceilings and glass walls which let in the streaming island sunshine.
The airport is a major hub for Bahamasair, which offers onward connections to most of the major tourist destinations in the islands. When you’re headed home, NAS offers US preclearance services which will allow you to enter the country as a domestic passenger.
What to Do in Nassau
The capital city has a scruffy-around-the-edges charm in parts, enlivened by the glitz of over-the-top resorts like the 8 acre Atlantis Resort in the nearby settlement of Paradise Island. It includes a casino, a waterpark, a spa, and a marine aquarium and habitat complete with captive sharks.
You can go for a wander in Old Town, where abandoned and crumbling colonial structures are mingled with brightly painted government buildings. Take a bus tour on one of the famous “jitneys” and get a locals’-eye-view of the history, architecture, and culture here.
There are an incredible variety of clubs and nightlife throughout the city, some wilder than others, but all devoted to the art of having a great time. Cover charges can be high, but most resorts will sell a discounted pass.
Advice to Tourists Visiting Nassau
You’ll need a passport to visit Nassau, but if you’re coming from a western country you are unlikely to need a visa. You’re likely to hear English everywhere you go in the city, though Creole is spoken by the large Haitian immigrant population. The Bahamian dollar is the currency, but it is pegged to the US dollar at a 1:1 ratio and USD is accepted everywhere.
The Bahamas see more than 300 days of sunshine every year, and the weather is almost always warm, with averages in the 70s to 80s. Nassau is a popular spring break destination, which may be something to bear in mind when you’re scheduling your visit.
December through February is the high season, so prepare for crowds and book your resort months in advance. Skyscanner can help you save money on your accommodation with our free hotel price comparison service.