Currency and prices in Barbados


What currency do I pay with in Barbados? How much do goods cost in a regular supermarket and how much in a restaurant? And how much does a week's stay on the island cost? Find out in this chapter.

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Barbados dollar (BBD)

The local currency is the Barbados dollar. One dollar is divided into 100 cents.

Coins are available in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25 cents and 1 dollar. Banknotes have values of 2, 5, 10, 50 and 100 dollars.

  • International currency code: BBD (numeric code 052)
  • Currency symbol: $, BBD$ or BD$

The Barbados dollar has a fixed exchange rate to the US dollar 1 usd = 2 bbd.

In Barbados, the US dollar is also quite commonly used, you just have to expect that any refund will always be in Barbados dollars.

  • 1 US dollar = 2 Barbados dollars

You can pay with US dollars in Barbados everywhere from street shops to official offices.

Will I pay in BBD or USD?

Because of the use of the same "$" symbol, there is often confusion as to what currency the amount is actually quoted in. If in doubt, always check beforehand.

In general, common public places such as supermarkets, gas stations, post offices, bus stations, etc. always list amounts in Barbados dollars. However, some tourist shops or souvenir shops may state the initial amount in US dollars.

Exchange offices and card payments

You won't find traditional currency exchange offices in Barbados except at the airport. However, you may be able to exchange money at a bank.

However, you won't need currency exchange offices in Barbados at all. Ideally, you should exchange your currency at home into US dollars, which you can easily pay with here. If you have any Barbadian dollars left over, you can change them back into US dollars at a fixed rate at the airport.

ATMs here normally accept foreign credit cards and only dispense Barbadian dollars. ATMs usually charge a foreign card withdrawal fee of 3 bbd.

Paying by card is not a problem at most places, including small mini-markets selling food. Convenient contactless terminals are in use, and unlike other Caribbean islands where you may be asked for ID when paying by card, this is not the case in Barbados.

Card payments are not usually possible at street vendors, buses, taxis or smaller shops in the villages.

How much does what cost - prices in Barbados

Barbados is generally one of the most expensive islands in the Caribbean. You can get a good deal on rum in Barbados, and it's really good quality.

Some food can be several times more expensive than in Europe or America. Local public transport works out cheap.

Examples of prices

Accommodation in a double room (prices per night):


  • A hot main meal in a casual restaurant for tourists - 60 bbd
  • Menu in a fast-food restaurant - 30 bbd
  • Fish with side dishes at fish markets - 35 bbd
  • A hot meal at a stall or restaurant for locals - 20 bbd
  • Espresso or Cappuccino in a café - 13 bbd
  • Water 0.33 l - 2,50 bbd
  • Fanta/Coca Cola/Sprite 0.5 l - 3,50 bbd
  • Draft beer - 5 bbd

Food in a supermarket:

  • Water 1.5l - 4,50 bbd
  • 5l water barrel - 15 bbd
  • Packed baguette - 15 bbd
  • Coca Cola (and other sodas) 2l - 6 bbd
  • Milk 1l - 7 bbd
  • Apples - 8 bbd / kg
  • Bananas - 5,50 bbd / kg
  • Rice - 8,50 bbd
  • Chicken 1 kg - 24 bbd
  • Beef 1 kg - 26 bbd
  • Canned tuna - 8 bbd
  • Pastry 6 pcs of buns - 4 bbd

Buses and transport:

  • Bus ticket - 3,50 bbd regardless of distance
  • Price of petrol 1 gallon - 15 bbd (1 litre roughly 3,90 bbd)
  • Rent a car for the day - from 37 eur in low season
  • Taxi - fixed government prices (approx. 30 bbd per 5 km)
  • Compare Bridgetown Airport car hire prices

Alcohol and cigarettes:

  • Barbados rum at the bar (0.2 litres) - 15 bbd
  • Barbados rum bottle (0.7 l) - 30 bbd
  • Bottle of wine in the shop - 28 bbd
  • Can of local beer - 4,50 bbd
  • Cocktails at the bar - 20 to 30 bbd
  • Pack of cigarettes - 20 bbd

Tipping and haggling

Tipping is not required or is included in the final price. If you choose to tip, you will not offend, but it is not customary to tip.

Prices are fixed in Barbados, so you won't get much bargaining here.

How to save

There is a simple rule here: eat like a local. Stalls by the beach or on the street offer very tasty and traditional snacks at affordable prices.

Another option is to grab a quick bite at the local fast-food joint Chefette. This is a Barbadian version of an American fast food restaurant, but the prices here are lower than at KFC or McDonald's and you will definitely pay 20% less for a meal than at a regular restaurant.

Don't be afraid to approach the locals, they'll be happy to give you advice and recommend great places to eat for good money.

For transport, choose only local buses or ZR minibuses. You pay the ticket and then it doesn't matter if you get off at the next stop or at the final one.

For a better price, book an apartment and avoid really expensive hotel resorts. However, be prepared to pay from 90 usd even in the cheapest apartments.

Daily budget

To give you a better idea, we've put together some examples of daily budgets for Barbados holidays. We calculate the prices if you are travelling with 2 people and the resulting value is for 1 person.

A low budget traveller will choose to stay in an apartment around 90 usd for a 2 bed room. You will eat from supermarket bought ingredients, which per person per day will cost around 20 usd. For transport you will use local buses and take 2 trips per day (so a total of 7 bbd). The total daily budget will cost around 50 usd / person / day.

Search for the cheapest accommodation - Barbados

The average traveler will stay in a local hotel or better apartment (140 usd per night for two) and eat mostly streetfood or fastfood (25 usd per day). A drink at a local beach will cost 10 usd. Since you'll want to explore the whole island, rent a car for an average 60 usd per day. You will pay about 12 usd per day on average for petrol.

The total daily budget, after budgeting per person, comes out to about 140 usd / person / day.

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