Getting around Barbados


Barbados has probably the best public transport of all the islands of the Lesser Antilles. However, it does not yet reach the level of the developed countries and therefore remains the best choice for car rental.

By car in Barbados

Travelling by car around Barbados is the most practical form of transport, but especially on the west and south coasts it encounters a lack of parking and heavy traffic. However, if you want to venture beyond the main beaches, a car is definitely highly recommended.

Drive on the left in Barbados.

Book a car in Barbados

Most of the major multinational rental companies operate on the island, supplemented by a few regional Caribbean ones.

How much does it cost to rent a car in Barbados? What is the quality of the roads? What are the regulations and how do I get petrol at the pump? Read the detailed chapter on car rental in Barbados.

Public transport

A cheaper alternative to travelling around Barbados is a bus or fixed-route van (shared taxis, called ZR). Public transport runs to all towns and the smallest villages, but the interior of the island in particular is relatively inaccessible, which is complicated by non-existent timetables and random journeys.

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Each bus stop is marked with a "TO CITY" or "OUT OF CITY" sign. You can therefore tell which direction the bus will go from the stop by the sign. By "City" we mean the capital city of Bridgetown, as this is where the vast majority of services go.

You will not find any timetable or information on the bus stops about which line is passing through. You can only be sure that this is where you can stop the bus or van.

If a bus, minibus or ZR (van) is approaching the stop, just wave your arm.

If you're about to get off, you should always press the small white button on the side, by the windows or in the ceiling (for vans and minibuses), or the red "stop" button on more modern buses.

Ticket prices

Whether you're on a modern bus, an older minibus or a van, the price is always the same: 3,50 bbd.

It doesn't matter if you go one stop or from one end of the island to the other. You will always pay the same amount.

A paper ticket is never issued, you just pay.

ZRs - shared taxis

The most common mode of transport are small white vans with a burgundy stripe, which the locals call nothing but "ZR" (Zed-r). This name comes from the special number plates that all shared taxi vans carry: they always start with the letters ZR.

ZRs run on a regular route and are always marked with the route number, which can be found on the front and rear of the bonnet in a black circle.

There is no timetable for these vans. They will always leave Bridgetown when they are completely full. In the other direction, they always leave the other terminus at the same interval as they arrived from Bridgetown (so there is usually no waiting for full capacity in the city direction).

The busiest shared taxi routes run along Highway 7 from Bridgetown along the south coast via Hastings, Rockley, Worthing, St. Lawrence to Oistins (routes 3D and 11), with an average of one every 5 minutes during the day.

If you get on in the middle of the route, chances are that a completely full ZR won't stop for you at all. However, you can usually wait 10-15 minutes at most, and you can always fit in a van.

Fares of 3,50 bbd is paid either to the conductor riding in the van (usually wearing a yellow shirt) or directly to the bus driver after you get off the bus. It doesn't have to be paid directly in the exact amount, however preferred.

Shared taxis (ZRs) run from Bridgetown from two bus stations:

  • Constitution River Terminal (location at - the southern half of the island.
  • Cheapside Terminal (location at - northern half of the island.


The second busiest means of transport are the minibuses, which go to really every corner of Barbados.

They are larger than the ZR vans and resemble more like conventional buses. They are usually painted yellow with blue stripes and in Bridgetown they leave from the same bus stations as the shared taxis:

  • Constitution River Terminal (location at - southern half of the island
  • Cheapside Terminal (location at - north half of the island

Although formally the minibuses have line numbers and run along a precise route, in reality the line number is not visibly marked. Instead, there is a large sign outside the window with the destination.

Like the ZRs, the minibuses have no timetable and set off on their routes when they fill up. Most of the time, though, they don't wait for full capacity like vans. On average, minibuses run 1-2 times per hour on each route, but less busy services to the interior of the island run only a few times per day.

You can't find out the times anywhere in advance, you need to ask at the bus station or locals.

You can find the minibuses at the local bus station or at the local bus station. 3,50 bbd is paid either to the conductor who rides in the carriage (usually wearing a yellow T-shirt) or directly to the bus driver when you get off the bus. It does not have to be paid directly in the exact amount, however it is preferred.


Classic buses operate in Barbados, both modern air-conditioned cars (blue and yellow) and older non-air-conditioned types (usually pure white or with a yellow stripe).

Classic buses run from Bridgetown from different stations to minibuses or vans:

  • Fairchild Street Terminal, also Granville Bus Terminal (location at - the southern half of the island
  • Princess Alice Terminal (location on - northern half of the island

Buses are the only form of transport that has punctual departure times from terminals. They are mostly adhered to, although deviations of 5 to 10 minutes are not uncommon.

Bus routes do not run as frequently as minibuses or vans, but bus travel is considerably more comfortable and predictable thanks to the timetable. However, the times are given only for departures from the terminus. The rest you have to roughly calculate.

The disadvantage of the buses is the need to pay the exact fare of 3,50 bbd. This is paid by dropping money into the box with the driver when you board. The driver has no option to give you a refund if necessary. So if you don't have the exact amount, you either need to change in advance or put a higher fare in the box. Alternatively, choose to take a minibus or shared taxi, which usually follow the bus routes.


Classic taxis are plentiful in Bridgetown and on the main streets along the resorts. Taxis are safe, although they are not equipped with taximeters.

Fares are fixed by the government and a roughly 5km ride will set you back around 30 bbd. Official prices can be downloaded from the government website: You can only pay in cash in both Barbados and US dollars.

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