Things to do in New Providence Island

Things to do in  New Providence Island

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The Bahamas' most populous island and home to the capital Nassau, New Providence Island pairs cosmopolitan flair with the soft beaches and laid-back vibes associated with the Bahamian lifestyle. Travelers can soak up Caribbean culture at downtown art galleries and museums, then lounge by the pool at an all-inclusive resort or boutique beach cottage. Just across a bridge is Paradise Island, home to the world-famous Atlantis resort and Aquaventure water park—one of the top things to do for both kids and the young at heart.

Top 15 attractions in New Providence Island

Rose Island

Rose Island is an idyllic private getaway off the coast of Nassau. Home to a coral reef and a lone beach bar, this tiny, tropical islet offers an exclusive setting for snorkeling and sunbathing on an 11-mile (18-kilometer) stretch of uninhabited, privately owned Bahamian beach.More

Government House

Built in 1801 on an estate on top of Mount Fitzwilliam, Government House is often considered the best example of Georgian Colonial architecture in all of the West Indies. The mansion is painted a vibrant pink with a bright white trim (a nod to Nassau’s famous conch shells) and is the residence of the Governor-General of the Bahamas.More

Fort Charlotte

High atop a hillside overlooking the harbor of Nassau is British-colonial era Fort Charlotte—the largest fort in Nassau. Built in the late 18th century for a battle that never took place, this historic site offers picturesque views of Paradise Island, Nassau, and the harbor. You can also see hidden underground passages, a dry moat, remote dungeons; and even canons, which have never been fired in battle.More

Queen's Staircase

The Queen’s Staircase, one of Nassau’s most visited attractions, holds an important place in Bahamian cultural history. Around 1793, slaves carved this 102-foot (31-meter) staircase, comprised of 65 steps, out of solid limestone. Later it was named in honor of Queen Victoria’s 65-year reign and her role in abolishing slavery in the Bahamas.More

Paradise Island

Just across the water from the Bahamas’ main island of New Providence, Paradise Island is a fun-filled destination with stylish resort hotels, beautiful beaches, restaurants, casinos, and more. Visitors come to take in a show, try their hand at the blackjack tables, or enjoy some wet-and-wild exhilaration at the world-famous water park.More

Arawak Cay

The evening fish fry is a much-loved tradition across many Caribbean islands, and Arawak Cay in Nassau, Bahamas, brings the custom to life. Find colorful huts selling fresh fish dishes, such as conch salad and lobster, along with vendors making tropical cocktails, and there’s often live music, too.More

Fort Fincastle

Overlooking the city of Nassau from its vantage point atop Bennett’s Hill, Fort Fincastle was built in 1793 to protect the island of New Providence from outside invaders. Much of the imposing building remains intact today. Visitors come to explore the fortifications and enjoy the view from the highest point in Nassau.More

Blue Lagoon Island

With its stretch of white sands fringed by coconut palm trees and a lush rain forest, Blue Lagoon Island—or Salt Cay—provides an idyllic escape from the crowds of Nassau, offering everything you'd expect from a tropical island. Bring the whole family along for some fun in the sun, or take it easy for a day of pure beachy bliss on Blue Lagoon Island Beach.More

Straw Market

The traditional craft of straw working is an integral part of Bahamian culture and industry. Each island has its own distinctive braiding style that locals use to create beautiful straw hats, baskets, and other goods. The Straw Market on Nassau is the ultimate place to pick up these traditional Bahamian souvenirs.More

Cable Beach

Famous for its golden sands, the Bahamas' Cable Beach is a popular water sports and lolling destination for visitors to New Providence Island. This 2.5-mile (4-kilometer) stretch of idyllic beach is home to several massive resorts—including the Atlantis on nearby Paradise Island—each with their own claim staked in the sand.More

Atlantis, Paradise Island

The Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas is the ultimate resort and water park. Accommodations range from standard hotel rooms to villas and condos to the Bridge Suite (once ranked the world’s most expensive hotel suite). And even if you’re not a hotel guest, you can still enjoy some of the resort’s amenities, such as Dolphin Cay.More

Pirates of Nassau

At the Pirates of Nassau museum, you can discover Nassau’s history as an 18th-century pirate base through replica ships and exhibits. The city was once considered home to the world's largest concentration of swashbuckling seafarers, who continue to capture the imaginations of visitors.More

Parliament Square

The island of Nassau is the seat of the Bahamian government and the four bubblegum pink buildings that house its key branches lend a distinct island vibe to what’s known as Parliament Square. The pastel Georgian-style buildings of the Supreme Court, the Public Library and Museum, and the Houses of Parliament surround the square—where a statue honoring Queen Victoria stands.More

National Art Gallery of the Bahamas (NAGB)

For a real taste of Bahamian culture, head to the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas (NAGB) in Nassau. Housed in a classic 19th-century colonial-style building known as Villa Doyle in the center of town, the gallery displays paintings, sculptures, and other pieces by local artists from the 1850s to the present day.More

Christ Church Cathedral

The Gothic-style Christ Church Cathedral has a brilliant white stone tower, vaulted mahogany ceilings and altar, and truly special handmade stained glass windows depicting the life of Jesus Christ. Built in 1841, the present structure is the fifth church that has occupied this spot embellished with memorial plaques from the 1800s illustrating the history of Nassau’s residents.More

Top activities in New Providence Island

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All about New Providence Island

When to visit

Thanks to its Gulf Stream currents and balmy trade winds, New Providence Island is an appealing destination all year round. Temperatures typically hover between 70°F and 80°F throughout the year. December through mid-April promises the best conditions (albeit with large crowds over spring break from March to April). Hurricane season lasts from early June until late November; although it is often wet this time of year, hotel prices are lower than at any other time.

Getting around

Visitors to New Providence Island can easily get around by using taxis, which are typically affordable and reliable. Traveling by public transport is also an option and provides a glimpse of local life. Minibuses, known locally as “jitneys,” travel from downtown Nassau to all over New Providence, and you can flag them down wherever you spot them. If you decide to rent a vehicle, remember to drive on the left side of the road.

Traveler tips

Take cash with you when you head out to explore the island: Many restaurants, jitneys, and taxis only accept cash, with US dollars widely accepted. Tipping is expected in the Bahamas. It’s common practice to leave your server or taxi driver around 15 to 20 percent of the check or fare. Bartenders usually get a dollar or two per drink.


People Also Ask

What is New Providence Island known for?

New Providence Island is the biggest and most populated island in the Bahamas and home to the capital city of Nassau. It boasts Cable Beach, one of the best beaches in the Bahamas, as well as some of the country’s biggest and glitziest resorts.

How many days do you need on New Providence Island?

It depends on how many activities you want to squeeze in, but four or five days on the island of New Providence is a good length of time to see the main attractions and spend some quality time by the beach. If you have a few extra days to spare, add on a visit to another island.

Is New Providence the same as Nassau?

No, New Providence is not the same as Nassau. New Providence is the name of an island, while Nassau is the name of a city located on that island. Nassau is the capital of and biggest city in the Bahamas.

How do I get to New Providence Island?

Most travelers fly into Lynden Pindling International Airport, the Bahamas’ main airport, which is located eight miles (13 kilometers) from downtown Nassau on the island of New Providence. Other travelers arrive on cruise ships or tour boats.

What activities are popular on New Providence Island?

Visitors to New Providence like to soak up the sun on Cable Beach, climb the Queen’s Staircase, explore Clifton Heritage National Park, and hit the Nassau bars and nightclubs after dark. Nassau is also a great jumping-off point for boat trips around the other islands.

Is New Providence Island expensive?

No, New Providence Island is not particularly expensive, although costs can skyrocket if you choose to stay in high-end resorts and eat only in tourist areas. Tours are generally cheap, there are plenty of outdoor activities that cost nothing, and you can save money by eating in more local restaurants.

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