March 2012
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Travel – Nassau – the capital of the Bahamas

Nassau is the capital of Bahamas (which is a member of the British Commonwealth). Nassau is the largest city in the Bahamas and is located on the eastern half of New Providence Island. It was earlier known as Charles Town around 1650 and later to Nassau, named after Fort Nassau. Nassau was also known as a pirates den. It has a population of approximately 200,000 and constitutes 70 percent of population of the Bahamas.
Bay Street is a street that runs along the shore and is the main shopping street of Nassau. It has a mix of jewelry boutiques and trashy souvenir shops. Many government buildings and company headquarters are located on Over the Hill district.
Attractions of Nassau:
• Old Town: This town is a combination of abandoned buildings and Caribbean structures. There is a pink Parliament Building with a statue of Queen Victoria out in the front.
• Ardastra Gardens, Zoo & Conservation Center: This is the only zoo located in the Bahamas. One can see marching flamingo shows and feed the parakeets. This conservation centre is spread wide on five acres of a tropical garden. Flamingos march here as they are trained in formation and marching. This is a show of marching flamingos that is held daily at 10:30, 14:00 and 16:00 three times. There are Caribbean flamingos which are 40 years old and are the largest flock on Great Inagua Island in Bahamas. This centre houses Bahamas parrot and many species of iguanas. The other animals include jaguars, parrots and small mammals.
• National Art Gallery of the Bahamas, West & West Hill Streets: This centre houses the Bahamian art from the pre-colonial era to the present. The building is a renovated building which was once the residence of the Chief Justice.
• Pirate Museum: This museum is a recreation of the pirate town with a pirate ship and a pirate battle along with a few real artifacts blended. It is fun to take a guided tour.
• Fort Fincastle: This is a small fort that was built in 1793. This fort overlooks the city of Nassau. One can see it from a small hill south of town. One can view many cannons that are kept for display.
• Atlantis Hotel Aquarium: It is known to be the largest open-air aquarium in the world. There is a replica of the lost city of Atlantis through which the stingrays and shining fish swim and there are other collections of Caribbean species in this stunning aquarium.
• Balcony house: This is a restored historic structure of the 18th century dating back to 1788. The residence is very old and made out of wood, an example of a tropical colonial house. The interior has not been disturbed, and has the antiques and objects that belonged to that house originally. There are guided tours available for those who want to visit. The design and construction features are used to keep the house cool, dry and termite free, a specialty of the house. A Mahogany set of swan-neck chairs, four poster beds, a drop-front desk, china and crystal and hand-worked brass valences are among the antiques on display.
• The British Colonial Hilton: This is on the site of Fort Nassau and dating back to 1922. This place gives a view of the harbor and visiting cruise ships. The present building is a replacement to the original wooden hotel of 1898. Henry Flager was the owner and was known for building hotels along Miami Beach and along the coast of Florida. These hotels are special for their Colonial constructions. Its historic façade of towers, galleries, and molded reliefs are maintained. The restaurants and spa are special and an amusement park is also housed.
• Doongalik: This is a centre built to preserve the culture of the Black community who are the majority of the population of Bahamas. It has an art gallery depicting the bush medicine, shops, collection of Junkanoo costumes and sculptures. There are also the traditional instruments for making music out of goat skin like drums and cow bells etc., which are a special attraction.
• Government house: There is a pink and white house on the top of Mount Fitzwilliam which is a Roman-classical mansion dating back to 1801. This served as a house for the British Governor General. There is a white statue of Christopher Columbus belonging to 1830 which is on the stairs of the mansion. On alternate Sundays, changing of the guard ceremony is hosted.
• Paradise Island: Paradise Island is a Caribbean island and off Nassau, Bahamas. This Island is connected to New Providence Island by two bridges crossing Nassau harbor. This island has a variety of beaches and hotels and resorts. Cable beach is the popular one. It is dominated by Las Vegas style Atlantis resort. It is on the northern edge of New Providence. Paradise Island is also known as Hog Island. The bridges were built in 1966 and 1990. An Augustinian monastery was also installed which is dating back to 14th century French style.
Things to do: One can take a guided bus tours, explore old forts, Paradise Island and aquarium and roam around the old town.

Best time to visit / climate:
The best time to visit Nassau is May to October. This island has a tropical monsoon climate with constant temperatures almost through the year. Summertime temperatures rarely exceed 92 degrees Fahrenheit (33 degrees Celsius) and the winter months have daytime temperatures between 68 and 80 °F (20 and 27 °C), rarely falling below 50 °F (10 °C).

Location on Google Maps:

View Larger Map

How to get there:
By air: Lynden Pindling International Airport is the largest airport in the Bahamas. It serves most major U.S. airlines and flights to Nassau. Limited service from Toronto and London also exists.
By sea: A total of seven cruise ships can dock at the Prince George Wharf Cruise Terminal which is adjacent to downtown Nassau.

Getting around:
• By water taxi: One can take a water taxi to get to Paradise Island from downtown.
• By minibus: These minibuses are also known as jitneys which are the bus system of Nassau city and New Providence Island. These are on and near Bay Street.
• By taxi: Taxis operate around the city and they are identified by their yellow license plates.
• By car: one can rent a car to roam around.
• By scooter: Scooter (small motorcycle) rental is also popular in Nassau.
• By bike: Bikes and bicycles also can be rented in Nassau.
• By foot: One can go around on foot in downtown.

Plan your trip to Nassau better with these books:

Frommer’s Bahamas 2012 Sailing Misadventures of the Wild Hair The Bahamas (Multi Country Travel Guide)

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers):

• Tripadvisor (hotels, restaurants)

Blogs / Sites about Nassau:


Images and photos of Nassau:

Google Image Search

Videos of Nassau from Youtube:

Nassau Bahamas Cruise Dec. 2007

Nassau Bahamas

Nassau, Bahamas, East Bay Street Shopping District, May, 2009

Nassau, Bahamas

Nassau Straw Market

Atlantis, Paradise Island, Nassau, Bahamas

Nassau, Bahamas

Nassau Bahamas Walking Tour – Dec 18, 2007 Pt 2

Plane Wreck at Nassau, Bahamas

nassau bahamas day & night life

Beach on Nassau, Bahamas

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