Having been to Barbados, but not Jamaica, I can say Barbados is NOT the place for excitement, not night life anyway! The Fish fry at Oistins on Friday nights is fun but other than that....we were in the middle of Bridgetown one night and could only find one bar open and besides the staff and people jamming, I think we were the only four in there!
Dont get me wrong, it is a beautiful place and we had a great time, just not in a party way!
Wow, Holster - there are a TON of spots besides Oistens - The Boatyard, Ship Inn, Reggae Lounge, up and down the gap,.... Tons of nightlife that goes until the sun comes up!
You can find what you are seeking in either place - a little more detail would help - and what time of year are you seeking to go?
Were planning to go around April 15, 2011
I am going to Barbados for the first time, in a few days time, I have family there, I have still researched loads and have found St. Lawrence Gap to be the place to be!
I was in Kingston. Jamaica in 1993 and have friends that go all over the island, though Jamaica can be nice, do a google/youtube search for 'fight in Jamaica' 'Shooting in Jamaica' etc. and do the same with Barbados, you will quickly find out which place is safer.
jamaica def has higher crime statistics, but the going ons in kingston and whatnot aren't at all reflective of what a visitor will experience in visitor areas... i'd say that's not a huge concern...
at risk of repeating suz.... i'll say that in jamaica the concept of all-inclusive is a little more attainable/popular than in barbados... this is especially true of the resorts closest to the nightlife areas... that said, for either, you'll have to get out and about for nightlife as the scene on resort can be and is usually dismal in either situation... if you want a nice AI in barbados you may find yourself on the gold coast and a good drive from the gap.. (options for party on the gold coast are limited)
both places have good nightlife options as mentioned... if it's your goal to experience local culture/nightlife (i.e the local party), i'd say jamaica is a little more ummm... hardcore if you will (dancehall is a different beast than soca)... if you want a mix of locals and visitors, barbados seems to offer that a little more....
and i'll come out and say it... if your goal is to mix it up with the local male population it depends how for lack of a better word, "fool-hearty" the gang is... one thing to remember... bajans can leave the island and come foreign easily... many jamaicans can not and are often looking for ways... in the end, eyes wide open and either place can offer this option in abundance... just keep the heads on the shoulders and know what you are getting into :)
if the excitement is a bit more innocent in nature, i think the excursions and natural beauty jamaica offers is a bit more intense and interesting than barbados... barbados is a much smaller island tho and you can see much more of it during a short (week/2 week stay)... in less than 10 trips to barbados i've seen just about every island attraction there is and driven on just about every road there... with dozens of trips to jamaica and 7 months living there i still have yet to see so much...
not sure how long you are planning on staying for, if your trip has you there over easter and party is your object, easter is party time in jamaica (ocho rios area) and i'd choose an organized jamaican party over a bajan party any day... jamaicans take the organized party to a new level... and you'll get the variety of music over easter in jamaica as it is "carnival"...
hopefully that makes sense and helps...
and this post is from june...
Barbados from memory for fun was what you make of it. Which I believe is the case for anywere, even Las Vegas. With that said, my impression is barbados is more for culture, than fun, it's has some stunning beaches, countryside etc. They are more british, than the british. Tea time everyone stopped to do it, at like 3pm ish. The White knee high socks, and pressed shorts, uniform like. Birds, and stunning views, and history, and culture. Not so much nightlife.
Poster above stated hotels in St. Lawrence gap area is the place to be, from memory that is south side of the island, near the capital of bridgetown. Seemed to be were we landed one night. We stayed in a hotel, near Holetown in western part of island. I don't remember anything that exciting, but that is in the eye of the beholder too.
For excitement being a primary reason to go somewere, I think Cancun, San Juan, Miami Beach probably would rule. Maybe Negril,Ocho, Montego, I will find that out in a few months. Memory was Reggae music ruled, but not positive on that.
yes, barbados is much more british proper (although jamaican schools are essentially all uniformed to strict standards too, and i remember ironing the socks and bloomers... UGH!)
however, barbados has some great night life IMO... especially if you enjoy soca/calypso... st lawrence gap is a bit outside of bridgetown proper and is essentially referring to a street lined with bars/clubs and the like... typically on any one night you can find someplace bumping (and they are places that have been there forever and a day and still get a line up regularily)... nice vibes, nice music, great crowds... i'd never say babados has no nightlife! (and i've been for weeks at a time and never got bored :) )...
if i had to choose, i'd choose jamaica to party, but i party in kingston (unless the kingston party is in ochi or negril :) )... jamaicans can take things to the next level, but that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with the nightlife in barbados... it holds it's own :)
but then again, i guess it all depends on what elements one is looking for in their nightlife tho...
Hi I have been lucky enough to stay both in Jamaica and Barbados, and I must say I loved them both . I stayed at the Riu Palace Tropical Bay in Negril for renewing our 25th Wedding vows wehich was amazing.
Stayed at Escape The Gap Barbados which I loved too loads to see and do around that area . We hired Sam the taxi driver he took us all over the Island for a very good price and to places u will never see on regular trips. There is a Kareoke night right next door to the hotel on a Sunday night and all the locals from young to old take part its a great family night out for them and i must add us too . Wherever u decide between the two places u will not be dissapointed. Enjoiy !