experience the professional and knowledgeable Bahamian hospitality during your trip to The Bahamas, look for this sticker on Bahamahost taxis and buses. Managed by the National Association of Bahamahost, the program promotes professionalism, pride and education in the hospitality industry to ensure a warm welcome to visitors.
The training familiarizes all participants with correct and accurate information on the country’s history, geography, civic education, economy, culture, flora, fauna, and places of interest. Additional emphasis is placed on attitudinal training, teamwork, and cooperation. Graduates of the program receive a Bahamahost ID badge and vehicle owners receive a Bahamahost sticker. All graduates are encouraged to post their badge or decal with pride.
Bank opening hours are Monday to Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Some banks are open on Saturday; hours vary between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
In Nassau / Paradise Island, there are ATM machines at Paradise Island casinos and commercial banks. In Grand Bahama Island, they can be found in major banks, the casino, and Port Lucaya Marketplace. On the Out Islands, ATMs are installed in all major islands. Most are equipped with ATM + and Cirrus systems.
Visit the Bahamas Yellow Pages for banking locations on individual islands.
Checklist for boaters before leaving for The Bahamas:
• Bahamas maps for navigation / GPS
• Fuel (quantity appropriate for travel and additional)
• Food and supplies
• Coast Guard approved safety equipment (if required, by size / type of vessel)
• Dockliners and wings
• Engine and equipment maintained and fully operational
• Appropriate spare parts
• Quarantine flag (yellow flag)
• Portable VHF Radio / Portable Floating Spare Radio
• Separators 30/50 Amp (if necessary)
• Appropriate documentation on the ownership and registration of vessels
• Proof of Citizenship – Passport
• Wharf reservations
Changing of the Guard
Since 1958, this marching display with precision drills has been performed at Government House, just before a member of the new guard replaces a member of the old guard. It is held the second Friday of each month throughout the year and is free of charge. It is a must-see attraction for visitors and locals alike. More information.
Casual summer wear can be worn during the day at any time of the year; but be sure to bring a jacket or sweater for the cooler evenings from December to February. Most hotels / restaurants / casinos require jackets for men at night, especially in more cosmopolitan areas, such as Nassau / Paradise Island and Freeport / Lucaya.
Beachwear is inappropriate in churches, restaurants, and casinos. Away from the beach or the pool, you should cover your swimsuit with shorts or a long shirt when walking the city streets. In the more relaxed remote areas, the dress code is more flexible.
Visitors and business travelers will find that telecommunication services in The Bahamas are comparable to the services found in most developed countries. A 100% digital switching system allows direct dialing in more than 100 countries. The United States and Canada are accessible by a direct call and most hotels offer direct dialing from the rooms and / or the conference center. The Bahamas Telephone Company (BTC) provides a variety of services beyond the telephone: fax, telex, Internet, cellular service, private line service, satellite and radio leasing, and an enhanced VHF-FM radiotelephone service that allows you to contact vessels at sea. You can save money on long distance calls by purchasing phone cards. These have good rates to the United States and Canada and can be found at any BTC location in Nassau / Paradise Island, Grand Bahama Island, or The Out Islands.
For those who want to use their mobile phones, BTC also has roaming agreements with 128 companies around the world. To access BTC’s GSM roaming system, simply turn on your phone and wait for it to connect to the network. To check if your home service provider is a BTC roaming partner or for country-specific roaming charges, see btcbahamas.com.
The Bahamian dollar is maintained at the same level as the U.S. dollar and both are accepted interchangeably on all islands. Credit cards and traveler’s checks are accepted at most locations on Nassau / Paradise Island and Grand Bahama Island. ATMs + PLUS and Cirrus are in banks on Nassau / Paradise Island, Grand Bahama Island, and most major Out Islands.
UK rules apply in The Bahamas, so please drive on the left and be very careful on the roundabouts. Visitors can use their residence permit for up to three months and may also apply for an international driving license. Pedestrians must remember to first look right and then left before crossing streets.
It is the law that all drivers and their passengers wear seat belts while riding in a vehicle. Please note:
- A child weighing less than 20 pounds must be placed in a child seat, installed in the back seat and facing the rear of the vehicle.
- A child of 20 pounds and under 40 pounds should be in a convertible car seat adapted to the back seat.
- A child over 40 pounds or up to 4 feet / 9 inches tall should be fitted in a booster seat.
- A child over 4 feet / 9 inches tall and between 8 and 12 years old should wear a seatbelt.
On most large islands you can find cameras, binoculars and telescopes, porcelain and crystal, watches and clocks, jewelry, perfumes, linens and tablecloths, alcohol and leather goods. The savings on these items are usually between 25-50% below U.S. prices.
You can find local crafts in straw markets and specialty shops, or at Festival Place in Nassau, the Bahama Craft Center on Paradise Island, and at Port Lucaya Marketplace on Grand Bahama Island.
Electrical outlets in The Bahamas are 60 cycles / 120 volts, which is compatible with all American devices. British and European appliances require a two-pin flat adapter and a 220-volt converter.
A public transportation service (called jitneys) is available on several of the major islands, including Nassau / Paradise Island and Grand Bahama Island. It usually runs from early morning (around 6:30 a.m.) until around 7:00 p.m. Rates vary depending on the route and the exact change is required. Bus stops are marked. On New Providence, the basic rate is $1.25 per person; areas outside the city of Nassau could cost up to $3.50.