Bridgetown Market

The Parish of Saint Michael on Barbados

Located on the southwest corner of the island, the parish of Saint Michael on Barbados is one of the most urbanized parishes you’ll find. One of the original six parishes created in 1629 by Governor Sir William Tufton, Saint Michaels is not only the “central hub” for transportation and trade on Barbados it’s also home to the capital of Bridgetown.

Bridgetown, so named because of the bridges native peoples created to crisscross the waters, is one of the busiest and most populous urban areas on Barbados with roughly 110,000 Bajans. Because of the deep historic contributions to the island of Barbados (and the Caribbean in general) Bridgetown and its garrison were named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011.

St. Michael parish is also home to the International Seaport of Barbados which handles the vast majority of the commercial shipping needs of the island. In addition, the seaport is where cruise ships dock and disembark thousands of visitors a day to this Caribbean paradise.

Here you’ll find a thriving city center and opportunities to travel by public transportation throughout Barbados. There are plenty of shops, restaurants, and tourist attractions right in Bridgetown to keep you happy for days—most notably the eye-catching government buildings including parliament—but you’ll find several exciting destinations just outside the city limits as well.

Map of Saint Michael Parish

Sightseeing in the Parish of Saint Michael on Barbados

If you want to experience authentic life here on Barbados, Saint Michael offers you plenty of opportunities to do just that.

The Kensington Oval

The Kensington Oval is the premiere cricket facility on Barbados. Being a former British colony cricket holds pride of place among the national past times on Barbados. While the Kensington Oval was created way back in 1882 as a private club for wealthy property owners, it has been completely revamped time and again over the ages. Most recently the facility was rebuilt from the ground up in 2005 to accommodate the Cricket World Cup Final in 2007. Take in a match, sample some of the local food for lunch, and cheer your favorite team on (even if you don’t understand the game).

The Barbados Turf Club

If you like your sports action a little more fast paced, the Barbados Turf Club is the premiere equestrian sports facility on the island. Here they hold races nearly every other weekend throughout the three seasons of horse racing on Barbados. The facility was recently rebuilt to add additional seating, a VIP section, more food and drink vendors, and a beautiful outdoor area perfect for picnic lunches.

Saint Michael’s Cathedral

Being the seat of power on Barbados, Saint Michael couldn’t simply have just another Anglican parish church. The existing church (built in 1655) received a massive upgrade and eventually became Saint Michael’s Cathedral in 1789. This gorgeous Anglican Church is constructed from hand-carved coral stone and is dripping with Gothic splendor accented by beautiful stained glass throughout. However, the cathedral is currently closed to the public due to extensive renovation. (Check the restoration’s status on the cathedral’s official website.)

Carlisle Bay

If a little fun in the sun is what the doctor ordered, Carlisle Bay is the prescription you need. Though this bay was once a commercial shipping hub (and remains so today), it is lined with beautiful sand beaches and has become a recreation hotspot in the parish of Saint Michael. Home to numerous shipwrecks Carlisle Bay is a wonderful place for swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing.

Spend the day at the races, diving into the history of Barbadian rum, or lounging on the beach—the choice is yours in the parish of Saint Michael. And if your island explorations are taking you elsewhere, St. Michael is a wonderful place to start.

Martha Hampton

Martha Hampton
Home Curator
Founder of Barbados Island Rentals & Hampton Property Rentals LLC