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- 20 Jan 2020, 3 nights
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Nassau is the capital of The Bahamas and a city with a long and colourful history of pirates and smugglers. Spend a few hours wandering through the pastel mansions built by Georgian governors or head straight for the beach to swim in warm azure water. You can feast on Creole and Cajun flavours, all washed down with the island's own rum – or better yet, sign up for a food tour and discover local recommendations.
Check out a Nassau hostel with two outdoor pools overlooking the ocean and a couple of resident swimming pigs. There's a converted 1930s island home, and if you're travelling as a group look for a private apartment with outdoor terrace. Most hostels in Nassau have air con and some have guest kitchens so you can prep your own food. A few Nassau hostels have free breakfast, while most have free Wi-Fi and you can choose between dorms (including female-only options) or private rooms.
Downtown Nassau is on the northeastern coast of New Providence Island. This is the Old Town where you'll find the pink Government House along with Nassau's harbour. Bay Street runs east from downtown and is the main shopping area, although Lyford Cay in the northwest has designer boutiques and textiles. Arawak Cay is the multicoloured village of jerk stalls and reggae bars. Cabbage Beach on the eastern end of Paradise Island (connected to the city by two bridges) is a well-kept local secret.
There are plenty of varied sights in Nassau, from John Watling's rum distillery tours – complete with tasting samples – to Junkanoo World Museum, where you can discover tribal music and learn about the famous Boxing Day festival of The Bahamas. On Saturdays, head to the farmer's market held in The Island House for local produce. The Retreat National Park is a green space in the middle of Nassau and has over 170 species of palms that you can wander between. Or you can hire a private boat and tour the pristine beaches of outlying islands.
To get to Nassau, fly to Lynden Pindling International Airport, a 20-minute taxi ride from downtown. If you're travelling by ferry you'll arrive in Potter's Cay Dock, which is walkable to downtown. Public transport around Nassau is by jitney (minibus). Flag these down on the street and pay your fare when you get off. To reach Paradise Island, take a water taxi from Prince George Wharf – they leave every 30 minutes.