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Things to do in Antigua and Barbuda

Things to do in  Antigua and Barbuda

Welcome to Antigua and Barbuda

Nicknamed the Land of 365 Beaches, Antigua and Barbuda are a sun-and-sand destination for travelers worldwide. Part of the Leeward Islands in the Lesser Antilles, these twin islands are located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. They are popular destinations for cruise travelers, and shore excursions that guarantee on-time return to your ship can help you make the most of your time in port. For travelers who plan to linger longer, tours that include hotel pickup and drop-off minimize planning and maximize convenience. Antigua remains strongly influenced by its past British colonization; nowhere is this more apparent than in the capital of St. John’s, where colorful colonial buildings line the streets. A sightseeing tour of this city combines a visit to the local produce market with duty-free shopping at Heritage Quay shopping complex. Or go more in-depth with a sightseeing tour of the entire island: An island tour hits all the highlights of Antigua, including a stop at English Harbour, the historic district that houses Nelson’s Dockyard and where salty seagoing vessels and luxe yachts bob in cerulean waters. With bird’s-eye views over the whole island, Shirley Heights is a great place to catch the sunset. Barbuda, a string of pristine sandy shores located just a few nautical miles away, has a mellower vibe than Antigua. On both islands, opportunities to get out on the water abound, from yachting excursions to snorkeling (Cades Reef is a popular spot), swimming, and beachcombing.

Top 10 attractions in Antigua and Barbuda

#1
Nelson's Dockyard National Park

Nelson's Dockyard National Park

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One of the best historical sites on Antigua, Nelson's Dockyard National Park has been at the center of Antiguan activity since the first settlers arrived in 500 BC. Today, the centerpiece of the park is the actual dockyard itself, originally developed as a base for the British Navy in 1725. It is now home to old ships and numerous historical artifacts.More
#2
St. John's Anglican Cathedral (St. John the Divine)

St. John's Anglican Cathedral (St. John the Divine)

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Finished in 1848, St. John's Anglican Cathedral (St. John the Divine), an impressive freestone structure, serves as a reminder of Antigua's European roots. Built in the neo-baroque style, the cathedral seems out of place on the Caribbean island, with its iron fence, stained-glass windows and two lofty towers with cupolas on top.The 70-foot (21-meter) towers serve as distinctive landmarks of the island, as they are the first structures that people see when approaching Antigua by boat. While the view is impressive to some, the sight of the towers once struck fear into the hearts of slaves who were arriving, as it reminded them of the oppressive power of the British who ruled over Antigua.Stop by the cathedral and see the famed bronze statues of the two St Johns: St John the Baptist and the St. John who the temple was named after. The stoic, European look of the cathedral is a unique departure from the relaxed ocean vibe of this Caribbean island.More
#3
Heritage Quay

Heritage Quay

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If you’re in the mood for duty-free and high-end shopping on Antigua, Heritage Quay is the place to find good prices on luxury items. This shopping complex has dozens of shops selling everything from Rolex watches and diamond jewelry to duty-free cigars and liquor, not to mention designer clothes, cosmetics, electronics and more. Throughout the shopping center you’ll spot troupes of local performers playing steel pan music. You’ll need to show a passport and travel documents to take advantage of the duty-free shopping. There is also an arcade where vendors sell T-shirts, souvenirs and local arts and crafts, and can negotiate deals if you’re willing to haggle. A food court features a wide-range of bars and restaurants, from pizzas and island dishes, to seafood.More
#4
Fort James

Fort James

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One of the best places to go on the island if you want fantastic views of the shimmering Caribbean waters, Fort James sits in an ideal position overlooking St John's Harbor. Built by the British in 1706 to protect the harbor, the fort was intended to prevent the French from invading the island.Today, come and see the cannons, powder magazine, and foundation of the wall, the remainders of the fort. The true highlight of a visit to Fort James, however, is the unbeatable view of St. John's Harbor. With its bright blue waters, nestled among towering cliffs and the picturesque town of St. John's, the harbor is truly one of the most beautiful sites Antigua and Barbuda has to offer.More
#5
Devil's Bridge National Park

Devil's Bridge National Park

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Don't be scared away by its rather ominous name. Devil's Bridge National Park is one of the most unique natural sites that you can see, not just in Antigua, but perhaps ever. Devil's Bridge is a natural arch carved by the sea out of the soft and hard limestone ledges of the cliffs. As enormous breakers from the Atlantic repeatedly assaulted the rocks throughout the years, they eventually eroded away a soft part of limestone to create a bridge-like arch.The bridge gained its name from the tragic events that took place there long ago. Supposedly, slaves would hurl themselves off the bridge into the rough waters below in an attempt to escape from their enslaved lives. It was soon said that the Devil must be present there.Today the bridge is free from such tragedy, but is still a hauntingly beautiful place to visit. With the wild surrounding shrubbery and huge howling waves, there is an almost frighteningly rugged natural beauty to the bridge and its surrounding area.More
#6
Shirley Heights

Shirley Heights

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With panoramic views of the small island and the vast Caribbean, Shirley Heights is Antigua’s most popular lookout point. Visitors often go up for views of the sunset and stay for live music and drinks at the on-site bar and restaurant.More
#7
Betty's Hope Historic Sugar Plantation

Betty's Hope Historic Sugar Plantation

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On the Caribbean island of Antigua, Betty’s Hope is a former sugar plantation established by Sir Christopher Codrington in the 1600s. Now a museum and historic landmark, the site is dedicated to the memory and lives of the slaves who endured inhumane hardships on the island.More
#8
Cades Reef

Cades Reef

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Just off the coast of Antigua sits Cades Reef, an underwater park and one of the island’s best snorkeling and diving spots. With clear visibility and a wide variety of sea creatures, a trip to the reef makes an exciting family-friendly break from the beach.More
#9
Museum of Antigua and Barbuda

Museum of Antigua and Barbuda

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Located in Antigua's capital city, the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda is the place to learn more about the nation's history and cultural legacy. The museum is housed in the Colonial Court House, built in 1747, making it the oldest building still in use in the city. Through its numerous engaging exhibits, the museum tells the story of the nation, from its geological birth to political independence.More
#10
Stingray City Antigua

Stingray City Antigua

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With hundreds of gigantic stingray gliding amid vibrant coral reefs and schools of tropical fish, Stingray City is the best place in Antigua to spot wild stingrays in their natural environment. Dive into the warm Caribbean waters to swim and snorkel in an area known for its southern stingrays and learn more about the magnificent creatures and their conservation.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 1 Day in St. John’s

How to Spend 1 Day in St. John’s

How to Spend 3 Days in Antigua

How to Spend 3 Days in Antigua

Recent reviews from experiences in Antigua and Barbuda

star-5
Great transportation experience
Michelle_F, Jul 2021
Round-Trip Transfer between Antigua Airport and Antigua Hotels
All the staff were wonderful and welcoming, ask them for recommendations on what to do while in Antigua!
star-5
Must do!
Eman_K, Jul 2021
Adventure Antigua - Eli's Original Eco Tour
This really was the perfect way to see some of Antigua’s most beautiful sites.
star-5
BEST. EXCURSION. EVER!
Erin_W, May 2021
Snorkeling and Sightseeing Tour of Antigua
Turtles are such unique and majestic creatures and it can be very rare to find them so we couldn't be more thrilled considering it is never a guarantee to see them but Johnny definitely had an eye for spotting them!
star-5
A honeymoon memory and experience we will never forget!
Andrew_I, May 2021
Turtle Beach Power Snorkeling Adventure
Once we got to the beach where we’d be snorkeling he explained everything we’d be doing and what to do.
star-5
Perfect day!
Larry_T, Apr 2021
SoCoHo Half Day Jeep Safari- Mangrove Kayak & Reef Snorkeling
I would highly recommend this tour to anyone who wants to see Antigua outside of the "resort".
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Antigua tour
Derek_C, Oct 2020
Antigua VIP Tours - Private Platinum Tour
The bad news was lots of attractions were closed.
star-5
Wonderful Antigua Outdoor Adventure Tour
Seaycollins2, Feb 2020
Biking, Kayaking and Hiking Activity in Antigua
A nice assortment of outdoor activities expertly led by Giles and Mark.
star-5
Wonderful tour!
Sarah G, Jul 2019
Outback Antigua Tour
She made sure we saw the sights we wanted to see while getting a taste on Antiguan culture!
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We were lucky to get Gregory as our...
michael_M, Jan 2018
Antigua Shore Excursion: Round Island Tour
Loved English Harbor.
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You get to see alot of the island...
Peter D, Sep 2012
Island Safari 4x4 Discovery Tour from St John's
You get to see alot of the island from this tour.
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St John‘s visit
MarieChristine_G, May 2020
City of St John's Sightseeing Tour
My husband and I decided to book this tour to visit Antigua’s capitol with a guide who could tell us about the city’s history.
star-5
A pulse-driving tour that shows you areas of Antigua not easily accessed by other means.
John_D, Mar 2020
St. Mary's Mud Buggy Experience
He even took us to a new area on our second tour, which was cool to see another side of Antigua.
star-5
Fabulous outing in Antigua
Susan_N, Feb 2020
Turtle Beach Power Snorkeling Adventure
The snorkeling was epic - we were able to see tons of gorgeous fish and a few turtles.
star-5
The perfect activity for a day in Antigua!
peterplandini, Dec 2019
Biking, Kayaking and Hiking Activity in Antigua
So with a little swimming, it may actually count as 4 activities!
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