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Both Antigua and Barbados are popular English Speaking destinations in the Eastern Caribbean well loved by tourists.

In this article, we complete a deep dive into these two Caribbean islands to help you decide which one is better for your upcoming Caribbean vacation.

As general rule, Antigua is the destination of choice for visitors interested in white sand beaches, exploring Caribbean history and swimming with stingrays. Alternatively, Barbados is better for travelers who are interested in a bustling nightlife atmosphere and visiting the iconic Harrison caves.

Read on for further details and explanations on how these two beautiful Caribbean islands compare. Contribution to this article was made by Caribbean national who visited both of these islands in excess of three times.

Antigua Vs Barbados: Which Island Is Bigger

Antigua is the slightly larger of the two islands being 169.9 square miles with the highest point of elevation being Boggy Peak which stands at an elevation of 1,319 feet.

Barbados a little bit smaller with a landmass of 166 square miles. The highest point of elevation is Mt Hillaby which stands at 1,120 feet.

The island became a Republic on November 30th, 2021.

Antigua Vs Barbados: Does The Currency Differ

The official currency of both islands differs. The official currency used in Barbados is the Barbadian dollar.

USD $1 is equivalent to BBD$2 and is also pegged to the US Dollar. The Barbadian currency is managed by its own local central bank.

Contrastingly, the official currency of Antigua is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar. This currency is also shared by seven other Caribbean Islands with the central bank located on the island of St Kitts.

Antigua Vs Barbados: Which Island Has Better Beaches

If beaches are a high priority during your vacation, then Antigua is the destination that you should choose.

The island is fondly known for having 365 beaches, one for each day of the year. 

To help visitors choose among its many beaches, the Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority launched a beach personality quiz.

Feel free to visit the page to find the perfect beach for you.

One of the most popular beaches in Antigua is Dickenson Bay which is a hot spot for locals and visitors alike.

Its shallow and calm waters make it an ideal spot for water sports such as paddle boarding.

Likewise, there are also lovely beaches in Barbados. The award winning Crane Beach and Miami Beach are two of the main spots loved by both locals and foreigners alike

Antigua Vs Barbados: Which Island Has The Better Nightlife

Barbados has the better nightlife of the two destinations.

There are a broader range of restaurants, golf courses, clubs, casinos and other forms of entertainment especially on the South Coast.

Additionally, in Barbados, Oistins also provides a lively venue for visitors and locals to meet and relax on the beachfront every Friday evening.

Contrastingly, Antigua and Grenada offers a much slower pace of life.

Shirley’s Heights Lookout is a well-known spot in Antigua on Sunday evenings for entertainment. There is usually a live band with drinks and food available for purchase.

Some of the other popular nightlife spots on the island are The Lime and Tryst Nightclub, Bar and Restaurant.

Antigua Vs Barbados – What Are The Unique Things To Do

Unique Things To Do In Antigua

Visit Laviscount Island- enjoy a getaway to a private island which is home to Giant Aldabra Tortoises. Animal lovers will truly enjoy feeding and interacting with the tortoises on this island.

Swim With Stingrays– enjoy swimming and snorkeling in beautiful waters of Antigua with friendly stingrays. There are also amazing coral reefs and several species of fishes that you can enjoy at the pool.

Visit Nelson’s Dockyard- delve into the history of the island by visiting Nelson’s Dockyard where there are modern conveniences such as shops and marina businesses.

This dockyard allows visitors to enjoy the park’s beauty.  There is also the dockyard museum which provides deep insight into the dockyard’s history and current research on the island.

Unique Things To Do In Barbados

Harrison Caves-, Barbados has a cave where you can enjoy a tour inside. There are stalactite and stalagmite formation.

There is a bar and a gift shop on the property for added entertainment. Be sure and wear clothes that are comfortable and walk with a change of clothing if you want to go elsewhere.

UNESCO Heritage Site- Bridgetown and its Garrison have been designated as a UNESCO Heritage site due to its excellent architecture.

These buildings were constructed in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries and were well preserved until today. Some of the 30 sites and attractions include:-

  • Barbados Museum & Historical Society
  • National Heroes Gallery & Museum of Parliament
  • George Washington House & Museum

Sandy Lane Gold Cup- is one of the biggest horse racing event in the Eastern Caribbean.

The race usually occurs every March at the Garrison Savannah which attracts jockeys, trainers and thoroughbred from other Caribbean islands and around the world.

Final Thoughts

On a whole, Antigua is a good choice for individuals who love exploring the island’s many beaches. On the other hand, Barbados is an exceptional choice for a traveler who is seeking a more developed island with an interest in horse racing and enjoying white sand beaches.

Need More Information?

Feel free to browse our website for more content on the Antigua, Barbados and the Caribbean by using the search bar located at the top of this page. The following are some of our articles which we believe may be suitable for you.

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Antigua Vs St Kitts (Which Island Is Better For A Vacation)

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Antigua Vs Anguilla (Which Island Is Better For A Vacation)

Antigua Vs Curacao (Which Island Is Better For a Vacation)



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