With its compact city center and mix of historic pastel-hued buildings, lively bars, and sandy beaches, Nassau is easy to explore in just one day. Here’s how to make the most of 24 hours in the Bahamian capital city.
Elizabeth Ave, Nassau
This steep staircase was built to serve as a direct-access shortcut to Fort Fincastle (New Providence Island’s highest point, on Bennet’s Hill) in case of attacks by the Caribbean’s marauding pirates in the 1700s. When visiting the stone staircase, take in the remarkable construction done centuries ago—all by hand. To carve the steps, slaves had to cut through rocks with axes and other sharp hand tools.
The Queen’s Staircase is included on most Nassau highlights tours that visit the island’s most historic sights. With a tour guide, visit other Nassau attractions such as Fort Charlotte, Rawson Square, and Cable Beach via traditional ground transportation or an all-terrain vehicle. Tours and shore excursions leave regularly from Nassau city or the cruise ship terminal.
Things to Know Before You Go
The Queen’s Staircase is a must-see for all visitors to Nassau.
The limestone steps of the Queen’s Staircase are steep and a tough climb, suitable only for those with full mobility and proper footwear.
The staircase can be slick after a rain, so be careful. (The Bahamas’ rainy season is June through November.)
If the 65-step climb sounds daunting, plan to visit Bennet’s Hill and Fort Fincastle first, then walk down the steps from there.
How to Get There
The Queen’s Staircase is located on the northern end of New Providence Island, on Elizabeth Avenue. Use the staircase as a shortcut to Bennet’s Hill and Fort Fincastle.
When to Get There
The staircase is open daily. If you want less populated photos, be sure to show up in the early morning or around sunset when crowds are scarce (they tend to arrive around midday).
Views from Fort Fincastle and Bennet’s Hill
Since Bennet’s Hill is the highest point on the island, it’s a favorite for photographers and those in search of whole island views. From Fort Fincastle’s perch, visitors can see Paradise Island and the mammoth Atlantis, Arawak Cay (home to the famous fish fry), and Ardastra Gardens, among other landmarks.
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- Parliament Square
- Fort Fincastle
- Junkanoo Expo Museum
- Nassau Cruise Port
- Straw Market
- Christ Church Cathedral
- Heritage Museum of the Bahamas
- Pirates of Nassau
- National Art Gallery of the Bahamas (NAGB)
- Nassau Public Library & Museum
- Rose Island
- Marine Habitat at Atlantis
- Aquaventure at Atlantis Paradise Island
- Atlantis, Paradise Island
- Arawak Cay