Well hello there everyone! I’m fresh back off an INCREDIBLE cruise on board MSC Seaside (shall I do a blog on it!?) and one of my favourite ports of call was Nassau in the Bahamas. The Bahamas have always been a bucket list destination for me. I think that is the case for a lot of people and I was thrilled that our Western Caribbean cruise had this sneaky Eastern stop off.
Nassau, the capital city of the Bahamas is on New Providence Island and it is known for its incredible turquoise, crystal clear waters, colonial style buildings and its excellent snorkelling and beaches. We decided that for our day in Nassau that we would explore the town by ourselves, therefore not on an escorted tour. I had done my research prior to travelling and quickly found that Nassau was a really great port of call for exploring on foot.
In this blog post I am going to take you through all there is to do and see throughout the town. While there are many opportunities to take tours to nearby areas such as Paradise Island, I’m going to keep my Nassau in a day recommendations to those you can do by foot from the port! This is your Nassau Bahamas one day guide!
Port of Nassau Bahamas
What I loved about Nassau as a port of call, is that our ship docked right in the town. Once we disembarked MSC Seaside, we were through the port in about ten minutes. The walkway is lovely to the port entrance/exit and its so much fun watching the other ships which have docked for the day. The day we were in Nassau, we got to see Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas, which I’ve been on as well and wrote a review about HERE, and we also got to see Disney Magic, which I was on in Dublin last year! There was also a Carnival Cruise ship but I’m not sure which one, it looked like a total banger next to the other three stunning ships lol!
The Port of Nassau itself has lots going on as you enter it. Little stalls scatter the area and sell everything from t-shirts to tacos and there are also a lot of people trying to sell tours. We ventured through without stopping and headed for the town.
Parliament Square, Nassau Bahamas
Parliament Square was the first area of Nassau we met when we exited the port, it was gorgeous! Surrounded by beautiful, pastel painted buildings, this square created a wonderful first impression for us. The Square was constructed in 1815 by the loyalists, and it is home to the famous pink flamingo coloured Government buildings.
Shopping on Bay Street, Nassau Bahamas
Bay Street is the main street in Nassau and it sits just minutes from the cruise port. This busy street felt somewhat Americanised as it housed some of America’s biggest brands such as Alex and Ani and Pandora, as well as many diamond shops, souvenir shops and more. The Straw Market is a popular spot as well on Bay Street to purchase some local produce. We didn’t shop on this trip but we did follow the street as it was a nice, entertaining walk and full of life.
The Queens Staircase, Nassau Bahamas
We did what any good tourist would do in a new place once we had the chance, we went to McDonald’s for free WiFi so we could research what was nearby to explore! What we found was one of the highlights of my entire cruise, the breathtaking Queens Staircase!
The Queens Staircase, also known as the 66 steps is a free attraction in Nassau and it is a must do. Just a short 15 minute walk from Bay Street/Port area, the Queens Staircase is located right next to Fort Fincastle, an old Fort which offers spectacular views over the town and port of Nassau. The Queens Staircase was created out of solid limestone rock by slaves between 1793 and 1794 and they were named in honour of Queen Victoria. The steps are one of the most stunning places I’ve ever been and I was so happy we ventured off the beaten track to find them. We also felt totally safe doing this so I really recommend you check them out on your trip to Nassau.
Junkanoo Beach, Nassau Bahamas
After our walk around Nassau and our adventure to the Queens Staircase, we were 100% certain we needed to go for a swim in the stunning waters of the Bahamas. Again, we didn’t want to have to pay to go to a beach as we wanted to spend our day on a budget so we decided to walk to Junkanoo Beach. Junkanoo Beach is about a 15 minute walk from the Port of Nassau and about a 30 minute walk from the Queens Staircase. When we arrived, the beach was jam packed and there was a brilliant atmosphere. We quickly got the suncream on and went straight for the water, which was glorious! Like a bath!
What I would say about Junkanoo Beach is that it is not a beach to visit if you want to relax, it is lively, there is music and there are A LOT of people. We didn’t want to spend time relaxing here so it was perfect for us to go for a quick swim before we headed back to the ship for lunch. The water was the nicest we had seen all week on the cruise and it was exactly how I pictured the waters of the Bahamas.
Our morning of strolling and adventure took us up to lunch time and were happy to head back on board MSC Seaside to have our lunch. We love getting back on the ship before the majority of people as we enjoy a quiet dip in the pool without to many around.
All in all, we adored our day in Nassau and I was so happy with the sights we got to see and the experiences we enjoyed. I highly recommend getting off and exploring the city by yourself if you are visiting on a cruise holiday. You won’t be disappointed!