Nassau Paradise Island

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Travel Tips & What You Need to Know

Practical Information for Nassau Paradise Island

From car rentals and customs to time zones and traveling with children, find what you need to know when you’re traveling in paradise. Here’s our A to Z guide for you while you’re in The Bahamas:

  • AUTOMOBILE RENTAL

    If you decide to rent a car, please remember that driving in Nassau Paradise Island is on the left side of the road. Car rental companies located at the Nassau International Airport are:
    Avis (800) 230-4898
    Budget (800) 472-3325
    Dollar 800) 800-3665
    Hertz (800) 654-3001

    CLIMATE

    Thanks to the warm Gulf Stream currents and trade winds, the islands of The Bahamas are blessed with a semi-tropical climate. Typical temperatures range from 70° to 80° Fahrenheit. Rarely does it climb above 90°F on a midsummer’s day or fall below 60°F on a winter’s night, and water temperatures range from the low 80’s in the summer to about 74°F in midwinter.

    CURRENCY & BANKING

    The legal tender is the Bahamian dollar, which is equivalent in value to the U.S. dollar. U.S. currency is accepted throughout Nassau Paradise Island, as are most major credit cards and traveler’s checks.

    Banking hours are Monday through Thursday, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) are located at both Paradise Island and Cable Beach casinos, Rawson Square, major banks and in most hotels.

    CUSTOMS

    U.S. citizens out of the country for 48 hours are allowed up to $800 worth of duty-free merchandise. Less than 48 hours, the duty-free exemption is $200. Limitations include 32 ounces of tobacco for those over 21 and no more than two liters of alcohol.

    Canadian residents away for seven or more days are entitled to $750 worth of duty-free goods. Limitations include two pounds of manufactured tobacco and up to 40 ounces of liquor or wine. If traveling for 48 hours the duty-free exemption is $400 worth of merchandise.

    To make traveling easier, consider packing things you’re going to declare separately and keep all your sales receipts.

    DRINKING WATER

    Tap water in Nassau Paradise Island is safe to drink, but bottled water is readily available throughout the island.

    ELECTRICITY

    With standard North American 120-volt/60-cycle AC electrical current, you will be able to operate American or Canadian hairdryers, shavers and other small electrical appliances without adapters.

    ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS

    Nassau Paradise Island is one of the few Caribbean destinations that provides pre-clearance for U.S. Customs and Immigration services, allowing flights from Nassau Paradise Island to enter the United States and bypass the normal U.S. Customs and Immigration clearance encountered on most returns from an international destination.

    If you are a U.S. citizen, you will need a valid U.S. Passport for re-entry into the United States. The Bahamian Government may also require proof of return airline ticket and sufficient funds to support your stay. Please be aware that a voter registration or certified birth certificate is no longer accepted as proof of U.S. citizenship. If you do not have a passport, please visit www.travel.state.gov for the most current information about the passport application process.

    Upon arriving in Nassau Paradise Island, everyone must fill out and sign an immigration form, keeping a portion of the card in hand until departing. An oral baggage declaration is required.

    HOLIDAYS

    Banks, businesses and many shops are closed on the following public government holidays and some close early the day before:

    • New Year’s Day (January 1)
    • Good Friday (Friday before Easter)
    • Easter Sunday (Same as in the U.S.)
    • Easter Monday (Monday after Easter Sunday)
    • Whit Monday (Seventh Monday after Easter)
    • Labour Day (First Friday in June)
    • Bahamas Independence Day (July 10)
    • Emancipation Day (First Monday in August)
    • Discovery Day (October 12)
    • Christmas Day (December 25)
    • Boxing Day (December 26)

    Note: Holidays falling on a Saturday or Sunday are usually celebrated on the following Monday.

  • HOTEL CHECK-IN/CHECK-OUT

    Hotel check-in time is generally 3 p.m. and check-out time is 11 a.m. If you expect to arrive before check-in time, plan to have a swimsuit and change of casual clothes handy, as most hotels have a changing room and luggage storage for early arrivals. The same applies with late departure flights.

    LANGUAGE

    English (more British than American) is the national language of The Bahamas and is intertwined with an appealing Bahamian dialect.

    MEDICAL FACILITIES

    Internationally trained doctors are available at the hotels and throughout the Nassau Paradise Island. Two hospitals are fully equipped to respond to emergency medical situations. Princess Margaret Hospital and Doctor’s Hospital are both located in located Nassau.

    ON-ISLAND TRANSPORTATION

    Taxis are located outside the hotels and may also be hired by the hour. From the Nassau airport taxi rates are approximately $27 to downtown Nassau, $18 to Cable Beach and $33 to Paradise Island—plus the bridge toll. Fares are based on two passengers; there is an additional charge for extra passengers and extra luggage.

    Ferry boats (water taxis) can take you between Nassau and Paradise Island while at the same time giving you a waterfront view of Nassau Harbour. Tickets can be purchased at the tour desk at Festival Place and at Woodes Rogers Wharf right next door. Tickets cost about $6 per person and the trip is approximately 10 minutes each way. Ferries leave every half hour on the hour from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

    Buses, known locally as “jitneys”, run in downtown Nassau and Cable Beach several times a day. The cost for a one-way ride is approximately $1.50 per person, and exact change is required. Pay as you exit the bus.

    TELEPHONE, TELEVISION & INTERNET ACCESS

    We offer direct-dial telephone service worldwide and satellite television capabilities so that many of our hotels and resorts can offer guests their favorite shows, sporting events and movie channels. High-speed Internet access is also available at most of our hotels.

    TIME ZONE

    Eastern Standard Time is used on all islands. From the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November, The Bahamas recognizes Daylight Saving Time, in conjunction with the U.S.

    TIPPING

    Restaurants and hotels automatically add 15% to all food and beverage checks in lieu of gratuity. For exceptional service you may wish to leave something extra. Bellboys, doormen and porters usually receive $2 per bag. Taxi drivers should be tipped about 15% of the fare.

    TRAVELING WITH CHILDREN

    Children under the age of 12 generally stay free in their parent’s room. Some hotels offer children’s programs and scheduled activities to keep children entertained. Babysitting services are also available upon request and at an additional fee.

    WHAT TO WEAR

    Casual spring and summer dress is appropriate throughout the year. For dining in more elegant and upscale restaurants, casinos and some nightclubs, you may need collared shirts and slacks. Bathing suits are acceptable only on the beach, pool and poolside dining, not on the streets or in restaurants.

    WEDDINGS

    To be wed in The Islands Of The Bahamas, couples must be in residence for 24 hours prior to applying for a marriage license. Birth certificates and a notarized affidavit are required. If appropriate, you’ll also need divorce papers, death certificate of a former spouse and parental consent if under the age of 18. Most hotels are equipped to assist guests with marriage arrangements. Visit our wedding section or contact the Registrar General Office between the hours of 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for more details.

    The Registrar General Office
    Box N-532
    Nassau Bahamas
    242-323-0594 or 0595 or 0596

    OR

    The Weddings and Honeymoon Unit of the Ministry of Tourism
    1-888-NUPTIAL (687-8425 US callers)
    Email: romance@bahamas.com
    1-800-667-3777 (Canadian callers) or (416) 241-6183