Orienting yourself in central Nassau is fairly easy. Bay Street, which runs parallel to the shore, is the main shopping street, filled with an odd mix of expensive jewelry boutiques and souvenir shops. The hill that rises behind Bay St contains most of the Bahamas’ government buildings and company headquarters, while the residential Over-the-Hill district starts on the other side.
By minibus – Minibuses (locally know as jitneys) act as the bus system of Nassau city and New Providence island. Jitneys are found on and near Bay Street. The famous #10 Jitney to Cable Beach loads passengers on George & Bay Streets (in front of McDonalds, across from the British Colonial Hilton). Other jitneys are located on Charlotte & Bay Streets. A bus will typically wait until it’s full before departing. Understanding the various routes can be complex. Many have destinations painted on the bus, but there is no standard as they are run by multiple companies and individuals. Ask around for your destination. Note that there is no jitney that goes to Paradise Island (Atlantis Resort).
Journeys cost $1.25 per person, per ride. A round trip, even if not getting off the bus (ie: sightseeing), is counted as two rides. Payment is received by the driver when disembarking. No change is given, and there is no transfer credit for changing busses. The Jitney is definitely a very inexpensive way to enjoy the local culture. Be aware that the jitneys stop operating between 6 and 7 PM. The only way back to downtown after 7 PM is by taxi which can be quite expensive. The buses (also called Jitneys) are 32-seaters and travel to many parts of the Island. They operate from 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily, except on Sundays when there is limited service. The basic fare is $1 per person and $2 for areas on the outskirts of town. Exact fare is required. The schedule is as follows:
From Bay Street (opposite Parliament Street) to the Eastern end of the Island (including foot of the bridge to Paradise Island) and return — Bus Numbers: 1, 9, 9A, 9B, 19, 21, 21A, 23
From Bay Street (opposite Market Street) to the Marathon Mall and return — Bus Numbers: 1, 1A, 3, 19, 21
From Frederick Street (Bay Street) to Town Center Mall and return — Bus Numbers: 4, 4A, 5, 5A, 6, 6A, 11A, 12, 15, 15A
From Bay Street (George Street) to Cable Beach and return — Bus Numbers: 10, 10A
By taxi – Taxis, often minivans and always identifiable by their yellow license plates and little Gothic blackletter “Taxi” lettering, roam the streets of Nassau. They’re equipped with meters but will usually refuse to use them, so agree on the fare in advance. Expect to pay $15-$20 for even the shortest of trips from downtown to Cable beach.
Rates: $4 (per person, $11 minimum) from Paradise Island to Downtown.
By car – You could also rent a car. All major U.S car rental shops are in Nassau. Worthy of note for travelers from the UK is the very British feel of the roads. Unlike the nearby US, the Nassau roads are left hand drive, have UK road signs and even the odd roundabout.
By scooter – Scooter (small motorcycle) rental is also popular in Nassau.
By bike – Bicycle rental is not popular and not recommended as traffic is bad, there are many blind corners in the old streets of Nassau, and cars drive recklessly and on the left side of the road, which you may not be used to.
By foot – Within downtown Nassau, you could walk around. Distances are very short and a walking tour is a pleasant way of exploring downtown Nassau.
Pirates of the Caribbean • Locations & Activities