Welcome to Nassau, the capital and largest city of the Bahamas! With a population of over 246,000, Nassau is the centre of commerce, education, law, administration, and media of the country. It is located on the island of New Providence and is commonly defined as a primate city, dwarfing all other towns in the country. Nassau is a popular tourist destination due to its tropical climate, natural environment, and rich history. Let’s explore what this beautiful city has to offer!
Nassau was founded in 1670 by British noblemen who brought British settlers with them to New Providence. They built a fort and named it Charles Town in honour of England’s King Charles II. During this time, there were frequent wars with the Spanish, and Charles Town was used as a base for privateering against them. In 1684, the town was burned to the ground during the Raid on Charles Town. It was rebuilt in 1695 under Governor Nicholas Trott and renamed Nassau in honour of King William III, who belonged to a branch of the House of Nassau. The name Nassau ultimately derives from the town of Nassau in Germany. Nassau was considered historically to be a stronghold of pirates, and the city was the site of the House of Assembly and various judicial departments.
Located on New Providence Island, Nassau’s harbour has a blend of old world and colonial architecture, and a busy port. The tropical climate and natural environment of the Bahamas have made Nassau an attractive tourist destination. Nassau developed directly behind the port area. New Providence provides 200 km2 of relatively flat and low-lying land intersected by low ridges. In the centre of the island, there are several shallow lakes that are tidally connected. The city’s proximity to the United States has contributed to its popularity as a holiday resort, especially after the United States imposed a ban on travel to Cuba in 1963. The Atlantis resort on nearby Paradise Island accounts for more tourist arrivals to the city than any other hotel property of Nassau. The mega-resort employs over 6,000 Bahamians and is the largest employer outside of the government.
Nassau has a tropical savanna climate, bordering on a tropical monsoon climate, with hot wet summers and mild dry winters. Temperatures are relatively consistent throughout the course of the year. During the wet season from May through October, average daytime high temperatures are 30–32 °C (86–90 °F), while during the dry season from November through April daytime temperatures are between 25 and 27 °C (77 and 81 °F), rarely falling below 15 °C (59 °F).
During the 19th century, Nassau became urbanized, attracting rural residents. Growth since the 1950s has been outwards from the town. The city centre is the hub for all activities in Nassau. Thousands of people visit daily, to shop, dine, sightsee and to enjoy the tropical climate of the city. While the busiest part of central city is the Bay Street thoroughfare and the Woodes Rogers Walk, located across the street from the port and parallel to Bay, the area extends for several blocks in each direction. Cable Beach is recognized as the hotel district of Nassau. Five hotels—two of which are all-inclusive—are located on this strip. The area is also known for its dining, with most of the areas restaurants located in the hotels or across the street. There is a bit of shopping, most of it located in the Wyndham and at Baha Mar. In 2017, the development of Baha Mar, a luxury resort and casino, brought more than 2,000 hotel rooms and the largest gaming and convention facility in the Caribbean to this section of New Providence Island.
Nassau had a population of 128,420 females and 117,909 males and was home to 70,222 households with an average family size of 3.5 according to the 2010 census. Nassau’s large population in relation to the remainder of the Bahamas is the result of waves of immigration from the Family Islands to the capital. Consequently, this has led to the decline in the population of the lesser developed islands and the rapid growth of Nassau.
Lynden Pindling International Airport, the major airport for the Bahamas, is located about 16 km (9.9 mi) west of the city centre of Nassau, and has daily flights to major cities in Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and the United States. The city is also accessible by sea, with several cruise lines making regular stops in Nassau. Taxis and buses are available for transportation within the city.
In conclusion, Nassau is a beautiful city with a rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and mouthwatering local cuisine. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach vacation or an adventure-filled trip, Nassau has something for everyone. Come and experience the beauty of this tropical paradise for yourself!