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Bahamas

If you’re travelling to the Bahamas, our travel advice and updates give you practical tips and useful information. 

Get travel and medical insurance

Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.

Overview

Security status

We advise Irish citizens in the Bahamas to take normal precautions.  

Our advice

Emergency assistance

Because there is no Irish Embassy in the Bahamas we are limited in the help we can offer you in an emergency situation. However, if you need assistance, you can contact the Honorary Consulate in Nassau or the Irish Embassy in Ottawa.

Other EU embassies

You can also contact the Embassies or Consulates of other EU countries for emergency consular assistance, advice and support.  

Our tips for safe travels:

  • Purchase comprehensive travel insurance which covers all your intended activities.
  • Add an alert for your destination within the Travelwise App.
  • Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly if there’s an unforeseen crisis like a natural disaster or a family emergency.
  • Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates.
  • Read our ‘Know Before You Go’ guide.

Safety and security

Terrorism

Although the threat from terrorism in Bahamas is low, there is still a global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by tourists and expatriates.

Crime

Crime remains relatively low in Bahamas but you should take sensible precautions:

•Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place.

•Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home.

•Avoid showing large sums of money in public and don’t use ATMs after dark, especially if you’re alone. Check no one has followed you after conducting your business.

•Avoid dark and unlit streets and stairways, and arrange to be picked up or dropped off as close to your hotel or apartment entrance as possible.

•Keep a close eye on your personal belongings and hold on to them in public places such as internet cafés, train and bus stations.

Petty theft

Beware of pickpockets, muggers and bag snatchers, especially in areas where large numbers of people crowd together. Keep all valuables safe, secure and out of sight.

It’s not advisable to walk outside the main hotels, tourist areas, beaches and downtown Nassau, particularly after dark. The motive for attacks on tourists is usually robbery. In such cases, don’t attempt to resist.

Reporting crime

If you’re a victim of a crime while in the Bahamas, report it to the local police immediately. And you can contact us at the Irish Embassy in Ottawa.

Driving

If you’re planning to drive in the Bahamas, you should be extremely careful. Traffic keeps to the left as in Ireland, however, most vehicles in the Bahamas are imported from the United States and are therefore left hand drive. If you want to drive:

Bring your international or full Irish driving licence and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance

•Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law and you risk being detained, fined or banned from driving if caught

•Keep your vehicle doors locked and your bags kept out of sight to prevent opportunistic bag-snatching if you’re stopped at traffic lights

Hiring a vehicle

If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.

Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).

Taxis

Visitors should use only clearly marked taxis with yellow license plates.

Hurricane season

The hurricane season in the Caribbean normally runs from July to October. You should pay close attention to local and international weather reports and follow the advice of local authorities. Always monitor local and international weather updates for the region by accessing, for example, the Weather Channel, or the US National Hurricane Centre website.

Local laws and customs

Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or may even be illegal.

Illegal drugs

Illegal drug use (no matter what the drug) carries stiff penalties, including fines and long prison terms.

Health

Vaccinations

Check with your doctor well in advance of travelling to see if you need any vaccinations for this country.

Entry requirements (visa/passport)

Irish citizens don’t need a visa to enter the Bahamas. However, if you’re unsure of the entry requirements, including visa and other immigration information, ask your travel agent or contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of the Bahamas. You can also check with them how long your passport must be valid for.

Banking

The Bahamian Dollar is the official local currency.  Irish ATM cards displaying the Maestro and Cirrus symbols can usually be used in ATMs in the Bahamas, but you should confirm this with your bank before departing.  US dollars are widely accepted but you may get change in the form of Bahamian currency.