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Nassau is the gritty, vivacious alter ego to the relaxed character of most of the Bahamas. The country's only city, it teems with haring jitneys, bawling straw-goods vendors, rum-happy locals and endless waves of cruise-ship passengers.

It's appropriate that Nassau has some hustle to it – it's been a redoubt of hustlers for centuries. From the 18th-century pirates who blew their doubloons on women and wine to the Confederate steamers smuggling cargo past the Union blockade during the American Civil War, the city has long sheltered daring dodgers on the make. The make-a-buck spirit of this global tax haven animates the duty-free shops and cigar salesmen of Bay St, while the historic wealth of the ruling classes finds tangible expression in grand, Georgian government buildings and homes. Whether you come to shop, eat, party or sightsee, Nassau is the place for a dose of urban excitement.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Nassau.

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