Beginning of main content

Rawson Square

One of Nassau’s most important crossroads, this shady square is a bustling hub traversed by government workers, vendors, musicians and tourists.

Rawson Square is the heart of Nassau and an ideal starting point for exploring the city. This small cobblestone square is lined with colonial-style government buildings and serves as the site for numerous events and festivities. Check out the interesting monuments dotted around the square or have your hair braided at the open-air pavilion.

Look for a bronze bust depicting Sir Milo Butler in the center of the square. The former shopkeeper became a prominent politician in the years leading up to Bahamian independence and went on to become the first native Bahamian governor general of the independent nation.

View the unassuming Churchill Building on the south side of the square. This building was used by controversial Prime Minister Lynden Pindling for more than 25 years until he was ousted in 1992 and is now used by the current prime minister and other government agencies.

Stroll to the west side of the square to find horse-drawn surreys, which will take you on a half-hour ride through Nassau’s streets for a fee. You’ll also see an open-air hair-braiding pavilion between the square and Festival Place, where you can have your hair styled. Note the life-sized bronze statue of a woman holding a small child, which honors the role of Bahamian women in society.

The north end of the square connects to the Woodes Rodgers Walk. Stroll here and browse the market stalls selling fresh fish and produce along the harbor. Stop for a drink at one of the cute cafés and watch tourists from cruise boats searching for souvenirs.

Plan your visit to coincide with the annual Junkanoo festivities, which are held on Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and in the summer. During this time, the square is particularly colorful as thousands of locals and tourists crowd here to watch an elaborate parade that runs from after midnight until the following morning.

Find Rawson Square on the south side of Bay Street, where it connects to Prince George Wharf. The wharf is the docking point for many large cruise ships. Reach the square on foot from most other areas of town.


Guide to Exploring around Rawson Square


Trip Type
Flight 1
Flight 2
Flight 3
Flight 4
Flight 5
Map

Lodging Near Rawson Square

See all 101 Hotels near Rawson Square
$89
British Colonial Hilton - Nassau

British Colonial Hilton - Nassau

Number One Bay St, Nassau
3.9
of 5, from 1,355 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Serving as the island's social and business hub, the 288-room beachfront hotel is across from the Straw Market and 5 blocks from Parliament Square. A seaside dining village known as Arawak Cay Fish Fry is 500 yards (457 meters) west of the hotel.

$200
Comfort Suites Paradise Island

Comfort Suites Paradise Island

Paradise Island Drive, Paradise Island
4.0
of 5, from 2,557 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

This casual, all-junior suite property provides guests access to Atlantis and full use of their resort facilities just one block away, and two golf courses are a mile away.

$155
Courtyard by Marriott Nassau Downtown/Junkanoo Beach

Courtyard by Marriott Nassau Downtown/Junkanoo Beach

West Bay Street, Nassau
3.7
of 5, from 80 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Offering direct access to the beach, this Nassau resort is within 1 mi (2 km) of Junkanoo Beach and Fort Fincastle. Cabbage Beach is 3 mi (4.8 km) away.

$127
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Nassau

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Nassau

West Bay Street At Nassau Street, Nassau
4.0
of 5, from 6 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of Nassau, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Junkanoo Beach and Fort Fincastle. Cabbage Beach is 2.9 mi (4.7 km) away.

$418
The Cove Atlantis, Autograph Collection

The Cove Atlantis, Autograph Collection

Paradise Beach Drive, Paradise Island
4.4
of 5, from 769 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

Perched above 2 gorgeous white-sand beaches, this all-suite luxury resort stands amid lush landscaping, shimmering waterfalls, freshwater pools, and an enclave within the wonders of the Atlantis Resort.

$110
El Greco Hotel

El Greco Hotel

West Bay St. & Augusta St., Nassau
2.7
of 5, from 241 reviews
2.5 out of 5.0

Offering direct access to the beach, this Nassau hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of National Art Gallery of the Bahamas and Fort Fincastle. Cabbage Beach is 2.9 mi (4.6 km) away.

Towne Hotel

Towne Hotel

40, George Street, Nassau
3.0
of 5, from 76 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Situated near the beach, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Government House and Fort Fincastle. Cabbage Beach is 2.6 mi (4.2 km) away.

Atlantis Royal Towers, Autograph Collection

Atlantis Royal Towers, Autograph Collection

Paradise Beach Drive, Paradise Island
4.1
of 5, from 2,236 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

These spire-topped towers contain 1,201 rooms and embody the Lost Continent theme offered by the water-park and marine-life Atlantis resort on Paradise Island, which connects by bridge to Nassau.