The official language of Antigua and Barbuda is English, though there is also a widely spoken creole that blends English and West African influences. There are also around 10,000 Spanish speakers.
Local specialities include pepperpot, a hearty vegetable and meat stew usually served with fungee (cornmeal and okra dumplings), and goat water, a spicy goat stew.
Fresh seafood is an important part of the local diet, with the catch of the day typically consisting of lobster, snapper or mahi mahi.
Fresh fruit is plentiful, and the Antiguan black pineapple is famous throughout the Caribbean for its exceptionally sweet flavour.
As in the rest of the region, beer and rum are the most popular alcoholic drinks.
Antigua's resorts offer a wide choice of international and local cuisine, and the island has seen both Chinese and Middle Eastern food grow in popularity in recent years.
Tipping in Antigua is discretionary and should reflect the service you have received, though a service charge of 10% is typically added to your bill in hotels and restaurants.
The currency of Antigua and Barbuda is the Eastern Caribbean dollar (EC$ or XCD). Notes are in denominations of EC$100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. Coins are in denominations of EC$2 and EC$1, and 25, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cents.
US dollars are widely accepted on the island, though you will usually be given change in EC dollars, and at a less favourable exchange rate.
Credit cards are widely accepted, and if taking travellers' cheques we recommend taking them in US dollars rather than in sterling, as this will avoid additional exchange rate charges.
Antigua has a fairly good telecommunications infrastructure, so staying in touch should not be a problem. High speed internet is widely available and there's no shortage of WiFi hot spots on the island, too.
The phone code for Antigua is 268 and to dial from the UK is 00 1 268.
Suggested clothing and other items
Antigua is in the tropics, so cool casual cotton clothing is recommended, and if you're planning on dining in some of the more formal restaurants, men should pack a shirt, tie and jacket, and women a smart dress.
It does tend to get cooler at night, so it's also worth popping a jumper or wrap into your suitcase.
Please note that it is against the law to wear camouflage clothing in Antigua (including children) and to carry items made out of camouflage material. These will be confiscated and not returned.
Antigua's spectacular Carnival takes place in July and August, and the final two days of the festivities, which fall on the first Monday and Tuesday of August, are both public holidays.
- January 1st - New Year's Day
- Good Friday
- Easter Monday
- Whit Monday - 50 days after Easter
- Labour Day - first Monday of May
- Carnival final days - first Monday and Tuesday of August
- November 1st - Independence Day
- December 9th - National Heroes Day
- December 25th - Christmas Day
- December 26th - Boxing Day
Our country specialists can advise on any safety concerns you may have. For current information, please refer to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office website.
When to go to Antigua
You’ll find temperature and rainfall information, together with a month-by-month guide on visiting, on our guide for when to go to Antigua.
8½ hours (direct)