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ATMs -- Major banks with ATMs in Nassau include the Royal Bank of Canada (tel. 242/322-8700; www.rbcroyalbank.com), Scotia Bank (tel. 242/356-1517; http://scotiabank.com), and First Caribbean Bank (tel. 242/356-8000; www.firstcaribbeanbank.com). Some accept cards only in the Cirrus network (tel. 800/424-7787; www.mastercard.com), while others take only PLUS (www.visa.com). ATMs at the Paradise Island and Cable Beach casinos dispense quick cash. Be aware that, whereas ATMs within large hotels and casinos tend to dispense U.S. dollars, ATMs within banks and at the airport dispense Bahamian dollars. Since both U.S. and Bahamian currencies are readily accepted anywhere, it's not a crucial issue, but it's a good idea to read the information on the individual ATM before proceeding with your transaction.

Babysitting -- Hotel staff can help you hire an experienced sitter. Expect to pay between $12 and $15 per hour, plus $4 per hour for each additional child.

Dentists -- The Princess Margaret Hospital, on Sands Road (tel. 242/322-2861; www.phabahamas.org), has a dentistry department.

Doctors -- For the best service, go to the Princess Margaret Hospital, on Sands Road (tel. 242/322-2861; www.phabahamas.org).

Drugstores -- In the center of Nassau, Lowes Pharmacy at Palm Dale (tel. 242/322-8594), is your best bet, and it's open Monday to Saturday 8am to 6:30pm. The location is at the Palmdale Shopping Centre between Madeira Street and Alexander Street. Another Lowes Pharmacy is at the Harbour Bay Shopping Centre (tel. 242/393-4813), open Monday to Saturday 8am to 8:30pm and Sunday 9am to 5pm. The location is on East Bay Street (east of the center of Nassau by Fort Montagu and the Nassau Yacht Club).

Emergencies -- Call tel. 911 or 919.

Eyeglass Repair -- The Optique Shoppe, 22 Parliament St., at Shirley Street (tel. 242/322-3910), is convenient to the center of Nassau. Hours are Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm and Saturday from 9am to noon.

Hospitals -- The government-operated Princess Margaret Hospital, on Sands Road (tel. 242/322-2861; www.phabahamas.org), is one of the country's major hospitals. The privately owned Doctors Hospital, 1 Collins Ave. (tel. 242/322-8411), is the region's most modern private healthcare facility.

Hot Lines -- For assistance of any kind, call tel. 242/326-HELP (4357).

Internet Access -- Check out Cyberjack at the Mall on Marathon Road (tel. 242/394-6254), which charges 15¢ per minute to get online using one of its computers or your own laptop. The mall, lying at the intersection with Robinson Road, is 3 miles south of the center of Nassau. Take Mackey Street to Wuff Road, which leads to Marathon Road. If you're on Cable Beach, take the Tonique Williams-Darling Highway and the East West Highway north to the intersection of Marathon Road and Robinson Road. Most of the larger hotels offer guests Internet access for a fee, which can in some cases be as high as 50¢ per minute.

Laundry & Dry Cleaning -- Superwash, at Nassau Street and Boyd Road (tel. 242/323-4018), offers coin-operated machines 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Drop-off service is available for a small additional fee. In the same building is the New Oriental Dry Cleaner (tel. 242/323-7249).

Newspapers & Magazines -- The Tribune and the Nassau Guardian, both published in the morning, are the country's two competing daily newspapers. Hotels and tourist information desks distribute various helpful magazines, brochures, and booklets.

Police -- Dial tel. 911 or 919.

Post Office -- The Nassau General Post Office, at the top of Parliament Street on East Hill Street (tel. 242/322-3344), is open Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm and Saturday from 8:30am to 12:30pm. Note that you can also buy stamps from most postcard kiosks. A postcard sent airmail to the U.S. or Canada costs 50¢; a letter to the same destinations costs 65¢ per half-ounce.

Safety -- Avoid walking along lonely side streets in downtown Nassau at night, when robberies and muggings sometimes occur. Because the local government is particularly punitive against crimes against tourists, most visitors from outside The Bahamas are never affected -- but it's always better to be safe than sorry. Cable Beach and Paradise Island tend to be safer than downtown Nassau after dark.

Taxes -- There is no sales tax on any purchase made within The Bahamas, though there is a 12% hotel tax. Visitors leaving The Bahamas pay a $20 departure tax, a tariff that's automatically included in the price of any airline or cruise-ship ticket.


Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.