The city of Bridgetown, and the wider Greater Bridgetown area occupy most of the parish of Saint Michael, an area which covers around 39km² (15 sq. mi). Bridgetown's centre was originally composed of a swamp, which was quickly drained and filled-in to make way for the city's early development.
At the heart of Bridgetown is the Careenage and Constitution River. This body of water provides the city with direct access from medium sized yachts or small craft boats. Although moderately shallow, the Careenage slices Bridgetown into two parts. During the rainy season the Constitution River flows into the Careenage area and acts as an outflow for water from the islands interior storm drainage network. Flowing into the Carlisle Bay on the southwest coast of the island, the Careenage can be observed as a marina for boaters entering or exiting the inner basin located directly in front of the Parliament buildings of Barbados.