View of Bermuda waterfront with boats an d houses in the distance

Bermuda Travel Guide

By Skye Sherman
July 14, 2021

When it comes to heaven on earth, paradise doesn't get much closer than Bermuda. Easily accessible from the east coast of the United States — a mere two hours by air from New York, yet worlds away — this British territory is famous for its pink-sand beaches and laid-back yet refined island vibe, popular with tourists but fiercely protective of its strong sense of identity. Bermuda's vibe is entirely its own — upscale and fancy-free, artsy and naturally wild — Bermudians are notorious for their friendliness. 

Despite its popularity with visitors, Bermuda is hardly touristy: tacky souvenir shops are few, and commercialized clutter like fast-food chains are banned (save for one pre-existing KFC that was grandfathered in). Head to this island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean to enjoy old-world charm, fresh island fare, glorious weather all year long, and some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

Time Zone

Atlantic Standard Time

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Best Time to Go

Tourist season stretches from May to October, when the weather is at its most balmy. The island can get surprisingly chilly in the fall and winter months.

Still, winter's not a bad time to visit: January sees Bermuda Restaurant Weeks as well as the annual Bermuda Triangle Challenge Weekend, during which active travelers can participate in up to three days of runs, from a mile to a full marathon; in March, the Bermuda International Film Festival attracts some of the shining stars of the film industry.

Spring is another lovely time to visit Bermuda: plan an Easter trip to participate in one of the world's most beautiful Good Friday traditions, the Bermuda Kite Festival, which fills the skies over Horseshoe Bay Beach with kites in various colors and styles. 

Harbour Nights is another popular island tradition that begins each April (and lasts through early September): on Wednesday nights, the city of Hamilton hosts a pedestrian-only block party with local vendors, artists, activities, and traditional Gombey dancers. Bermuda Carnival takes place each June. 

Check Bermuda's Adventure Almanac for the best months to visit the island depending on which activities you hope to enjoy while there. 

Things to Know

The currency used in Bermuda is the Bermudian dollar, which is a 1-to-1 conversion with the U.S. dollar, and can be interchangeably used.

Car rentals are not available in Bermuda in an effort to curb air pollution, overcrowding, and car accidents. However, two-seater electric vehicles are available to get around.

While often grouped together with Caribbean nations, Bermuda is an island in the North Atlantic about 900 miles north and about 600 miles from mainland. This is why the weather can be a bit cooler in the winter months.

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How to Get Around

Buses: Pink-and-blue striped buses connect most areas of interest across the island. Bermuda has 11 bus routes and 14 bus zones.

Ferries: Public ferry routes aboard the SeaExpress Ferry Service are a popular (and scenic) way to get around the island. All ferries depart from the Ferry Terminal on Front Street in Hamilton.

Pro tip: Buy a Transportation Pass (available for one, three, and seven days) for unlimited use of buses and ferries.

Taxis: Taxis in Bermuda can provide transportation directly from point A to point B but some drivers can also provide hourly sightseeing tours. All taxis are metered at set rates established by the government.

Car rentals: While you can't rent a typical car on Bermuda, you can rent an electric two-seater. Just remember that in Bermuda, motorists drive on the left — and maximum speed is 22 miles per hour.

You can also rent scooters and bicycles from various outfitters around the island.

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Best Hotels

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Aerial view of The St. Regis Bermuda Resort
Credit: Courtesy of The St. Regis Bermuda Resort

St. Regis Bermuda Resort

Address: 34 Coot Pond Rd St. George's GE, 05, Bermuda
Phone: (441) 543-2222
Website

The Marriott brand returned to the island of Bermuda, where it has not had a presence since 1999, with the opening of the St. Regis Bermuda Resort in May 2021. Located on St. Catherine's Beach, the hotel offers a luxurious retreat in a picturesque setting.

Aunt Nea's Inn

Address: 1 Nea's Alley, St George's GE 05, Bermuda
Phone: (441) 296-2868
Website

For an authentic on-island experience, stay at Aunt Nea's Inn, an historic Bermudian guest house featuring original woodwork and craftsmanship from the 1700s. The inn's period architecture is part of its charm, but modern creature comforts make it feel like home.

The Loren at Pink Beach views of the pool and ocean
Credit: Courtesy of The Loren at Pink Beach

The Loren at Pink Beach

Address: 116 South Rd, Tucker's Town HS 01, Bermuda
Phone: (441) 293-1666
Website

A modern five-star hotel, The Loren is located in Bermuda's East End and offers a boutique hotel experience.

Azura Bermuda

Address: 90 South Rd, Bermuda
Phone: (441) 232-9000
Website

Azura Bermuda soft-launched in 2020 but debuted its full expression in spring 2021, making it one of the island's newest — and most sought-after — places to stay. It's located clifftop along a stretch of South Shore beach, yet is conveniently only about 10 minutes away from Hamilton, and has guest rooms, suites, and villas.

Hamilton Princess
Credit: Courtesy of Hamilton Princess

Hamilton Princess & Beach Club

Address: 76 Pitts Bay Road Pembroke HAMILTON, HM 08, Bermuda
Phone: (441) 295-3000
Website

One of the premier places to stay in Bermuda, fully outfitted with all the modern amenities, the five-star Hamilton Princess is a hotel, beach club, and marina all in one. Its pink exterior has been an iconic sight on the island for over a century. Plus, it's just a five-minute walk from downtown Hamilton.

Interior guest suite at Grotto Bay Beach Resort & Spa
Credit: Courtesy of Bermuda Tourism Authority

Grotto Bay Beach Resort & Spa

Address: 11 Blue Hole Hill Hamilton, Hamilton Parish CR 04, Bermuda
Phone: (441) 293-8333
Website

Grotto Bay Beach Resort is the only hotel in Bermuda that offers an all-inclusive option, and sits on 21 acres along beautiful Bailey's Bay.  But the real draw is its spa: the hotel is home to crystal caves coated in 500,000-year-old stalactites and stalagmites with crystal-clear water beneath, one of the most awe-inspiring settings in the world for a massage.

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Best Restaurants

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Bolero Brasserie

Address: 95 Front St, Hamilton, Bermuda
Phone: (441) 292-4507
Website

Helmed by chef/owner Jonny Roberts, Bolero's dishes are deceptively simple and surprisingly delicious, an unpretentious deviation from typical Bermudian fare. The bistro's unassuming entrance down a narrow alley proves that looks can be deceiving: some locals consider this the best restaurant on the island. Outdoor dining available.

Devil's Isle Cafe

Address: 19 Burnaby St, Hamilton, Bermuda
Phone: (441) 292-3284
Website

Mingle with locals at Devil's Isle, both a specialty coffee shop with take-out options and a dine-in restaurant serving healthy, nutrition-conscious food. Outdoor terrace available; reservations welcome.

Flanagan's Irish Pub

Address: 69 Front St, Hamilton, Bermuda
Phone: (441) 295-8299
Website

The only traditional Irish pub in Bermuda, Flanagan's serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner and has a variety of beers from around the world. Located near the Hamilton Ferry Terminal, it's a popular spot to kick back on the outdoor second-story patio and enjoy the view. Reservations accepted.

Lobster Pot & Boat House Bar

Address: 6 Bermudiana Rd, Hamilton HM 08, Bermuda
Phone: (441) 292-6898
Website

If you're on the hunt for good seafood in Bermuda, look no further than the Lobster Pot, a local staple for nearly 50 years. Here, patrons can expect a daily fresh catch and Bermudian-inspired fare. Patio dining available; reservations welcome.

Marcus'

Address: 76 Pitts Bay Rd, Hamilton HM 08, Bermuda
Phone: (441) 298-2028
Website

Located at the Hamilton Princess, Marcus' is operated by famed chef Marcus Samuelsson and offers one of the top fine dining experiences in Bermuda. Overlooking Hamilton Harbour, the restaurant offers not only a memorable meal but also unbeatable views. Outdoor terrace seating available; reservations recommended.

The Swizzle Inn Pub and Restaurant

Address: 3 Blue Hole Hill, Hamilton
Phone: (441) 293-1854
Website

Home of Bermuda's national cocktail, the rum swizzle, which was created here in the early twentieth century, The Swizzle Inn is Bermuda's oldest pub. (Of course, you can try Bermuda's unofficial national drink, the dark 'n' stormy, here too.) Laid-back, casual, and rustic, it's a must-stop on any visit to Bermuda. Outdoor seating available; no reservations required.

A fried dish sandwich from ARTMEL's Spicy Dicy
Credit: Courtesy of Bermuda Tourism Authority

Art Mel's Spicy Dicy

Address: St Monica's Road, North Shore Village, Bermuda
Phone: (441) 295-3965

Located off the beaten path near Hamilton, Art Mel's Spicy Dicy is worth the cab ride if you're seeking an authentic Bermudian meal. It's also (arguably) the best place on the island to try Bermuda's famously unique take on the fish sandwich, which consists of a deep-fried fish filet with tartar sauce on raisin toast. Locals promise: Don't knock it 'til you've tried it.

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Things to Do

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Crystal and Fantasy Caves

Address: 8 Crystal Caves Road, Hamilton Parish CR 04, Bermuda
Phone: (441) 293-0640
Website

One of the most awe-inspiring views in Bermuda, the Crystal Caves are a must on any visit. Visitors descend underground to deep, super-clear pools surrounded on all sides by stalagmites and stalactites, an otherworldly experience to be explored via floating bridges. Tours given daily; reservations not required.

Gibb's Hill Lighthouse

Address: Lighthouse Road, St Anne's Road, Cross Bay SN 01, Bermuda
Phone: (441) 238-8069
Website

After a string of shipwrecks on Bermuda's West End, where coral reefs extend 16 miles from shore, construction began on the Gibb's Hill Lighthouse in 1844. Because steel was not a viable building material at the time, it's one of the few lighthouses in the world made of cast iron. Today, visitors can climb its 185 steps for unbeatable views of Bermuda's mind-blowing greens and blues.

Horseshoe Bay Beach

Bermuda's beaches are among the main reasons to visit. There are many gorgeous beaches around the island, but the curved Horseshoe Bay Beach is one of the most popular in Bermuda, thanks to its iconic pink sands and azure water.

Other spots worth exploring include Walsingham Nature Reserve, sailing with Sail Bermuda, and the island's many shipwrecks, which scuba divers can explore with Dive Bermuda.

Jobson's Cove, a south shore beach. This tiny stretch of pink sand sits betw,een long arms of steep, jagged rock cliff that almost completely encircle the cove, creating an idyllic lagoon of calm, turquoise water. The swimming pool-like water is great for families with children looking to swim and snorkel with tropical fish. Located on the south shore
Credit: Courtesy of Bermuda Tourism Authority

Jobson's Cove

Address: Warwick, just off South Road

Another great snorkeling spot is Jobson's Cove, a sheltered inlet just a few steps off South Road in Warwick (accessible via the walking trail from Warwick Long Bay Beach). Its waters are calm, more like a swimming pool, because of rocks that almost completely encircle the cove, making it a perfect spot to swim, snorkel, or just lounge on the picture-perfect pink sand.

Snorkeling at Cooper's Island Nature Reserve

Address: St. David's Island (southeastern tip of Bermuda)
Website

Seeing Bermuda beneath the surface of its turquoise seas is a must on any visit, and Cooper's Island Nature Reserve is one of the best places to do so. This 12-acre spot is as pristine as it gets, home to both beach and forest, with access to several public beaches, including Turtle Bay and Clearwater Beach at Annie's Bay. Visitors can also hike, swim, picnic, or watch for birds and other wildlife.

Lili Bermuda Perfumery

Address: 5 Queen St, St.George's, Bermuda
Phone: (441) 293-0627
Website

The historic Lili Bermuda Perfumery was established in 1928 and has been sharing Bermuda's story through scent ever since. Complimentary tours of the perfumery, which cover techniques of perfume-making and reveal where and how they age their perfumes, are held daily (except Sundays and public holidays) at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. No reservation required. Another fun activity at the perfumery, which provides a taste of the island's British roots, is traditional afternoon tea, held on Wednesday and Sunday afternoons (reservation required).

Horseback riding with Watson Stables

Address: Warwick (Frithcote Lane near Belmont Golf Club and Blu Restaurant)
Phone: (441) 747-7433
Website

Biking or hiking the Railway Trail is a popular activity in Bermuda, but exploring it on horseback is even better. Experience Bermuda's rich equestrian culture for yourself with a sunrise horseback ride on the beach and beyond. Watson Stables offers group and private trail rides at flexible times through the back roads, old railway trails, tribe roads, beach paths, and beaches of Bermuda.

Statues inside City of Hamilton African Diaspora Statues inside City of Hamilton African Diaspora
Credit: Courtesy of Bermuda Tourism Authority

African Diaspora Heritage Trail

Address: Dockyard to St. George's
Website

The majority of Bermudians have African ancestry, with many descended from people captured and sold into slavery during the 1700s. Explore the African Diaspora Heritage Trail to learn their history and the legacies they forged in spite of intense persecution. Featured sites include the National Museum of Bermuda, the Bermuda Heritage Museum, Cobbs Hill Methodist Church, and various statues, sculptures, and historic homes.

Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute

Address: 40 Crow Lane, Pembroke, Bermuda
Phone: (441) 292-7219
Website

The Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute is an interactive museum and science center with exhibits on marine life, history, and the Bermuda Triangle, ideal for families with children. Visitors can also enjoy a tram ride through Hamilton.

Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo

Address: 40 N Shore Rd, Flatts Village, Bermuda
Phone: (441) 293-2727
Website

Founded in 1926, the seven-acre Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo is one of the oldest aquariums in the world and offers animal exhibits, environmental education, conservation projects, and research. The facility also offers whale watching tours in partnership with The Bermuda Zoological Society, allowing visitors a chance to spot migrating humpback whales in the open ocean (best in March and April).

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Best Shopping

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Interior of Urban Cottage store in Bermuda
Credit: Courtesy of Bermuda Tourism Authority

Urban Cottage

Address: Somers Building, 11 Front St City of, Hamilton, Bermuda
Phone: (441) 532-1152
Website

Blending both classic and modern, new and vintage, this two-story boutique is one of the most beloved shops in Bermuda: you can find everything from locally made jewelry to items salvaged from shipwrecks to home goods, apparel, and accessories.

Clocktower Mall

Address: 6 Clock Tower Parade, Bermuda
Phone: (441) 234-1709

The Clocktower Mall is one of Bermuda's main retail destinations (its duty-free status certainly doesn't hurt). A range of shops call the mall home, from perfume to glass to a wide range of arts and crafts.

Long Story Short

Address: 7 Water Street St. George's GE, 05, Bermuda
Phone: (441) 705-1838
Website

One of the most unique shops in Bermuda, Long Story Short is a must-visit. Owned by a Bermudian blogger and entrepreneur, the gift shop and tour center — which she describes as "my dope emporium of wonderment" — is curated with a focus on social progress, the African Diaspora, women, and environmental sustainability, so you'll find everything from books by women of color to gifts from social enterprises to planet-friendly home goods. The store is also home to Salt Spray Soap Co, a local artisan skincare line, which has an in-house workshop.

TABS

Address: 12 Reid Street, Hamilton HM 11, Bermuda
Phone: (441) 704-8227
Website

For authentic Bermudian clothing, including its famous shorts, shop at TABS, founded by a Bermudian who began selling her take on the perfect Bermuda short at Harbour Nights. Now, TABS Bermuda shorts come in more than 30 colors (erm, colours) and are sold around the world.

Bermuda Craft Market

Address: 4 Freeport Rd Royal Navy Dockyard, Bermuda
Phone: (441) 234-3208
Website

Even locals can't resist the charm of the Royal Naval Dockyard Craft Market, where you can find local artisan crafts, jewelry, and souvenirs like cigars, rum cake, prints and paintings, and even rum swizzle mix. Situated on Bermuda's West End, the market is located inside a former warehouse and barrel workshop originally constructed in 1831.

Coral Coast Clothing

Address: 15 Front St, Hamilton, Bermuda
Phone: (441) 707-7729
Website

For quality clothing inspired by island vibes, head to Coral Coast. This Bermudian-designed label specializes in dress shirts, polos, swim trunks, athleisure — and, of course, classic Bermuda shorts. They also offer island-wide delivery if you don't want to shop in the store.

Dockyard Glassworks & The Bermuda Rum Cake Company

Address: 19 Maritime Lane, Royal Naval Dockyard MA BX, Bermuda
Phone: (441) 333-8170
Website

A glass studio sharing space with a rum cake bakery… They're both handmade in Bermuda, so why not? Whether you're looking for a unique work of delicate art or indulgence in the form of a swizzle rum cake (yep, the baked version of the island's national cocktail), you can find it here.

Neighborhoods to Know

Three main regions comprise Bermuda's 21 square miles.

East End: Home to the historic town of St. George's, Bermuda's former capital and a UNESCO World Heritage site, the East End is beloved for its history, culture, and photo-worthy brick streets and British colonial architecture. However, there are natural attractions in addition to the manmade: be sure to check out the limestone formations of Tobacco Bay Beach, Tom Moore's Jungle, the Crystal Caves, Cooper's Island Nature Reserve, and Ferry Reach National Park, home to lush flora and rare birds.

Central Bermuda: Hamilton, the island's capital, lies in central Bermuda and lends the area its more developed, cosmopolitan, and sophisticated global feel. If you're looking for dining, shopping, and nightlife in Bermuda, the island's more commercialized central section is where you'll find it, especially along Front Street downtown. There's also beaches, botanical gardens, parks, and oceanfront golf.

West End: Here you'll find the Royal Naval Dockyard (home to a major cruise ship port and a craft market, museum, and restaurants) and attractions like the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, village of Somerset, and famous South Shore beaches. It's a hub for sightseeing, shopping, dining, and entertainment.

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Weather

The climate of Bermuda is mild; it doesn't see the sweltering heat of the tropics nor winter freezes, so visitors can enjoy the outdoors year-round, with just slight variations between seasons. In addition, the difference between water and air temps averages two degrees, so the water seldom gets too cold to swim.

Expect southerly breezes June through August, which cool the evenings, and generally warm, sunny weather no matter the month. Hurricanes are possible between June and November during the Atlantic hurricane season, but big hits are rare for Bermuda (the island averages just over one per decade).

The following are average Fahrenheit lows and highs by month. Average annual precipitation is 55 inches, but Bermuda has no official rainy season (though April typically sees the least rainfall and August the most).

January 60 - 68
February 59 - 68
March 60 - 68
April 64 - 71
May 67 - 74
June 72 - 80
July 77 - 84
August 77 - 85
September 76 - 84
October 72 - 80
November 67 - 74
December 64 - 71

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Apps to Download

Sargasso Sea: "Bermuda's on-demand marketplace" (take-out dining and more)
iPhone | Android

Winnow: build an itinerary and book private experiences with Bermuda locals
iPhone

Hitch: Bermuda's taxi app (like Uber)
iPhone | Android