Travelers heading to Bermuda may be worried about the dreaded Bermuda Triangle, but the reality is that this South Atlantic island nation is a safe and affluent destination that's now more famous for its pink-sand beaches than paranormal legends. Bermuda has very low crime rates to begin with and what does occur is usually between residents of the island, not tourists. There are very localized areas with spurts of gang activity, but it's much less than what you would find in major cities in the U.S.
Even though the islands of Bermuda are located about a thousand miles east of the Caribbean, these isolated islands are still considered to be in "Hurricane Alley" and are vulnerable to powerful storms. The probability of a hurricane making a direct hit is very unlikely since Bermuda is so small, but it's not uncommon for at least one storm per season to get dangerously close.
- As of August 20, 2020, Bermuda has a Level 3 travel warning from the U.S. Department of State due to COVID-19, meaning visitors should "reconsider travel."
- The Centers for Disease Control recommends that travelers "avoid all travel to Bermuda" and states that COVID-19 risk in Bermuda is "very high" as of December 29, 2020.
Is Bermuda Dangerous?
In general, Bermuda is considered a safe destination with a crime rate that is much lower than the U.S. Violent crime on the island is rare and of the small amount that does occur, it's almost exclusively related to insular gang violence and doesn't affect tourists. Petty crime, such as pickpocketing or purse snatching, is the most common offense that targets foreign travelers, so remain vigilant and keep your valuables in a safe location.
When swimming around at the beach, there are two perils to be aware of: riptides and Portuguese man o' war. Strong riptides are especially dangerous for young children and weak swimmers, and only the most popular beaches have lifeguards. Keep an eye on kids whenever they're in the water. The Portuguese man o' war is a jellyfish-like animal that floats on top of the water and can deliver a potentially lethal sting to human victims; even if you see one beached on the sand, it's still venomous and you should stay away.
Is Bermuda Safe for Solo Travelers?
If you're traveling to this Caribbean territory on your own, you have little to worry about. Some of the backstreets of Hamilton, Bermuda's capital city, have a reputation for seedy behavior and travelers should avoid walking around these areas at night, especially north of Dundonald Street.
Foreigners are prohibited from driving or renting cars in Bermuda, but many travelers—and especially solo travelers—do rent motor scooters to zip around the island. However, scooters are a favorite target for thieves. If you do rent, avoid carrying bags on the side facing the street or in the rear basket, where they can easily be snatched by other bikers.
Is Bermuda Safe for Female Travelers?
Female travelers can move around Bermuda relatively safely, whether traveling alone or in a group. Bermudians are known for their hospitality, and even catcalling—which is pervasive in many countries—isn't commonly heard. While sexual assault against tourists hasn't been reported, there is a dedicated Sexual Assault Response Team to assist anyone who has been a victim.
Safety Tips for LGBTQ+ Travelers
On paper, Bermuda is one of the most gay-friendly island nations around the Caribbean with several anti-discrimination laws on the books and the right to same-sex marriage. However, in day-to-day life, the country also has a reputation for homophobic attitudes. There are no reported violent attacks against same-sex tourists, but public displays of affection may stand out and attract unwanted attention.
Bermuda doesn't recognize transgender identities, meaning there are also no special protections for trans individuals against discrimination.
Safety Tips for BIPOC Travelers
Bermuda has a long and complicated racial history between Black and White residents of the island, but visitors are generally shielded from the discrimination that native Bermudians often endure. In fact, the official Bermuda Tourism Authority launched a publicity campaign in 2019 with the explicit goal of attracting more African American travelers from the U.S. by concentrating on heritage stories revolving around the African Diaspora.
Safety Tips for Travelers
- In general, travel outside of tourist areas should be undertaken with caution, especially at night.
- Be vigilant when using public telephones or ATM machines, especially those located near roadsides or in secluded areas.
- As in any metropolitan area, wearing expensive jewelry, carrying expensive objects, or carrying large amounts of cash should be avoided.
- While at the beach, visitors should safeguard valuables. Although hotels and resorts are generally safe, loss of unattended items is possible and you should have a member of your party watching over your property at all times.
- Hotel burglaries may occur in less reputable hotels, and all valuables should be locked in room safes when possible.
- Keep doors and windows locked especially at night. Burglaries of residences are generally achieved by exploiting a vulnerability such as unlocked doors and windows, substandard door and window grills, and poor or non-existent outdoor lighting.
- Travel in groups whenever possible, as traveling alone can put you at a higher risk of being targeted for crime.
U.S. Department of State. "Bermuda International Travel Information." August 17, 2020.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "COVID-19 in Bermuda." August 17, 2020.
Overseas Security Advisory Council. "Bermuda 2020 Crime & Safety Report." June 2, 2020.
NBC News. "Bermuda Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage--Again." Retrieved December 29, 2020.
Bermuda Tourism Authority. "Tourism Plan Aims to Double African American Air Visitors to Bermuda." May 1, 2019.