Thanks to its pink sand beaches and aquamarine water, Bermuda is always a reliably popular tourist destination. But deciding what to do while visiting Bermuda is often not the easiest task—though the island is only 21 square miles long, there's no shortage of things to do on your vacation. Thankfully, we've outlined the top attractions and—crucially—how to get there and where to stay in our guide to Bermuda. From sophisticated dining (and delectable cuisine) to rum-tasting and seafaring (occasionally at the same time), we've got you covered. Read on and get ready to start planning your next trip to this island paradise in the North Atlantic.
Planning Your Trip
- Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit Bermuda is during the spring when the weather is warm, and the cost of travel remains relatively low, before the onslaught of tourists in the summertime.
- Language: English
- Currency: Bermudian dollar (pegged to the U.S. dollar at a 1:1 rate), though the U.S. dollar is widely accepted across the island.
- Getting Around: There is no ride-sharing service in use on the island of Bermuda, aside from Hitch, Bermuda's first electronic taxi app. Please note, however, that many taxis do not have the GPS installed to participate in the service. Taxis are plentiful on the island, however, and there are buses and ferries available via the public transport system.
- Travel Tip: Tourists aren't allowed to rent a car in Bermuda (to avoid accidents and overcrowding), but scooters are available to visitors, and there's no better way to appreciate the island views and cruise along the winding roads than by driving a moped. Be careful to remember to drive on the left side of the road!
Things To Do
Bermuda is famous for its aquamarine water and pink sand beaches, and travelers would be remiss not to make the most of their trip by exploring the island's gorgeous coastline and setting sail upon its crystal-clear waters. Activities available for aquatically-inclined travelers include rum cruises (but more on that later), glass-bottom boat tours, and sunset sailing on a catamaran. Prefer to stay on land? You can't beat the views and the ambiance at the beautiful Jobson's Cove Beach (overlooking Warwick Long Bay). Just remember sunblock.
- In the parish of Southampton, Horseshoe Bay is world-renowned for its visual beauty and a must-visit destination for visitors to the island. The famous bay resembles a horseshoe from above (hence its name), and the beach, surrounded by dramatic cliffs, is one of the most famous and well-known on the entire island.
- Find out why the Crystal and Fantasy Caves are reliably one of Bermuda's top attractions with a day trip to this underground fantasia. Expect azure pools of water and dazzling subterranean rock formations.
What to Eat and Drink
When in the Caribbean, you'd be remiss not to enjoy a rum cocktail (or three). Though Bermuda's weather is, quite famously, not so dark and stormy, one of the island's preferred beverages certainly is. Dark & Stormy cocktails are a signature in Bermuda, and the only proper way to enjoy the refreshing libation is with some home-grown Goslings Rum from the parish of St. George's. Enjoy rum cocktails, glorious ambiance, and delectable food at Sea Breeze Terrace and 1609 Restaurant at the world-famous Hamilton Princess. Prefer your rum in shot form? Head to The Pickled Onion in Hamilton for a night of drinking, dancing, and revelry.
But the best way to enjoy Goslings? Why, a sunset rum cruise, of course. Opt for a 90-minute rum cruise to enjoy the "Spirit" of Bermuda with Goslings rum. (Tours depart before sundown from Hamilton—and, trust us, the cocktail is best enjoyed while watching the sun turn the sky into a blazing fire of pinks and oranges as it sinks beneath the sea). Another must-order favorite in Bermuda is Bermuda Fish Chowder, of course. And there's no better place to order it than seaside at the Pink Beach Club, in Tucker's Town, in the parish of St. George.
Another popular culinary destination is Mickey's Bistro, a restaurant at Elbow Beach Resort & Spa situated directly on Elbow Beach. The views are breathtaking, and the ambiance is sophisticated—Though the setting may be literally on the beach, the attire is smart casual. (So you can't just roll up in your bathing suit.) Pack a cover-up and nice sandals to enjoy a chic seaside dinner after a day of snorkeling and sunbathing on the pink sands of the shoreline.
Where to Stay
Live like a princess at the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club, an iconic institution in Hamilton operated by Fairmont Hotels. If you're interested in another pink-themed accommodation—always popular in Bermuda—the Loren Hotel is also a popular option and is home to the Pink Beach Club, purveyor of the previously-discussed Bermuda chowder.
Additionally, the Coral Beach & Tennis Club is nothing short of excellent but, unfortunately, is members-only. That is unless you are staying at the nearby Newstead Belmont Hills Resort in Paget—in which case, a shuttle will drop you off at the private beach. It's well worth the trek. On an island of gorgeous beaches, this is certainly one of the prettiest.
Check out more of the best hotels in Bermuda.
Though many people believe that Bermuda is in the Caribbean, the island is actually located in the North Atlantic Ocean—making for easy direct flights from the U.S. The Bermuda L.F. Wade International Airport, located 9 miles east of Hamilton, is the sole airport in Bermuda, with one passenger terminal servicing seven airlines: Air Canada, American, British Airways, Delta, JetBlue, United, and WestJet.
Bermuda Culture and History
Bermuda's history dates back to the 16th century when Spanish explorer Juan de Bermúdez discovered it. There was no indigenous population on the island at the time of its discovery, nor 100 years later when the British settled it. The island became a British Crown Colony in 1684, largely relying on the work of enslaved persons of African and Indian heritage. Today, over half the island's population is Black.
The island's unique positioning in the North Atlantic Ocean has become something of lore—the western part of the North Atlantic is known, famously, as the Bermuda Triangle, due to the number of plane crashes and shipwrecks in these waters. In fact, Bermuda was once known as the "Isle of Devils," and more than 300 ships have sunk in the island's surrounding waters, dating from the 1600s to the present day. Aside from sailing, cricket is another very important activity on the island. So important, in fact, that the first day of Cup Match (a famous cricket tournament), Aug. 1, coincides with Emancipation Day to celebrate the 1834 abolition of slavery. (A second public holiday, Mary Prince Day, is named after a Bermudian abolitionist hero.)
- Check to see if the service fee is included in your hotel or restaurant bill; otherwise, a 10 percent tip is customary,
- Though the Bermudian and U.S. dollar is usually used interchangeably throughout the island, you will want to have Bermudian dollars on-hand during your trip if you're in an area that doesn't accept U.S. dollars. We recommend switching currency before you arrive in Bermuda because, although the airport does facilitate currency exchange, the rates may be higher than they would be in the U.S.
- You do not need to be a guest of the Elbow Beach Resort & Spa to access the world-famous pink sand beach—there is a small portion of the beach that is open to the public, accessible via a separate entrance from the hotel.
- Consult the front desk at your hotel about the existence of free shuttle services to use during your stay to save on cab fare.
- Consider booking an all-inclusive resort, or a food-and-beverage package at your hotel, to minimize expenses when traveling with a large group or family.
- To save money on your vacation, consider visiting during the off-season when prices dramatically decrease—spring is a perfect time to visit, as the average temperature is relatively high and the cost of travel relatively low.