Looking to escape life and visit one of the best islands in the Atlantic? Maybe you've heard of this mysterious Bermuda Triangle but, what you may not know is that Bermuda is home to some of the world’s best beaches, incredibly kind people, and of course Rum Swizzle.
In my mind 20's I took a two-week trip to Bermuda and it completely changed my life. Yes, I know, so basic. Truth be told, Bermuda stole my heart before my mind even knew it. Since, I return to Bermuda every year for 4-6 weeks this published article will be updated yearly.
Fun facts About Bermuda:
- Bermuda is NOT part of The Caribbean.
- Bermudians are incredibly nice.
- As a tourist, you cannot rent a car, but you can rent a motorbike or a Twizzy.
- They drive on the left side of the road.
- It's the most expensive place in the world to live.
- CHICKENS!! Due to hurricanes destroying many of the chicken coops, a lot of chickens have escaped. Now, they’re roaming the island free as a bird. Pun intended.
- White rooftops. You will immediately notice everyone has a white roof. This is part of their water collecting system. And yes, the water is safe to drink.
- People love to drink on da rock!
- Bermuda beverages on the island are the ‘Rum Swizzle’ and ‘Dark n’ Stormy’.
- If you love history, you will love Bermuda. Make sure to check out all the forts and The National Museum of Bermuda.
In this post I will try to cover just about every topic I can think of and give you my honest opinion and recommendations. *Budget travelers, Bermuda is definitely not budget friendly…an Airbnb and a scooter rental you’re already looking at ~200USD/day.
Bermuda is home of some of the friendliest people in the world; you can imagine that living on an island of paradise would make people pretty happy. If you ever get the chance to visit, you will notice that people will greet anyone they come in contact with. When someone says good morning, good evening, good day, etc., you are expected to do the same in return. For example, if you're standing in line at the grocery store to check out and you do not greet the cashier, they will kindly ask if you're going to say hello or patiently wait for you to greet them. Wait, you have to actually acknowledge the person serving you before you demand service? What a great concept! Remember, it literally costs you nothing to be a nice person.
Is it safe? Yes. Now, don’t get me wrong, Bermuda is just like any other place in this world. The most common crimes are: theft of items in motorbikes, theft of unattended bags, and recreational drugs. As always, it's important to be aware of your surroundings,. Make sure you lock your bike up, and avoid leaving your things out in plain sight. As a solo female traveler, safety is always at the top of my list. If you’d like to read more of my personal safety tips for travelers, click here.
Just watch out for that triangle.
Honestly, every single beach is amazing. Here are a few of my favorites:
Here you can see the famous pink sand.
Warwick Long Bay Beach is my number one favorite beach. It's located pretty close to Horseshoe Bay Beach, which is known for bringing in a large amount of tourists. Leaving Warwick Long Bay less crowded, just how I like it.
Admiralty House Park has something for everyone. You can explore the caves both above and below the ground, go cliff diving, snorkel, have a picnic, cookout, or just soak up the sun on one of the two beaches it has. You can even swim around to deep bay. Ironically there is a shallow area where the catamarans come in with tours.
West Whale Bay Beach offers up a secluded feeling and it is a great spot for whale watching around Easter time.
Church Bay is really great to spend afternoon soaking up the sun or go snorkeling.
Clearwater, Turtle Bay, and Long Bay Beaches are all located next to one another right before Cooper's Island Nature Reserve. The beaches are beautiful and during the summertime there’s a bar. Making it a really a great place to spend the day!
Horseshoe Bay Beach is a must-see beach and is often been ranked in the top 15 best beaches in the world. Beware: during high tourist season expect this beach to be packed with people.
There’s an amazing part of the beach all the way to the right that will make you feel as if you're in your own private location. Bask in the sun, swim, and let your inner adventurous child come out to climb all over the rocks.
There’s a bar and restrooms at this beach. After a long hard day of being in paradise, it’s location to grab a drink and relax to the lovely sound of the ocean.
The Fantasy & Crystal Cave tour is an excellent way to learn about the caves and their history. Last time I was there the prices were: $22 each or $30 for both caves.
Cathedral Cave (Free) is located on Grotto Bay Resort property. You'll notice that the entire island of Bermuda is a very at your own risk place. So, proceed with caution. Once you park, walk towards the water and stay towards the left. You’ll eventually see a small warning sign, that's the entrance. Careful on the steps, a flashlight would be helpful, and the water will be cold.
Blue Hole Hill (Free) is such an amazing spot! It can be a little tough to find without a local. Coming from the airport, it is on your left side as soon as you cross over the bridge aka The Causeway. If you hit Swizzle Inn, you've gone too far.
Go on a crazy adventure, follow all the paths, enjoy nature, caves, and some cliff jumping if you wish.
- Cliff Diving is so fun but, please always check with a local before jumping. Even during high tide some spots are not safe.
- Snorkeling can be easily be done at any of the beaches.
- Daniel's Head Beach Park, Church Bay, Admiralty House Park are three great spots.
- Scuba Diving Bermuda should really be called shipwreck capital of the Atlantic.
- Paddle boarding
- Catamaran cruise with snorkeling, paddle boarding, and kayaks.
- Sunset cruise on a glass bottom boat
My personal recommendation, check out Somerset Bridge Watersports, 180 Somerset Road. They offer rentals for boats, jet skis, kayaks, and paddle boards. If, you would like to go scuba diving, Blue Water Divers and Watersports is also right there.
Places to drink & eat
My #1 Favorite - Bermuda Bistro aka The Beach. If you're into hip hop, good food, and hanging with the locals this will be a good spot for you. They often have a DJ and the volume goes up quite a bit around 10 pm. Most of the bars on island are small but, The Beach does have additional outdoor seating on both the sidewalk and a patio area! 103 Front Street
Bulli Social - One word comes to mind when I think of Bulli Social, quaint! It's an outdoor bar featuring those cute string lights and those old giant wood tables that used to be used for big wire. Bartenders are amazing and the prices are just right! Great Vibes! 7 Queen Street
The Mariner's Club - This establishment used to be a member only location but in recent years they have opened it up to the public. One thing they have that most places on island do not have is a pool table! Drinks are generally cheaper here. Please remember to show respect to the members. 22 Richmond Rd
Newstead Belmont Hills - Friday night happy hour is an absolute MUST DO!!! Gorgeous views, strong drinks, and friendly staff. Happy hour goes from 5-9 pm. If you're driving, try to get there as early as possible. Parking fills up quick and there's not much street parking available. You can also take the ferry from Front St. There's something about arriving to this beautiful destination by boat seems way cool. They also have a DJ and delicious food offered at their restaurant. Cash or a card are both accepted but you will have to buy drink tickets for the bar. My first time here, the family that owns the establishment happened to be enjoying happy hour as well. Wonderful and humble people. 27 Harbour Road
Port O' Call - Since this place is a hot spot for after work drinks, you will find the place crowded at 5:01 pm with everyone in suits. Great drink options here! 87 Front Street
Doghouse - Is one of the newer establishments gracing Front St. If you're looking to dance the night away with some great loud music, this is your spot for sure. 93 Front Street
Swizzle Inn –"Swizzle inn and swagger out" Every Bermudian will tell you this is a must do place. Make sure to bring something to stick, hand, or write on the walls with. The Causeway is the original location and my favorite. There are two locations; one by The Causeway, 3 Blue Hole Hill and another located at 87 South Road.
There are many, many other bars on the island. One day I will have made it to all of them. For now, here's a bit more information for you. I'm sure you've noticed a lot of these addresses are located on Front Street. This is where the cruise ships dock, so the area is loaded with many bars and restaurants. Pickled Onion is good for dancing at night. It comes with a balcony outside. Flanagan's can be fun and has really good food. Docksider's can be low-key fun. Bugalow 56 (56 Reid St) was alright... I was there the weekend they opened so I'm sure they've gotten better! The Spinning Wheel (33 Court St) it’s a bit hood, go with a local - probably one of the best nights I've ever had in Bermuda.
Tips for going out: If you're going to go out drinking that means no driving. Options: you can take a bus into town and a taxi home. Note: you must have exact fare in change or cash for the bus. The drivers do not have any change. They have bus stops with enclosed stops and in some areas it’s just blue or pink poles in the ground. Pink poles represent stops for buses that are headed into Hamilton and Blue poles are for buses that are headed away from Hamilton. Click here for the Bus schedule.
If you happen to have two people with bikes, double up on one motorbike, leave one in town and one at home. As always, make sure to lock your bike up. Go have some fun, get drunk, and take a taxi or Hitch home. (Hitch is like Uber or Lyft). Sleep in and retrieve the bike you left in town by doubling up on the bike you left at home.
Hitch vs Taxi? My vote is Hitch all the way!!! As I mentioned above Hitch is Bermuda’s version of Uber/Lyft. Taxi's in Bermuda are notorious for either never showing up or taking forevvvveeer. Literally I've been left waiting over an hour on Front St alone and intoxicated after calling for a ride!! If you do find yourself stranded at bar close, it might be a good idea to walk over to Mr. Chicken (27 Queen St) kill some time and get some great food. After you’ve had a delicious drunk meal you might have better luck catching a taxi.
Oh yeah, bar close on this island is 4 am so pace yourself.
*Ladies, as always, please use your common sense and be safe. A good rule of thumb my dad always shared was that nothing good ever happens after midnight. For that reason, I never stay out past dark unless I'm with a local.
Honestly, I'm a fat kid at heart, I love all the food. But I'm never traveling in search of the best restaurant. Plus, Bermuda is so expensive… like $20 for a salad expensive. While you’re dining out, make sure to try these dishes: Rockfish, Wahoo, and of course meat pies!
Rosa's - Amazing Mexican food!! Try the antijitos, they are delicious!! 121 Front St
Jamaican Grill - Looking for street meat?? You found it! Seriously amazing! I had the jerk chicken and they even hand picked out the bones for me. 32 Court St
Beluga Bar – Might be a little tricky to locate as it's inside the mall. Stop and ask a local, they will gladly help you. They have very, very good Sushi!!! We had so much food off this menu. I’m not even kidding just our food ended up being $250 and everything was delicious!! Edamame was amazing! 18 Church St
Henry VIII - This place is an absolute must! If you can, go on a Saturday night and stay after for the dancing!! There is also a sushi place located on the upper level. 69 South Road
Royal Naval Dockyard is a very great area and you should plan on spending a few hours walking around and a few more hours for the museum slash dolphin training.
Gibbs Lighthouse was built in 1846 out of cast iron and it was the second one in the world. You can go inside the gift shop, buy a ticket, climb up 185 steps and enjoy one hell of a view. There’s even a door that opens so you can walk around the lighthouse outside.
All the Forts – Scaur Hill Fort, Fort Hamilton, Fort St. Catherine and Museum, Alexandra Battery, Devonshire Fort, Ferry Island Fort and Burnt Point Fort, Fort Cunningham, Fort People, Fort William, Gates Fort, King’s Castle, Martello Tower, and St. David’s Battery.
Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute - (BUEI) is very informational and they just announced a new exhibit, Bermuda Triangle: Unlock the Secrets. Hopefully this is still open in May, because I absolutely cannot wait to see this!!
Railway Trail – is great if you’re up for a walk with a beautiful view there are a few trails around the island.
Bermuda Aquarium Museum and Zoo - Totes adorbs animals all over!!
The Unfinished Church is one of my favorite locations on the island. The Unfinished Church is in St. George's and is a UNESCO world heritage site. It’s the perfect spot to stop before visiting St. Catherine's and Alexandra's Battery.
Taxi: You will have to take a taxi to and from the airport which will run you about $50 each way depending on the distance from the airport. If you rented out an Airbnb with a kitchen of some sort, I highly recommend having your taxi driver stop at the grocery on your way. Yes, I know that is obviously the last thing one wants to do after flying but, remember you cannot rent a car here.
So, unless you’re comfortable driving on the left side of the road, in a foreign country, on a motorbike, with bags of groceries by all means, go for it! Make sure you took out that travel insurance with major medical coverage.
Bus: You must have exact fare in change, cash, or buying bus tickets will work. Note: The drivers do not have change to give you. I repeat the bus drivers DO NOT have change to give you. They have bus stops with enclosed stops and in some areas it’s just blue or pink poles in the ground. Blue means headed towards Hamilton and Pink means away from Hamilton. Here's the bus schedule.
Isn't this just the loveliest bus stop you've ever seen?!
Rent a Twizy!! What the heck is a Twizy? These little electric vehicles are now widely available on the island.
Rent a Motorbike! In my opinion this is the absolute best way to explore the island!!! My personal recommendation is, hands down, Elbow Beach Cycles. Mrs. T & her late husband have been renting out scooters since 1945!!
Mrs. T will not only rent you a motorbike but she will give you a run down on the island. Trust me, it seems long, but so worth it and she truly cares about your safety.
Prices will vary depending on which bike you choose. They of course are cheaper if you go during the off season. They also offer a discount if you book online!
Yes - they drive on the left and yes, you must wear a helmet at all times. You MUST use your blinker to signal when you’re leaving the roundabout. Yes, really some people do not know that. Also, guys keep you t-shirt on while riding.
Pro tip: Know the phone number of your scooter rental place just in-case your motorbike breaks down!!
- Tickets are likely to be higher June-August.
- Always remember the longer you stay, the cheaper your ticket will be. That goes for any destination, not just Bermuda.
- If you're flying out of JFK, try to avoid AA1416 as it has a reputation for being delayed often. Also, you might have trouble getting a taxi that late at night unless you've set up a ride beforehand.
- Believe it or not, flight deals to Bermuda do actually exist (JetBlue has a lot) but you really have to watch for them. Here's a post on how you can save yourself hundreds on flights.
This is a lovely balcony view of Front Street taken from the balcony of my Bermudian friend John's home.
You’ll notice that the entire island is a Monday – Friday 9a–5p operation. Most businesses are closed on Sunday's. The exception to that rule is of course bars, restaurants, gas stations, and a few groceries.
US dollars and cards are accepted almost everywhere. 1USD = 1BDA
Tipping: Double check your bill to see if gratuities were included. As I bartended my way through college, I still add a few extra dollars in cash.