Bermuda stole my heart before my mind even knew it. This will no doubt be my longest post and most expensive travel recommendation.
Simply put, Bermuda is my favorite place on the planet. My first trip was January of 2017 for two weeks. When it came time to leave, I literally sat on the plane sobbing. The unbelievably gorgeous beaches and extremely friendly people alone will leave you wanting to move here. If I could afford it, I would —but a cheap house will run you about a million dollars.
Here are some fun facts:
Contrary to popular belief, Bermuda is NOT part of The Caribbean.
Bermudians are incredibly nice.
You cannot rent a car but you can rent a motorbike. Which, I highly recommend.
They drive on the left side of the road.
Bermuda will not only steal your heart but also all of your money.
THERE ARE CHICKENS EVERYWHERE!! Hurricanes destroyed many of the chicken coops years ago and all the chickens escaped. Now they’re out roaming the island freely causing car accidents and other issues.
Everyone has a white roof. Not only does it provide shelter but it’s also a water collecting system. Yes, the water is safe to drink!
People love to drink on da rock! (Bermuda) Prepare your liver.
The two official beverages are the ‘Rum Swizzle’ and ‘Dark n’ Stormy’.
There’s a ton of history on this tiny island. Make sure to check out all the forts and The National Museum of Bermuda located in the Royal Naval Dockyard.
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 Bermuda Safe? Of course, just watch out for that triangle! Joke. Now, don’t get me wrong, Bermuda is just like any other place in this world. So, yes they have crime; theft, drugs, gangs, etc. Unless you’re trolling around after midnight you’re not going to run into this. As a solo female traveler this is always a top concern of mine.
There are so many beautiful beaches all over the island but my favorites are:
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 is a nice, chill location with caves you can walk around in, and is a great place for cliff diving and snorkeling.
West Whale Bay Beach is great for spotting whales in April.
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 actually my least favorite beach. Don’t let photo shop and IG filters fool you, it’s not that pink. But, if you’re facing the ocean and walk all the way to the right, there’s a little part of the beach that feels like your own private spot. You can sun bathe, swim around, or climb all over the rocks.
When you climb to the top of the rocks you will feel like you’re on top of the world. As you breathe in that fresh ocean air you also inhale deep thoughts. It’s such a calming amazing feeling—I can’t even put it into words.
There’s also a bar and restrooms at this beach. After a long hard day of being in paradise it’s really a nice spot to go and grab a drink, sit at a table, and listen to the lovely sound of the ocean.
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. Walk down the steps and hang out in the cave for a bit. The water can be a bit chilly but go for it, have some fun, take a dip. Blue Hole Water Sports rental is also on the property where you can rent out a boat or set up dives.
Blue Hole Hill (Free) is pretty hard to find without a local—I’ll try my best. Again, this is also at your own risk. How to get there—if you’re coming from the Airport towards Hamilton Parish you’ll cross over the bridge (The Causeway) and it’ll be a small park on your left hand side, called Blue Hole Park. If you hit Swizzle Inn on your right, you’ve gone too far. Like I said, this cave is pretty hard to find so if you spot people walking on the path in this area, ask them if they know where it’s at.
Follow the path, keeping the ocean on your left until you see a small pond to your right. Depending on the season you might really have to look through the trees to spot it. Once you get to the pond stand with your back to the pond. Using clock position for directions, 12 o’clock would be straight in front of you and 3 o’clock would be right. Your 2 o’clock is where the final path to the cave is located. Follow that all the way down and have fun in the creepy dark caves! Literally, it’s pitch black inside. Make sure to bring some good shoes and a flashlight.
Fantasy Caves & Crystal Caves are a really great way to learn about the caves and their history. Last time I was there the prices were: $22 each or $30 for both caves.
Cliff Diving- can be super fun! Jumping from above Clarence Cove is the safest. This is located at the Admiralty House Park.
If you’re going to risk jumping off of other rocks around the island, I really hope you took out travel insurance with major medical coverage. Even when it’s high tide, a lot of spots around the island are not deep enough to jump.
Snorkeling- can be done at basically any of the beaches. Hopefully you’ve rented out an Airbnb with a Superhost who has provided you with some basic gear!! It’s really little things like that truly make your stay that much more memorable. Plus it saves your wallet on rental fees. If your host does not, you can rent gear all over the island or bring your own.
A few of the best spots to snorkel: (Bring your own gear)
Daniel’s Head Beach Park, Church Bay, Admiralty House Park
My first time diving in Bermuda will actually be this coming May!! If you’re not certified many dive shops on the island offer a one day sample dive.
The best tour is out of Somerset Bridge Watersports, 180 Somerset Road. They offer a 75 minute ride at a rate of $125 for a single rider and $135 for doubles/triples. It’s absolutely worth every penny! They’ll take you out and show you huge homes owned by celebrities, you’ll peep out a shipwreck, and feed some fish. If you’re feeling adventurous you can even jump in the water with the feeding fish. Don’t worry, they don’t bite. Blue Water Divers and Watersports is also right here.
My Favorite place to be in general! *Ladies, as always, please use your head and be safe. My rule of thumb is that nothing good ever happens after midnight. For that reason, I never stay out past midnight unless I’m with a local.
Oh yeah, bar close is 4 am.
Here’s a list of all my favorite establishments:
My #1 Favorite – Bermuda Bistro (AKA The Beach) pictured above. If you’re into hip hop, then they offer up great music. Volume goes up at 10pm. They have sidewalk and outdoor seating along with some pretty great food! 103 Front Street
Bulli.Social – offers up an awesome little outdoor patio with amazing bartenders! Great Vibes! 7 Queen Street
The Mariner’s Club – used to be for members only but they recently opened it up to the public. They also have pool tables which is really rare for Bermudian bars. Remember to show respect to the members!!! 22 Richmond Rd
Port O’ Call – is a little bit classier bar located on Front St. You will find the place crowded at 5:01 pm with everyone in suits. 87 Front Street
Doghouse – is new and I haven’t been yet!! So far the buzz is good! 93 Front Street
Swizzle Inn – is a must do on the island. There are actually two locations; one by The Causeway (3 Blue Hole Hill) and one at 87 South Road. The location by The Causeway is the original location and my favorite.
Other Bars: Front Street is loaded with many bars like Cairo-Clubish which is more of a club scene if you’re into that. Pickled Onion is good for dancing with a balcony outside. Flanagan’s can be fun. 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 had in Bermuda.
Tips for going out: If you’re going to go out drinking you can always take a bus into town and a taxi home. You must have exact fare in change or cash, the drivers do not have any 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. 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.
Just like anywhere else, drinking and driving is a huge NO. DO NOT roll the dice. If you have two people, double up on your motorbikes, 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). Sleep in and retrieve the bike you left in town with by doubling up on the bike you left at home!
Hitch vs Taxi? Hitch all the way!!! Hitch is Bermuda’s version of Uber/Lyft. Taxi’s in Bermuda are notorious for either never showing up or taking forevvvveeer. Literally you will wait over an hour after calling for a ride!! No idea why as the island has hundreds of licensed taxi drivers but somehow you’ll be standing on Front St. at bar close without a single taxi on the road. But, if you do find yourself stranded at bar close, you might as well walk over to Mr. Chicken (27 Queen St) and get a Mr. Chicken Fillet. Note: Macaroni & Cheese was mediocre at best. Once you’ve had a bomb drunk meal you might have better luck catching a taxi. Even knowing all of this I’ve ended up stranded on Front St but thankfully my dear friend John was kind enough to come pick me up…. A time or two.
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!
Here’s a list of my favorite dinner spots:
Rosa’s – is located just above Docksider’s. They are serving up bomb ass Mexican food! The antijitos are delicious !! 121 Front St
Jamacian Grill – is where you can find classic street meat!! Amazing! I had the jerk chicken and they even hand picked out the bones for me. Okay … maybe that because I was drunk and it was more out of concern. But, just another way to show how nice and loving Bermy folks are. 32 Court St
Beluga Bar – is located inside the mall. They have very, very good Sushi!!! We had so much food off of this menu. I’m not even kidding just our food ended up being $250 and everything was absolutely delicious!! Edamame was amazing! 18 Church St
Henry VIII – is an absolute must! If you can, go on a Saturday night and stay after for the dancing!! 69 South Road
Royal Naval Dockyard – is a very great area. You should definitely plan on spending a few hours walking around and a few more hours for the museum.
Gibbs Lighthouse –was built in 1846 out of cast iron and it was actually 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!!
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? Well it’s a three wheeled electric mini vehicle. When I was there in June of 2017 they were just hitting the streets. They’re available to rent from Hamilton Princess for a slightly higher price than a scooter.
Rent a Motorbike! In my opinion this is an absolute must!!! Hopefully you’re comfortable on two wheels because this is truly the best way to see Bermuda. My favorite place to rent from is, hands down, Elbow Beach Cycles. Mrs. Thompson and her husband have been renting out scooters since 1945!! He has since passed away but, she keeps things on the up and up! How do I know this—the locals of course!
Mrs. Thompson will provide you with a pocket size map of the island that comes with a 10 minute explanation of the entire island along with her personal recommendations. Trust me, it seems long, but so worth it. The lady knows her shit.
Why Elbow Beach Cycles? Old-Fashioned service at its finest! Simply give them a ring, set up a pick-up time, they come pick you up, transport you to the shop for a quick test drive, sign some paperwork and off you go!
Once you’re done with the bikes they come back to where you’re staying and collect them. You don’t even have to be there! This was honestly so convenient!! No rushing to return when you have to catch a flight!
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!!
Always remember the longer you stay, the cheaper your ticket will be. That goes for any destination, not just Bermuda. Tickets are likely to be higher June-August.
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 but you really have to watch for them. Here’s a post on how to find the cheapest flight.
This is a lovely balcony view of Front Street from 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 so it’s very simple.
Gratuities are included on most bills so you don’t have to worry about tipping. Personally, I still add a few dollars in cash for the bartenders.
It’s hard to say exactly why this 21 sq mi island will leave you returning year after year. But, if I had to guess I’d say it’s a combination of the calming turquoise waters, fun colored houses, and of course the incredibly nice Bermudians. Or it might be the sound of those lovely tree frogs singing you to sleep every night.
When you return to Bermuda it’s not ‘Welcome back’, it’s ‘Welcome Home’ and man I can’t wait to go home again.
We would like to thank AshMonster for sharing her article of Bermuda with us!