Bargaining is not practised in Bermuda's stores or markets. However, if you're looking to rent a spare room or apartment from a local for longer than a week, it may be possible to discuss a discounted rate.
Dangers & Annoyances
- Bermuda's narrow roads often lack sidewalks, so pedestrians need to be mindful of traffic.
- The majority of Bermudians tend to drive faster than the speed limit.
- Underwater dangers include rip currents and undertows, fire coral, the potentially deadly Portuguese man-of-war jellyfish and the poisonous lionfish.
- Cliff diving is popular but can result in serious injury.
- Watch out for poison ivy in parks and woodlands.
- There is very little violent crime, but women should stick to well-lit areas at night and be alert if walking the remote stretches of the Railway Trail.
- Bag snatching occasionally occurs. Tourist properties are occasionally the target of break-ins.
- Lock up scooters to prevent theft.
Emergency & Important Numbers
|Bermuda's Country Code||441|
|International Access Code||00 or 1|
|Ambulance, Fire & Police||911|
|Bermuda Police Service||441-295-0011|
|King Edward VII Memorial Hospital Emergency Room||441-239-2009|
Entry & Exit Formalities
To enter Bermuda, visitors need the following:
- Machine-readable passport valid for at least six months.
- Either a return ticket or an onward ticket to another destination.
- Accommodation confirmation.
Bermuda has very strict rules about the importation of plants and animal products. Visitors may bring in the following:
- 50 cigars
- 200 cigarettes
- 0.5kg of tobacco
- 1L of wine
- 1L of spirits
- $30 worth of presents
Generally not required for stays of up to six months.
Bermudians are generally laidback, if politely reserved. Some unwritten rules of conduct do apply.
- Greetings Greet people you run into formally, with 'good morning' or 'good evening'. Handshakes are de rigueur for men, air kisses for women.
- Dress While beachwear is worn during leisure time, overly revealing clothing is frowned upon, and Bermudians tend to dress up when dining out.
- Punctuality Bermudians are more punctual than their Caribbean counterparts further south, but arriving on the dot is generally not done.
Bermuda is a conservative society and it lags behind Europe and North America in its attitudes towards homosexuality. Gay sex was illegal in Bermuda until 1994 and discrimination against people on the grounds of sexual orientation was only made illegal in 2013, though in 2015 the Supreme Court of Bermuda ruled that same-sex unions should have the same employment rights and benefits as everyone else. Gay travelers are unlikely to experience overt discrimination, though open displays of affection are very much frowned upon.
There isn't a gay scene in Bermuda as such, though there are a number of gay-friendly venues, including Cafe Cairo and the Little Venice Wine Bar in Hamilton. Hotels noted for being gay-friendly include Reefs, Hamilton Princess, and Royal Palms, while Aunt Nea's Inn and Quarterdeck Cabin are gay-owned lodgings that welcome gay travelers. Two Words and a Comma (www.facebook.com/twowordsandacomma) is a local grassroots organization that campaigns for gay rights in Bermuda.
Bermuda is a wired country and free wi-fi is a standard feature of tourist accommodations. It's increasingly available in restaurants and pubs, and both the Dockyard and parts of the city of Hamilton are covered by free wi-fi zones. Bermuda National Library offers free internet access.
Bermuda is a law-abiding island and traffic violations are penalized with fines. Police take a very dim view of illegal substances and don't differentiate between a small amount imported or purchased for personal use and smuggling in kilos of narcotics for sale. Lengthy prison sentences apply. There are no foreign embassies in Bermuda, as it remains a British dependency.
Bermuda's currency is the Bermudian dollar, pegged to the US dollar; the two are used interchangeably. Bank notes come in denominations of $2, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. The Bermudian dollar is divided into 100 cents; coin denominations are 5, 10 and 25 cents, as well as $1.
- ATMs Widely available in the city of Hamilton, St George's town and the Dockyard.
- Cash You'll need it to pay for bus and ferry tickets, taking taxis and paying in cheaper restaurants.
- Changing Money Banks along Front St in Hamilton give the best rates. Bermudian currency cannot be exchanged outside the island. Change any remaining Bermudian dollars into US dollars upon leaving.
- Credit Cards Widely accepted in hotels and restaurants.
- Traveler's Checks International US dollar checks accepted by some establishments. Passport necessary as photo ID.
For current exchange rates, see www.xe.com.
Hotels For bellhops and door porters $5; gratuity for housekeeping typically $3 to $5 per day; for room service $5 to $10.
Gas stations Per fill-up $1 to $2.
Restaurants Tip of 15% to 17% typically added to bills.
Taxis Tip 15% to 20%.
Opening hours vary throughout the year. We’ve provided high-season opening hours; hours will generally decrease in the shoulder and low seasons.
Banks 8:30am to 4:30pm Monday to Friday
Restaurants noon to midnight daily
Cafes 7:30am to 8pm daily
Bars noon to 1am daily
Clubs 10pm to 3am daily
Shops 9am to 6pm Monday to Saturday, 1pm to 6pm Sunday
Bermudian postal services are reliable and airmail leaves the island daily. FedEx, DHL Express and other international courier services all have offices in Bermuda. The main post office is in the city of Hamilton.
New Year's Day January 1
Good Friday March or April
Bermuda Day May 24
National Heroes' Day Mid to late June
Cup Match Last Thursday and Friday in July or first Thursday and Friday in August
Emancipation Day Last Thursday in July or first Thursday in August
Somers' Day Last Friday in July or first Friday in August
Labour Day First week of September
Remembrance Day November 11
Christmas Day December 25
Boxing Day December 26
Smoking is forbidden in Bermuda's public places, which include restaurants, bars, shops and cinemas.
Taxes & Refunds
Bermuda is a tax haven and there's no VAT or sales tax. A Hotel Occupancy Tax of 7.25% is levied on accommodation and is often not included in the quoted room price.
|Bermuda's access code||1+441|
|Dialing USA & Canada||1+area code+number|
|Dialing the UK & elsewhere||011+country code+area code+number|
Local SIM cards can be used in unlocked European and North American phones. Digicel and CellOne are the main cell-phone service providers. Roaming can be very expensive.
Bermuda is on Atlantic Standard Time (GMT/UTC minus four hours) and is one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time (New York, Toronto).
Free public restrooms are found along Front St in the city of Hamilton, in St George's town, the Dockyard and several beaches. Chemical toilet cubicles are found next to most beaches.
www.gotobermuda.com Official website of the Bermuda Tourism Authority.
Island Tour Centre Books most tours in Bermuda, particularly water sports.
Island Tour Centre Dockyard branch.
Visitor Information Centre Bus and ferry timetables and brochures.
Visitor Information Centre St George's branch.
Visitor Information Centre Dockyard branch.
Travel with Children
Bermuda is an excellent destination for children. Childcare products are widely available at supermarkets and pharmacies, and there are ample baby-changing facilities. Hotels tend to have elevators for those with prams and pushchairs and there are sidewalks in the city of Hamilton, St George's town and the Dockyard, as well as along a number of roads. Family-friendly attractions abound, from beaches with shallow, calm waters (Horseshoe Bay, Clearwater Beach, Turtle Beach, Elbow Beach, Shelly Bay Beach) to interactive exhibits at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute and art-related activities at the Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art for children aged six and older. Kids are welcome to participate in underwater adventure, with Hartley's Undersea Adventures providing diving helmets for children as young as five, and Fantasea arranging 'snuba' outings for children over the age of eight. Older children are welcome to participate in snorkeling outings, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding and even wakeboarding. Bermuda's natural attractions, such as Crystal Cave & Fantasy Cave and swimming and jumping off low cliffs in the Walsingham Nature Reserve, are very popular with older kids. Shelly Bay Beach and the National Museum of Bermuda both have excellent playgrounds for children under the age of six, while the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo welcomes children of all ages.
Many hotels and guesthouses are child-friendly and can provide extra beds and cribs on request. Most resorts can arrange babysitting services and have special kids' camps during high season. Some of the best places to stay with children include the Hamilton Princess, Grotto Bay Beach Resort, Reefs and Grape Bay Cottages.
Most local eateries welcome families with children and many can provide high chairs. Some, including La Trattoria and AZU Beastro have separate children's menus and/or toys for little ones, while Tribe Road Kitchen and Fourways Inn make children particularly welcome during weekend brunch.
A number of attractions, restaurants, sidewalks and pubs are wheelchair accessible, as are the fast ferries. Some hotels have rooms that cater to mobility-impaired guests. Public buses, however, are not at all equipped for wheelchair access and there are only a few taxis that can accommodate wheelchairs. The Bermuda Physically Handicapped Association has useful info for disabled travelers.
Bermuda's NGOs and charities welcome volunteers, though priority is given to locals and long-term residents, such as the spouses of expats who don't work themselves. It's worth contacting the Centre on Philanthropy (www.centreonphilanthropy.org) to find out where your skills can be applied.
Weights & Measures
- Weights & Measures A mixture of the imperial and metric systems is used.
Most expats work in Bermuda's finance sector and IT; some work in the tourism industry. Non-Bermudians need a work permit to work in Bermuda. It's worth looking for relevant job openings on the Royal Gazette website (www.royalgazette.com/section/jobs).