BERMUDA

Sea ya later.

Bermuda travel guide

Bermuda is famous for its pink sand beaches, which are made from tiny invertebrates that live on the coral reefs along the island’s coastline.

Bermuda is in Atlantic Daylight Time (ADT). That means the island is always one hour ahead of U.S. Eastern Standard Time, so, if it is 8 a.m. in the morning in New York, it is 9 a.m. in Bermuda.

Bermuda does not require entry visas or visa waivers for tourists, business visitors, or work permit holders entering the country. All travelers, however, must possess a passport that is valid a minimum of 45 days from the date of your arrival. Visitors are usually granted a 21-day stay.*Note that all travelers who require a multi re-entry visa (MRV) must present this visa-type upon arrival in Bermuda.

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All travelers must pay a $40 Travel Authorisation Fee, which covers all COVID-19 tests and fees required. Vaccinated visitors are not required to test upon arriving in Bermuda, but if their country of origin mandates a test to return, it will be scheduled and given before the visitor leaves Bermuda. 

Vaccinated residents with a negative pre-arrival test are not required to test upon arrival in Bermuda. If they do not have a negative pre-arrival test, they must take an antigen test upon arriving in Bermuda. 

Visitors who choose not to participate in these tests must quarantine for 14 days. They may test on day 14 and travel around Bermuda then if the test result is negative. If visitors refuse a test again on day 14, they must quarantine another 14 days.

Please visit www.gov.bm for additional coronavirus information. 

Source: Government of Bermuda: Ministry of Health

L.F. Wade International Airport is the only international airport in Bermuda located at the East End of the island, operating flights to and from Europe and North America. Transportation services such as buses, shuttles, and taxis are available to and from the airport, as well as scooter rentals. When planning your trip, please note that Bermuda does not allow car rentals to tourists and rideshare options like Uber and Lyft are not available either.

Bermuda is the only Atlantic island that does not allow car rentals to tourists or guests, however, getting around Bermuda is easy as there are many other different modes of safe and reliable transportation available.

Twizy: These electric-powered vehicles look pretty similar to golf carts, but it fits two passengers sitting front-to-back instead of side-to-side. All you have to do is hop in, turn the key, press the accelerator and in no time, you’ll be safely zipping around Bermuda in this environmentally-friendly vehicle. A full charge lasts up to 55 miles – plenty of power for the 21-square mile island. There are changing stations around the island at hotels and other tourist attractions. These vehicles tend to book up fast so make a reservation in advance if this is of interest to you.

Twizy Rental, Bermuda

Taxis: There are plenty of taxis around the island and virtually every hotel, restaurant, and shop will be happy to call one for you. If the taxi has a blue flag on the hood, the driver is qualified to serve as a tour guide. They charge no more than regular taxi drivers, so it could be a great opportunity for you to learn something new about the island!

Bus: With 11 routes covering the island, most of which run every half hour throughout the day, the island’s bus network connects nearly all hotels, restaurants, and attractions. Keep in mind that although scheduled buses go to most destinations of interest, they are not always timely or reliable.

Ferry: By far the most scenic way to get around the island is by the government-operated ferry service. There are two ferry services: the fast ferry that goes from the City of Hamilton to Dockyard and from Hamilton to St. George; and the older ferry boats which operate between Paget, Warwick, and Southampton to the City of Hamilton.

Rideshare options like Uber and Lyft are not available on the island, but there are plenty of taxis around the island and virtually every hotel, restaurant, and shop will be happy to call one for you. If the taxi has a blue flag on the hood, the driver is qualified to serve as a tour guide. They charge no more than regular taxi drivers, so it could be a great opportunity for you to learn something new about the island!

Bermuda is considered a relatively safe destination with a crime rate significantly lower than that in the U.S. Crime is rare and of the small amount that does occur, almost exclusively happens amongst locals.

Petty crime such as pickpocketing or purse snatching may occur, so common sense is always an important part of your personal safety while traveling. Remain aware and vigilant. Keep your valuables in a safe location and have the contact information of your nearest embassy or consulate handy in case you have an emergency that requires their intervention.

Blue skies with bright sunshine are usually the default for Bermuda’s weather, however, it can be a bit quirky – with showers on the West End while people bask in the sunshine in the East End. The island is sub-tropical, ensuring comfortable temperatures year-round, from the mid-60s (F) in the winter to mid-80s (F) in the summer. Unlike many other Caribbean islands, Bermuda has no rainy season so rain showers aren’t likely to spoil your vacation, however, if you are seeing some grey clouds, don’t be alarmed as showers don’t usually last long.

May through October is peak beach and tourist season as the weather is ideal for swimming and sunbathing, however, we suggest visiting in March or April as the weather is still enjoyable for outdoor activities and hotel prices during these months are not as high.

The predominant language in Bermuda is Bermudian English, which, is a regional accent of English found in this specific location. This unique dialect fuses together many different influences and accents but is easy to understand for most English-speakers.

You’ll see that most people are extremely nice and accommodating on the island, especially when it comes to needing help or answering any questions you may have. Bermudians typically follow British cultural traditions but etiquette may vary so here are a few things to note:

Greeting/Meeting: Bermudians value good manners as greetings are very important and expected. Greet people with ‘good morning’ or ‘good evening’.  When meeting a Bermudian for the first time, shake hands, introduce yourself, and maintain eye contact.

Dress: While beachwear is worn during downtime, overly revealing clothing is usually frowned upon and Bermudians tend to dress up when dining out.

Guests at home: If you are invited to a Bermudian’s home, bring local flowers, chocolate, or a bottle of wine. Taking off your shoes upon entering is common.

Bermuda uses its own currency: the Bermudian Dollar (BMD). BMD trades at the same rate as the U.S. dollar and carries the same symbol ($). ATMs can be found throughout the island, and credit cards can be used as well, however, cash is preferred at local venues.

Tipping: Most restaurants in Bermuda will include the tip in your bill so it is important to look over the bill carefully. The tip added is generally 15-17% but if the service was exceptional, you can always add more. Similarly, most hotels are subject to a service or gratuity charge, usually 10%. Most people will leave a few dollars for housekeeping at the end of their stay, but, again, check whether or not an additional charge is included. Most taxi drivers expect a 10-15% tip of the total fare.

Bermuda uses Type-A plugs, which are flat and have two prongs. The Standard voltage is 120 V and the standard frequency is 60 Hz AC. All U.S. and Canadian appliances work on the island without adapters or voltage converters.

Type A plugs look like this:

plug type a

Rainwater remains the largest source of drinking water in Bermuda. The roofs of buildings are specifically made to actually filter the rainwater – as they are built with a series of grooves and bleached limestone surfaces that filter into an underground reservoir. There is no freshwater supply in Bermuda, although some hotels and other establishments use reverse osmosis methods to create pure water from seawater. Water is generally considered safe for drinking and cooking; however, we recommend filtering the water if possible or just sticking to bottled water depending on where you are.

Bermuda is a very internet-savvy island and is considered one of the most wired countries in the world. Wi-Fi is available in most public places throughout the island, as the majority of shops, hotels, and cafes will have Wi-Fi, but it may not always be free or reliable. If you are worried about losing connection through more rural parts of the island, plan ahead as access to the internet or Wi-Fi is not guaranteed. Purchasing a SIM card is not necessary.

Bermuda is tolerant of LGBTQIA+, but the island still lags far behind North American and European countries when it comes to policies and laws involving the LGBTQIA+ community, as the fight for LGBTQIA+ rights in Bermuda continues to the day. With this said, it is unlikely members of this community will encounter overt discrimination, but public signs of affection will definitely turn heads – for any couple.

Bermuda is a fairly environmentally friendly country. The island does face rising temperatures and sea levels, so it is always important to be aware of the environment and be as eco-friendly as possible while traveling.

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FOR THE PLANNERS:

Traveling in Bermuda is considerably pricey. From accommodation, to food, souvenirs, and excursions, plan to budget for $125/day.

A TIMELINE OF BERMUDA'S HISTORY

Spanish explorer, Juan de Bermudez, discovers the island. (Bermuda has no record of an indigenous population when it was discovered, nor during initial British settlement a century later.)

1503

Shipwrecked on his way to Virginia, English explorer Sir George Somers settles in Bermuda. African and American Indian slaves are brought to the island.

Sir George Somers, Bermuda, 1600s

Early 1600s

Bermuda becomes a British colony.

1684

Slavery is abolished in Bermuda, alongside the rest of the British Empire.

1834

Reports of unexplained disappearances and shipwrecks begin to capture the public’s attention. The USS Cyclops, a Navy cargo ship with over 300 men and 10,000 tons of cargo on board sink somewhere between Barbados and the Chesapeake Bay.

USS Cyclops, 1918, Bermuda

1918

Bermudian businessmen and bankers adopt the ‘Bermuda short’ – a pair of short trousers ending above the knee used by the British army in need of a uniform more suited for tropical weather. When British and American tourists visited the island, they brought back the trend, wearing tailored Bermuda shorts often with high socks as the British army and businessmen did.

Bermuda Shorts, Bermuda 1920s

1920s

An alleged pattern became clear in which vessels traversing the Bermuda Triangle would either disappear or be found abandoned. In December of 1945, five Navy bombers (Flight 19) got lost as the leader’s compass apparently malfunctioned. That same day, a rescue plane also disappeared.

Flight 19, Navy Bombers, 1945, Bermuda

1945

Author Vincent Gaddis coins the phrase “Bermuda Triangle” in a 1964 magazine article, writing about mysterious accidents occurring in the area.

Bermuda Triangle Map, 1964

1964

A new constitution is introduced. British monarch is head of state represented by a governor, who takes responsibility for external affairs, defense, and international security. Internal self-government, however, is also granted. The first general election under the new constitution is held amid growing racial and political tension.

1968

Bermudian communities of color fight for civil rights and racial equality through riots and demonstrations, following the assassination of Governor Richard Sharples

1977

Human Rights Acts are introduced, prohibiting racial discrimination.

1981

One of Bermuda’s most prolific advocates in the fight for civil rights and racial equality on the island, Eva Naomi Hodgson passed away. Her legacy and fight lives on and is commemorated by the members of the Progressive Labour Party.

2020

Bermuda continues to be a popular destination spot, with tourism accounting for an estimated 30% of its gross domestic product.

Bermuda, Satellite View

2021 - Present

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