Bermuda shopping & the best stores
There is no sales tax as you shop in Bermuda. However that doesn't make things any cheaper except for a few items. Why? Because there are import duties on goods and most of the items in Bermuda are imported. Import duty is a way the government raises funds. Duty varies on the type of goods, but is always included in the price. So the key to tax free shopping in Bermuda is to go for the locally made quality items which are otherwise not available elsewhere.
There are lots of Bermuda made articles like cedar items, ornaments & charms made with pink sands, blown glass items, handcrafts, pottery, fashions and paintings by local artists. Sports clothes and sun straws are also good buys. There are excellent books on Bermuda with wide range of titles including travel, history, art & architecture, diving and lot more.
With the military and British colonial legacy of Bermuda, and a natural tendency for most Bermudians not to throw anything away, the island has become a treasure trove of collectibles. Many types of small items can be found that reflect a slice of Bermuda's history. Many of such items have found their way to the island from other countries. Such items include old tins, buttons, bottles, original items of china & brass and lot more. You’ll find many of these items in the small stalls and shops in the alleys of Hamilton City.
The sea has played an important role in Bermuda's history as marine trade and fishing were once the main source of living for the islanders. You can purchase a range of items based on marine theme like displays of propellers, brass plates etc. The marine knots will remind you of the original regatta or ocean yacht races. You can engage yourself for hours searching for that little piece of the past to take back home. You also get excellent imported merchandise in Bermuda like French perfumes, English bone china, Swiss watches, Danish silver and jewelry, cameras, Irish linen, Scottish tweeds, Italian silks, cashmere sweaters, leather goods, liquor and liqueurs and many other great products.
My list of unique and great buys in Bermuda
• Bermuda cedar Items: The island has abundance of cedar trees and hence so many uniquely designed handcrafted cedar items are available like mugs, book ends, carvings, sculptures, picture frames, trays etc.
• Bermuda Gombey Rag Dolls
: Gombey is a traditional rhythmic dance of Bermuda where sound and dance are combined to great shows by performers on colorful costumes. You get miniature dolls of such Gombey performers.
• Banana Leaf Dolls: Made of Bermuda banana leafs.
• Bermuda Longtail Jewelry: The beautiful white-tailed tropic birds known as Longtails, are seen on Bermuda's coastline during summer. The birds spend the winter at the sea looking for fish and come back to the island for nesting during the summer. There are many jewelry and charms of gold and silver that are designed on the longtails.
• Jewelry, ornaments and charms encasing Bermuda's signature pink sands.
• Bermuda Moongate Jewelry: Moongates in Bermuda are arches that bring good luck to couples who walk through them. This is a very special tradition of Bermuda. You get lovely moongate silver charms and jewelry in the island.
• Hand crafted glass items
: Talented local flame artists create exquisite glass items right in front of you in glass blowing studios. Items include vases, plates, glass models of animals & birds found in Bermuda, and lot more.
• Bermuda Perfumes
: There are some great fragrances produced locally. Some are inspired by the ocean & sky and capture the essence of the island. Bermuda Blue Perfume and few products of Bermuda Perfumery are our favorites.
• Bermuda Rum Cakes
: Local Black Seal rum is used as an ingredient. The cakes are delicious and have unique flavor.
• Gosling's Black Seal Rum: Produced in the island since early 1800s, very popular in the island but quite strong :)
• And of course, Bermuda Shorts
... a popular worldwide name which has originated from this island. But the proper Bermuda shorts are way different from what we know them to be. They are also official wears for men in the island.
Where to go for shopping in Bermuda?
The main shopping stores in Bermuda are in Hamilton City. Hamilton Shopping Map
shows the popular stores, their locations and main product offerings. Other popular shopping areas include the Clocktower Mall
in Royal Naval Dockyard (at the western end, quite convenient for the cruise ship passengers docking there) and Somers Wharf
in St. George's Town (at the eastern end). While departing by air, the airport is a good place to buy duty free items which are less expensive than most stores in the island. Of course the varieties are less, but you get most of the usual stuffs starting from Bermuda rum cakes, food products, accessories to wine & spirits including island's famous Gosling's rum.
Store/Shop Hours in Bermuda
In general, you can shop 9am to 5pm, Monday through Saturday. Except for the stores at Clocktower Mall in Dockyard, shops in Bermuda are usually closed on Sundays and other public holidays. So if you reach Hamilton City after 5pm on a week day or anytime on Sunday, it will look quite deserted. However the Supermarkets remain open for extended hours (usually from 8am to 10pm Monday-Saturday and 1pm - 5pm on Sundays).
celebration takes place on every Wednesday in Hamilton city (April through September), when most of the shops and restaurants on Front street remain open till late evening. Many stores & shops on such nights are usually open until 9pm and some even beyond. Same is the case in St George on Tuesdays when Market Nights
are celebrated. Also, stores stay open late on Fridays during the Christmas shopping season.
A Bermuda Shop
Not sure why I took this picture above. My wife was then busy buying a seahorse crystal which we still proudly hold in a glass cabinet back at home. Perhaps this picture somewhat sums up what shopping in Bermuda is all about.
Shopping categories and the best Bermuda stores
Click a shopping category below to know about the items and find out the best stores in Bermuda selling them.
Art & Craft
: Information about art galleries, studios and craft centers in Bermuda exhibiting & selling paintings, drawings, photos, sculptors, models and other artworks from renowned artists.
: Here I have reviewed a number of outstanding Bermuda books covering diverse subjects. I've also listed the top bookstores in the island.
: Know all about Bermuda shorts - why are they so popular, get a guide to buy the right shorts from the right stores, comments from women & men buyers.
: A review of the clothing or apparel shopping options in Bermuda and the top stores in the island.
Bermuda Local Food & Drinks
: If you are looking for the best of Bermuda food products, wine or spirits, or even Cuban cigars, check out these great offerings and places you get them.
Glassware and Ceramics
: Here you will know about some great Bermuda shops on glassware & ceramics, like the Dockyard Glassworks, Bermuda Clay Works Pottery, Island Shop, Bluck's, Bermuda Glass Bowling Studio and such.
Gifts and Souvenirs
: Finding the little gifts & souvenir in Bermuda can be quite puzzling. You may keep searching for hours to get what you want. Know about our favorite stores.
Jewelry and Accessories
: In Bermuda, you can find artists selling their handmade jewelry or accessories which often have island themes and are just lovely.
Perfume and Cosmetics
: Some great shops on Bermuda perfumes and cosmetics include Bermuda Perfumery, Gibbon's Perfume Shop, A.S Coopers & Sons, Dockyard shops etc.
: Here are the best kids stores in Bermuda selling all sorts of children's items like clothing, art & craft, games, DVDs and lot more.
: There are several thrift stores in Bermuda where you can get a lot of value buys. These stores are generally attached to charities and provide various kinds of value items in low price. So if you are looking for small local items that are cheap and at the same time serving as excellent gift or souvenir or even as great household items, then explore some of the thrift stores in Bermuda. Most of the items come through donations and can be used ones.
: How about finding a clean reputable tattoo parlor in the island and getting a tattoo done on yourself to serve as a nice memory of your time in Bermuda?
: This is an open area market where vendors sell all kinds of items in an affordable price and in an atmosphere which is family friendly and inviting. It's a great place to pick up traditional Bermudian items like art & craft, food items, clothes, books including used ones, jewelry items, bags & shoes and lot more. The market is held on every Saturday and more like a community event where you can meet many locals. There is also free live music, dance shows and loads of games for children. The weekly theme changes. There is no entry fee. It is held at Cedar Bridge Academy School campus in Devonshire parish.
Map of Bermuda Shops & Stores
: A map showing the main shops and stores in Hamilton City, Bermuda.
Bermuda Duty Free shopping & allowances
Check out Bermuda Duty Free
to find out where can you get duty free items in Bermuda and how much of duty free shopping allowance is given.
Visitors' Reviews & Comments
Barbara Dyer (April 2015)
I will be in Bermuda in a couple months an my son is hoping I can find a Harley Davidson store to bring him back a shirt an hat. Is there a store in Bermuda an where?
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com) April 2015
There is no Harley Davidson store in Bermuda. However Harley Davidson T-shirts are sold in few stores around the island. You can check in the Clocktower mall at the dockyard.
April Ouellette (March 2015)
Hello, I have been searching for Bermuda Longtail Bird medallions like the ones I saw on many homes across the island. They appeared to be made of plaster and were flat on the back and easily attached to the exterior of the home. Can you give me an idea where I could purchase a few? I have searched the internet and have not found any. Please help! This would be the perfect 50th Anniversary present for my parents. Thank you for your time,
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com) March 2015
Hi, Bermuda Clayworks at dockyard makes varieties of plaques (house signs) with impressions of birds, animals, flowers, houses and many other things native to Bermuda. They are mostly pottery items. You can also customize your plaque, make it square instead of oval and with your own choice of impressions. They also make various other pottery and clay items.
Elaine Grierson (October 2014)
Could you let me know if the shops are open on Sunday. How far is it to Hamilton City from King's Wharf port?
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com) October 2014
Shops at Clocktower Mall at the Kings Wharf port (dockyard) are open on Sundays, but not in Hamilton.
Jessica Lewis (July 2013)
Hi, I am traveling with my 79 year old mother. She was in Bermuda many years ago and said she wants to buy Irish knitwear for her great grandchild. Are there any stores that sell these?? Thanks,
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com) July 2013
Hi, You may not get Irish knitwear like sweaters etc in Bermuda. You can try Irish Linen Shop (31 Front Street, Hamilton City). They mainly keep Irish linen items, table cloths, handkerchiefs, napkins etc and even children dress materials. Regards,
Jean Klug (June 2013)
OK, Bear with me. I was in Hamilton last August wondering around and I came across a building that looked interesting so I went inside. Well, I found myself with 3 floors to explore. Everything from linens to toys, crystal and something that I want to find again. I bought a jar of candy. It was different colored candy coated sea shells.
Not very expensive and for the life of me I can't remember the name of this wonderful place I found. Guess I was watching the time and wanted to get back to the ferry to take me back to the ship. Is The Bermuda Shop what I was in and where I found that wonderful candy? I am going back to Bermuda in October and would like to find that candy again and buy extras for gifts. Hope you can help me. Blessings, Jean
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com) June 2013
Hi, From your description it sounds like you went to Phoenix building which is located at the corner of Queen and Reid Streets in Hamilton City. Phoenix Group originally started as a drug store in 1902 (this was their original store, The Phoenix Center). The group later expanded to a major chain of pharmacies in the island and then added the large department stores (Brown & Co.).
The Phoenix Building at Hamilton City (3 Reid Street) houses both the pharmacy and a branch of Brown & Co over three floors. You will find all sorts of items here including gifts & souvenirs, accessories, perfumes & cosmetics, jewelry, greeting cards, chocolates & candies, sunglasses, handbags etc. It's a great place to shop at reasonable prices. The Brown & Co. (which is part of the Phoenix group) also has a separate building of its own in Hamilton (35 Front Street). Open hours (at both places): Monday - Saturday (8:30am to 5:30pm), Sunday & Holidays (1pm to 5pm)
Shopping in Bermuda
Reviewed by Raj Bhattacharya