Things to do in Bermuda
Although Bermuda is small, it has been exceptionally blessed by nature with wonderful landscapes, sub-tropical temperate weather, numerous stunning beaches and coves with lovely pink sands, turquoise water with amazing marine life, nature reserves and parks with diverse flora and fauna, and lot more. Since tourism is key to Bermuda's economy, the islanders have developed a strong infrastructure to support all kinds of land and water based activities.
Turtle Cove Glass Bottom Snorkel Adventure
Photo: Reef Explorer Bermuda
So what can you do while in Bermuda? Actually the choices are plenty to fill your agenda for days or even weeks. Swimming and snorkeling are excellent from most of the beaches. You can experience golfing in some of the word's best scenic courses, enjoy horse rides along wonderful beach trails, kayak along the shoreline, take sailing tours for sightseeing and glass-bottom views of Atlantic marine life and corals, watch sunset while on a sail as you sip an island cocktail or take a snorkeling cruise, jet skiing, parasailing, paddle boarding, go for fishing and lot more. There are over 300 shipwrecks scattered in the waters around Bermuda and numerous coral reefs that are teeming with marine life. This makes the island a coveted destination for scuba divers and even snorkelers.
And there are amazing caves with awesome limestone formations, aquarium, numerous historical sites, museums, churches, historic forts and even nature reserves and parks. If you are a nature lover, you will love to hike along the wonderful trails through reserves, quaint countryside and along the coastline. And there are many operators who offer guided sightseeing tours in private minibuses showing you the island attractions and filling you with island information. Such tours operate both on groups (on per person rates) as well as on private charters. You can also hire a taxi for few hours to tour the island and there are several taxi drivers who are government certified tour guides.
Listed below are the must do's in Bermuda and ordered by popularity. Go through the links for full description of each along with pictures.
Located in Southampton parish, Horseshoe Bay Beach is a picturesque curved stretch of pink sands and is the most popular in the island for sunbathing, swimming, soaking in the views and even cliff jumping. It has adequate amenities including a beach bar, beach and watersport rentals, bathrooms with showers, lifeguards, a trail leading to other magnificent beaches and coves etc. This has been mentioned as one of the top 10 beaches in the world by leading travel magazines.
Horseshoe Bay Beach Bermuda
Photo: Captain-tucker, Wikimedia Commons, CC by SA 4.0
Located in Hamilton parish, this is the best cave complex in the island complete with guided tours, a gift and souvenir shop and a cafe. Watch the amazing chandelier-like limestone formations hanging from the ceilings and others rising from the bottom as you walk over the wooden bridge laid over the lakes inside. There are guided tours through the illuminated caves that look fabulous in the lights.
Crystal Cave and Cahow Lake, Bermuda
There are three attractions in one complex, the Aquarium, a Museum and a small Zoo, the main one though is the Aquarium. Here you can see amazing marine life and fish of the north Atlantic.
Silver Lookdown Fish and Corals
Operated mostly from Dockyard and Hamilton, there are wonderful group as well as private tours offered on motorboats, sailing yachts and catamarans. There are tours showing glass-bottom views of stunning corals, fish and marine life, sightseeing tours showing coastline and water landmarks including a partially submerged shipwreck, sailing cruises showing you amazing sunset views while you sip a cocktail, snorkel cruises taking you to offshore locations where you can snorkel over shipwrecks and underwater reefs and watch colorful marine life and corals.
Source: Rising Son Cruises
Bermuda once had a railway and the track was laid mostly along the north shore spanning across the entire length of the island from west to east. After the railway was abolished and the tracks removed, it has been converted into a beautiful walking and cycling trail of 18 miles. Several sections of the trail pass through picturesque landscapes with views of the ocean. One of the best sections to walk is the one that starts at Hamilton Parish near Bermuda Aquarium leading towards Coney Island.
Walking the Bermuda Railway Trail
Photo: slgckgc, CC by 2.0
This is a small but beautiful beach near Fort St. Catherine in St. George's. The bay has a lot of rock formations and is excellent for snorkeling. Beach facilities includes cafe, bar, water sport activities including snorkeling etc. During the high season, the beach cafe organizes campfire on the beach where you can carry your drinks and watch a beautiful sunset over the bay.
Tobacco Bay Beach
The beach cafe offers water sports
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Located in Hamilton parish, this is a forested reserve spanning across 12 acres of land area. You can get to beautiful blue holes surrounded by forested cliffs (you can watch the blue hole from a deck or even cliff jump into one of them), explore many plantations, see mangroves, and even several hidden caves and grottos (where you can swim). You can also book a guided tour of the jungle.
Blue Hole Park, Bermuda
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Dolphin Quest is a dolphin activity and training center located within the National Museum complex at Royal Naval Dockyard. Other than watching dolphins perform amazing stunts, you can participate in an interactive session of feeding dolphins and playing with them.
Located in Southampton parish, Gibbs Hill Lighthouse is the oldest cast iron built lighthouse in the world and overlooks the wonderful Great Sound water area. It helped navigating many ships around the treacherous underwater reefs. Climb up the spiral steps... the panoramic view from the balcony above is awesome. There is a gift shop and also a restaurant at the base of the lighthouse.
View from the top of Gibbs Hill Lighthouse
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Located in St. George, this is the oldest continuously operated Anglican church in the western hemisphere. This historic church has a graveyard that has graves of several notable persons.
St Peter's Church
Photo: JoeyBagODonuts, cc by sa 3.0
It showcases the rich history and heritage of Bermuda through numerous exhibits and artifacts, and is housed in a fortress. You will know about Bermuda's past including how the first settlement took place in the island, its slavery period, maritime past, why and how Royal Naval Dockyard was built, how the fortress was built to safeguard the dockyard, collections from Royal Navy, and lot more. The museum is located at Royal Naval Dockyard.
National Museum of Bermuda (Old Fort Complex)
Located in Southampton parish this course is a dream for all golfers around the world with its sweeping greens and wonderful ocean views combined with challenging drives. This is a popular venue for PGA Grand Slam.
Spare a few hours and take a fully explained self-guided tour to explore all the main attractions in Hamilton city which is the capital of Bermuda. There are many buildings and sites here with historic and administrative importance... Bermuda's Parliament and Assembly House are located here.
Front Street in Hamilton
Photo: Darryl Brooks, Shutterstock
City Hall and Art Center houses the largest exhibition center of the island along with the National Art Gallery, Fort Hamilton is an important historic fort that once safeguarded the Hamilton Harbor... and there are many other important monuments, churches, lovely parks and public places as well as numerous restaurants, bars, pubs, and glittering shops that you can indulge in.
This is a beach park and trail stretching between Southampton and Warwick Parish. Walk along this 1.25 mile sandy trail to visit some of the loveliest pink south shore beaches and coves starting from Horseshoe bay beach, to Jobson's Cove, Stonehole Bay and all the way to Warwick Long Bay.
Jobson' Cove here is special... this lovely picturesque cove surrounded by rocks is a favorite venue for beach weddings. Its shallow and calm water is great for swimming and snorkeling too. There are several other beautiful coves along the way.
Take a fully explained self-guided tour of St. George, the former capital of Bermuda where the first settlement took place in early 1600s. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and steeped in history.
St, George, Bermuda
Photo: Charles Lewis, Shutterstock
The laid-back town with is narrow alleyways continues to bear the same historic aura where the time seems to have frozen since centuries. There are many attractions here including historic churches and buildings, museums, forts, lovely beaches and many boutique stores and cozy eateries and bars.
This is a great place to know about mysteries of the ocean and what actually happens in the deep. The Ocean Discovery Center here has several sections that hold various ocean exhibits and artifacts including rare collections of treasures from shipwrecks, footages of historic wrecks, vast collection of sea shells and lot more. There is a section where you can simulate a section of the ocean and see marine creatures like sharks and corals in life-like sizes.
Living with the Oceans, BUEI
You can also take a simulated submarine ride or get into a shark cage to get a feeling of what happens when a shark hits the cage. There is also a section that unearths the mysteries of Bermuda Triangle and demonstrates through audio visual simulations the various reasons behind the disappearances of ships and planes.
While there are a number of unique and amazing food and cocktails that Bermuda boasts of having invented, if I had to pick one... then it has to be the fish sandwich in raisin bread you get at Art Mel's in Hamilton. Fish like wahoo or snapper is fried with flour in soy bean oil along with their secret mix, and served in raisin or other bread of your choice with tartar sauce and colesaw... it's a joyous bite that melts into your mouth... heavenly! There are several other eateries making great fish sandwiches including Mama Angie's in St. George and Rosa's in Hamilton.
Fish Sandwich in Bermuda
Photo: Art Mel's Spicy Dicy, Bermuda
If you are cruising to Bermuda this is where your cruise ship is likely to dock. The dockyard is an expansive area located in Sandys parish at the west end of the island where two large cruise ships can berth simultaneously. The entire area has been developed into a large tourist complex with numerous restaurants, pubs and bars as well as many different attractions including the Clocktower Mall which has many boutique shops.
Canons at Dockyard
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Apart from several art and craft galleries and studios, the dockyard houses the National Museum in a fortress, Dophin Center, a marina, a public ferry dock and more. Many water sports, boating and island tours originate from the dockyard.
Located at the north eastern fringe of St. George's Parish, this is a historic British fort originally built in early 1600s and later rebuilt. It overlooks the ocean and is fringed by beautiful beaches on both sides. It is now a large museum showcasing military exhibits of the British era in the island.
Fort St. Catherine, Bermuda
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Located in St. George's parish, construction of the church started in 1874 but was never finished mainly due to parish infighting and lack of fund. It is now part of the UNESCO world heritage site and is visited by large number of tourists every year.
Horseshoe Bay Beach
: Picturesque pink sandy beach in Southampton parish with a curvature like that of a horseshoe. This is the most popular beach in the island and therefore most crowded.
Tobacco Bay Beach
: Small and lovely sandy beach in St. George with a sheltered bay which is surrounded by rocks and cliffs. Great beach for snorkeling and swimming.
Warwick Long Bay Beach
: Half-a-mile long beautiful pink beach in Warwick parish which remains relatively less crowded.
: A lovely elbow shaped sandy beach in Paget parish favorite to locals and tourists.
: Beautiful small beach surrounded by large rocks making the water calm and great for snorkeling. It's located in Warwick parish next to Warwick Long Bay.
Top Island Tours
Island Tours by minibus
: Several operators offer group as well as private tours in their minibuses which can usually accommodate up to 15 persons. Here too the driver is usually a great guide and knowledgeable about the island and its history. Group tours work on per person rates and are usually available for half or full day in set tour packages.
Great self guided tours
: Explore the great attractions of Bermuda including beaches, caves, forts, historical sites, parks and reserves etc using public buses and ferries.
Island tours by taxi
: You can book a taxi on hourly rate. Experienced and knowledgeable drivers double up as excellent guides and can take you around the island. They can create a personalized tour for you based on your interest and let you know a lot about the island and its people on the way. If you are in a small group like 4 to 6, this can be quite affordable as well.
Top Sailing and Water Tours
Swim and Snorkel Boat Tours
: Group tours operating on per person rate take you to offshore water locations where you can snorkel and see beautiful corals, fish and even shipwrecks. The snorkel cruises usually cover two snorkel sites and lasts for about 2 hours.
Glass Bottom Boat Tours
: If snorkeling is not your cup of tea, you can hop into a boat with glass bottom view to see lovely underwater corals and fish, and even a partially submerged shipwreck. Several tours offer sightseeing of the coastline along the way and provide a commentary letting you about the island, the landmarks, history and culture.
Sunset and Sightseeing Cruises
: Get a wonderful view of the coastline and islands from a sailboat or catamaran, and watch the sunset as you sip a cocktail and listen to the captain about the island.
Top Museums and Historic Buildings
National Museum of Bermuda
: A large museum spanning across 15 acres of land in Royal Naval Dockyard in a fortress. The museum has rare exhibits and artifacts showcasing Bermuda's maritime and slavery history, traditions and culture, architecture, art and craft, music and dance and lot more.
: Located in St. David's, this is one of the oldest farm houses in the island and now a museum showcasing history and culture of residents of St. Davids.
Fort St. Catherine
: A large historical British fort overlooking the ocean located in St. George. It houses a museum that showcases weapons and artillery of old British army in the island.
Museum at BAMZ
: A museum at Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo complex in Hamilton parish with exhibits showing Bermuda the way it was before settlement took place and the developments.
Great Caves and Grottos
Crystal and Fantasy Caves
: Both these stunning caves are located in the same complex in Hamilton parish and have lakes with footbridge. They have beautiful limestone formations hanging from ceiling as well as rising from the bottom.
Caves at Tom Moore's Jungle
: Also known as Blue Hole Park, this is a nature reserve located in Hamilton parish and has numerous caves and grottos with great limestone formations. Several of such caves have water fed by the nearby Castle harbor and are great for cave swimming.
Great Historic Forts
Fort St. Catherine
: This fort was built by the British in 1600s to protect St. George which was then the Capital of Bermuda. It's now a great museum with exhibits of old artillery and weapons.
: It's located in the outskirts of Hamilton City. The fort was built in 1870s to protect the Hamilton harbor which was then heavily used by navy ships.
: Located in Sandys, this inland fort was built in 19th century to protect Royal Naval Dockyard from land based attack by the enemies.
Top Water Sports
Top Snorkeling: Beachside and By Boat
: Bermuda has some of the best beaches and offshore water areas in the world for snorkeling. You can see magnificent corals, many colorful fish and myriad of other marine life, and even shipwrecks.
: Several operators offer guided Jetski tours from Royal Naval Dockyard, Hamilton and even St. Georges showing you wonderful harbors, islands and marine life along the way.
: Guided group kayak (canoeing) tours are offered by several operators in the island exploring the coastline and calm water areas. There are single and double kayaks, and even ones fitted with LEDS at the bottom to watch marine life and corals after sunset.
: One and two-tank dives are offered by experienced and well equipped dive centers to explore few of the many great historic shipwrecks, magnificent reefs and marine life.
: Walk on the sea floor amongst amazing marine life as you wear a special helmet and breathe normally through a hose pipe. No need to know swimming.
Great Parks and Nature Reserves
: This large parkland is located in Paget and full of plantations of different types including Bermuda's native plants and flowering gardens. A free guided walking tour is offered.
This is a large 64-acre nature reserve in Smiths parish with lush vegetation, central brackish pond, view of coastline and strange geological formations. The reserve is excellent for bird watching.
Cooper's Island Nature Reserve
: A 12-acre nature reserve located at St. David's with view of rocky coastline, offshore islands and several great beaches nearby.
Ferry Reach Park
: Located in St. George's parish, this is a large park area with a forested land, walking trail, a beach and several historic forts.
Great Walking Trails
Bermuda Railway Trail
: The trail stretches for 18kms across the island and has several sections. It was originally the track route for Bermuda's railways and now converted into a lovely nature trail with scenic views of the north shore at various sections.
South Shore Beaches and Park
: Walk the south shore trail of 1.25 miles and visit some of the top pink sandy beaches including Horseshoe bay beach, Jobson's cove and Warwick Long Bay Beach.
St Peter’s Church
: Located in St. George, this is the oldest Anglican church in western hemisphere. There are graveyards in the church premises.
Cathedral of The Most Holy Trinity
: This Anglican church is located in Hamilton and built in Neo Gothic architecture. View of the city from the top of the tower is awesome.
St. Anne's Church
: This is an Anglican church in Southampton Parish. It was originally built in 1600s.
Great Art and Craft
Bermuda Art Center
: Different types of artwork are created and sold here. Located at Royal Naval Dockyard.
: Large collection of local craft work. Located at Royal Naval Dockyard.
Architecture and Traditional Homes
: Bermuda's houses mostly follow the Stuart Architecture with pastel colors and gabled limestone roofs, and many have chimneys, while several churches are designed on Gothic architecture. This trend had set in from the end of 17th century.
Great Traditional Homes
: Visit some of the great traditional homes in Bermuda to explore the architecture and traditional lifestyle.
The concentration of most restaurants in the island are in Hamilton City. Front Street is lined with restaurants and bars of all sorts. Most nightlife options such as dance clubs, night clubs, sports bars, pubs and lounges are also in Hamilton. Royal Naval Dockyard and St. George are the other two locations where you can find several choices of restaurants. Other locations or parishes would have relatively smaller dining choices unless you like to dine in an in-house restaurant of a hotel.
The guide to great restaurants and bars would let you know about all the great restaurants and bars in the island by location and category (i.e. budget, mid range or upscale). You can get to know the details about each restaurant including their cuisine, signature dishes, service and ambience.
The best budget eateries will let you know about the best cheap restaurants in the island including their cuisine and the best dishes to try.
Try the food trucks to get a taste of real Bermuda and the local food Bermudians love. They serve mobile food from trucks and vans at various locations serving hot local food like jerk chicken, shark hash, fish cakes, fish sandwiches, pulled pork, hot dogs and lot more.
Guide to best beach bars will let you know the best on-beach bars and ones with great ocean views along with the food they offer.
Cafes and Bistros are another segment of popular choices when it comes to dining in casual ambience while having great food with beer or coffee.
Afternoon tea has been a long tradition in the island. Almost all islanders would take tea served in a pot of china along with finger snacks like cookies, sweets, finger sandwiches etc.
If you are a foodie and like to take on some of the best of local eateries in the island to savor the local food and drinks, take a food tour of Bermuda.
When it comes to handcrafted items, it's quite surprising that Bermuda has such a large pool of talents. Starting from exquisite handmade glass items, jewelry and charms on longtails and pink sands to rag and banana leaf dolls, there are plenty of items to shop in Bermuda that are all made in the island. Other items include artwork on cedars, paintings, pottery, authentic Bermuda shorts, dress materials, accessories etc.
Front Street, Church street, Reed street in Hamilton and their alleyways are great places to find the stores of all types. Visit Hamilton shopping
to know them all and their locations.
St. George's too has several quaint stores. The Somer's Wharf
and the shops along Water Street are some of the best places to shop. Somer's Wharf has a collection of stores and restaurants.
In Dockyard, The Clocktower Mall
is the one to explore. There are many boutique stores in the mall.
which is the capital of Bermuda and the hub of business, shops, restaurants and bars also has several great tourist sites like City Hall and Art Center, Cathedral of Most Holy Trinity, Hamilton Fort, Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute, Queen Elizabeth Park and more. Front Street
overlooking Hamilton Harbor is the main street in Hamilton full of popular restaurants, bars and stores of all kinds. It is also the venue of the famous summer street festival Harbor Nights
Royal Naval Dockyard
(i.e. Kings Wharf port area) at west end has developed into a large complex with many tourist attractions including National Museum, art and craft, restaurants and bars, Clocktower Mall with boutique stores, and many water and land based tours and activities
Most historical sites are located in St. George's Town
which was the former capital of Bermuda and where the first settlement took place. This is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The town and its surrounding areas have many quaint shops, historic forts, several great beaches and churches.
The whole island is divided into 9 parishes or counties. Many great attractions are scattered all across the island in different parishes. For example the great south shore pink sandy beaches are located along the southern coastline of Southampton, Warwick and Paget parishes, famous Crystal caves, the Aquarium and Tom Moore's jungle are in Hamilton parish etc.
Go through the links below to know each parish in details along with all the attractions and activities they have including tourist sites, things to do, dining options, shops and lot more.
: Has several nice parks, beaches, churches etc other than dockyard.
: Famous horseshoe bay beach and several other pink sandy beaches are located here. South shore park starts from this parish and stretches towards east to Warwick.
: Well known for Elbow beach and several great beachside hotels.
: Other than Hamilton City, there are several attractions here including Admiralty Park with caves and beaches, several churches and parks etc.
: Known for John Smith's beach and few other attractions.
St. George's Parish
: Lovely forts, beaches and parks other that St. George's historic town itself.
May to October is the summer time and the high tourist season. All sites of tourist interest
remain open including all the public beaches, All land based and watersport activities
operate in full swing such as Swimming, Snorkeling, Diving, Sunset and Sightseeing Cruises, Sailing,
Boat Rentals, Kayaking, Paddleboarding, Jetskiing, Parasailing, Flyboarding, Golfing, Tennis, Spa, fishing, Hiking and Cycling, Horseback Riding, Bird Watching, Cliff Jumping and Rock Climbing, island and boat tours etc.
, a popular street festival takes place weekly on Front Street at Hamilton and usually between May to September. Many vendors set up food stalls and performers take to the street. Many other festivals and events take place in the island in summer. Visit Fetivals and Events
to know them all. Additionally Glow Worm
cruises take place between May to November. And the month of May is the only month in summer when kitesurfing can usually be done before its season ends.
November to April is the winter time and unfortunately due to lack of tourists, many operators do not operate their tours and several attractions remain closed. However all public beaches remain open although swimming and snorkeling would be difficult without wetsuits.
But, some great attractions do remain open like National Museum, Clocktower mall and several others in dockyard, and also the Aquarium, Crystal Caves, Botanical Gardens etc. Bermuda Tourism Authority initiates a host of art and cultural programs and guided tours during winter some of which are free. All these programs and tours are excellent for family entertainment. Several great Annual Events and Festivals
take place in winter such as Bermuda International Film Festival, Bermuda Festival of Performing Arts, Christmas Boat Parade, Beach Art Festival and lot more.
Here is a table with month-wise links to guide you on what to do in each month of the year:
Bermuda celebrates 10 Public Holidays
in a year. And many outfits and attractions remain closed on those days including most shops and restaurants. Buses and ferries ply on a reduced frequency and taxis are scarce. So if your visit includes such a day, then use This guide to plan for such public holiday
If you are visiting Bermuda, take a look into the Bermuda eBooks
to make a great vacation plan in Bermuda and know about the best attractions, guided and self-guided tours, water sport and other activities, great dining and shopping options, vacation tips and lot more.
Krystal (May 2018)
Hello, I am sure you get so many of these emails so I understand if you don't write back. My husband and I are going to Bermuda beginning of September and are so excited. We will be on a cruise ship that will be docked in Bermuda for 3 days. We want to do one beach day (probably will try one of your secluded beach suggestions) and then the other 2 days take in the attractions, history, culture, food, etc. What are your top suggestions on things we just can't miss? Really appreciate it! Thank you,
Raj (bermuda-attractions.com) May 2018
Hi, here are some suggestions for your remaining two days in the island (pick and choose, and arrange them as per your convenience):
Visit Crystal and Fantasy Caves in Hamilton Parish
Visit Swizzle Inn (short walk from the caves) ... Bermuda's oldest pub and creator of the popular island drink Rum Swizzle.
Visit Hamilton City... take a stroll along the harbor, Front Street and alleyways... Front Street is lined up with shops, restaurants, cafes etc. Walk down to Cit Hall and Arts Center.
Try out the fish sandwich at Art Mel's Spicy Dicy located at the outskirts of Hamilton.... arguably the best fish sandwich in the island.
Visit St. George (this is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and steeped in history)... some places to visit includes Kings Square, St. Peter's Church, St. Catherine's Fort, Tobacco Bay Beach (close to the fort) etc. Try out Gojo's Coffee Shop at Kings Square ... their own Cowboy sandwich is popular... so are codfish cakes and lobster salad.