I spent the last Fourth of July in Bermuda, an island that is so close to NY but I'd never been to before. I'll start this post by saying that Bermuda is freaking expensive!!! I kind of understand why...it’s an island and it’s more expensive to get merchandise, etc. but the prices were just a bit over the top ($10 for toothpaste?!). Let's find out what to do and where to stay in Bermuda!
Where to stay?
Bermuda is a tiny island, only 22 miles in length, but you need to be strategic in terms of location. The most famous areas of Bermuda are:
- St. George’s
There’s not too many good hotels or Airbnb's available, so if you're planning to go during a holiday, make sure to book a place well in advance. We stayed at the Hamilton Princess, one of the most famous hotels on the island. It’s a luxury resort with a lot of amenities, bars and restaurants - the perfect place to relax by the pool, right off the bay.
The Fairmont also has a hotel in Southampton, which is larger and includes a golf course and private beach, which they provide free shuttles from the Hamilton Princess if you’re a guest there. We decided to stay in Hamilton for its practicality - a quick 5 minute walk to a lot of restaurants and stores.
WHAT TO DO
Definitely the most beautiful beach on the island in my opinion. The water is so blue that you won't believe its real… it’s a calm and surprisingly empty beach for the most part. There’s a famous restaurant there called the Bistro Mickey - that I’ll talk about it later - with the most perfect view. If you get to the beach through the restaurant, it's considered the hotel's private beach area, and it'll run you $100 per person for a chair and umbrella (which is ridiculously overpriced). If you walk 5 minutes down the beach, you have free access to the beach, and umbrellas cost only $20, if you need it.
The pictures below don't do it justice, it's seriously unbelievable!
Another beach with unbelievable blue water, surprise surprise!!! Horseshoe Beach is a lot more crowded than Elbow Beach but its still manageable. It’s close to Southampton in case you’re staying there. We wanted to save some money (instead of paying for cabs which were super overpriced as well) so we took the free shuttle to the private Fairmont beach and walked from there. It wasn't the smartest idea lol, but it worked (we walked around 20 min).
The area around the beach has a bar, a “fast food” restaurant that charges a fortune for chicken nuggets lol, and an area to rent chairs, umbrellas and snorkel gear for a reasonable cost (chocking face).
A beach located in St. George, which is all the way in the North East part of the island, with beautiful water and scenery. A lot more of a local vibe I’d say. We didn’t stay long, but it was enjoyable.
St Catherine’s Beach
An even more low key beach, which was quite calm. You can see some of the cruise ships pass by this beach, I had seen two in less 30 minutes while we were there.
Hamilton Princess Beach Club (ONLY IF YOU STAY AT THE FAIRMONT HOTEL)
A private beach for guests of the Fairmont. It’s almost a man made beach since there are many rocks blocking the waves, so the water is extremely calm and shallow. There's also a ton of floats, kayaks and stand-up paddle boards available. The perfect beach to relax and take a nap while floating in the water. If you stay at the Hamilton Princess you can catch a free shuttle there, don't forget!
WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO OTHER THAN GO TO THE BEACH?
The 62 meter deep cave with beautiful crystal water is one of the biggest attractions on the island. The only way to visit is via a group guided tour that happens every 30 minutes. They take you all around and tell the history of the cave and how it was discovered. The “hike” is moderate and you’re not allow to swim there (unless you’re Beyonce...literally lol)
They also have another cave called Fantasy, but it’s pretty much the same thing, but it goes a little deeper.
Tickets cost $24 per person.
A company named Uber Vida Bermuda has a sunset boat every Friday during the summer, leaving the Hamilton pier and going around the the island for 2 hours. There’s a bar inside and once it gets darker the boat becomes a “club”, with loud music and lights.
This activity is super fun, you can meet people from all around the world or locals that will give you good restaurant recommendations (like we did).
The boat is “free” BUT there's always a huge line and it's possible you won't get on. Instead, go to their website and get a skip the line ticket for $10, it’s definitely the best option.
Partying in Bermuda
Passed 8pm the town was DEAD! We were so surprised but we didn't see any clubs or very crowded bars in Hamilton. Out hotel bar was the most lively that we saw, mostly a lot of wedding parties. If you have a nice bar/club recommendation, let me know in the comments!
How to get around in Bermuda
You wouldn't expect a tiny island like Bermuda to have a huge public transportation system, but Bermuda does have buses that run okay, although we didn’t take it but saw them a lot. It’s probably the cheapest way to get around.
Tourists CANNOT rent a car there. Only locals are allowed to drive, for good reason: the roads are narrow and since Bermuda is a British island, the cars drive on the left side instead of the right, which would get very confusing and cause a lot of accidents.
The only vehicles available to rent are mini 2 seats car (which is really one seat since the other one is in the back) and scooters.
We rented a scooter for one day to go to St. George and we LOVED IT. It’s so much fun and the view is just incredible!!! The good thing about the scooter is that you don’t need to have a driver’s license or experience to rent it, they just explain how it works and let you train a little bit. I can’t lie that I was terrified at first since it was my first time, but everything went fine and the drivers respect the scooters since a lot of them are tourists.
We rented from a place right in front of our hotel and we paid $59 per scooter for 24 hours.
You can always take cabs but they are super expensive.
How to save some money
Did I say Bermuda is expensive? I think I did lol. In case you want to save a few bucks I recommend buying alcohol, water and snacks from the supermarket - especially if you are renting a house / Airbnb, you’ll have a full kitchen to cook some meals.
There’s also a pharmacy in Hamilton - the biggest one - with really reasonable prices for food and personal items like sunscreen, shampoo, soap and etc. (in the supermarket a Colgate toothpaste costs almost $10 /help).
Bermuda was so fun and I’d love to go back one day since there are so many things to do - like a ton of water sports - but we did the most we could in the time we had. We wanted to relax more than anything, so everything we did was at our own pace.
I’ll follow this up with a post on where to eat on the island, so check it out! CLICK HERE
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