When I told people I had booked a trip to Bermuda, I was a bit surprised that every single time the reaction was a question about getting lost in the Bermuda Triangle! I don’t recall ever being scared of it as a kid, I must have missed the TV shows that showcased the supposed mysterious disappearances in the ocean span between Bermuda, Puerto Rico, and
I was just excited to go on a trip, cross another destination off my list, and sneak in some scuba diving before summer was over.
Before You Go to Bermuda
These were the requirements as of August 2022, be sure to check the official Bermuda Tourism website for updates related to travel and COVID-19.
Step 1: Apply for a Bermuda Travel Authorization. It costs $40 and you can apply up to one month before your departure.
Step 2: Present a Negative COVID Test no more than 72 hours before your arrival.
Step 3: Print and save these documents to have on hand for once you arrive, and save your plane ticket as they asked me which seat I was in and thankfully I remembered but it caused some bottlenecks in the line.
Things to Know Before You Go
Bermuda is expensive. It is not a place to go if you’re hoping to rough it or backpack on a budget. I think trying to do it on the cheap would not be worth it, so if you’re low on travel funds, I’d save Bermuda for a later date when you can afford to splurge on yourself a bit.
People are incredibly friendly! Truly I had the best time as a solo traveler. When I was lost, lovely locals helped guide me to get me where I needed to be. Everyone was very nice and proud to chat about Bermuda’s history, culture, and what it was like to live there.
Due to the high prices of hotels, and the solo traveler reality of having to foot the entire bill, I opted for a guesthouse on Airbnb for accommodation. It was really nice! I had my own space with a bed, full bathroom, and kitchenette, and pool access. It was about $80/night which is very cheap for Bermuda. The family was extremely friendly and helpful – they drove me to the rental place to pick up my scooter and gave me a lot of interesting insider recommendations and information about Bermuda.
Getting Around Bermuda
Tourists and visitors cannot rent cars in Bermuda, which is truly a good thing because the traffic would be unbearable. Anyone driving a car is a local resident, but there are several transportation options available to tourists who don’t want to pay for a taxi each time they want to go somewhere.
Bermuda’s Bus System
For being an island, Bermuda has a pretty great bus system. A lot of islands struggle when it comes to public transport (I’ve found, in my limited exploration of them) but Bermuda has a system of buses that run often and are very cheap. You must have the exact change for the fare, or purchase a bus card to pre-load it with credit before you go. For the bus stops, you’ll see they either have a blue pole or a pink pole – this indicates the direction the bus is going from that stop. Blue means you’re going away from Hamilton, while pink means you’re heading toward Hamilton.
I rented a scooter through Oleander Cycles and I couldn’t recommend it enough. Scootering around an island is such an excellent way to see more sights, it’s faster and more efficient than the bus, and gives you a lot more freedom than you would have otherwise. Plus it’s a lot cheaper than ordering a taxi each time you need to get anywhere. The team at Oleander were very friendly and helped me get everything I needed.
When riding your scooter in Bermuda, remember:
- Drive on the left! Thankfully my scooter had a little reminder sticker and an arrow which was helpful. Always look both ways thoroughly before making any turns or pulling out into an intersection.
- ALWAYS WEAR YOUR HELMET. Not only because duh, but I do think this must be the legal requirement, as I never saw anyone not wearing one while on their scooter.
- Be mindful of people who want to pass you. It’s likely that locals will want to scoot past at a faster pace than you as you enjoy the sights of Bermuda by scooter.
Things To See and Do in Bermuda
Scuba Diving in Bermuda
The primary reason I wanted to visit Bermuda was to go diving. It had been a long time since my last scuba diving adventure and the crystal clear, warm waters of Bermuda seemed like the perfect place for my first tropical dive since 2019. I booked a two-tank morning dive with Blue Water Divers and had an amazing experience from start to finish. The captain and crew were very professional and kind, and made sure I had everything I needed for a great experience. We visited two dive sites, both were technically wreck dives but the wrecks were on incredible reefs. One was an b-29 airplane that had crashed in the 1960’s, which was eerie but very cool to explore underwater. Blue Water Divers is located at Somerset Bridge in the Robinson Marina.
Crystal Cave Tour
Located on the northeast side of the island in Hamilton Parish, the Crystal and Fantasy Caves of Bermuda are 100% worth a visit if you’re vacationing on the island. I got very lucky – there was only 3 other people in my tour group, making the whole experience a lot more pleasant like we had a private tour. The caves had been discovered by accident by two young boys who had lost their cricket ball and fell into the cave while searching for it. Now it’s a great site to visit to see clear pools of water with stalagmites and stalactites growing from the ground and the ceiling. It’s a relatively quick tour, about 30 minutes, and the caves also are a nice cool atmosphere, a shelter from the hot sun if you’re visiting in the summer. Definitely make your reservations in advance, I got very lucky and snagged the last spot on the tour! The tour cost $24 and I would say it’s well worth it.
Blue Hole Park
After touring the caves, I scootered over to Blue Hole Park, which is only about 3 minutes away. It’s a free park with a swimming hole, with only one other group swimming there when I visited. It was pretty but I think there is nicer water spots to swim in at the beaches – but I would definitely recommend coming here for a nature walk. It’s right next to Tom Moore’s Jungle, which has a lovely walk through dense jungle plants.
Bermuda Botanical Gardens
A great free place to visit in Bermuda are the Botanical Gardens. Located in Paget Parish which was right by my Airbnb, they were a lovely place to scooter over to and enjoy a walk to see amazing plants and flowers blooming. I wouldn’t say this is a “must-do” unless you’re a botany or plant nerd, but it was a beautiful place to take a walk and would be a great thing to do if you had a longer vacation on Bermuda and wanted to see more beyond the beaches.
Harbour Nights in Hamilton
Taking place on Front Street on Wednesday nights in the summer, from 7-10pm, this outdoor festival showcases live music, food vendors, and shopping vendors. It’s a fun atmosphere, buzzing with locals and tourists alike and a great place to get fun gifts and souvenirs. It was very crowded, however, so expect to wait in line for the food favorites. I got a drink at Dockyard Brewing and enjoyed people watching and listening to the music at the main stage.
Best Beaches to See in Bermuda
This was my favorite beach experience in Bermuda. I think I got lucky and visited at a time where it just wasn’t busy – this place was gorgeous and I had a whole cove to myself. Tobacco Bay is located near the town of St. George and it offers beach lounge chairs (to rent, not cheap) and a beachfront bar with gorgeous views of the sandy beach and a rocky cove.
Horseshoe Beach is recognized as the most beautiful in Bermuda, and it’s easy to understand why upon seeing it, especially from above if you’re scootering down the cliff from the northern side of the island. Due to its beauty and popularity, however, it is a very busy beach, with locals enjoying everything from picnics to volleyball tournaments. Park your scooter and wander through the trees on the path to the beach. I liked Horseshoe Beach but I did not swim here, it was very busy the night I visited. My photos do not do it justice, definitely Google this beach to look at the amazing photos – or book a trip to Bermuda to see for yourself!
Elbow Beach was very close to my Airbnb which made it a great place to sneak off to catch the sunset. It’s a much less crowded and still stunning beach with blue waters on the south side of Bermuda. It’s a free, public beach that is easy to access in Paget Parish.
Restaurants & Bars in Bermuda
The Swizzle Inn is noted on many travel blogs and in official articles as being an essential Bermuda Restaurant to visit, so of course I added it to my list. It’s located close to the Crystal Caves so I ventured here for lunch after my morning tour. I indulged in a Rum Swizzle and a Wahoo Sandwich, and both were delicious. It’s a cool establishment, with a tropical-yet-pub vibe and friendly service. The food and drinks were excellent, just be careful as the rum packed a sneaky punch.
Bailey’s Bay Ice Cream Parlour
Need ice cream after your meal at the Swizzle Inn? Bailey’s Bay Ice Cream Parlour is right across the street and is a delicious spot to get a cold treat for dessert. There were tons of flavors to choose from, I went with a salted caramel.
Bring cash as they do not accept cards for payment.
This Irish Pub in Hamilton is a decent stop for a drink and a meal. I had the wahoo fish served “Bermuda Style” which was with a grilled banana, a cream sauce and almonds. It was weird but good! The fish was slightly overcooked but the flavor profile was great. The bartender at Flanagan’s was also very fun and I could see this being a great spot to visit if you lived in Bermuda, there is an “Outback Sports Bar” attached to the main bar and restaurant too.
This dinner had the best view and the food was good too! Coconuts is located in the Reefs Resort, it overlooks a beautiful beach with stunning water. I had wine and fish tacos and the service was great. It’s a great little dinner spot, definitely pricy but I would say it’s worth a visit once for the ambiance.
This hidden lunch spot is a fantastic place to visit for a bite. It’s located in the Azura Bermuda hotel and guest apartments, right in the pool area. The sweeping views of the blue water are unreal, and while the pool and facilities are private for guests only, anyone can enjoy a meal and drink at the restaurant. My server was super friendly and the whole experience was great for lunch. I had their tropical chicken sandwich, which was tasty and a good way to break up the routine of eating a lot of fried fish.
The Hog Penny
I ate here my last night in Bermuda and it was delicious! To break off from the fried fish, I ordered their sizzling shrimp and sausage jambalaya bowl, which was spicy and delicious. This place doesn’t have the best view, as it’s tucked away on a side street off Front Street, but you can still see the harbor and the service was great.
Lost in the Triangle
This place is a gem in Paget Parish, an area of Bermuda that does not have much else going on food and drink-wise. It overlooks south road and is where I indulged in a fried fish sandwich, a Bermudian staple, on raisin bread. This sounds weird but try it – it’s the classic local way to eat it, and it is delicious!
While it’s definitely catered towards couples on romantic vacations, Bermuda was a beautiful destination for a solo trip. I had a great time scuba diving on a reef for the first time since 2019, I met a lot of lovely people, and enjoyed delicious seafood and plenty of sunshine. It’s a great spot for a short getaway, since you can see so much in just a few days. I’d love to go back to Bermuda some day and explore even more, finding hidden beaches and local spots to check out.
If you’ve been to Bermuda and have some recommendations of places I didn’t mention in this post, please comment below so I can add to my future list!