Bermuda is beautiful, sun-kissed, and relaxing. Sadly, it’s also bloody expensive. Bermuda is not the cheapest destination in the world as it’s the home to banks, tax-avoiding businesses, and the rich and powerful. The resorts and hotels on the island cater to an upscale crowd, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid this place. If you have a slightly larger budget, you’ll find an island with some of the most beautiful beaches in North America, incredibly friendly people, and world-class food. There are amazing caves here, tons of snorkeling, hiking, and so much more!! I loved my visit to Bermuda and found a few ways to travel on a moderate budget. However, it was not easy. I created this guide and filled it with my tips to help make the country a slightly less expensive place to visit!
Accommodation – There are no hostels available in Bermuda. Budget hotel costs range from 175-500 BMD for a basic double room. A hotel with a pool will cost at least 165 BMD. A bed and breakfast for two in Hamilton can cost upwards of 180 BMD. Airbnb is the cheapest option, with prices starting around 100 BMD for a private room in someone’s home. You might (MIGHT) get lucky and find a room for as little as 80 BMD per night in the low season. Couchsurfing is technically available, however, there are only 200 or so members in the whole country so the odds of finding a host are slim.
Average cost of food – Food is not cheap in Bermuda. You can find affordable burgers or pizza for around 10 BMD from the food trucks near the beaches. Cheap restaurants with a full menu (appetizer, soup/salad, main entree) will cost around 20 BMD. A meal at most nice restaurants (especially in Hamilton) will begin at 30 BMD, though many will cost as high as 60 BMD. If you are staying in a place that offers a kitchenette, you will spend at least 100-125 BMD on groceries per week. Even something like a McDonald’s combo meal will cost you around 12 BMD.
Transportation costs – Buses, ferries, and taxis provide a good portion of transportation throughout the islands. A one-way bus or ferry trip costs 4 BMD. All taxis are fitted with a meter, with prices starting at 6.45 BMD. Each subsequent mile will cost you 2.75 BMD (though there is a 25% surcharge on Sundays). A lot of bus lines stop running around 8pm, making taxis the only way to get around. If you want to rent a bicycle to explore, expect to pay around 20 BMD per day. Rental cars are banned on the island, as only locals are allowed to own automobiles (only one per household, too!). Mopeds are easy to rent and you can expect to pay around 50 BMD per day for one, which usually includes a helmet, lock, and insurance.
Suggested daily budget – 150 BMD / 150 USD (Note: This is a suggested budget assuming you’re staying in a hostel, eating and cooking, and using local transportation. Using the budget tips below, you can always lower this number. If you stay in fancier accommodation or eat out more, expect this to be higher!)
Money Saving Tips
- Book early – If you want cheap accommodation, you’ll need to book rooms at least a month in advance. Avoid hotels and resorts and instead stay at a bed and breakfast or home rental property. If you are staying with a group, definitely rent a large apartment as it is far less per person than a hotel room.
- Couchsurf – There are only a handful Couchsurfing hosts in Bermuda, many of which have private rooms available. If you want to succeed in reserving one make sure you inquire really early in order to maximize your chances of success.
- Rent a motorbike – Motorbikes are the most convenient and economical transportation on the island. Since buses are infrequent and taxis are expensive, having a motorcycle will give you more freedom to travel at a lower cost. Motorbike rentals begin at around 50 BMD a day but get cheaper the longer you rent them — four days will cost an average of 35 BMD per day.
- Stay central – While Hamilton is not set on a beautiful pink sand beach, it’s the center for all the buses and ferries. If you rent an apartment and aren’t careful, you can end up somewhere far from a bus stop (which means more taxis). Staying in or near Hamilton will ensure you’re near all the bus lines so you can avoid spending too much money on transportation.
- Skip the fancy food – There’s good food to be found in Bermuda, but it’s expensive. Avoid all the big, fancy restaurants (ok, enjoy one nice meal), and go for smaller stalls and local restaurants where prices are more economical. My two favorite places were Specialty Inn and North Rock Brewing Co. Additionally, the cafe at Cambridge Resorts is reasonably priced despite being at a resort. Most meals will cost between 10-20 BMD.
- Cook your meals – If you skipped the hotel and rented an apartment, chances are you’ll have a kitchen. There’s an ever-growing local and organic foodie scene on the island so you can find a lot of cheap fruits, vegetables, and meats at markets and shops that will help lower your costs dramatically.
Top Things to See and Do in Bermuda
- Explore the Crystal and Fantasy Caves – These caves are small, and you’re not exactly on an adventure expedition, but they are pretty beautiful to check out. Other than the beaches, they were one of my favorite attractions on the island. An adult combo ticket for both caves will cost 30 BMD. Admission for children is only 12 BMD.
- Climb the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse – One the oldest cast iron structures in the world, you can climb to the observation deck for spectacular views of the island and the surrounding waters. There is also a tea room at its base offering drinks and snacks (but it’s overpriced). The entrance fee is 2.50 BMD and the view is definitely worth the price!
- Explore the Royal Naval Dockyard – This area is where the cruise ships come in has the National Museum of Bermuda, restaurants, bars, and offers some great people watching. You can take the ferry over to Hamilton from here too. Since all the cruise ships come here, everything in the Dockyards is pretty expensive but I liked the area to wander around, grab an ice cream, and people watch. It’s very much an entertainment area, complete with a snorkeling area and mini-golf!
- Walk the Bermuda Railway – This is a public walking trail that stretches from St. George Town in the east end of Bermuda, through Pembroke Parish near the City of Hamilton and on toward Somerset Village in the west end. It’s a long but very easy walk across the island. There’s not a lot of shade on the trail so be sure to bring lots of water and sunscreen. Don’t get burnt like me!
- Visit the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity – If you’re looking for history, great architecture, or spectacular views, then you should stop by the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity. The church was built in an English style in the 19th century.
- Explore the Fort St. Catherine – Located at the northeastern end of St. George’s Island, this 17th-century fort offers many opportunities to learn about history, architecture, and take in beautiful views, but on top of that, you can see a replica set of the Crown Jewels. Along the way are some cool coves to cool off in and restaurants to eat in. Away from the “bustle” of the main Western beaches, I found it the most relaxing and quiet part of the island. Admission is 7 BMD for adults and 3 BMD for kids.
- Relax on the many beaches – You can’t come to Bermuda without scheduling plenty of time to relax on the beaches and just do nothing. Some of the best beaches include Church Bay, Elbow Beach, and Chaplin Bay. There’s the famous Pink Sand Beach, which is definitely worth a visit but stay away from the main entrance as it gets super crowded with those coming in from the cruise ships. I suggest heading west to the more secluded beaches. There’s a trail that connects all the beaches in this part of the island allowing you to beach hop.
- Play golf – As a luxury destination, Bermuda knows how to cater to high-end North American tourists with its top-rated golf courses. I don’t golf but my friends have told me Bermuda offers some of the best courses in the region so golf aficionados should hit the links while in the country! I guess with so many billionaires on the island, a quality golf course is no surprise! Prices will vary but expect to pay at last 100-150 BMD per person.
- Wander through Spittal Pond Nature Reserve – This nature reserve is Bermuda’s largest. Between November-May, it’s home to at least 25 species of waterfowl. You can take a guided tour or just wander the walking Trails on your own. Admission to the reserve is free.
- Go diving – Bermuda is a prime diving location, with stunning water and a great variety of tropical sea life. Moreover, it’s known as the shipwreck capital of the world (is that a good thing?!), which means there are plenty of wrecks to explore. Expect to pay 150 BMD for a 2-tank dive and 500 BMD for your open water PADI certification.
- Tour the Tucker House – For an idea of what colonial life was like in Bermuda, you can tour the historic Tucker House. It dates back to the early 18th century and contains a wonderful collection of household items—silverware, porcelain, portraits, furniture, etc. Entrance is 5 BMD for adults (2 BMD for children) which includes admission to the Rainey Exhibit and Archaeology Exhibit as well.
- Enjoy some Watersports – Whether you’re interested in kayaking, sailing, parasailing, yachting, or waterskiing, Bermuda has a lot of water-based activities to offer. Take advantage of them by booking a tour or renting equipment for an afternoon!