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Bermuda: Travel Tips

When to Go?

Bermuda can be visited year round, but the busiest tourist season is from April through to October when the weather is warmest and water temperatures comfortable for swimming and diving. It's also the liveliest time on the island, with plenty of events and entertainment options to keep visitors amused.

The winter season is a bit too cool for swimming, and many tourist-related agencies, like diving companies and boat tours, suspend operations for part of the season. January is the quietest month, so if you're more interested in tennis and golf or seeing the island when it's free of large numbers of tourists, this is the time to come.

The advantage of visiting during the cooler months is that accommodation prices can be up to 40% lower and you can escape the colder winter of more northern climes. The best conditions for windsurfing also tend to be in winter.

Events

Bermuda has an inordinate number of golf tournaments and sedate events like bowls tournaments and gardening shows aimed primarily at older people, but that doesn't mean it lacks oomph.

Gombey dancers strut their stuff on New Year's Day, and the Bermuda Festival is a six-week performing arts spectacular running from mid-January through to February. The Bermuda Cat Fanciers Association Championship Cat Show in mid-March sounds like a hoot but is slightly less prestigious than the Newport-Bermuda Race, one of the world's major ocean yacht races held in late June during even-numbered years.

SOCA is a Caribbean music festival that has the Royal Naval Dockyards jumping in late July or early August, while the Bermuda Reggae Sunsplash continues the skanking in mid-August. You can march to a different drummer during the three-day Bermuda Tattoo in early November, which culminates with a grand finale of fireworks.

Money & Costs

Currency: Bermudian Dollar

    Meals
  • Budget: BD$5-10
  • Mid-range: BD$10-25
  • High: BD$25-30
  • Deluxe: BD$35+
    Lodging
  • Budget: BD$100-120
  • Mid-range: BD$120-180
  • High: BD$180-200
  • Deluxe: BD$200+

There's no getting round the fact that Bermuda ain't cheap. Bermuda's high cost of living, the result of most goods having to be flown in from the US mainland, is reflected in hotel room rates and restaurant menu prices. Even grocery costs are 50% higher than in the USA. Therefore this is not the place to come if you're watching your budget - you'll be hard-pressed to find a double room under USD100.00. If you plan to stay seven days or less, it's worth looking into package deals that incorporate both airfare and hotel accommodation.

The most convenient way to bring money is in US dollar traveller's checks. Major credit cards are accepted by most shops and restaurants, but some smaller hotels and guesthouses can be fickle about accepting them. Bring some US dollars in cash as they are widely accepted as legal tender. The Bank of Bermuda has ATMs that accept various international ATM and credit cards.

Hotels add a 7.5% occupancy tax to their bill. They also tend to add a 10% service charge to cover gratuities to hotel workers. The usual restaurant tip is 15%, which most establishments automatically add onto your bill. If they don't, then you should calculate the tip yourself. Taxi drivers will be pleased with a tip of around 10%.

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  • Visas: No visas are required for citizens of the USA, Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Israel and Western European countries. Visas are required by citizens of the former Soviet Union, most countries in North Africa and the Middle East, China, Sri Lanka and some former Soviet Bloc countries in Eastern Europe.

  • Time Zone: GMT/UTC -4
  • Dialling Code: 441
  • Electricity: 120V ,60Hz
  • Weights & measures: Imperial
  • GDP: US$1.98 billion
  • GDP per capita: US$30,000
  • Inflation: 2.1%
  • Major Trading Partners: USA, Canada & UK
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