Here are some miscellaneous Bermuda survival tips: Know that ATMs dispense only Bermuda dollars, and that buses accept only coins, not bills. Also, don't get caught in the City of Hamilton's rush-hour traffic, which is Monday to Friday 8:30 to 9am and 5 to 6pm.
American Express -- The representative in the City of Hamilton, Meyer Franklin Travel, 35 Church St. (P.O. Box 510), Hamilton HM 12 (tel. 441/295-4176; www.meyer-franklintravel.bm), handles travel itineraries for the company.
Area Code -- The area code for all of Bermuda is 441.
Banks -- The main offices of Bermuda's banks are in the City of Hamilton. All banks and their branches are open Monday to Friday 9am to 4:30pm. Banks are closed Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays. Many big hotels will cash traveler's checks, and there are ATMs all around the island.
The HSBC of Bermuda, 6 Front St., Hamilton (tel. 441/299-5959; www.hsbc.bm), has branches on Church Street, Hamilton; on Par-la-Ville Road, Hamilton; and in Somerset.
The Bank of Butterfield, 65 Front St., Hamilton (tel. 441/295-1111; www.bm.butterfieldgroup.com), has several branches, including locations in St. George and Somerset.
The Bermuda Commercial Bank is at 43 Victoria St., Hamilton (tel. 441/295-5678; www.bermuda-bcb.com).
Business Hours -- Most commercial businesses are open Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm. Retail shops are generally open Monday through Saturday from 9am to 5pm (or 7pm); several shops open at 9:15am. A few shops are also open in the evening, but usually only when big cruise ships are in port.
Dentists -- For dental emergencies, call King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, 7 Point Finger Rd., Paget Parish (tel. 441/236-2345; www.bermudahospitals.bm), and ask for the emergency department. The hospital maintains lists of dentists on emergency call.
Drinking Laws -- Bermuda sternly regulates the sale of alcoholic beverages. The legal drinking age is 18, and most bars close at 1am (some close as early as 10pm, and others as late as 3am). Some bars are closed on Sunday, and stores can't sell alcohol on Sunday. You can bring beer or other alcohol to the beach legally, as long as your party doesn't get too rowdy and you generally stay in one spot. The moment you actually walk on the beach or the streets with an open container of liquor, it's illegal.
Driving Rules -- Visitors cannot rent cars. To operate a motor-assisted cycle, you must be age 16 or over. All cycle drivers and passengers must wear helmets. Driving is on the left side of the road, and the speed limit is 32kmph (20 mph) in the countryside, 24kmph (15 mph) in busy areas.
Drug Laws -- In Bermuda, there are heavy penalties for the importation of, possession of, or dealing of unlawful drugs (including marijuana). Customs officers, at their discretion, may conduct body searches for drugs or other contraband goods.
Drugstores -- Try the Phoenix Drugstore, 3 Reid St., Hamilton (tel. 441/295-3838), open Monday through Saturday from 8am to 6pm, Sunday from noon to 6pm.
In Hamilton, People's Pharmacy, 62 Victoria St. (tel. 441/292-0398), is open Monday through Saturday from 8am to 8:30pm, Sunday from 10am to 6pm. The Somerset Pharmacy, 49 Mangrove Bay, Somerset Village (tel. 441/234-2484), is open Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm, and Saturday 8am to 5pm.
Electricity -- Electricity is 110 volts AC (60 cycles). North American appliances are compatible without converters or adapters. Visitors from the United Kingdom or other parts of Europe need to bring a converter.
Embassies & Consulates -- For Residents of the U.S.: The American Consulate General is located at Crown Hill, 16 Middle Rd., Devonshire (tel. 441/295-1342; http://hamilton.usconsulate.gov), and is open Monday through Friday from 8am to 4:30pm.
For Residents of Canada -- The Canadian Consulate General (Commission to Bermuda) is at 73 Front St., Hamilton (tel. 441/292-2917; www.embassiesabroad.com).
For Residents of the U.K. -- As Bermuda is a British territory, Britain does not maintain a consulate in Bermuda. For emergency travel documents, contact the Bermuda Department of Immigration, Parliament Street, Hamilton (tel. 441/295-5151; www.immigration.gov.bm).
For Residents of Australia -- The Australian High Commission in Ottawa, Canada (tel. 613/236-0841; www.canada.embassy.gov.au) provides consular assistance for Australians traveling in Bermuda.
Emergencies -- To call the police, report a fire, or summon an ambulance, dial tel. 911. The nonemergency police number is tel. 441/295-0011. For air-sea rescue, contact the Rescue Coordination Center, tel. 441/297-1010.
Etiquette -- Well-tailored Bermuda shorts are acceptable on almost any occasion, and many men wear them with jackets and ties. On formal occasions, they must be accompanied by navy blue or black knee socks. Aside from that, Bermudians are rather conservative in their attitude toward dress -- bikinis, for example, are banned more than 7.5m (25 ft.) from the water. Men are usually required to wear a jacket to dinner.
Gasoline -- Before you rent a moped, be very clear about what kind of fuel it runs on. Most of the mopeds available for rental by a nonresident of Bermuda have 50cc two-stroke engines that almost always require a mixture of gasoline and oil. Designated locally as "mixed" fuel, it's dispensed directly from specially designated pumps at service stations throughout Bermuda. Larger bikes (including some of the newer models with 80cc engines, and virtually all of the modern-day 100cc engines) require unadulterated gasoline. The octane level of all gasoline in Bermuda is designated as "high test," and all of it, by law, is unleaded.
Hospitals -- King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, 7 Point Finger Rd., Paget Parish (tel. 441/236-2345; www.bermudahospitals.bm), has a highly qualified staff and Canadian accreditation.
Insurance -- Although close to the United States, a visit to Bermuda is, in essence, "going abroad." You can encounter all the same problems in Bermuda that you would in going to a more remote foreign destination. Therefore, it's wise to review your insurance coverage, especially concerning lost luggage or medical insurance.
For information on traveler's insurance, trip cancelation insurance, and medical insurance while traveling, please visit www.frommers.com/planning.
Legal Aid -- Your consulate will inform you of your limited rights and offer a list of attorneys. However, the consulate's office cannot interfere with Bermuda's law-enforcement officers.
For Residents of the U.S. -- The Citizens' Emergency Center of the Office of Special Consular Services, in Washington, D.C. (tel. 888/407-4747 or 202/647-5225; http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/emergencies/emergencies_1212.html), operates a hot line that's useful in an emergency for U.S. citizens arrested abroad. The staff can also tell you how to send money to U.S. citizens arrested abroad.
For Residents of Canada -- Contact the Operations Centre of Foreign Affairs via its 24-hour emergency hot line (tel. 888/949-9993 toll-free from Bermuda or 613/996-8885 collect).
For Residents of the U.K. -- Because Bermuda is a British territory, Britain doesn't have an embassy or a consulate in Bermuda; local authorities deal with requests for consular-type assistance.
For Residents of Australia -- Australians should contact the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre (tel. 2-6261-3305) or their consulate.
Mail -- Deposit regular mail in the red pillar boxes on the streets. You'll recognize them by the monogram of Queen Elizabeth II. The postage rate for airmail letters up to 10 grams and for postcards is 70¢ to the United States and Canada, 85¢ to the United Kingdom. Airmail letters and postcards to the North American mainland can take 5 to 7 days, to Britain possibly a little longer.
Newspapers & Magazines -- Bermuda has one daily newspaper, the Royal Gazette. There are two competitors providing alternative versions of the news, including the Bermuda Sun, which is issued every Wednesday and Friday, and the Mid-Ocean News, which is published every Friday. Major U.S. newspapers, including the New York Times and USA Today, and magazines such as Time and Newsweek, are delivered to Bermuda on the day of their publication on the mainland. This Week in Bermuda is a weekly guide for tourists.
For your media fix, go to the Washington Mall Magazines stand on Reid Street in Hamilton. They carry major U.S. newspapers and magazines.
Pets -- To take your pet with you to Bermuda, it must be a minimum of 10 months of age. You'll need a special permit issued by the director of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Parks, P.O. Box HM 834, Hamilton HM CX, Bermuda (tel. 441/236-4201; www.animals.gov.bm). The island has no quarantine facilities, so animals arriving without proper documents will be refused entry and will be returned to the point of origin. Some guesthouses and hotels allow you to bring in small animals, but others will not; be sure to inquire in advance. Always check to see what the latest regulations are before attempting to bring a dog or another pet -- including Seeing Eye dogs -- to Bermuda.
Police -- In an emergency, call tel. 911; otherwise, call tel. 441/295-0011.
Post Offices -- The General Post Office, 56 Church St., Hamilton (tel. 441/297-7866), is open Monday to Friday from 8am to 5pm, Saturday from 8am to noon. Post office branches and the Perot Post Office, Queen Street, Hamilton, are open Monday to Friday from 8am to 5pm. Some post offices close for lunch from 11:30am to 1pm. Daily airmail service for the United States and Canada closes at 9:30am in Hamilton. See also "Mail," above.
Smoking -- In the spring of 2006, the government of Bermuda passed a law banning smoking in enclosed public places. Tobacconists and other stores carry a wide array of tobacco products, generally from either the United States or England. Prices vary but tend to be high.
Taxes -- Bermuda charges visitors a Passenger Tax before they depart from the island; it's hidden within the cost of an airline or cruise-ship ticket. Frankly, you might never know that a tax has actually been imposed, but if you're interested, $25 of the cost of your airline ticket, and $60 of the cost of your cruise-ship ticket, goes to the Bermudian government. Children age 2 and younger are exempt from paying this tax.
All room rates, regardless of the category of accommodations or the plan under which you stay, are subject to a government tax of 7.25%.
Time -- Bermuda is 1 hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST). Daylight saving time is in effect from the second Sunday in March until November 1.
Tipping -- In most cases, a service charge is added to hotel and restaurant bills. In hotels, the charge is in lieu of tipping various individuals, such as bellhops, maids, and restaurant staffers (for meals included in a package or in the daily rate). Check for this carefully to avoid double tipping. Otherwise, a 15% tip for service is customary. Taxi drivers usually get 10% to 15%.
Toilets -- The City of Hamilton and St. George provide public facilities, but only during business hours. In the City of Hamilton, toilets are at City Hall, in Par-la-Ville Gardens, and at Albouy's Point. In St. George, facilities are available at Town Hall, Somers Garden, and Market Wharf. Outside of these towns, you'll find restrooms at the public beaches, at the Botanical Gardens, in several of the forts, at the airport, and at service stations. Often you'll have to use the facilities in hotels, restaurants, and wherever else you can find them.
Transit Information -- For information about ferry service, call tel. 441/295-4506. For bus information, call tel. 441/292-3854.
Useful Telephone Numbers -- On Bermuda, for time and temperature, call tel. 909. To learn "What's On in Bermuda," dial tel. 974. For medical emergencies or the police, dial tel. 911. If in doubt during any other emergency, dial tel. 0 (zero), which will connect you with your hotel's switchboard or the Bermuda telephone operator.
Water -- Tap water is generally safe to drink.
Weather -- Call tel. 977 at any time for a forecast covering the next 24-hour period or go to www.weather.bm.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.