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.
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. There are ATMs all around the island. With the exception of one ATM at the HSBC Front Street branch and another inside the departure lounge of L.F. Wade International Airport, ATMs dispense only Bermuda dollars.
HSBC Bermuda has several locations across the island and its main branch is on 6 Front Street in the City of Hamilton (www.hsbc.bm; [tel] 441/299-5959).
The Bank of Butterfield is on 65 Front Street in the City of Hamilton, with other locations in Sandy’s and St. George’s parishes (www.butterfieldgroup.com; [tel] 441/295-1111),
Clarien Bank is on 19 Reid Street in the City of Hamilton (www.clarienbank.com; tel. 441/296-6969).
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.
Disabled Travelers -- Bermuda is not a great place for persons with disabilities since public buses are not geared for passengers in wheelchairs and many of its roads (especially in the Town of St. George’s) are cobblestone. Getting around the island is a bit difficult even for the agile, who must rely on scooter, bicycles, buses and taxis. However, you can ask your hotel to check on the availability of mini buses operated by private individuals. The most accessible hotels in Bermuda are its large resort hotels.
Dress -- 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, should only be worn on the beach and shirtless walks anywhere there’s not water nearby is verboten.
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 -- Bermuda has pharmacies located across the island, but none are open 24 hours, so if you need a prescription filled between the hours of 6pm and 9am, go straight to the hospital. The biggest chain is Phoenix Centre, with a large pharmacy in Hamilton at 3 Reid St.
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.
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. Try such insurance marketplaces sites as www.squaremouth.com and www.insuramytrip.com to research and buy travel insurance.
Internet Access -- In late 2018, the Bermuda Tourism Authority rolled a program that offers free WiFi for one hour at such sites as The Visitor Services Centers in the Royal Naval Dockyard, the City of Hamilton, and St. George’s; the Hamilton Ferry Terminal; the Hamilton Bus Terminal; and the St. George’s Ferry Dock at Penno’s Wharf. The network to connect to is called “BERMUDAWiFi.” You'll be kicked off after 60 minutes, but can get back on by simply going through the registration again. Additionally, the public library in the City of Hamilton, which is adjacent to the Bermuda Historical Society Museum, offers five computer stations where you can get free internet access for 30 minutes with a photo I.D. Washington Mall, L.F. Wade International Airport and most accommodations in Bermuda also have free WiFi.
Legal Aid -- Your consulate will inform you of your limited rights and offer a list of attorneys. (See “Embassies & Consulates,” above.) However, the consulate’s office cannot interfere with Bermuda’s law-enforcement officers.
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 cents to the United States and Canada, 85 cents to the United Kingdom. Airmail letters and postcards to the North American mainland can take six to eight days, to Britain possibly a little longer.
Newspapers & Magazines -- Bermuda has one daily newspaper, the Royal Gazette, which publishes Monday to Saturday. Major U.S. newspapers, including the New York Times and USA Today, are scarce, but many resort hotels will provide guests with a copy of a Times Fax, which includes U.S. and international news.
Pets -- To take your pet with you to Bermuda, it must be a minimum of 10 months of age, and if it’s a dog, it must not be a member of any of the approximately 20 breeds that local authorities define as dangerous. You’ll need a special permit issued by the director of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Parks (www.animals.gov.bm; tel. 441/236-4201). 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 small animals, but most will not; 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, Albouy’s Point and inside the Washington Mall. In St. George’s, 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, and at service stations. Often you’ll have to use the facilities in hotels, restaurants, and wherever else you can find them.
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 -- 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.