best things to do in Hamilton Bermuda

I didn’t expect there would be so much to see in Bermuda, but there are so many amazing places to visit, it will blow your mind.

We actually split our itineraries into two so we could really explore each area as you cannot hire cars in Bermuda.

Hamilton is the capital city of Bermuda and a wonderful place to visit with or without kids. It’s filled with historical artifacts, pastel-colored buildings, and interesting interactive museums.

So, here are some of my favorite things to do in the Hamilton parish, let’s get started…

Cathedral Cave

best things to do in Hamilton Bermuda - cathedral cave

One of the main reasons we booked Grotto bay was the fact they had underground caves on their grounds. The caves are open 9am – 5pm and are free to enter and explore.

As soon as walk into the caves the temperature instantly drops and you can see the spectacular limestone stalactites and stalagmites, it’s absolutely breath-taking.

The crystal-clear water is a must but beware of its freezing cold and will take your breath away. We had the grotto to ourselves when we were there, and it was so serene and peaceful.

Cost: Free if staying in the hotel

Blue Hole Park

best things to do in Hamilton Bermuda - Blue Hole Park

We went over the road (quite literally) to the Blue water hole park located in tom mores jungle, you don’t need a car or taxi as it’s only a short walk.

The whole park is spread over 12 acres of land with many other attractions including caves and grottos but for me, the stunning blue water in the mangrove pond that is the “blue hole” was definitely my favorite.

Having my little 6-month-old with me in a baby carrier meant I was the designated photographer. There is a little wooden pier to stand and look out over the beautiful view.

My husband and older son made their way into the water for a swim before my husband decided to do a little cliff jumping into the water!! Big kid. It’s a peaceful place where you will not meet many people and the blue hole was very easy to find.

Cost: Free

Baileys ice cream parlor

best things to do in Hamilton Bermuda - Baileys ice cream parlor

On our way to Grotto Bay, my 5-year-old pointed out the colorful ice cream parlor located only a short 5 mins from Grotto bay.

They make over 30 homemade ice creams in many exotic and traditional flavors including one of the local’s favorites – Dark n stormy.

They also serve frozen yogurt, sorbet, sandwiches and fresh fruit. It’s definitely worth a stroll down if you are at the Grotto bay.

Cost: Whatever ice cream you indulge in

Crystal Caves

best things to do in Hamilton Bermuda - crystal caves

We didn’t actually go in the crystal caves as we had our own caves at Grotto bay, but I have heard they are spectacular and right next to Baileys Ice cream parlor. These caves are thought to millions of years old forming during the ice age and are quite breathtaking with the crystal-clear lake underground.

I love the story of how these caves were discovered, if you haven’t heard about it well 2 boys (carl Gibbons and Edgar Hollis) were playing cricket in 1907 when Carl threw the ball too far prompting Edgar to run for it, as he did so he noticed a small hole emitting warm air. The boys were curious and begin to dig unveiling one of the earth’s most magnificent splendors.

When the owners of the land found out they lowered their son down to see what was there with nothing but a bicycle light to shine the way. When the boy saw all the gleaming white stalactites handing over the clear lake, he was astonished. Now the caves are one of Bermuda’s biggest tourist attractions.

Cost: Ticket to both Crystal and Fantasy Cave $30 for adults and $12 for kids aged 5 plus.

Cathedral of the most holy trinity

best things to do in Hamilton Bermuda - Cathedral of the most holy trinity

I have to say this is one of the most beautiful churches I have ever have the pleasure of seeing. Located in the heart of Hamilton, this Anglican gothic style cathedral has seen many renovations over the years but was originally designed by William Hay from Edinburgh, Scotland.

It was built in 1844 from native Bermuda limestone and embellished came stone all the way from France. But sadly was set on fire by an arsonist so the building was delayed until 1846 and finally finished in 1905.

The Cathedral is simply magnificent with its many arches, stained glass windows and sculptures of Christ and numerous Saints behind the grand alter. Many of the churches in Bermuda are named after these Saints including St Paul.

If you are up for a few stairs (155 to be precise) climb up the tower to take in the panoramic views of Hamilton and its surrounding neighbors. It’s worth it trust me.

Cost: $3 to climb the tower

Front Street

best things to do in Hamilton Bermuda - Front Street

As you walk into Front Street you instantly feel the metropolitan feel due to the bright and vibrant colonial buildings. From Yellow to blue buildings overlooking the promenade this place is a must-see for anyone.

There are plenty of hip bars and restaurants (yet we had to settle with KFC with the kids) to enjoy. The city is a business hub so you will see a lot of offices and banks along your way.

There are plenty of high-end clothing stores, jewelry shops, and places to buy rum but we enjoyed strolling down the many side streets to see the locals selling gifts and souvenirs.

This place comes alive during the summer months, each Wednesday evening the harbor nights festival takes place where you can enjoy local street food, gombey dancers and family activities on the bustling streets.

There is a ferry terminal located at the west end of Front Street where you can catch a ferry to the royal navy dockyard as we did. It’s a great day out with the kids. You can also get ferries all over the island including Southampton if you want to see the famous Horseshoe bay. There is a visitor’s information center near the terminal where they will help you with your inquiries.

Cost: $5 from Hamilton to Royal navy dockyard, kids $2.75

Fort Hamilton

best things to do in Hamilton Bermuda - Fort Hamilton

Built by the British in the 1870s, fort Hamilton was built to protect the Hamilton Harbour from enemy forces and build a line of protection for the royal navy dockyard.

It overlooks the lush green gardens and panoramic views out to sea making it a top tourist attraction. The views are pretty spectacular and not to be missed.

My son loved all the large canons and it’s interesting that none of the canons ever had to be used, in fact, the fort never actually saw a battle and the enormous 18-ton weaponry pieces were never fired! There are plenty of gun emplacements, canons and ramparts to discover on your journey back in time.

You can now explore the underground dungeons and tunnels or take a stroll on the upper levels to admire the views.

Cost: Free

Swizzle Inn

best things to do in Hamilton Bermuda - Swizzle Inn

The Swizzle inn is the oldest pub on the island opening in 1932 in a 17th-century roadhouse that has been run by the Correia family through the generations.

The famous drink the “rum swizzle” was first made here consisting of Gold rum, Gosling’s rum, orange, and pineapple juice, and some bitters, shaken until it’s frothy then strained into a cocktail glass for you to enjoy.

If you don’t fancy a drink then the Swizzle Inn offers a variety of food from pizzas and burgers to classic English dishes. The pub is covered in graffiti and business cards dating back years! It has that old English pub feel. There is also a gift shop for you to take some souvenirs home for the family.

Cost: whatever you eat or drink.

Kings Wharf Cruise Port

Kings Wharf Cruise Port Bermuda Hamilton
Kings Wharf Cruise Port Bermuda Hamilton

I know it may sound a bit strange to visit a cruise port when you’re not on a cruise, but it is located near the royal navy dockyard and this place is bustling.

It has such a lovely vibe and there are some great little eating places, a beach, kids’ playground (always a winner) and some interesting historical monuments to visit. We actually spent a whole day here there was so much to see.

It’s very easy to get to from Hamilton, just take the ferry over from Hamilton Ferry port located on Front Street. It takes around 20 minutes to reach the dockyard and costs very little. The kids will love the ferry ride over, and the views are just beautiful.

I’d advise having a look at the local ferries in Bermuda as they offer a convenient cost-effective way to see the island.

Location: Kings Wharf, Bermuda
Cost: Free to wander around

Telephone boxes

best things to do in Hamilton Bermuda - Phone boxes

I saw a picture of the four red British phone boxes located just outside the national museum of Bermuda and opposite the visitor center at the Royal Navy Dockyard and I just had to see them as we are from the UK ourselves.

They are a great photo opportunity with the kids and look fantastic on the dockyard. There’s not much history to them that I could find out about, but they make a unique photograph.

Cost: Free

Catch a boat and go Whale watching

best things to do in Hamilton Bermuda - whale watching

Whale watching has to be on most people’s bucket list and if your visiting in spring between March and April this is the perfect time to visit as this is when Humpback whales migrate from the Caribbean sea into the Atlantic fro feeding.

Around 15,000 Humpback whales that migrate each year and you can take many boat tours from Bermuda to watch them in their natural habitat. There are even glass-bottom boats that the kids will absolutely love and during the spring the visibility is great for spotting the whales.

From the boats, you can see them as close as 10 feet away, what an experience! boats will take you to the south shores for the whale spotting but you can actually do it from land too.

Cost: Around $100 adult

Bermuda historical society museum

best things to do in Hamilton Bermuda historical society museum

If you’re looking to brush up on your knowledge of Bermuda’s fascinating history, then take a trip to the historical Society museum. Prime collections, historical documents, and artifacts are stored in the striking Georgian house which is located in Queen Elizabeth Park. This is also open to the public.

The building also houses Bermuda’s national library so plenty to see. Local workers and school children often enjoy their lunch breaks in the park here.

Location: 13 Queen Street, Hamilton, Bermuda
Cost: Free

Bermuda Aquarium, history museum & zoo

best things to do in Hamilton Bermuda - Aquarium, history museum and zoo

We didn’t actually visit this place as we don’t often visit aquariums and zoos whilst traveling however, I really wish we had as I’ve since heard amazing things about the place.

The aquarium houses a 140000-gallon North Rock exhibit which is home to one of the largest living coral collections in the world! They have many different marine live houses both inside and outside the aquarium.

The museum is great for the kids as there are many interactive features allowing them to be hands-on and explore. The zoo is home to many mammals, invertebrates and birds which are happy living under large netted areas making them seem closer to us.

Be sure to visit Oscar the alligator who is the zoos oldest resident. Bermuda has many native species that can also be spotted as you walk around the zoo.

Location: 40 North shore street, Hamilton, Bermuda
Cost: Adults $10, Kids $5, under 5 $ free

Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute

best things to do in Hamilton bermuda -Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute

If you fancy exploring deep ocean environments without having to even step foot in the water, then this is the place for you. The institute is all about understanding our oceans and is packed with artifacts and interactive exertions, including an exabit about the Bermuda Triangle. This has always fascinated me.

There is a treasure room filled with treasures found by diver Teddy Tucker from shipwrecks, the largest jaws from a great white are mounted on the wall and information on the 300 shipwreck sites around Bermuda.

The institute is big on simulators so you can take a dip in the ocean in a caged shark dive or a 7-minute drive to the ocean floor. The kids will find this absolutely fascinating. There are so many cool things to do here and are constantly changing so be sure to bring the family if you’re visiting Bermuda

Location: 40 Crow Lane, off Eastern Broadway, Hamilton City, Pembroke
Cost: $15 for adults $8 for kids 6plus, free for under 6

Train Trolley

best things to do in Hamilton Bermuda - Trolley train tour

One thing all kids love is a train ride and the trolly train ride in Hamilton is a perfect trip for the both adults and children. There are actually no real trainlines in Bermuda so if you want to experiance a bit of the english era the trolley is good fun.

They allow up to 40 people on the trains which have narratives of historical facts as you drive past local spots. The tour on the blue train, which starts from flagpole on Front street usually takes between 40 minutes and passes attractions such as the Cathedral of the most holy trinity, city hall and art centre, botanicle gardens and the national library to name a few stops.

Cost: adults $24, children $15 and under 6 are free

Final Thoughts

Although Bermuda Is an expensive island don’t let it put you off coming, there are plenty of things to do that are inexpensive or even free.

Bermuda has to be one of my favorite trips to date. The sheer beauty of the island itself along with the great food and intriguing history makes it a fantastic destination for all the family.

Kelly Bullock