On the holiday island of Bermuda, cars are regulated to one per household, and mopeds are the vehicle of choice, which definitely contributes to the leisurely pace of life on the island. The lack of urgency is part of the appeal – most come here to kick back on sandy beaches, splash in crystal waters and wander around the pastel-colored streets of Bermuda’s tiny towns on warm summer evenings.
Rental cars are not an option so visitors to Bermuda have traditionally used motorcycles or mopeds to scoot around this 21 sq mile (54 sq km) island, but these days, travelers have a variety of alternatives, from electric vehicles to rideshares, making it easy to travel from pink beach to pink beach.
Whether you’re here for the sand, the diving or the sunshine, here’s a look at how to explore Bermuda by land and sea.
Immerse yourself in the best experiences the world has to offer with our email newsletter delivered weekly into your inbox. Renting a vehicle will make it easier to find empty beaches in Bermuda © Denis Burdin / Shutterstock
Explore Bermuda by motorcycle or moped
With motorcycle shops stationed throughout the island, renting a motorcycle or moped is probably the most convenient option for travelers who are comfortable with the island’s road rules. For those not used to roundabouts and driving on the left, however, there are some safety concerns, as you’ll have minimal protection between you and other drivers, or worse, the pavement.
On the flip side, motorcycles and scooters are a great option for zipping around without having to worry about finding somewhere to park, and they’re ideal for navigating the winding, narrow streets of the island’s townships like a local.
You can visit a rental shop to pick up your vehicle or arrange delivery to your hotel; either way, make sure you’re comfortable on the moped before taking off on your own. You must be at least 18 years old and present a valid driver’s license from your home country.
Go beach-hopping by Twizy
Combining the words “twin” and “easy,” the Twizy is a two-seat electric vehicle that can travel up to 50 miles (80km) on a single charge. With a little more protection than a moped, but a similarly compact size, these vehicles are increasingly popular for visitors who feel more comfortable behind a steering wheel.
Visit Hamilton Princess & Beach Club for the widest selection of Twizys, which are typically rented out on a first-come, first-served basis. You must be at least 18 with a valid driver’s license from your home country.
Be sure to wear lots of sunscreen if you bike around Bermuda © Glowimages / Getty Images
Exploring by electric bicycle or bicycle
While we’re talking electric vehicles, Bermuda also offers electric bicycles for rent, both from cycle and moped rental shops and from hotels. Electric bicycles are a great alternative to scooters and Twizys for navigating downtown Hamilton or traveling between hotels and the beach, and as an added perk, they’re emission-free.
Regular bicycles (pedal bikes) are also available if you’re seeking some exercise on vacation. Due to Bermuda’s summer heat, be sure to apply plenty of sunscreen and bring sufficient water to stay hydrated on longer routes.
Find your pink-sand bliss at Bermuda’s top 14 beaches
Navigate Bermuda by bus
Bermuda’s pastel pink and blue buses are an important means of transport for islanders, and riding on these colorful coaches is considered a tourist attraction by many visitors, and a cheap one at that. There are 11 bus routes on the island, connecting the downtown Central Terminal on Washington St in Hamilton to the west and east ends of the island, or as locals know them, Somerset and St George’s.
Visitors can use exact change to pay for bus rides (single tickets cost $3.50 to $5) or purchase a one- to seven-day Transportation Pass allowing unlimited use of the island’s public transport system. Most services run between 7am and 7pm, though a few services run until 9pm. Services are less frequent at weekends, particularly on Sundays.
Catching a ferry is a great way to explore the island of Bermuda © Onepony/Getty Images/iStockphoto
Ferries offer scenic transfers along the coast
There are four ferry routes around Bermuda, with three starting from the central ferry terminal on Front St in downtown Hamilton. Taking the ferry is a breezy and picturesque way to traverse the island, and there are great views from the sea towards the Bermudian coast.
Ferries connect Hamilton to Rockaway, Dockyard and Salt Kettle, with other stops en route, and there’s a connecting service from Dockyard to St George’s. Depending on the time of day, this can be a quicker way to reach the far ends of the island than traveling by road. If you’re worried about windswept hair, head for the covered portions of the boat and you’ll arrive looking as fresh as when you boarded.
Unlike the bus, the ferry doesn’t accept change, so you’ll have to use your Transportation Pass or visit the terminal prior to boarding to purchase a ticket or token, using cash or a card.
The best times to visit Bermuda, from cheap winter breaks to summer sun
Taxis and rideshares are handy for day trips
Bermuda taxi drivers also double as tour guides for visitors to the island. If you form a quick bond with your driver from the airport, you might end up using the same driver for your entire stay. There are several taxi companies and rides are metered at government rates. Taxis can be in short supply at busy times, so make an advance booking for your trip to the airport when you depart.
Bermuda also has its own rideshare service, Hitch, which uses a similar platform to Uber or Lyft, but relies on the existing taxi drivers on the island rather than freelancers. The application allows users to order a taxi on demand or schedule a pick-up, rather than relying on hotels and other venues to call a driver.
With your own vehicle or a taxi, you can easily explore Bermuda’s natural wonders © Getty Images / Glowimages RF
Walking is a good way to explore Hamilton
For locals who live close to downtown Hamilton, walking is the obvious route to work, but for visitors, traveling by foot isn’t always the quickest option, nor the safest, given the narrow roads and lack of sidewalks. However, it’s definitely the best way to tour Hamilton’s city center.
Save the bicycles and mopeds for longer trips – strolling from local boutique to pub at your own pace in the tropical sunshine was partly why you came to Bermuda! You can also walk along the 18-mile (29km) Railway Trail, which follows the route of Bermuda’s vanished railway line, for a scenic nature walk around the island.
Accessible travel in Bermuda
Some attractions, restaurants, sidewalks and pubs are wheelchair accessible, as are the fast ferries, but roads are narrow and the lack of sidewalks is an obstacle for wheelchair users and the visually impaired.
Some hotels have rooms that cater to mobility-impaired guests. Public buses, however, are not equipped for wheelchair access and there are only a few taxis that can accommodate wheelchairs. The Bermuda Physically Handicapped Association has useful info for disabled travelers. For more information, see Lonely Planet’s Accessible Travel Resources page.