As you walk, take in the history, harbour views, pastel-coloured architecture, inviting green spaces and, of course, local people going about their business (perhaps in their iconic Bermuda shorts).
One way to gain an appreciation of the local flavour is to fall in step with Hamilton's Town Crier, Ed Christopher. Dressed in traditional garb, he leads daily city walking tours beginning at 10:30 am, Monday through Friday from April to October. The tours begin on the steps of City Hall on Church Street. Listen for the Town Crier's ringing bell and shouted welcome as he draws a crowd.
Self-guided Cultural Walking Tour
If you prefer to chart your own course, grab a city map and discover the heart of Hamilton on your own. In a couple of hours, you can see many of Hamilton's notable cultural attractions. Here is one of many walking routes to try:
Art, History & Gardens
Start by visiting the City Hall & Arts Centre on Church Street. This bright white building is home to the Bermuda National Gallery, which features both local and international art, including 17th and 18th century European paintings by artists such as Joshua Reynolds and Thomas Gainsborough. Upstairs is the Bermuda Society of Arts gallery, with rotating exhibits of work by local visual artists.
Back outside on Church Street, make your way down Queen Street heading south toward the harbour. On your right, check out the Historical Society Museum and National Library. History buffs will enjoy the extensive collection of documents and rare island artifacts. The building is set within Par-La-Ville Gardens, designed by Bermuda's first Postmaster General, William Bennett Perot. Nearby you'll find Perot's original post office. Still active, it looks much as it did when he was appointed in 1821.
When you reach the bottom of Queen Street, turn left and join the lively throngs on Front Street, with its pastel, Colonial-style buildings, restaurants, shops and galleries. Be sure to explore the lanes and alleyways off Front Street for more local flavour. On Wednesday evenings in the summer, the street is alive with the irresistible rhythms of Bermuda's beloved Gombey dancers during Harbour Nights.
On the corner of Front Street & Parliament Street, you will find the Cabinet Building, with its distinctive Cenotaph war monument out front. One block north of Cabinet House is the Sessions House, dating from 1819. Bermuda's parliament is the oldest in the British Commonwealth; when in session, there is a public gallery.
Bermuda's parliament is the oldest in the British Commonwealth.
Historic Churches & Tea Time
Turn left at the intersection of Parliament and Church Streets and walk by some of Bermuda's oldest historic churches, including the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity. This magnificent Anglican cathedral was built of native stone and imported Caen stone, and was designed by William Hay of Edinburgh in Restoration-Gothic style. On weekdays, you can climb the 143-foot tower for a stunning view of the city.
As you head back toward City Hall, consider a relaxing stroll through the shady paths of Victoria Park. Or, head straight to the Washington Mall for tea, pastry and shopping.