With more than 400 years of fascinating history packed into 21 square miles, Bermuda is alluring for lovers of history and culture.
Explore St. George's & the East End
On the East End of the island, discover history and culture in historic towns, forts and jungles.
The Town of St. George
A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Town of St. George is the oldest continuously occupied town of English origin in the western hemisphere. Wander down cobblestone alleys and lanes, visit historic homes and watch reenactments of Bermuda’s colonial past.
For a free tour and some living history, head to King’s Square at 10:30 am. A guided tour is offered, after which the Mayor of St. George’s greets visitors back at the square. At noon, the Ducking commences. This light-hearted historical reenactment depicts an antiquated form of public punishment. Highlights around town include:
- St. Peter’s Church is an architectural beauty built with Bermudian cedar. Built in 1612, it's the oldest Anglican church in continuous use outside the British Isles. Behind the south churchyard is the Old Rectory, constructed in the 18th century by pirate George Dew.
- Across the street, explore the Bermuda National Trust Museum in the Globe Hotel, built in 1700 by the-Governor Samuel Day – it's one of the oldest stone buildings on the island. The offices of the Confederate agent, Major Norman Walker, were housed here during the American Civil War (1861-1865), which makes this significant historic building an appropriate site for the exhibit "Rogues and Runners: Bermuda and the American Civil War."
- The St. George's Historical Society Museum is furnished much as it was when it was a private home. This typical Bermudian structure from the early 1700s houses artefacts and documents from the island's earliest days. The house is filled with period furniture, documents, old letters, displays of pewter, china and rare books.
- Continue your tour at Tucker’s House Museum. Henry Tucker, President of the Governor's Council, moved into this house in 1775 and his family remained there until 1809. Some of the treasures on view include a collection of Tucker family silver, china and crystal, antique English mahogany and Bermuda cedar furniture, family portraits by Blackburn and hand-sewn quilts.
- Stop in at the Bermuda Perfumery. Since 1928, the Bermuda Perfumery has manufactured exclusive and rare perfumes under the brand Lili Bermuda. In 2006, the Perfumery launched Coral to celebrate its new location, at Stewart Hall in St. George's. Coral is a beautiful fusion of freesia, essence of rose, Clementine and ginger. Visit the Perfumery for a free tour and to sample its beautiful perfumes.
The Unfinished Church
Continue over to the Unfinished Church. Construction of the church started in the 1870s when the grand Gothic structure was meant to replace St. Peter's Church. Following a series of problems, including parish infighting, financial difficulties and a damaging storm, construction was abandoned. Today, the picturesque ruins are a protected historic monument and part of St. George's World Heritage Site.
The Carter House
Across the harbour from the Town of St. George, St. David's Island is home to what's considered to be the oldest home in Bermuda. The circa 1640 Carter House Museum was made of Bermuda stone; the museum here offers exhibits on whaling, farming and other parts of early Bermudian life.
Tom Moore’s Tavern
For dinner, head to Tom Moore’s Tavern on Walsingham Bay. Named after the famed Irish poet who wrote some of his most famous works while living here, it’s the oldest restaurant on the island, having opened its doors to diners more than a century ago.
Explore Hamilton & Central Bermuda
Discover the cosmopolitan capital City of Hamilton and the historic gardens, parks, estates and museums that surround it.
Start the day immersed in art at the City of Hamilton’s carefully curated galleries. There are visual delights everywhere you look.
- In the City Hall Arts Centre, the Bermuda National Gallery houses the island’s national art collection, which is dedicated to telling the story of Bermuda’s history through the fine and decorative arts.
- Behind the gallery, admire the sculptures of Queen Elizabeth Park. Maintained mosaic walkways wind through the luxuriant gardens, featuring colourful flower beds and a koi pond. On Saturdays during the summer, enjoy lunch-hour performances from Bermuda's traditional Gombey dancers.
- Windjammer 2 Gallery – Located in the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club, features work by Bermuda’s notable artists including paintings, sculpture, textiles and crafts. Don’t miss the intricate cedar models of famous Bermuda ships.
- Known as “the People’s Gallery,” the Bermuda Society of Arts Gallery has been showing off the work of Bermudian artists (both professional and amateur) for more than 60 years.
Bermuda was once a prime target for invaders,and Fort Hamilton helped keep the island safe. Built to protect Hamilton Harbour, this fort offers spectacular panoramic views and an ironically peaceful vibe with well-tended lawns, a garden moat, dungeons and never-fired 18-ton artillery pieces.
Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art
On the grounds of the Bermuda Botanical Gardens, discover the treasures of the Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art. Designed to showcase how the island inspires artists, Masterworks' collection of more than 3,000 watercolours, lithographs, photographs and etchings include masterpieces by legendary painters such as Georgia O’Keeffe and Winslow Homer, along with the work of local Bermudians.
VERDMONT HISTORIC HOUSE & GARDEN
Virtually unchanged since it was constructed 300 years ago, the Verdmont Historic House & Gardens is one of the prizes of Bermudian architecture. Stroll the grounds to see an assortment of herbs, old roses and fruit trees. As a bonus, enjoy a sweeping view of the South Shore.
Discover the Royal Naval Dockyard
Fine Art, Local Crafts & Rum Cake
The former home of the British Royal Navy in Bermuda, the Royal Naval Dockyard is now a popular attraction packed with shops, restaurants, museums and several spots highlighting the work of the island’s most creative artisans. Spend the day exploring, and be sure to chat with a few of the artists to learn what inspires their work.
- Bermuda Arts Centre at the Dockyard – Highlighting the diversity of Bermuda’s creative community, the revolving exhibits showcase the best local artists.
- Bermuda Craft Market – This lively spot is the best place to experience Bermuda’s thriving DIY scene. You’ll find the perfect souvenirs here – candles, Bermuda cedar, notecards, pink sand sculptures and more – you might even buy them from the artisans themselves.
- Bermuda Clayworks Ltd. – Bermuda's only full-time production pottery studio features a Collective Gallery filled with the work of independent studio potters and ceramic artisans who work on site.
- Dockyard Glassworks & the Bermuda Rum Cake Company – Witness the artistry of glass blowing, an age-old process that results in colourful masterpieces. Afterwards, enjoy the island’s signature dessert at the Bermuda Rum Cake Company.
- TIP: Don’t miss The Hall of History, a stunning, 1,000-square-foot mural in the National Museum of Bermuda. Created by local artist Graham Foster, it visually represents 500 years of Bermuda history.
Don’t miss The Hall of History, a stunning, 1,000-square-foot mural in the National Museum of Bermuda.
African Diaspora Heritage Trail
The African Diaspora Heritage Trail winds throughout the island, but one major stop is at the Dockyard in the National Museum of Bermuda. Visit the First Floor of the Commissioner's House to see the exhibit on the slave trade and slavery in Bermuda – it's a fascinating, enlightening collection of stories, photos, objects and shipwreck artefacts.