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Hamilton Bermuda Shore Excursion Tips

Front Street, Hamilton
Front Street is the main shopping and dining district in Hamilton. Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons license

A Hamilton Bermuda shore excursion includes attractions such as Fort Hamilton, the Bermuda National Gallery and Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity.

The town of Hamilton is one of the most popular tourist attractions on the island of Bermuda.

Hamilton is the capital of the island and located in one of nine parishes. It is a short distance from C.F. Wade International Airport.

The town is the smallest of three cruise ports on the island. Most cruise visitors arrive at the Royal Navy Dockyard on the northern tip of the island. Only a handful of smaller ships directly visit Hamilton. They dock right next to Front Street, which is the main drag for shopping and dining.

Hamilton is a 45-minute drive from the Royal Navy Dockyard to Hamilton. Cruise visitors who arrive there will need either a rental car, public bus or excursion bus to reach the town. Better yet, they also can take the popular and inexpensive ferry, which lasts about 20 minutes each way.

Unlike the capitals of other island destinations in the Caribbean and western Atlantic, Hamilton has a small permanent population of only about 1,000 people. The small size of the town makes it an easy walking tour.

Hamilton is the center of trade and shipping for Bermuda because it is the only container port on the island. As a result, visitors on small cruise ships get quick and easy access to the city.

When arriving, they first see the colorful pastels of Front Street, which lies along the edge of the water. It is the main road of Hamilton for restaurants and shopping. We spent about two hours walking up and down the street.

Local restaurants include Chopsticks for Chinese and Thai food; La Coquille for French and Mediterranean; Le Figaro and Monte Carlo for French; Little Venice for Italian; Pickled Onion for American; and Robin Hood Restaurant and Bar for a sports bar atmosphere.

Harbor Night takes place every Wednesday night during the summer. Visitors will find performers, crafts and additional shopping.

Hamilton Area Attractions

Quite a few Hamilton attractions lie within walking distance or a quick taxi ride of Front Street for anyone who spends less time shopping and dining. They include:

  1. Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity
  2. Fort Hamilton
  3. Bermuda Maritime Museum
  4. Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo
  5. Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute
  6. Garden Club of Bermuda Tours
  7. Hamilton City Hall
  8. Blue Hole Park, a 12-acre nature reserve
  9. Bermuda National Gallery with collections of international art
  10. Bermuda Botanical Gardens, a 36-acre landscaped park (a longer walk away)

Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity was built in 1905 from native Bermuda limestone and decorative stone imported from France. The interior has stained glass and sculptures of Christ and several saints. Energetic visitors can climb more than 150 stairs to the top of the cathedral tower for panoramic views including the Great Sound of Bermuda and Royal Naval Dockyard.

Fort Hamilton, a stone garrison from the Victorian era, has nicely maintained grounds and panoramic views of Hamilton Harbour. The 1870 fort and 18-ton artillery pieces never had to defend the city.

The City Hall & Arts Centre on Church Street has the Bermuda National Gallery, which includes 17th and 18th century European paintings by artists such as Joshua Reynolds and Thomas Gainsborough.

Elsewhere, cave explorers will want to investigate the photographic Crystal Caves and Cathedral. They lie another 20 minutes northeast of Hamilton.

Anyone wanting more information can go to the west end of Front Street to the Visitor’s Service Bureau to get additional advice about touring the area.

Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas. He is the author of four books about cruising in the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexican Riviera.
March 21, 2024

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