Bermuda Local Customs

  • Watergate from outside 2011
    Watergate from outside 2011
    by grandmaR
  • Watergate from outside 2007
    Watergate from outside 2007
    by grandmaR
  • Postcard of Gombey Dancers
    Postcard of Gombey Dancers
    by starship

Bermuda Local Customs

  • Water Gate

    Bermuda has a REAL Water Gate The watergate is an actual gate over the water. There is a canal or slip and the gate (above) cranks down across it. This enclosed waterway once served to transport ordnance stores from ships anchored in Grassy Bay to storage houses within the Keep, safely allowing for ship repairs or refitting in the outer Dockyard....

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  • Moongates

    Moon gates are round limestone gates through which honeymooners walk and make a wish to ensure a lifetime of good luck. If you are not a honeymooner - make a wish anyway - can't hurt!!This one is near the Historical Society/library and the Par-La-Ville Gardens in Hamilton. I have a picture of another in my Hamilton travelogues - I'm not sure where...

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  • Reefs and Lighthouses

    We saw the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse many times, but did not get out to St. Davids or see the other Bermuda lighthouse on either of our first two visits to Bermuda. It wasn't until we arrived by cruise ship in 2004 and went into the harbor at St. George that we saw the St. David's light for the first time. Then on our 2007 visit, we took the bus out to...

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  • A shorts haberdashery tip

    Most everyone is familiar with the term "Bermuda shorts". And, far from being a tourist thing, Bermudas are widely worn throughout the island.Most places in the world would consider short pants to be casual wear, no matter how natty or expensive the tailoring or material might be. Not so in Bermuda, where it's not at all uncommon to see a...

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  • Pub Grub...put it on YOUR menu

    Bermuda, as is the the case for the mother country, loves their pubs. There are a large number of English-style pubs all over the island. And if you've been following my restaurant tips, you'll know that we spent plenty of time eating pub grub.In a pricey place like Bermuda, eating in pubs is more than just "local flavor", so to speak. It's a way...

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  • Pick a perfect name for your home

    Back when I lived in Bermuda (in the 1950s), our address consisted of "our house name". We lived at Alabama House. In the years since, traditional addresses have followed, but it's still an island tradition to give your home a very special name.And, you then need to purchase a nice custom-painted house sign for your front wall.If you'd like to buy...

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  • Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain

    Visitors always seem to like the tidy white rooves evident on almost all Bermuda houses. And while the view is pleasant, it's also functional. You see, Bermuda has, because of its isolated status in the middle Atlantic, always had an issue supplying its residents with enough potable water. You know the old saying of the sailor... water, water...

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  • Gombay Dancers

    Gombay dancing is supposedly unique to Bermuda. A rhythmic and colorful blend of West African tribal music, British martial custom and tunes, Christian influence AND even a bit of native American dancing practice and culture, Gombays are energetic entertainment should you be fortunate enough to enjoy them.The Gombays consist of both older and...

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  • Sloppy dress is not often welcome

    Unlike many of the island nations further south in the Caribbean, Bermuda is NOT all about informality. In fact, Bermuda and Bermudians are actually more akin to protocol than are your average Americans.In the USA, towns near the beach are filled with people in swimwear. There's often a fair amount of partying that goes on 24/7 in beach towns...

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  • Cerveja and all things Portuguese

    I was shocked to see how much Portuguese influence seems to be woven into the island's day to day affairs. Although there is not a single Portuguese restaurant on the island, you can buy Portuguese or portuguese style foods in any grocery store. Sausages, cold cuts, bread, wine, cookies etc. are on every shelf. Most surprisingly, I found Portuguese...

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  • Bermuda Chowder

    Bermuda chowder is common on the island. it is a fish cownder made with what seemed to be a vegetable broth. The taste (and therefore the recipes) seemed ot vary from place to place, but it seemed consistently good. I always had it served with a side of rum-sherry-pepper sauce (shown in the background) that is unique to the island and kind of...

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  • The Bermuda Onion

    Bermuda is known for the Bermuda Onion. It looks better than it smells, smells better than it photographs, and tastes great. I did manage to find one worthy of a photo.

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  • Gosling's Black Seal Rum

    Black Seal is the rum of choice in Bermuda. Locally made, it is used in most of the mixed drinks and can be found on the shelves of any supermarket. If you like trying different spirits, don't miss this one. You can't buy rum on Sundays with one exception; duty free, which is where I recommend you buy it. Liter bottles retailed for $26+ out on...

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  • The Gombeys

    Bermuda had no indigenous population at the time of European discovery. The gombeys, like so much of Bermuda's underlying culture, come from the West Indies through immigration. The Gombeys echo the Bully Roosters (West Indian troops temporarily transitting the island en route to the Boer War) and elaborate carnivals of the islands. The Gombeys can...

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  • Wednesday night festivals

    Every Wednesday the city of Hamilton supports a festival on Front St. I thought it was shy of food and heavy on crafts, but it made up for that with extra music. A little bit of Latin Swing can go a long way towards soothing the frustrations of an airline flight. In the shadow of cruise ships, with the scent of roasted meat in the air and the cool...

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  • Pop By! Flags & Ambassadors

    The Pop By! Flag is an invitation to visitors to interact with locals and discover first hand what makes Bermuda one of the world’s friendliest destinations.If you see a Pop By! Flag displayed at any beach, pub or attractions, you are invited to visit with a local resident, share experiences, and learn more about Bermuda.Also, if you see a Pop &...

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  • 10 Tips on how to wear Bermuda Shorts

    For those interested in how to wear Bermuda shorts properly, at least while in Bermuda, here are some tips. First of all, they are part of a formal outfit, ranking the same as a business suit. You will see them worn without a tie, but they really go better with one. At the other end of the spectrum, you wouldn't wear them to a black tie affair and...

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  • Drive on the left side of te road!

    This is not a problem for you europeans, but for Americans and travelelers from elsewhere, remember that the driving is done on the left side of the road and not the right. This is important to remember, even if's you're not driving.

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  • local Customs -- Gombey dancer and...

    For someone like this Vter the African influence seems very close to the surface and can be found in the island music and dance, music such as calypso, reggae and also in the rhythm of Gombey dancers. The Gombey dancer are strait off my street where I grow up in Sierra Leone I am transported ack to African and my childhood. The Gombey dance clearly...

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  • Proper etiquette is very necessary

    Although Bermuda has friendly folks, there are some people who will simply refuse to acknowledge your presence or even respond to you if you do not greet them first. A "good morning/afternoon/evening" is expected and you will receive a much better response than when you just approach them with say, a question.

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  • Gombeys at Rest

    There is one fast food joint in all of Hamilton. Just how it got there is completely political. It's the worst Kentucky Fried Chicken on the Planet. By the time the chicken gets there (to the Island) it is so processed, it's like pure deep-fried fat. But, even Gombeys have vices.

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  • On Holidays, the Gombeys come...

    On Holidays, the Gombeys come out to perform. I never know where, never know when, but they're there. It is SO cool to watch a parade of Gombeys pass. They are totally unknown performers, but considered a National Treasure. The rhythms the band plays while these performers dance is mesmerising. (And the 'baby Gombeys' are adoreable!)

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  • More on Gombeys

    Here's a daytime picture of a Gombey dancer. Again, nobody knows who they are (and I'm sure nobody wants to - it would spoil the mystery).

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  • Cover up please!

    In Bermuda, it is not appropriate for men to walk about the town with no shirt on - if a police officer sees you, he may well ask you to cover up! As well, women are requested to wear a shirt (not walk around in their bikini tops). Sorry boys....you'll have to hit the beach to see that!

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  • Houses and water

    On our last trip we were talking to one local guide and found out a interesting fact that we did not no.... many of the houses if not most...get all there water from the rain...If you look at the way the roofs are built they are like collection water ways, which funnel the water down and into pipes which go into the basement of the house. The...

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  • Good Luck

    All through out Bermuda you will see the Bermudian Arches... We were told that it is good luck to stand in them and make your wish...These are not hard to find as almost all the hotels have them and they are on many roads.This was our second time in one and well we have to beautiful children, and have been married this year May 9 for 17 years so...

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  • Red Mailboxes

    I took this photo outside the Aquarium. It's not a trash can. It's not a phone box.It's a mail or post box (for letters).Of course remember that if you post (mail) something here it will need a Bermuda stamp - even though Bermuda will take US dollars for payment, they won't mail your letters or post cards with a US stamps.

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  • teatime

    Like the Brits, Bermuda also has a teatime. Many of the hotels serve afternoon tea with scones. The scones on the island are yummy, theyre soft like the scones in England, not hard and cookie-ish, like NYC scones!tea-time is a little inconvenient though, as its usually in the middle of the day, around 3oclock.

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  • Greetings

    Everyone in Bermuda is incredibly polite. Everyone says "good morning" or some other greeting when you pass them on the street. We noticed that even on the bus, riders would say "good nite" to everyone on the bus before departing. Its a very cordial country, so don't forget to be polite in return!

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  • Dress Code

    They do have a rule on the Island, at least I believe its a rule, that you must have acceptable clothes on at all times, meaning you cant walk around with a bathing suit on. Except for the beach. I know they dont let you on the buses, and most likely the ferrys either, if you dont have clothes on. I know they appreciate it when you do ahve clothes...

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  • Water

    Bermuda is surrounded by water. But it is salt. One of the problems for the early settlers was not being able to find any fresh water springs. Since then, some have been found, but it's not enough for everybody. So Bermuda has strict rules. Each house must have a clean white roof and must catch the rainwater in a cistern for the use of the...

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  • Bermuda Shorts

    Bermuda shorts must be worn properly. That is to say they must be worn with long navy or black socks, a white or blue short sleeved shirt, a tie, a navy blue blazer and loafers.

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  • "Good Morning"

    This sounds funny, but trust me, you'll learn to appreciate just saying "Good Morning". I think it's just something that has been programmed in our heads from the days Bermuda was really trying to be a very hot tourist destination. And trust me, I've seen people local and foregien alike been ignored for not say "Good morning" before asking or...

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  • Moongate : In front of a lot...

    Moongate : In front of a lot of houses, you can see an kind of arch just like Stargate SG-1. We asked our taxi driver who explained that these thing are called Moongate. Some people belief that people, especially young lovers or newlywed, pass through this gate and make a wish. The wish has 18 months to be realise or the whole process has to be...

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  • BERMUDIAN DRESSING CODE. I...

    BERMUDIAN DRESSING CODE. I have read on VT someone making fun of the Bermudian costum. I don't agree with such an attitude. Maybe what's funny for you is normal for somone else and what's normal for you is funny for someone else!!! SO BE RESPECTFUL! This is what travelling is all about!!!Personnally, my husband and I we took this customs very...

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  • Bermuda shorts are proper...

    Bermuda shorts are proper business attire during the summer. Try to look smart in general--this island is NOT laid back like the rest of the carribean--leave flip-flops and torn jeans in the Keys. Bermugens aren't snobs, but if you dress fairly well, you'll feel more comfortable.

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  • Bermuda seemed to have a very...

    Bermuda seemed to have a very mixed cultural population.One thing that was a riot was they consider it rude I think to turn your back to the bar if you are out for a drink.-Which would seem natural if there was a nice view of the ocean behind you.I don't know if this is a rule at every establishment but we were at some real local places, heres what...

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  • Propriety

    Bermuda is quite the proper place. It's a good idea to wear a proper coat and pants out to dinner at a decent place. 'Bermuda shorts' are acceptable attire anywhere, as long as they're accompanied by knee-high socks. In fact, the last vestige of Bermuda to restrict shorts, the Bermuda Parliament, has ruled in favour of them finally. There seems to...

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  • Royal Palms Hotel

    24 Rosemont Ave, Hamilton, HM06, Caribbean

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Solo

  • 9 Beaches Resort

    4 Daniels Head Rd, , MA BX, Caribbean

    Satisfaction: Very Good

    Good for: Families

    Hotel Class 3 out of 5 stars

  • Elbow Beach Bermuda

    60 South Shore Rd, , PG 04, Caribbean

    Satisfaction: Very Good

    Good for: Couples

    Hotel Class 5 out of 5 stars

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Bermuda Local Customs

Reviews and photos of Bermuda local customs posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Bermuda sightseeing.
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