Bermuda Basics

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The Basics

Time: GMT -4 (GMT -3 during daylight savings time).

Electricity: Electrical current is 110 volts, 60Hz. US flat, two-pin plugs are used. Power outages and surges are common, as a result visitors should bring surge protectors for the safety of their devices.

Money: The Bermudan Dollar (BMD) is divided into 100 cents, and is tied to the US Dollar (US$1=BD$1). US currency is accepted almost everywhere and other major currencies can be exchanged at banks and bureaux de change. Banking hours vary, though most are open weekdays from 9am to 4.30pm. Visa, MasterCard and American Express are widely accepted and ATMs are easily available. Visitors are advised to exchange all their Bermudan Dollars before leaving, as it is impossible to exchange once outside the country.

Currency Exchange Rates

BMD1.00 = USD 1.00GBP 0.82CAD 1.33AUD 1.48ZAR 15.14EUR 0.91NZD 1.58
Note: These rates are not updated daily and should be used as a guideline only.

Language: English is the official language.

Entry requirements for Americans: United States passport holders must have a valid passport. No visa is required.

Entry requirements for UK nationals: UK nationals require a valid passport. A visa is not required for stays of up to six months - period of stay will be decided by immigration officials upon arrival.

Entry requirements for Canadians: Canadian nationals require a valid passport. A visa is not required for stays of up to six months - period of stay will be decided by immigration officials upon arrival.

Entry requirements for Australians: A valid passport is required for Australian nationals, but a visa is not required for stays of up to six months - period of stay will be decided by immigration officials upon arrival.

Entry requirements for South Africans: South African nationals require both a visa and a valid passport for entry to Bermuda. Passports should be valid for at least 45 days beyond intended period of stay.

Entry requirements for New Zealanders: New Zealanders require a valid passport, but a visa is not necessary for stays of up to six months - period of stay will be decided by immigration officials upon arrival.

Entry requirements for Irish nationals: Irish nationals must have a valid passport. A visa is not required for stays of up to six months - period of stay will be decided by immigration officials upon arrival.

Passport/Visa Note: All visitors must hold a return or onward ticket and any documents required for further travel, as well as a valid passport. We recommend that passports be valid for six months after arrival at destination. As part of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), all travellers travelling between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean region are required to present a passport or other valid travel document to enter or re-enter the United States. If departing from the USA, a valid passport will be required by immigration authorities. Visa requirements vary according to country.

Getting around: To get around in Bermuda, visitors cannot hire a car, although they can choose from a bicycle, scooter, or even a horse and carriage. There is a reliable bus system that services the entire country. Free schedules are available from any tourist office. Buses generally run from 6:30am to around 11pm, and can be crowded at peak commuting hours. There are usually metred taxis waiting around major hotels and tourist attractions.

Travel Health: There are no specific health risks for visitors to Bermuda and medical care is of a high standard. Health insurance is recommended, as medical treatment is expensive. Food and water are considered safe for consumption.

Tipping: If not included in the bill, a 15 percent tip is generally expected at restaurants and hotels. Taxi drivers are usually tipped 10 percent, and all Bermuda hotels add a hotel tax of 10 percent to the bill at check-out.

Safety Information: Bermuda is relatively crime-free but visitors should exercise the necessary precautions to safeguard personal possessions. Care should be taken after dark, avoiding quieter, poorly lit streets in particular. Hurricane season normally runs from June to November.

Local Customs: As a general rule, dress conservatively. Bathing suits are acceptable only on the beach, and it is considered an offence to appear in public without a shirt. Casual sportswear can be worn in restaurants during the day, but in the evening men should dress more formally with slacks and a shirt. Good manners are expected, and asking a question without first offering a proper greeting is considered extremely rude. Nude or semi-nude bathing is not permitted in Bermuda.

Business: Bermuda's economy is dominated by tourism and international financial services. Business etiquette is conservative, and businessmen and women should stick to formal dress or lightweight suits. For meetings, punctuality is important, people are greeted with handshakes, and business cards are exchanged. Business hours are generally 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.

Communications: The international access code for Bermuda is +1, in common with the US, Canada and most of the Caribbean, followed by 441. The outgoing code is 011 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 01144 for the United Kingdom); no outgoing code is needed to call the US. Mobile phones operate on a GSM 1900 network. Free wifi is widely available in restaurants, pubs and other tourist areas.

Duty Free: Travellers to Bermuda over 18 years do not have to pay duty on 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars and 500g tobacco; and 1 litre liquor and 1 litre wine. However, duties may have to be paid on perfume and certain gifts. Spearguns are prohibited.