The Atlantic island of Bermuda is a popular destination for lovers of beautiful beaches and beautiful swimming. Every year, it receives nearly 200,000 visitors, which is an accomplishment for an island of only 63,000 people.
Discovering the natural beauty of the island is the best thing to do in Bermuda. Explore the otherworldly underground landscapes of the Crystal & Fantasy Caves or the Blue Hole Park swimming hole.
Get a taste for Bermuda’s rich history and culture in the UNESCO-protected town of St. George’s or by dining in downtown Hamilton.
Of course, no trip to Bermuda is complete without a trip to the beach, whether you go to popular Horseshoe Bay Beach with its pink sand, rocky Warwick Long Bay, or try out the unique sport of helmet underwater walking.
There is much to do in Bermuda for people of all ages or interests. Before you go, however, it is important to check out more practical information such as safety.
You don’t want your vacation to go awry because you didn’t prepare properly. But don’t worry — our travel experts made this detailed safety guide can help you decide if Bermuda is safe to visit or not. Let us be your guide!
Is Bermuda Safe to Visit in 2023?
Yes. Unlike many other Caribbean destinations, there are no major societal problems here, so the archipelago is very safe to visit.
While crime does exist, and tourists need to take some precautions, you don’t need to be on your guard constantly. A quick look at travel advisories issued by foreign governments can give you a snapshot of the safety of your potential destination.
For Bermuda, the consensus is that this is a fairly safe island. The New Zealand government doesn’t even bother issuing a specific travel advisory for Bermuda, that is how safe they deem it to be for New Zealand citizens.
The United States is also laid-back about its travel advice for Bermuda. It has the island under a Level One travel advisory, or just normal precautions.
These are the same precautions that you would take at home as a common sense measure, without needing to be on your guard.
In fact, for many visitors from the United States, Bermuda may actually feel safer than their hometowns. Of course, no place on the planet is perfect. Bermuda has its problems, including some crime.
Common crime incidents include:
- Bag snatching
- Theft from vehicles
- Accommodation break-ins
While most crime incidents are petty in nature, there have been violent crime incidents affecting tourists in Bermuda in the past.
While these are usually rare, it’s still a good idea to research the crime rate and take basic precautions to protect yourself. Bermuda is not technically in the Caribbean; it is slightly north of the Caribbean Sea in the Atlantic Ocean.
However, it still gets affected by hurricane season. Hurricanes hit Bermuda once every two years and although they tend to cause minimal damage, experiencing one is still unpleasant.
Although Bermuda rarely gets hit directly by hurricanes, it often experiences tropical storms or hurricanes as they weaken out of the hurricane category. Hurricane season is from about June to November, peaking in September and October.
Crime in Bermuda
Before planning trips to a new destination, many people worry about crime. This is particularly true for the Caribbean as many islands have a reputation for high crime rates.
Bermuda is not a place where you have to worry about a lot of crime. The small island has a low to moderate crime rate.
Although crime exists and you do have to be careful about some bad things happening, most crime incidents affecting tourists are examples of petty theft and street crime. A look at Bermuda crime statistics can help put your mind at ease.
In 2019, the Bermuda Police Service recorded 3,347 crime incidents. This was a decrease compared to previous years (although there is no information yet on how the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns affected crime).
The violent crime rate in Bermuda is low. In 2019, the police recorded 0 murders. Only 2 people were shot and injured.
There was an increase in other crimes against the person, such as serious assault with 42 incidents, other types of assault with 532 incidents, sexual assault with 50 incidents, and indecency (other types of assault also includes verbal assault).
Most crimes committed in Bermuda are property crimes. In 2019, property crimes made up 61.8% of total crimes committed. The most common types of property crimes are theft, followed by motor vehicle theft.
The most common crime affecting tourists is theft. Motor vehicle theft is unlikely to affect you as tourists are not allowed to rent cars on the island.
Unless you are really unlucky and end up in the wrong place at the wrong time, violent crime is unlikely to affect you as well. However, since 2019, crime in Bermuda has increased.
This includes violent crime incidents. Most violent crime is driven by violent gangs on the island. Bermuda had a strong gang crisis that was subdued in 2012 but resurged in recent years due to increased unemployment and other societal factors.
Gang violence is unlikely to affect tourists as it mostly occurs in residential, poorer areas of Bermuda where tourists rarely venture.
That means that most violent crimes in Bermuda rarely affect tourists. Still, it is a good idea to be aware about societal problems such as these when you visit a new place and to know to avoid visiting sketchy neighborhoods.
Tourists in Bermuda rarely are affected by violent crime incidents (although exceptions happen). Bermuda’s economy depends on tourism, especially luxury tourism by affluent vacationers.
As such, the island needs to ensure the safety of visitors for its own economic survival. Most popular tourist areas are patrolled by special tourism police and by private security.
Petty theft is the type of crime that you will encounter almost everywhere in the world. It’s especially common in tourist destinations as tourists provide a lot of opportunity for criminals (and tourists tend to be wealthier than locals).
The most common forms of petty theft in Bermuda are pickpocketing, bag snatching, theft from unattended items, and theft from vehicles.
The Canadian government warns its citizens in its travel advisory about the possibility of pickpocketing in Bermuda. Pickpocketing and bag snatching often occurs on public transportation in Bermuda.
While the bus is an easy way to get around the island, make sure that you keep a firm grasp on your valuables when you do so, as the Irish government advises its citizens.
Tourist hotspots are also popular locations for pickpockets and purse snatchers as well as visitors awed by the beauty of Bermuda.
When visiting the UNESCO-protected old town of St. George’s, make sure that you wear a cross-body bag instead of a shoulder bag and don’t hang your bag off the back of your chair in restaurants or cafes.
Most thefts in Bermuda happen due to unattended items. People get so relaxed by the pristine beaches and laid-back island lifestyle that they forget about regular precautions such as this.
No matter how relaxed you get, make sure that you keep a close eye on your things, even in places where you might feel safe such as your hotel lobby. Theft from unattended luggage is a fairly common problem in Bermuda.
Theft from the beach is also a common problem that affects tourists. Leave valuables in your hotel room safe or designate a person to stay behind with your things while the rest of the group swims.
Theft from vehicles is a fairly common crime in Bermuda, but not one that affects many tourists since renting a car is illegal if you are not a resident. If you decide to rent a scooter, make sure that you never leave valuables in the basket unattended.
While most crime incidents in Bermuda are petty in nature, some tourists have been victims of armed robberies or muggings before. Since gang violence is increasing in Bermuda, the rate of robberies is also growing slightly, so it is good to take some precautions.
The UK government lists common crimes against tourists in its travel advisory for Bermuda. These crimes include burglary, mugging, baggage theft, and robberies.
A slight increase in crime that occurred over the past two years is largely fueled by the growing role of the drug trade. Most muggings and robberies in Bermuda occur at night.
If you decide to explore towns such as St. George’s or Hamilton after dark, only stick to well-lit streets with lots of other people walking around. Try to walk around with a group if possible, or at least one other person.
The Bermuda Police offers some safety tips for visitors. Among other tips, always keep a close eye on your drinks when exploring Bermuda’s nightlife. Criminals spike drinks and then rob or even assault and sexually assault their victims.
Avoiding Bad Areas
Most of the island of Bermuda is fairly safe. However, there are a few places that might have more risk for visitors. In the capital of Hamilton, be careful between Pitts Bay Road and the Hamilton Princess Hotel.
Muggers often operate in this area, especially after dark, and target tourists. Also in Hamilton, be careful around Back o’ Town and Court Street due to higher rates of drug and gang-related activity.
Things to Consider
Here are a few additional safety tips for visiting Bermuda:
- Be careful of animals in the water. If you step on a coral, seek medical attention immediately. If you notice a Portuguese man-of-war in the water, get to safety immediately as their stings hurt a lot. Luckily, they rarely sting humans and are not deadly, just painful.
- Store valuables in a hotel safe. Hotel room break-ins are increasing in Bermuda. You don’t want to leave your valuables out in the open as that attracts the attention of criminals.
- Follow the laws. Police in Bermuda are very strict and don’t take kindly to disobedience. People have been deported for offenses as small as unauthorized camping. Definitely don’t take drugs while in Bermuda as drug penalties are severe.
- Don’t go camping. Only residents are allowed to camp. Tourists that violated this rule have been deported before.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few other questions you might want the answers to before heading to Bermuda:
Are beaches safe in Bermuda?
Yes, Bermuda beaches are generally safe. Some beaches have riptides, but they are not so strong that you can’t manage them. When you go into the water, watch out for coral and for the Portuguese man-of-war.
Is Bermuda safe for a single woman?
Bermuda is one of the safer islands for single female travelers. While there have been cases of sexual assault before, you can avoid most negative attention by not walking alone at night and not overindulging in alcohol.
Is Bermuda an expensive island?
Yes, Bermuda is a very expensive island. It is one of the most affluent places in the world with one of the highest costs of living. It mostly caters to luxury travelers, so visitors should expect to spend a lot of money on accommodation, transportation, food, and amenities.
Is Bermuda safe to walk at night?
There are parts of Hamilton, the capital, that are seedier, and you shouldn’t walk alone at night in poorly lit streets or remote areas such as beaches. However, the rest of Bermuda is safe to walk at night.
What should I be careful of in Bermuda?
In Bermuda, be careful of petty property crime such as pickpocketing, theft from unattended bags, and theft from rental scooters. Many tourists let their guard down when visiting Bermuda, and local criminals (or even other visitors) take advantage of that.
So, Should You Take a Trip to Bermuda?
There is a reason why Bermuda is so popular with luxury travelers and families. It is a very safe place to visit! While you should take some precautions to protect your valuables, for the most part, your trip to Bermuda should be carefree.
So, with so much to see and do, and a very safe atmosphere, what are you waiting for — book your trip today and experience for yourself all that Bermuda has to offer. Happy travels!