There are several good things to see in Bermuda for free or on a budget. You’ve spent some money on airfare. You are staying in a lovely hotel. It is time to see Bermuda—but it doesn’t have to be “island expensive.” There are plenty of ways to see the sights without busting a budget. Here are a few favorites.
Recently completed renovations mean the cathedral tower is open again. A $3 ticket will get you entrance to the 150-plus steps up to the top. The stairs up are a lot of narrow, spiral stone stairs, then opening out onto the first landing; “regular” stairs to a second landing, then a few steps up and out to the tower top. You will be rewarded with a view like no other on Bermuda, a 360-degree vista that makes you feel you can see almost every inch of the island (even if you can’t). You are well and truly behind fence and stonework, so this fear-of-heights viewer didn’t feel that sinking feeling I have in the past.
If you find yourself in St. George’s on a Wednesday or a Saturday (December to March) or any day BUT Friday in the warmer months (April to November), make sure you are in the King’s Square around. The actors get into their roles and you might just be recruited to help punish a wench.
Okay, so they are not all pink these days, but hop on the local ferry, which makes a circle of the harbour, stopping to pick up and discharge passengers along the way. You’ll get a lovely view of Hamilton from the water, you’ll be on the water for about 45 minutes all told—and it’s just $4.50 for a single ticket (at press time)…people are friendly; strike up a conversation with someone and you’ll learn all about why they are in Bermuda and how long they’ve been here.
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There are so many great snorkel beaches in Bermuda—and the beauty of it is they are all free. Bring your own gear or rent some (not typically too pricey) and just swim out and away from the beach. As always, best to go with a buddy, of course.
Church’s Bay is a favorite, if a bit rougher for someone who might be a bit nervous about snorkeling. In that case, try Shelly Bay, where the water is barely waste high for what seems to be about 100 yards out—plus it is so well-protected, you’ll often find it dead calm. Another well-protected beach, although it can be crowded at the height of tourist season, is Tobacco Bay in St. George’s. Shallow, calm, welcoming.
Every Sunday morning at 7 a.m., rain or shine (even hurricane, if you can believe it), this dedicated group meets up at different spots around the island for a 4 to 6-mile walk. The walk finishes with some juice and water for all and now and then someone hosts a breakfast. Totally free to drop-ins, although regulars are asked to “join” for $50 for the year, which covers the charge of the weekly juice and cups.