I've been coming to Bermuda for many years now, but my first glimpse of the pastel coloured buildings and picture-perfect waterfront of Hamilton City always puts a smile on my face from the minute I arrive. Situated in Pembroke Parish, it's the island's capital and commercial centre, but it's also a vibrant hub of culture, art, shopping and some of the best luxury Bermuda accommodation available. |
For those who choose their Bermuda accommodation in Hamilton City, it makes the ideal base from which to explore the beauty of the islands, but its value as a destination in its own right shouldn't be underestimated. Even if your Bermuda accommodation is on another part of the island, a day excursion is well worth your while – and, yes, you can get a wonderful overview of this wonderfully compact little city in just one day.
Fabulous Front Street
Front Street is the real heart and soul of the city, and this busy, buzzing stretch that runs along the water's edge is a hive of activity – especially when a cruise ship is in port. Lined with retail shops, banks, cafes, restaurants and galleries, the pastel colonial architecture of the tightly packed buildings is the iconic image of the city.
Away from this busting precinct, the narrow lanes that lead off the street will take you to a number of smaller, more eclectic boutiques and craft shops, where you'll find lots of local products.
There's also a weekly Wednesday evening market in summer, with food and craft vendors plying their trade to the beat of local street performers and musicians.
A Little Art, a Little History
For those looking to get a little local artistic inspiration or delve into the city's interesting history, there are a number of sites that shouldn't be missed:
• The National Gallery – Home to an excellent collection of 17th and 18th century art (including some Gainsboroughs).
• The Society of Arts – A space with a contemporary flavour housing works of art and crafts from the local arts community.
• Historical Society Museum – Superb exhibits and information for those looking to learn more about the history of the island.
• National Library – Housed in the same building as the museum above, on Queen Street.
• The Cabinet Building and Sessions House – If you're interested in the way the local government works, these places are both open to the public.
A Taste of Culture
There are a number of important landmarks you may want to visit, and you can easily stroll around all of them.
The Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity is a beautiful example of early (?) British architecture, and you'll also be able to get wonderful views from the bell tower.
St. Theresa's Cathedral is the island's main working church.
The Cenotaph and War Memorial honour those who fell in the two world wars. The Cenotaph is a replica of the one in Whitehall, London.
In 1889 Fort Hamilton was built to protect the harbour, but today it's a wonderful place to wander and enjoy far reaching views over the ocean. Spend a Day, Fall in Love
I don’t think anyone can help but be charmed by the elegance, natural beauty and quiet confidence of Hamilton City, and even if a day is all you have, I can almost guarantee you'll be planning a return visit.
Tip: If you're looking for Bermuda accommodation in Hamilton City, I can highly recommend the historic Fairmont Hamilton Princess, the Rosedon, Rosemount Guest Suites and the Royal Palms.
John Dixon is an experienced world traveller and the Managing Director of Prestige Holidays. For over 30 years, he has been providing luxury Bermuda accommodation, as well as holidays to Croatia, Sicily and many other destinations around the globe. John tries to visit each of the destinations regularly in order to ensure the quality of his properties, and stays up-to-date about the latest local news and events. He has a taste for the finer things in life and has an interest in the arts, history and culture.
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