Last updated on March 18, 2023 by Wandering our World
When it comes to dream getaways, Barbados and Bermuda are two destinations top of most people’s lists. After all, both of these island paradises can offer amazing experiences, especially if you’re looking for sun, sea, and sand.
However, the reality is that Barbados and Bermuda actually have some important differences. So choosing the right one for your once-in-a-lifetime vacation or honeymoon is extremely important…
For example, Bermuda is often considered as being the slightly more beautiful island. Locals are incredibly welcoming, and the island feels less ‘touristy’ than others in the region – including Barbados.
In many ways Barbados is similar to Bermuda, however it differs in the fact it is a little cheaper, is catered more towards tourists, and arguably has better nightlife.
However that’s just the beginning when it comes to how similar – and different – these two islands are…
Luckily after visiting both, we compare Barbados and Bermuda below, and show you what each has to offer.
We look at which has the better beaches, nightlife, what activities you can do in each, how the vibe compares, and more. All so you can make the right vacation decision!
- A Quick Overview & Comparison
- How Do The Beaches & Natural Scenery Compare?
- Which Has The Better Culture & Cultural Excursions?
- Where To Stay According To Your Budget
- How Does The Cuisine Compare?
- Which Is The Better Choice?
Barbados vs Bermuda: A Quick Overview & Comparison
Although made up of 138 islands and cays, Bermuda has 64 miles of coastline, whilst Barbados possesses 60 miles of coastline.
Both have stunning coastlines and those picture-perfect white-sand beaches you expect from a dream tropical holiday.
However if beaches are your main priority, we think Bermuda probably shades it over Barbados and is a better holiday choice for beach-lovers.
The beaches in Bermuda are notonly gorgeous, but there’s a big varietyof them. There’s even pink sand beaches!
It’s worth mentioning that the most popular sites in Barbados tend to attract hawkers who can be quite persistent too. Bermuda, on the other hand, seems to have avoided this fate at their most popular beaches and destinations.
However Bermuda is a much more expensive destination than Barbados, although both have a decent public bus system. So getting around each island can be cheap and easy.
Expect potential beach weather year-round in Barbados too. But in Bermuda the temperatures from mid-December to March can be relatively cool.
How Do The Beaches & Natural Scenery Compare?
Barbados: Beaches & Scenery
Luckily you can find turquoise water and perfect beaches up and down Barbados. Many of the best beaches are within easy reach from the main resorts and hotels, while many have facilities too.
Make your way to Oistins and Miami Beach for great swimming waters and one of the best sunsets in the Caribbean.
One of our favorites is Bottom Bay. It’s not a great swimming spot, but it’s secluded, romantic, and with swaying palm trees it has a real deserted island feel to it.
Beautiful beacheslike this areoneof the reasonsBarbados madeourlistof the best Caribbean islands for couples!
Barbados’ teeming sea-life can also be viewed when out and about swimming and snorkeling. Bell Buoy reef, near Accra Beach is the perfect place to spot angel fish and parrot fish. A great underwater camera – such as this one – is a must.
At Carlise Bay Marine Park you can dive among numerous ship wrecks that have been taken over by colorful fish, nurse sharks, and manta rays! Some of the best reefs to explore in Barbados can be found in this.
While there isn’t much in the way of hiking in Barbados – almost all outdoor activities revolve around the coast – as we mentioned before one of the best things about Barbados is that everything is within relatively close reach.
Bermuda:Beaches & Scenery
This little British island territory has some stunning stretches of coastline, with white, golden, and even pink sand beaches.
Bermuda’s longest beach, Warwick Long Bay, is a great place to start, and a wonderful spot to dip your toes for a romantic walk along the shore.
One of our favorite beaches is West Whale Bay, which has unbelievable turquoise-clear water. As the name suggests, you can also spot migrating humpback whales here during April.
For a more secluded and private beach, head to Clarence Cove, which also has safe calm swimming water. However if you want a snorkeling spot, we would recommend Church Bay.
The reef lies very close to the shoreline, so you can rent snorkeling equipment from the refreshment stands nearby and swim out to the colorful sea-life.
For such a small nation, Bermuda also packs a punch in terms of natural attractions.
When you need a break from sunbathing and swimming, then make your way to Walsingham Nature Reserve. There you can explore the magnificent Crystal Caves that are 120 foot below the ground – one of dozens of caves on the island.
For a dip, you can go to the natural swimming lakes situated throughout the mangroves in Blue Hole Park – there are several walking trails to enjoy that take you to and from these swimming spots.
All in all, if you’re looking for exceptional beaches alongside other natural landmarks – like caves, natural swimming holes, and a few hiking trails – then Bermuda will likely be the better choice for you over Barbados.
Which Has The Better Culture & Cultural Excursions?
Along with the natural scenery on offer, both Barbados and Bermuda have a wealth of attractions and cultural experiences worth checking out. Both have no casinos though, as gambling is illegal in each.
In terms of nightlife, Barbados probably shades it, although neither are party islands. St Lawrence Gap in Barbados has some decent bars and clubs, can get a little rowdy, and attracts a younger tourist crowd.
However Bermuda feels more ‘local’ than Barbados, with the latter probably more tourist-focused.
Below we look at the cultural highlights in each island, so you can see which suits your holiday preferences the most!
Barbados: The Culture
With a mix of West African and British influences, Barbados is a fascinating country with a rich blend of Caribbean traditions and a culture that emerged out of plantation slavery economy. The British influence in particular is very strong.
Historic Bridgetown is where you should head if you want to learn about the colonial past in Barbados.
A walking tour will introduce you to the country’s tumultuous past, and the colonial relics and architecture that still stand today. You can also tour St Nicholas Abbey, a Jacobean plantation house.
As with many regions that were colonized by the British, cricket quickly became the national sport and a way to beat the occupiers on the playing field! Take a trip to Kensington Oval Barbados to watch a game.
Barbados also has one of the oldest horse race tracks in the world, the Garrison Savannah.
Situated just outside of Bridgetown, locals and tourists mix on race day as excitement builds. In fact a visit here is on our list of the best things to do in Barbados!
Bermuda: The Culture
As an overseas territory of the UK, expect British influences. However American culture, as well as Native American and African influences have all left their mark on this fascinating little island.
The capital of Bermuda – Hamilton – with it’s multi-colored houses is a great place to learn more about this mash up between British colonial history and African heritage.
Bermuda National Gallery and the The Museum of the Bermuda Historical Society are both worth visiting if the island’s history and culture is of interest.
If you’re on vacation in Bermuda for a week or more, and are exploring the island’s towns as well as beaches, then expect to come across Gombay!
These colorful Bermudan dance troupes perform on the streets and at festivals throughout the year to rhythmic drumming in a tradition that dates back to the 1800s.
Where To Stay According To Your Budget
Budget: With gorgeous sea views from your room’s balcony, and a wonderful outdoor pool for relaxing in, the three-star OceanBlue Resort is a fantastic budget option for those who want to have some luxury but without damaging their bank balance. See photos and rates!
Luxury: It’s hard to find somewhere more relaxing than the five-star St Peter’s Bay Luxury Resort. Their gorgeous villas and penthouse apartments have uninterrupted sea views, hot tubs and direct beach access.
Couple that with the stunning outdoor pool and world-class service and you’ve got a holiday you’ll never forget. See photos and rates!
Budget: Bermuda Connections is a set of fantastically priced vacation apartments with sea views located in Pompano Beach. They’re well worth considering if heading to Bermuda on a budget, although the apartments tend to get booked up months in advance. See photos and rates!
Luxury: With four private beaches and surrounded by turquoise waters on two sides, it’s hard to beat he five-star Cambridge Beaches Resort and Spa when it comes to luxury.
With a tennis court, putting great, two pools, a watersports center and more, it’s hard to get bored when staying here too. See photos and rates!
A Taste Of Island Life: How Does The Cuisine Compare?
Both Barbados and Bermuda will provide a treat for your taste buds, with cuisine focused around seafood.
Barbados: The Food
Unsurprisingly, fish features heavily in Barbadian cuisine too, and fried flying fish is one of the national dishes of Barbados!
However with such a mix of cultures here, food is influenced by West African, British, and even Indian tastes.
In fact popular dishes include chicken curry, barbecued pig tails and even Macaroni pies!
Just like many Caribbean islands, rum is the drink of choice in Barbados. Luckily for visitors, they make great rum too! Get yourself along to Mount Gay Rum Distillery for a tour and some free tasters.
Bermuda: The Food
Bermudan cuisine is a real mash of English and Caribbean influences, and subsequently favorite dishes here include salted codfish and potatoes (a common breakfast), fish chowder, and fish and chips.
Seafood is therefore a big deal in Bermuda, and locally caught rockfish and wahoo are almost always on the menu around the island.
For desert, bananas are king. Banana crumble and Bermuda Banana cakes are well worth trying.
To wash it all down, rum – like most tropical islands – is the drink of choice! Try the Dark ‘n Stormy cocktail, a blend of rum with ginger beer.
Barbados vs Bermuda: Which Is The Better Choice?
Both islands have similarities in terms of beaches, although Bermuda is often considered as the slightly more beautiful island. Locals are incredibly welcoming, and the island feels less ‘touristy’ than others in the region.
In many ways Barbados is similar to Bermuda, but is a little cheaper, catered more towards tourists, and has better nightlife.