National Museum of Bermuda

The National Museum of Bermuda is the largest tourist attraction on the island. It was previously the Bermuda Maritime Museum but was renamed after the government expanded it with the addition of a former prison, the Casemate Barracks.

Commissioner’s House, National Museum of Bermuda
Commissioner’s House

The prison is currently being redeveloped and is not open to the public. So for now, the museum remains within the boundaries of its original location; the Keep, a 6-acre fortress at the tip of Royal Naval Dockyard.

Elevated high inside the Keep is the magnificent Commissioner’s House, once the home of the Dockyard Commissioner. It was the world’s first cast-iron residential structure and considered to be one of Bermuda’s most important buildings. Rescued from near dereliction by a 20-year restoration programme, it reopened as an exhibition space in 2000.

A labyrinth of rooms on the ground floor showcases Bermuda’s military history, with a focus on forts, militias, and war veterans. On the first floor there’s an extensive coin collection plus exhibits telling the story of the slave trade, the Portuguese in Bermuda, the Newport Bermuda Race, and the history of the island’s tourist industry. The second floor is home to items relating to the British Royal Navy and US forces.

One of the most recent additions to Commissioner’s House is the Hall of History, a 1,000 square foot mural by Graham Foster depicting 5 centuries of Bermuda’s history. It spans two floors of the Pillared Hall and took over 3 years to complete.

The museum’s exhibits also extend to several converted gunpowder magazines on the lower grounds. Shipwreck Island is a new exhibit in the Queen’s Exhibition Hall that tells the story of island’s history through the ships that have perished on its treacherous reefs. It boasts more than a 1,000 artefacts recovered from the ocean floor including canons and other weapons, navigational instruments, gold and silver coins, and salvaged cargo.

The grounds of the museum are also home to Dolphin Quest. The interactive dolphin experiences offered here are not included in the museum entrance fee but visitors are free to watch.

The National Museum of Bermuda is open every day of the year (except Christmas Day). Opening hours are 9.00 am (weekends 9.30 am) to 5 pm, with last admission at 4 pm. Entry costs $15 for adults and $12 for seniors. Children under 16 enjoy free admission.

Cruise passengers will have no difficulty finding the museum. It’s just a 10 minute walk from the docks at Kings Wharf and Heritage Wharf and is clearly signposted. Buses 7 and 8 go from Hamilton to Dockyard and shop near the museum entrance. Ferries run year-round between Hamilton and Dockyard. In the summer months there’s also a ferry service from St George.

After exploring the museum you could grab a bite to eat at the Frog & Onion Pub. It’s situated right opposite the main entrance to the museum. The Bermuda Craft Market and the Bermuda Arts Centre are also here. Snorkel Park and Bermuda Fun Golf are just west of the museum.

Nearby Attractions

Tourist attractions and things to do near National Museum of Bermuda include:

Nearby Restaurants

Restaurants and places to eat and drink near National Museum of Bermuda include:

  • Frog and Onion Pub (0.1 miles) - Large pub at Royal Naval Dockyard. Founded by a Frenchman and a Bermudian (the Frog and the Onion). Housed in an old-barrel making building. Features a games room. Close to the Bermuda Arts Centre, Bermuda Craft Market, and the National Museum of Bermuda. Within easy walking distance of the cruise terminals.
  • Bone Fish Bar and Grill (0.2 miles) - Bar and restaurant at Royal Naval Dockyard. Close to the cruise terminals. Live entertainment in the summer.
  • The Dockyard Pastry Shop (0.2 miles) - Cafe at Royal Naval Dockyard. Offers afternoon tea, light lunches, gourmet sandwiches, pastries, wine, beer, and cocktails. Dine indoors or on the terrace. Close to the cruise terminals.
  • Alex and Pete's Bermuda Artisan Ice Cream (0.2 miles) - Offers locally-made ice cream.
  • Cafe Amici (0.3 miles) - Casual Italian restaurant in the Clocktower Mall at Royal Naval Dockyard. Indoor and outdoor seating areas.
  • Anchor Restaurant, Bar, and Lounge (0.4 miles) - Casual restaurant near the entrance to Royal Naval Dockyard.

Nearby Transport Links

Transport links near National Museum of Bermuda include:

  • Dockyard Ferry (0.2 miles) - Ferry stop serving Royal Naval Dockyard.

Map

Map showing location of National Museum of Bermuda.

Click here for a detailed map showing all points of interest.

Map showing location of National Museum of Bermuda

Details

National Museum of Bermuda

Address
Royal Naval Dockyard
Sandys Parish
Bermuda

Visit National Museum of Bermuda Website

Reviews and Additional Information

  1. The museum was good, though to be honest we spent more time watching the dolphins. It is free to watch but there was a fee if you wanted to swim with them.

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  2. Our cruise ship berthed right next to the museum so we went there on our first day. The admission price was $12 per person. We spent a good few hours looking around all the exhibitions. There are some very interesting ones that tell the history of Bermuda, especially in the Commissioner’s House. We learnt a lot about the island that we didn’t know.

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  3. My wife and I recently visited the museum and absolutely loved the collections. The views from the Commissioners House are hard to beat. If photography is your thing many opportunities await you from the scenic overview.

    We particularly enjoyed the U-505 exhibit and the coin collection has many rare and priceless US coins on display going back to the 1700’s.

    Also, my dad served on a LST during the WWII in the Pacific. There was an excellent picture/diagram of an LST in the WWII exhibit.

    Reply
    • For those that don’t know, an LST is a landing ship tank, a ship used to land tanks and troops on beaches.

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      • I also recently toured this exhibit and noted the LST 32 Print and her commissioning pennant displayed honorably in the WWII exhibit. I am curious to know more about the connection between LST 32 and Bermuda as my father server aboard her in 1944. Is there any info available about this?

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  4. I don’t normally go to museums as a rule. I usually find them pretty boring. However, as this was so close to our cruise ship I decided to make an exception and take the family. I wasn’t disappointed. Staff were great and friendly. I actually found some of the exhibits about the history of the island and the shipwrecks interesting. The views from the Commissioner’s House were great and the kids love playing and climbing all over the old cannons. I would recommend it to all.

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  5. A most beautiful museum.

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  6. Very Interesting. I would love to come back to Bermuda and see the Maritime Museum again. I love the dolphin show too.

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