At the center of Bermuda, the city of Hamilton —and Pembroke , the parish in which it lies—form the crux of island life on many levels. Home to the seat of government, including the House of Assembly and the Senate, the city is also Bermuda’s main port and its major headquarters for local and international business.
Bermuda’s central ferry and bus terminals, which feed service throughout the parishes, are located here. And because it is where most Bermudians work, shop, and eat, Hamilton, and, by physical association, Pembroke are also the barometers of national mood: Here is where you’ll find the political issues of the day hotly discussed, the latest gossip relayed, the merriment of an imminent public holiday bursting forth, or the staid pomp and ceremony of integral events such as Budget Day or the Throne Speech celebrated.
The city’s genesis came from the need for a central port, midway between St. George’s and Dockyard , and was named for Henry Hamilton, its first mayor. It was an issue both of convenience, so that Bermudian merchants didn’t have to travel the length of the island to get their trading done, and control, so that authorities could clamp down on Bermudian vessels, which were increasingly offloading cargoes in western parishes in order to avoid paying heavy duties at the East End. Hamilton’s location made these mischievous tactics far more difficult, and eventually the practice died out.
Over two centuries, the city of Hamilton  has morphed from a sleepy port for sailing ships into a global corporate powerhouse that now rivals New York and London markets in insurance industry capital. Hamilton’s exponential growth in international business since the 1980s has changed the city and its social dynamics more than anything in its history. Today, while quaint china and woolen stores do their business as timelessly as ever from their pastel waterfront facades, multibillion-dollar deals are being struck in the buildings along the block.
Pembroke , once the countrified outskirts of the city, is now—with a few neighborhood exceptions—a mostly frantic suburban parish, catching Hamilton’s commercial overflow, providing vital housing and schools, and playing noisy hub for public transport and private traffic to other points on the island.
Together, Hamilton and Pembroke offer numerous attractions and sights, world-class restaurants, and shops that form an integral part of a visit to the island. Pembroke’s accommodations cater to a variety of budgets, though most are geared to higher-end business travelers. Theatrical events , art show openings, the annual Bermuda International Film Festival , Bermuda Day Parade , and big sporting events are also rooted in Hamilton and Pembroke, allowing you to experience the different features and offerings of the city and its environs.