Bahrain Travel Tips
Visa InformationBased on Bahrain visa policy, visitors from Gulf Cooperation Council including Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates can enjoy visa-free entry to the country. Visitors from countries such as the United States of America, United Kingdom, Thailand, Switzerland, Finland, Denmark, Ireland, and Canada are able to get visa on arrival if they go there for tourism or business purposes. Besides, they can apply for it online in advance. In addition, there are countries whose nationals are able to apply for e-visas. The e-visa application can be simply made online before the trip.
AccommodationThere are many hotels of different levels in Bahrain for visitors to choose from. The 5-star hotels usually cost USD120-220 per night. The 4-star hotels with cost of USD80-120 per night are relatively cheaper. Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa, about a 30-minute drive from Bahrain International Airport and Manama, is a good choice. Sheraton Bahrain Hotel, only a 5-minute drive from Friday Mosque and Bab Al-Bahrein as well as 3.1 km (1.9 mi) from Bahrain National Museum, is adjacent to Bahrain World Trade Center. It is also highly recommended.
FoodMutton, chicken, duck, turkey, vegetables, bread, Hummus, and Tabbouleh are major local food. Hummus refers to a dip made of garlic, lemon, tahini, and mashed garbanzo bean. Tabbouleh is a kind of salad consisting of bulgur, tomato, lemon, garlic and parsley. When going there, tourists are advised to taste the famous local dishes such as Falafel, Machbous, Muhammar, Shawarma, Qoozi, Baba Ghanoush, etc. Muhammar, made of rice and dates or sugar, is worth a try. Qoozi is a unique dish in the Kingdom. The lamb is first stuffed with eggs, onions, rice and spices and then grilled, very popular among tourists.
ShoppingFolk markets are important attractions in this Kingdom. The most famous one should be Bab el-Bahrain Souk where you can buy all kinds of local specialties and folk crafts. Seef Mall, Gold City, and Dana Mall are paradises for those who are crazy for shopping. Additionally, Haddadin Market, tobacco market and Safar Phil market are also good places to buy small commodities; and Safar Phil market sells all kinds of silver and copper wares.
TipGenerally speaking, Bahrain taxi drivers charge extra 10% of the fare as tips. Bills of hotels and restaurants cover 10% as tips.
Currency and BankingTourists can withdraw money from ATMs in big towns. They can exchange cash to local currency at the foreign exchange office, merchant banks, or from the currency changers at markets. Credit cards are widely used in shopping malls, big restaurants, and hotels, but tourists should be prudent to avoid credit card fraud.
Dress CodeAs an Islam country, Bahraini abides by Islamic customs. Usually, there is no special dress requirement for foreigners, but female visitors should not wear exposed clothes.
Holidays and FestivalsThere are many unique custom and memorial days in Bahrain, including New Year’s Day, Eid Al-Fitr (End of Ramadan), Eid Al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice), Ashoora, Milad un Nabi (Birthday of Prophet Muhammad), and National Day. Muslims start to fast during the daytime at the beginning of April. At night, they chant and pray to welcome Allah. After fasting, it comes to Eid al-Fitr, one of the famous festivals in the country, which will last for three days. The locals will be on leave during that period. Another important festival should be Eid Al-Adha held in September and the locals will have 3 days to relax then.
ElectricityBahrain provides the electricity with a voltage of 230 volts and a frequency of 50Hz. The frequently-used plugs are British three-pin type. Visitors are advised to take plug adapters.
Communication and InternetVisitors can buy prepaid SIM card by providing passports. It is very convenient. The monthly minimum cost is between BHD 4-5 and 2-4G network data packages are available. Usually, free WIFI is available in big shopping malls and good restaurants, while the network speed may be slow when there are too many users.
Useful NumbersCalling Code: +973
Transportation Inquiry: 199
Hot Lines of major hospitals: 17288888/17659999/17812080/17590495