Bahrain: Currency and Exchange Rates
The currency in Bahrain is the Bahrain Dinar (BD or BHD).
1 Bahraini dinar (BD) is 1,000 fils.
Banknotes are available in values of 20, 10, 5 and 1 BD. The fils are in circulation as 500, 250 and 100 notes. Coins are available in denominations of 500, 100, 50, 25, 10 and 5 fils.
In Bahrain it is also possible to pay with the Saudi riyal. Anyone who leaves Bahrain should definitely get rid of their last dinars. Because outside of the country it is difficult or even impossible to exchange them again.
For 1 euro you get about 0.5 Bahrain dinars; for 1 CHF about 0.3 BD.
You can find a precise and updated currency converter at: www.forium.de
Money can be exchanged at the airport, in larger hotels and, of course, in exchange offices. In the exchange offices you can get the cheapest rate.
If you want to withdraw money from the machine, you will find some ATMs in Manama. You can then withdraw cash (in Bahraini dinars) with an international credit card or bank card. Cards with the Cirrus or Maestro symbols are also accepted.
Bank opening hours
Banks are Saturday to Wednesday 7:30 to 12:00 and 15:30 to 17:30 opened and
Thursdays 7:30 a.m. to 11:00.
But there are also some banks in Bahrain that are also open on Saturdays and Sundays.
The best thing to do is to go to the local souqs (= bazar), where you can also get good Rolex imitations. High-quality tailoring products are also available there: if you have a little more time, you should definitely consider having a tailor-made suit made for you.
You should definitely bargain in the souq, because the initially estimated price is far too high. Plus, it’s an Arabic custom and a great way to mingle with the locals.
Life in Bahrain is definitely not cheap. You can get a simple meal for 1.5 BD and a rental car for a sum between 10 and 20 BD per day. In return, however, the hotels will have a financial impact at the latest.
During the annual F1 rally in April, unless you come especially for the event, you should not travel to Bahrain at all. Because then the hotels will increase their prices many times over.
Ministry of Information
PO Box 26613
Tel: 00973 – (0) 17 – 71 72 12
00 973 – (0) 17 – 71 10 26
Fax: 00 973 – (0) 17 – 71 75 65
Email: tour @ bahraintourism.com
Bahrain Tourism Company (BTC)
PO Box 5831
Tel: 00973 – (0) 17 – 53 05 30
Fax: 00973 – (0) 17 – 53 08 67.
Bahrain: entry and exit regulations
Germans, Austrians, Swiss and other foreigners from the west can easily obtain visas for Bahrain at the country’s airport. To do this, you go to the passport control at the airport, present a passport that is valid for at least 6 months as well as a return or onward flight ticket and receive a visa for a fee of currently around 15 euros, which is valid for a maximum stay of 14 days. The visa fee has to be paid in cash, so that – if you have not already exchanged (in another arab country) – you are forced to take your Bahraini dinar at the exchange counter next to the passport control at a unfortunately very bad rate. The visa, which incidentally only entitles you to single entry, can be extended once for a further 14 days, this extension requires the consent of a local guarantor. Such a guarantor can be the employer and certainly also a hotel. A long-term visa, which is valid for one to two years, is only issued if the employer in Bahrain applies for a permit for its employee. This approval is called NoObjection Certificate.
For a visa extension, it is best to contact the local passport authority in Manama:
General Directorate of Nationality, Passports & Residence (GDNPR)
PO Box 331
Tel.: 00973 – (0) 17 – 399707
Fax: 00973 – (0) 17 – 532152
Visa can also be purchased electronically before entering Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The best way to do this is to obtain information from: www.evisa.gov.bh
Visas for journalists are issued free of charge by the Ministry of Information, Visa and Program Preparation Department. Journalists, who incidentally have to observe Bahrain’s censorship regulations, should not enter the country with a tourist visa.
Anyone who is in Bahrain without a valid visa is only allowed to leave the country after paying a heavy fine.
All passport documents (including children’s passports) issued in Germany, Austria and Switzerland are accepted in Bahrain. All non-German nationals living in Germany are advised to contact the Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain in Berlin regarding entry formalities. This can be reached at:
Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain
Klingelhöfer Strasse 7
Tel.: 0 30 – 86 87 77 77
Tel.: 030-86 87 77 99 (consular department)
Fax: 0 30 – 86 87 77 88
Entry with children
The German child ID card is not recognized in Bahrain. Children should therefore be entered in the passport of an accompanying parent or apply for their own passport straight away. The same applies to citizens from Austria and Switzerland. Minors are allowed to enter Bahrain without the consent of their parents on presentation of a valid passport.
All transit travelers who fly on within eight hours or who leave the country on the next connecting flight do not require a transit visa. However, you have to show a seat reservation and are not allowed to leave the transit room.
Import and export of foreign currency
There are no restrictions on the import and export of national and foreign currencies in Bahrain. However, very large amounts of money should be declared.
Import and export of goods
The following articles may be imported into Bahrain duty-free:
200 cigarettes and 50 cigars and 250 g tobacco in opened packaging for personal use
1 liter of wine or spirits (only applies to non-Muslims)
6 cans of beer (only applies to non-Muslims)
227 g of perfume
Gifts worth up to 250 BD
It is forbidden to bring pornographic material or drugs into Bahrain. An import permit is required to bring weapons, ammunition, jewelry or denatured alcohol with you. Drug possession is severely punished in Bahrain.
Traveling with pets
Entry with pets
For the owners of dogs and other animals, when traveling abroad, the question arises as to whether they can even take their animals with them to the chosen travel destination, and if that is possible, then of course the question of the applicable conditions then arises. For an exact and reliable clarification of such questions you should definitely contact the respective German representations in the holiday country as well as the German veterinary authorities. The addresses and telephone numbers of all responsible veterinary offices in Germany can usually be found on the website of the State Veterinary Association.
In many countries around the world – including Bahrain – numerous diseases are to be expected in dogs, which do not or only extremely rarely occur in Central and Northern Europe.
Borreliosis is transmitted by ticks, as is the case with humans. The symptoms are also comparable to those in humans. But unlike humans, you can have your dog vaccinated against Lyme disease.
This disease of the dog is transmitted by the brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus), which occurs mainly in the Mediterranean area. The causative agent of the disease are bacteria that multiply in the blood-forming bone marrow. They lead to a tendency to bleeding by destroying the platelets. The main symptoms are bleeding, high fever, and loss of appetite. In addition, the dog suffers from weight loss, fatigue, lack of drive and a significant enlargement of the lymph nodes. If left untreated, the disease can be fatal.
This relatively rare disease is transmitted via the brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus), which occurs primarily in the Mediterranean region. The infection is not caused by the tick bite itself, but only when the dog has bitten off the tick and swallowed it. The typical symptoms are severe emaciation, high fever and severe pain in the muscles and bones. The treatment of the disease turns out to be extremely difficult and often ends with the death of the animal.
Heartworm disease (dirofilariasis)
Heartworm is transmitted to the dog by mosquitoes (culicides). These worms, which parasitize the pulmonary arteries and the right ventricle of the heart, can reach lengths of up to 20 cm. If left untreated, such a worm infestation is usually fatal.
Dog malaria (babesiosis)
Dog malaria is not transmitted by mosquitoes, as is the case with humans, but by ticks. The carrier ticks are the brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus) and the alluvial forest tick (Dermacentor reticulatus). While the brown dog tick occurs particularly in the Mediterranean countries, the alluvial forest tick is also native to Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
The parasites responsible for dog malaria mainly destroy the red blood cells. The result is anemia and jaundice combined with a high fever. If left untreated, the disease can lead to dog death.
As in humans, leishmaniasis is transmitted by sand flies (butterfly flies). Leishmaniasis is not yet at home in Germany, although it can soon be expected there due to climate change. Currently it occurs mainly in the Mediterranean countries. The parasite affects the dog’s skin, but also internal organs such as the kidneys, spleen, liver, bone marrow or the lymphatic system. The dog becomes emaciated, often suffers from hair loss and shows severe skin changes. The disease is usually fatal without treatment.
In addition to vaccinations, for example against Lyme disease, there is a very easy to use, yet effective prevention. To do this, a liquid is applied to the dog in the neck area, which is effective against both mosquitoes and ticks. The effect is on the one hand that they have a repellent effect on the mosquito, infesting or stinging the animal at all, and on the other hand they have an insecticidal effect. Such a treatment unfolds its effect for about 4 weeks at a time, after which it must be repeated, which the owner can do himself. These preventive products are called “spot on products”
Pets in the airplane
When transporting pets in airplanes, there is the possibility that the animal flies together with an accompanying person (owner) or without such a person.
Pet transport with an accompanying person (owner)
In this case, proceed as follows: At the airport, the animal is locked in a transport crate previously obtained by the owner. It must be ensured that the container is large enough that the animal can stand in it and turn around, and it must also be ensured that no liquids can run out (urine). This is done using suitable absorbent material, in the simplest case using a sufficient amount of newspaper. There should also be a water bowl and, depending on the length of the flight, enough food. The transport container is handed over to the staff at the check-in counter. The transport fee depends on the weight of the animal. It is essential to ensure that there is space for the animal for the flight booked, as the number of animals that can be transported is limited. The animal is located in the machine in an air-conditioned area between the passenger deck and the cargo area. As a rule, no member of the crew takes care of the animal during the flight, for example by giving it water. However, experience has shown that the stress of checking in and the take-off phase is so stressful for most animals that they sleep for most of the flight. The administration of sedatives before check-in is not only not recommended, as their effects cannot be foreseen under these conditions, but is even prohibited for reasons of security (smuggling). Many airlines also exclude a number of dogs (attack dogs) from transport.
Pet transport without an accompanying person
In this case, a specialist company must be commissioned with the transport, which then takes care of everything else. However, it should be ensured that the animal is picked up at the arrival airport by a trusted person. And of course all import regulations for pets for the country have to be explored beforehand and strictly adhered to.
Bahrain: Travel Medicine, Vaccinations and Warnings
There is an increased risk of infection for hepatitis A and hepatitis B all over Bahrain , so vaccination against these infections is highly advisable. HIV/AIDS is also common in Bahrain. Against this one protects oneself in the well-known way – condom, abstinence, clean syringes etc. Furthermore there is the leishmaniasis in the country, which is transmitted by butterfly mosquitoes. You can protect yourself against this with skin-covering clothing and anti-insect repellants.
The health service of the Foreign Ministry recommends a vaccination against tetanus, diphtheria, polio and hepatitis A. If you want to stay in Bahrain for more than three months, you should also get vaccinated against hepatitis B. A vaccination against typhoid should definitely be considered for those who, for example, plan to stay in rural areas of Bahrain.
Of course, it is always safest to meet with a tropical doctor or a vaccination doctor who is qualified in tropical medicine and travel medicine for a personal consultation long before you start your journey.
Medical care in Bahrain
As for medical care in Bahrain, it can be said that there are enough medical facilities in the capital Manama, most of which meet European standards. Most doctors also speak English. There are also pharmacies in Bahrain that are open 24 hours. In order to cover costs, it is absolutely advisable to take out international health insurance with repatriation insurance before starting your journey. You should also put together your own small first-aid kit for emergencies.
Who pays for vaccinations in Germany?
Most of the children are born in Germanyvaccinated against a number of infectious diseases in early childhood. However, the vaccination protection only lasts up to 10 years, in some cases even shorter. Therefore, before traveling abroad, you should carefully consider against which infectious diseases a vaccination is necessary or useful in the country concerned and whether the vaccination protection, if applicable, was not too long ago. Most statutory health insurances have been reimbursing the costs for the following vaccinations since June 2007. There is even no 10 € practice fee – but the insured usually have to pay the statutory additional payment, which is 10% of the vaccine price – that is at least 5 € and a maximum of 10 €. Under these conditions, the following vaccinations are free of charge:
- Early summer meningoencephalitis (TBE)
- Yellow fever
- Hepatitis A and B
- Meningococcal meningitis
- Polyo (polio)
- Tetanus (tetanus)
Some health insurance companies also reimburse the cost of malaria prophylaxis. As a rule, private health insurance companies (inquire beforehand) also cover the costs mentioned.
The Federal Foreign Office is currently (as of 10/2008) issuing the following country-specific safety information for Bahrain:
“In view of the recent events in some countries in the Middle East, travelers in Bahrain should appear cautious in public, take into account the religious, cultural and social traditions of Bahrain and stay away from any demonstrations or protests. Despite extensive local security precautions, a threat from Islamist activities and risks cannot be ruled out, especially those resulting from possible reactions of parts of the population to events in Iraq and from the heavy travel traffic with Saudi Arabia via the existing land connection [… ]
During the fasting month of Ramadan, major restrictions in everyday life (e.g. all restaurants outside the hotels, including all fast food restaurants and all cafés, reduced working hours for authorities) are to be expected. Even if the fasting rules only apply to Muslims, during the month of fasting in Bahrain non-Muslims or foreigners are also prohibited from eating, drinking or smoking in public during the day. Generally recommended in Ramadan are increased consideration for religious feelings and behavior of the population and the respect for Islamic traditions and customs.
During the mourning month of Muhharam, which is celebrated by the Shiite majority of the population, restraint is also required, especially as a spectator during the funeral processions. ”
For more information, go to the
Work Unit 040
Tel.: (03018) 172000
Fax: (03018) 1751000
How to get to Bahrain
Most travelers will reach Bahrain by air – and then certainly via the largest airport in the kingdom, Bahrain International Airport. This spreads on the island of al-Muharraq. The regional airline Gulf Air (www.gulfairco.com) offers direct and transfer connections to Bahrain from Frankfurt am Main.
Thanks to the bus company SABTCO (= Saudi-Bahraini Transport Company), a bus connection to Saudi Arabia is guaranteed – of course only for those who have a valid Viusm for the kingdom.
There are no rail links within or to Bahrain.
Whereas in the past Bahrain could only be reached from abroad by plane and ship, there has been a road connection since 1986 that leads directly across the sea to Saudi Arabia. This King Fahd Causeway (Arabic: Jisr al-Malik Fahd), which is used by around 3 million vehicles every year, is a 26-kilometer-long and 25-meter-wide combined bridge and dam connection with four lanes. Opened in 1986 and fully financed by Saudi Arabia, the structure is Bahrain’s only road link to the mainland. A 66 hectare man-made island was raised halfway. The island nation’s only land border now runs on this island, which is half owned by Saudi Arabia and half of Bahrain.
Anyone wishing to use the King Fahd Causeway should know that there is a fee to drive on it. All in all, the entire distance from Bahrain to the Saudi Arabian Dhahran takes between 90 minutes and 2 hours.
Warning !: It is forbidden for women to drive a motor vehicle in Saudi Arabia. More information about the country can be found here >>> at goruma.
The completion of the so-called Qatar-Bahrain Friendship Bridge, a 45-kilometer road link that will connect Bahrain with Qatar, is planned for the next two to three years.
Travel in the country
The largest and most important airport in the kingdom is Bahrain International Airport (www.bahrainairport.com), which is located on the island of al-Muharraq – about 6 kilometers northeast of Manama. The airport is very popular with the residents of Eastern Saudi Arabia who leave their country this way.
The regional airline Gulf Air (www.gulfairco.com) is particularly present at Bahrain Airport. Gulf Air offers direct and transfer connections to Frankfurt am Main. Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines also connect Manama with Germany (and Switzerland). The cheap airline Air Arabia also flies to Bahrain International Airport.
During the week there are several flights from Manama to other cities in Bahrain.
The airport can be easily reached by taxi from the main island of Bahrain in around 15 minutes
Bahrain’s capital, Manama, has an excellent road network, most of which has been built over the past few years. There are good road connections from the capital to most of the towns on the main island of Bahrain. The main island is connected to the surrounding smaller islands via connecting roads and bridges and via the King Fahd Causeway (see above) to the mainland of Saudi Arabia.
The completion of the so-called Qatar-Bahrain Friendship Bridge, a bridge between Qatar and the Kingdom of Bahrain, which will be the longest bridge on earth with a length of 45 kilometers after its completion, is also planned within the next few years.
The currently oldest connection road in Bahrain was built in 1929 and connects the main island with Al Muharraq, the second largest island in the country.
As for the street signs in Bahrain, they are labeled in both Arabic and English.
Cars Renting a car is easy in Bahrain. The prices for such an undertaking are between a good 10 and 20 BHD per day, but allow greater freedom and the pleasure of driving from island to island.
All major (international) rental car companies are represented in Bahrain. You can find their offices at the airport, in the larger cities and in the more expensive hotels.
If you want to rent a car, you only need an international driver’s license. This must be countersigned by the Ministry of Transport before use.
You are not allowed to cross the King Fahd Causeway in a rental car.
Unfortunately there are no rail connections within or to Bahrain.
There are public buses in Bahrain that cover many regions of the main island. The bus prices are very low and uniformly regulated. However, it can be very confusing and frustrating for the inexperienced traveler to get behind the complicated bus system in the country, especially since there are no bus timetables or maps. You should also expect frequent delays.
Buses travel back and forth between most of the kingdom’s cities and villages.
In addition, the bus company Saudi-Bahraini Transport Company (SABTCO)Connections to Saudi Arabia. Six buses are used every day for this purpose, running between the bus station near the Lulu Center in Manama (via Khobar) to Dammam in Saudi Arabia. Of course you cross the famous King Fahd Causeway. Comfortable minibuses (with air conditioning) are used, for which the tickets currently cost 5 BHD. These can be ordered in advance at 00973 – (0) 17 – 252959. When crossing the causeway, you go through two passport controls, which makes the whole tour two hours.
Taxis are of course also available in Bahrain. They are relatively easy to recognize by their orange fenders and their yellow license plates. They should and are equipped with a taximeter (official rates are 700 fils plus 200 fils per kilometer), but this is often miraculously “broken” as soon as a tourist gets on the vehicle. So there is often no getting around negotiating the fare, which in any case should only be done before the journey. Meanwhile, a new government resolution from August 2008 has brought about an agreement with the taxi companies so that they will now use their meters.
Finding a taxi can often be difficult, although there are usually (albeit small numbers) around in front of larger hotels or shopping centers. Private taxis are also available; however, they are twice as expensive as the regular ones. If you would like to use one of these, you can contact Radio Meter Taxi, for example, which you can reach at the following number: 00973 – (0) 17 – 682999.
But there are also taxis that can be shared by up to four people. You can easily recognize them by the white-orange license plates and the yellow circle with black license number on the driver’s door. If you want to cross the King Fahd Causeway by taxi, you can also take a four-person taxi, but you should expect at least 30 BHD for such a tour, which is gigantic. “Unofficial” taxis can be found at the bus stations and are far cheaper.
Mina Salman on the main island of Bahrain is the country’s largest international port. There are also the ports of Mina Manama and Mina Muharraq. Unfortunately, there are very few passenger ships in Bahrain, so most foreign visitors come to the country by plane.
Smaller motor and sailing boats (dhows) drive back and forth between the smaller islands. Tickets for such boats can be bought in travel agencies typical of the country. There you can also get tips for special trips by boat.
There is right-hand traffic in Bahrain.
The following applies to all drivers of cars and motorcycles:
– 100 km/h on expressways
– 50 km/h in built-up areas
– 80 km/h on all other roads
The alcohol limit in Bahrain is 0.0.
International license plate
According to Abbreviationfinder, Bahrain’s international license plate is:
Bahrain: Embassies and Tourist Office
Visit Countryaah for a full list of Bahrain embassies and consulates in each country around the world.
Representation of Bahrain in Germany
German representation in Bahrain
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bahrain
Sh. Hamad Causeway
Building No. 668
Diplomatic Area 317
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany
PO Box 10306
Tel: 00973 – (0) 17 – 53 02 10
Fax: 00973 – (0) 17 – 53 62 82
Austrian representation in Bahrain
The embassy in Kuwait is responsible
Representation of Bahrain in Austria
The embassy in Switzerland is responsible.
Swiss representation in Bahrain
The embassy in Kuwait is responsible
Swiss Consulate General in Manama
Bahrain World Trade Center, West Tower, 28th floor, King Faisal Highway, Area 316
Consulate General of Switzerland
PO Box 795
Tel: 00973 – 17 13 12 13
Fax: 00973 – 17 53 11 58
Representation of Bahrain in Switzerland
Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain in Grand-Saconnex
Chemin Jaques-Attenville 1, CP39
1292 Chambésy, Grand-Saconnex
Tel: 0041 – (0) 22 – 758 96 40
Fax: 0041 – (0) 22 – 758 96 50
E-Mail: info @ bahrain-mission.ch