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Bahrain Travel Guide
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Bahrain Travel Guide

Ancient monuments sit side-by-side with modern skyscrapers in Bahrain, which makes it such a fascinating country to explore. Here's everything you need to know before you travel.

What you'll find in this guide:

Top things to do in Bahrain

Practical Info

Bahrain for LGBTQI+ travellers

Facts about Bahrain

Getting to Bahrain

Getting around Bahrain

Top things to do in Bahrain

  • Highlights of Manama and Muharraq guided tour

    Highlights of Manama and Muharraq guided tour

    Explore the many hidden gems around northern Bahrain, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site Qal'at al-Bahrain.

  • Bahrain city tour from Manama

    Bahrain city tour from Manama

    Admire the Tree of Life, discover the Al Areen Park and meet locals at the Manama Souq.

  • Walking tour within Muharraq from Manama

    Walking tour within Muharraq from Manama

    Enjoy a walking tour in the old capital of Bahrain and learn intriguing stories about the old streets from your local guide.

What time zone is Bahrain in?

GMT +3

What currency do they use in Bahrain?

Bahraini Dinar (BHD)

What language do they speak in Bahrain?


What power adaptors do you need for Bahrain?

Type G (same as UK)

What is the average flight time to Bahrain?

6hr 35

Practical Info

Important things to know before you visit Bahrain

Bahrain ranks 138th in our Good Trip Index, our guide to travelling ethically, sustainably and well. To help make travelling responsibly less of a hassle, we pulled together seven of the definitive country-level indices that cover the main ethical issues UK holidaymakers told us were important to them when deciding where to go on holiday, including women's rights, LGBTQI+ rights and quality of life.

The Good Trip Index

Bahrain ranks 138th on the Good Trip Index

This score is calculated based on Sustainability, Human Rights, Women's Rights, Press Freedom, Quality of Life, LGBTQI+ Rights and Animal welfare

Find out more

Bahraini laws and customs are very different to those in the UK. It's important to familiarise yourself with what is and what's not appropriate before you visit to avoid offending anyone or inadvertently breaking the law.

  • Check your prescriptions. There is a strict, zero-tolerance drug policy and this can extend to a number of prescription medicines and skincare products. Be sure to check with the nearest Bahrain Embassy before you travel to see which medicines are allowed.
  • Avoid public affection. Public displays of affection like hugging and kissing are considered offensive and can lead to fines or arrests, so it's best to wait until you're back in your accommodation before snuggling up with your partner.
  • Unmarried couples cohabiting is illegal in Bahrain. And this applies to hotel rooms too, so please bear this in mind when deciding room arrangements.
  • Dress conservatively in public spaces – especially religious sites. Make sure your clothing does not display any offensive graphics or slogans or expose too much skin. Any form of nudity is not allowed, including topless sunbathing.
  • Avoid swearing in public. Swearing, arguments and fighting in public areas are all offences that could see you getting in trouble with the law.
  • No being drunk in public spaces. Alcohol is legal in Bahrain but public drunken behaviour is illegal, so if you've had a boozy evening enjoying the clubs and bars be sure to take a taxi straight back to your hotel.
  • Respect religious values in Bahrain. Disrespecting religious beliefs or values will likely result in heavy fines or prison. Islam is the official religion, and you might notice mosques call people to pray through speaker systems – be aware that drivers might stop somewhere nearby if they're not close to a mosque. During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn to sunset. If you visit during this time, it's important to know that eating, drinking, smoking, dancing and playing loud music in public is strictly forbidden during daylight hours – including for non-Muslims.
  • Carry photo ID at all times. It's illegal not to have photographic ID with you and you could be fined.
  • Be careful on social media. Posting content online that's culturally insensitive or criticises the Bahrain government or country could get you in trouble with the authorities.

Culture and etiquette


Islam is the official religion, with the majority of Bahrainis being Shia Muslims and a sizeable minority being Sunni.


A service charge is usually added to the bill at restaurants. If not, a 10% tip will do the trick.


Smoking is banned in indoor public places like restaurants, cafes and public transport.

Jabs, visas and other advice

For up-to-date advice on jabs, visas and other foreign advice, we recommend following the government's website.

Emergency numbers

Call 999 in an emergency.

Is Bahrain safe for LGBTQI+ travellers?

Same-sex activity is legal in Bahrain, although vague laws against indecency and immorality have been used to target LGBTQI+ people. Many Bahrainis hold conservative social views, so it would be worth being discreet and avoiding public displays of affection.

Some facts about Bahrain

While other countries in the region are better known for modern skyscrapers, Bahrain's rich history is clear to see. This archipelago of 50 natural and 33 artificial islands was once part of the ancient Dilmun civilization, which dates back to the Bronze Age and it was known as a trade hub and a place of religious significance. It's also home to the 400-year-old Tree of Life, whose longevity is miraculous given it stands alone in the desert with no apparent source of water.

But that doesn't mean Bahrain is without the modern touches of its neighbours. It was the first country in the region to discover oil in 1932, and that new money was put into building the extravagant architecture that now dominates the skyline. But Bahrain's more traditional buildings are still cherished – Qal'at al-Bahrain, the former capital of the Dilmun civilisation founded in 2300 BC, has been kept in excellent condition and was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005.

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    Bahrain Airport Transfers

    Book your Bahrain Airport transfers, with free cancellations.

  • Bahrain Car Hire

    Bahrain Car Hire

    Book your Bahrain car hire, with free cancellations.

  • Bahrain experiences

    Bahrain Ultimate Experiences

    Make the most of your trip and book Bahrain's top experiences before you go.

  • Bahrain Travel Insurance

    Travel Insurance for Bahrain

    You'll want a reliable travel insurance policy for your trip to Bahrain.

Getting to Bahrain

Bahrain International Airport in Muharraq is the country's main airport. It takes around 6 hours 30 minutes to fly there from London.

Getting around Bahrain

Hiring a car is a great option for travelling around Bahrain. Roads are of good quality and signs are written in both English and Arabic – you can pick up your hire car at the airport or larger hotels.

If you don't fancy driving, taxis can be hired outside hotels, major attractions or on the street. Just make sure to agree the fare before you set off. And motorboats are available if you'd like to explore Bahrain's smaller islands.