Transportation - Get In
Bahrain International Airport (IATA: BAH), in Muharraq, east of Manama, is the main base of Gulf Air and has excellent connections throughout the region and with London. The airport has good tax-free shopping; A Transhotel offering beds and showers (for a fee) for those waiting for flights is currently undergoing renovation. Many residents of eastern Saudi Arabia choose to fly through Bahrain, and Gulf Air offers transportation services to Khobar and Dammam to serve this market; ask when making the reservation.
The low cost airline Air Arabia offers daily flights from Sharjah airport (IATA: SHJ) north of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
Unlike most airports, this is comparatively small, which is beneficial as it is quite fast (and easy) on departure and arrival.
The Saudi Arabia Transportation Company (SABTCO) [www], tel. + 973-17252959, operates eight buses daily from the bus station of the Saudi Public Transport Company (SAPTCO) in Dammam via Khobar in Saudi Arabia, crossing the King Fahd Causeway, to the bus terminal next to the Lulu Center in the center from Manama.
The service uses comfortable minibuses with air conditioning and a trailer for luggage. Tickets cost SR60 / BD6 and can be purchased in advance, although they will leave you without a reservation if there is space. How to cross the Calzada involves two passport controls and two customs controls, figure in 2 hours for the trip, plus traffic delays at peak times such as Wednesday nights. In busy times, buses can be a bit faster than private cars, as they can use separate lanes in immigration and customs.
Please note that, as of 2011, Bahrain Saudi Transport & Tourism (BASATCO) [www] offers what appear to be similar buses for a slightly lower rate of BD4, albeit four times a day only.
As of January 2011, the schedule for SABTCO is as follows:
|From Dammam||From Khobar||From Manama|
The 26 km King Fahd Causeway connects Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. In general, you can not take the rental vehicles, but SABTCO BahrainLimo taxis with a capacity for up to four can take you through the prices from BD30 / SR300. Unofficial taxis, which are located around bus stations at both ends, may offer slightly lower fares.
There are no official boat services between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
Transportation - Get Around
Official rates start at ($ 2.65) BD 1,000 plus 0.200 Fils per kilometer. In practice, however, the meters are always "broken", covered, missing or simply ignored, and you must agree on the rates in advance. Keep in mind that taxi drivers will often ask for ridiculous prices.
However, a new agreement was reached between the government and taxi representatives in August 2008; and a growing majority of taxis now use their meters. Rates vary from 3 to 5 dinars for a trip within Manama.
The airport gives guidelines on the official way to calculate taxi fares. Note that an additional BD 2,000 will be added if you take a taxi waiting at the airport [www].
In general, taxis offer a good service, but you find some bandits. Keep in mind that when traveling from the airport, always use the red-roofed white or London-style taxis. There is also a rule if the meter is not used without cost; Stay firm on this and call the police, and the driver will quickly cooperate with the correct fare for the trip.
Finding a taxi can be difficult, although major hotels and shopping centers usually have some waiting outside. Some private companies operate in the kingdom, the most popular are:
Speedy Motor Service Radio-Meter Taxi SMS Radio-Meter Taxi is the oldest and most popular radiotelephone taxi company in the Kingdom, and the most reliable. It is possible to book a taxi in advance and operate a service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Call to the telephone: + 973-17 682999
Bahrain Taxi Online Get the taximeter online in 10 minutes. Tel: + 973-36688614
Bahrain Limo is the newly established Radio Meter Taxi Company in the Kingdom of Bahrain and the sister company of the transport giant "Saudi Bahraini Transport Company" (SABTCO) which offers luxurious bus and limousine services throughout the King Fahad Causeway.
However, there have been occasional reports of taxi drivers attempting to charge excessively expensive fares (like 50BD for a short trip, when in reality they are 3 BD), although they are generally rare. Keeping official taxi services is usually your best option.
There are also public buses that go to many parts of the island. Bus fares are low, but understanding the system can be very confusing for visitors, due to the difficulties in obtaining bus schedules and maps.
Until recently (February 2015), traveling in Bahrain by bus was practically a nightmare and foreigners were not advised to take them. There were no buses to popular destinations or shopping centers, and they were often late. The waiting places were often also uncomfortable. Buses covered only about 35% of the country, and most of all would opt for a taxi, with workers often meeting to buy a car.
However, things have been constantly improving since then. Since February 2015, when there was a change in the operators, the situation has improved considerably. The buses are now much cleaner, are suitable for the disabled and offer free 4G Internet connectivity with other improvements. Waiting times have also improved considerably and also waiting places.
If you plan to visit several sites, consider renting a car. Prices range between 10-20 dinars per day, but allow you freedom to drive around the island.
If you arrive by bus to the parking lot of downtown Lulu, simply turn your back from the center entrance, exit the parking lot and you will find car rentals in the group of buildings across the street. A map or a GPS is strongly recommended, since traffic signals may be scarce, and it is not too difficult to go from one part of the country and land in another, although fortunately the country is small.
The speed limits are generally 50 km / h on the roads and 80-100 km / h on the highway. The fines for violating the traffic law are quite severe, although the rules do not always apply correctly.