How to get around Bahrain

Our guide to public transport, taxis and renting a car

How to get around Bahrain

Now that you've moved to Bahrain, https://www.timeoutbahrain.com/movingtobahrain one of the first things you need to do is sort out how you're getting around.

Whether you want to get a taxi, take public transport, or rent a car, there's plenty of options.

Here's the lowdown on everything you need to know about travelling in the Kingdom.

Taxis
We’ll be straight with you: regular taxis in Bahrain aren’t cheap. The starting fare is BHD2 (£4.20, US$5.30), and every kilometre on top of that is another 500 fils, which can quickly add up. There’s a taxi rank at the airport, or you can order one through the concierge at your hotel.

Cabs aren’t as common in Bahrain as they are elsewhere, so you might be waiting a while before you manage to hail one down from the side of the street. It’s illegal not to have a meter, so keep an eye out for any drivers who don’t use one to avoid an exorbitant fee at the end of a trip.

However, Uber and Careem both operate in Bahrain, so you can get far cheaper taxis should you so choose. Just download the respective apps and off you go. Careem gives you the option of paying in cash if you want to avoid international fees from your bank.

Buses
Bahrain has an extensive public bus network, with plans to build a metro system in the next five years. Buses on the main routes run between every ten and 20 minutes, so you shouldn’t find yourself waiting too long.

Although you can pay cash on board, it’s far easier to pick up a GO Card at the airport or at any of the bus terminals in Bahrain. They cost 500 fils and can be topped up with up to BHD50 – but reduce the cost of a single trip from 300 fils to 250 fils. On top of this, GO Cards have a daily cap of 600 fils, so no matter how many buses you get in a day, the most you’ll pay is £1.26/US$1.59. If you’re planning on staying a little longer, you can also grab a seven-day pass for BHD3, or a 28-day one for BHD12.

You can find the bus routes, timetables and plan your trip at www.bahrainbus.bh.

Driving
Bahraini roads are a lot calmer than those in other Gulf countries, but you still might encounter some road rage or erratic driving. You drive on the right and the usual laws apply – you must wear a seatbelt in the front and you can’t use a mobile phone while driving. When going through residential areas, the speed limit is 60km/h, rising to between 80 and 100 on other roads and 120km/h on highways. Petrol prices range between 140 and 200 fils per litre (a bargain 30p or 37 cents).

Hiring a car
If you want to hire a car, there are plenty of firms operating in Bahrain. If you want to support a local business, Oscar Rent-A-Car owns the largest fleet in the country, or you can also rent from global companies such as Europcar or Hertz.

The minimum age for renting a car in the kingdom is 21, but many firms will not lease their cars to drivers under 25. You’ll need to bring along your driving licence and your passport, although some companies may also ask for an international driver’s permit so maybe call and ask first.

Buying a car
There are plenty of new and second-hand car retailers across the island, so you’ll have no difficulty in buying yourself a motor. You’ll need to have your national ID card to complete the purchase, so you may find yourself renting a car for a few weeks until that comes through. You’ll also need to buy car insurance.

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