All drivers must carry a driver's license (International driving license required for visitors).
1. Though an inexpensive stopover, Bahrain isn't a cheap destination. If you want to travel comfortably, rent a car and load up on artifacts, expect to spend more. Taking the bus and bargaining will bring your costs down.
2. There are a number of banks and moneychangers, and it pays to shop around for the best rate. American Express offices will cash cheques for cardholders, and some banks will advance against Visa cards.
3. There are ATMs linked to international networks.
4. A service charge is added to almost every bill in Bahrain, but it generally goes to the shop, not the waitstaff. An appropriate tip in a good restaurant is 10%. While tips aren't expected (especially in less expensive places), foreign waiters and waitresses are often paid appalling wages.
5. Bargaining is common and expected, and hotel rates are almost always negotiable.
6. Bahrain has a decent bus service linking most of the major towns with Manama and Muharraq. You can easily cover Manama and Muharraq on foot, though renting a car will make it easier to get to farther-flung attractions.
7. There are agencies in Manama at the big hotels. You'll need to get an International Driving Permit before entering the country (you can't get one once you're there); driving is on the right.
8. Bahrain's taxis are metered, and while you can hire them by the hour for sightseeing trips outside Manama, you should only do this if you plan to spend lots of time poking around remote spots where you're unlikely to find another cab.
9. If you are interested in traditional craftwork, it is seen in several places around Bahrain- for instance- dhows (fishing boats).
10. You'll discover that the mainstay of Bahraini culture is drinking traditional Arabian coffee. You'll find a coffeepot in a shop or a souk. Traditional Arabian street food, like shawarma (lamb or chicken carved from a huge rotating spit and served in pita bread) and desserts such as baklava are also ubiquitous. While a bit thin on Arabic food, Bahrain has a bonanza of Indian, Pakistani, Thai and other Asian specialties.
11. You are advised to avoid village areas, especially after dark, and areas, which have been the scene of demonstrations and incidents in the past. Local security precautions, religious and social sensitivities should be observed and respected.
12. Visas can be obtained on arrival, or from the Embassy.
13. Medical insurance- Make sure you are fully covered for medical treatment, hospitalization and medical evacuation, which can be very expensive.
14. Travel insurance- Make sure you are fully covered for unexpected losses or expenses (eg- cancelled flights, lost luggage, lost passport, stolen cash or credit cards). Keep passport, money, tickets and valuables in a safe place.
15. Bring enough funds for your stay and return journey. Don't change money on the streets; keep bank transaction receipts as proof of obtaining money legally.
16. Get a valid visitor's visa from your embassy, before traveling to Bahrain. (Visas may be obtained on arrival, however).
17. Respect local laws and customs. Dress in a modest way. Don't behave in a manner, which might insult Muslim sensitivities, customs and beliefs. Don't make rude gestures or swear - you could be taken to court and face a severe fine. Public displays of affection between members of the opposite sex are frowned Upon.
18. Drinking is allowed and many bars and restaurants serve alcohol. Muslim sensitivities toward alcohol should be observed - it is an offence to be drunk in public. Do not drink and drive
19. Carry identification at all times, you might be asked to produce it at any time. Carry photographic identification, e.g. your passport, if possible.