Bahrain travel information
Air traffic in/out from Manama in Bahrain has been
reduced to a minimum, some air routes are still going,
but the situation is unclear. Check with your airline
which flights are going. For more information about
coronavirus, including entry rules, see the section
Although Bahrain is generally seen as a safe country
to travel to, it has several security challenges worth
noting. The Foreign Ministry encourages travelers to
exercise caution when traveling to or staying in
The situation is at times tense between the Sunni
Muslim royal house and the government apparatus and the
Shiite Muslim population. This has sometimes led to
demonstrations and riots in Shiite areas and e.g. at
larger places in the capital. Demonstrations can lead to
closed roads and checkpoints.
In recent years, groups have carried out some minor
attacks that the authorities have defined as terrorism.
However, the threat to tourists is considered limited
since such estimates have largely been directed at
security forces and oil infrastructure.
When traveling outside the capital Manama and
especially to Shiite areas, it is necessary to exercise
caution. The security situation is often linked to
national and regional political conditions, so it is
important to keep up to date on the news.
Otherwise, there is relatively little profit crime
and violence in Bahrain. Nevertheless, one should take
good care of valuables and use hotel safes, if possible.
It is forbidden to photograph military buildings and
- Countryaah: Manama is the capital
of Bahrain. Check to find information of population, geography, history,
and economy about the capital city.
Traffic is probably the biggest security challenge in
Bahrain. The roads are generally good, but the speed is
high and the driving style unpredictable. It is
recommended to drive carefully and defensively. If you
get into a traffic accident, you have to stay at the car
until the police come and make a report. Car repair
shops cannot repair the damage without this report.
Please note that entry regulations may change. The
Foreign Service is not responsible if the following
information on entry regulations or visa requirements is
changed at short notice. It is the responsibility of the
traveler to ensure that travel documents are valid for
entry and to familiarize themselves with the current
entry rules for each country.
Norwegian citizens must have a passport with at least
six months validity when entering Bahrain. Visas for up
to two weeks are purchased on arrival at the Manama
airport or in advance via an e-portal. The visa fee is
five Bahraini dinars (about NOK 100). The same applies
if you cross the border by car from Saudi Arabia. If you
fail to travel from the country before the visa expires
or is renewed, you will be fined. It is possible to
extend the visa for another two weeks.
All Norwegian travelers must ensure that they have a
valid, ordinary passport. Emergency passport (orange
color), travel document for refugees (green travel
document) or travel document for people on humanitarian
grounds (blue travel document) are not accepted as an
entry document in Bahrain. In case of a stopover,
emergency passports can be used, but you will not be
able to leave the international zone if this happens,
for example. delays or cancellations.
Norway does not have an embassy in Bahrain but covers
the country from the embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Coronavirus (covid-19): Norwegian
travelers should keep abreast of the development of the
coronavirus. Follow local authorities' advice, guidance
and instructions on how to deal with the situation.
You can find more information and guidance from the
Norwegian health authorities on the website of the
Norwegian Institute of Public Health. See also UD's
answers to frequently asked questions about travel and
A couple of three thousand corona infections have
been discovered in Bahrain, and the number is
increasing. Air travel in/out of Manama in Bahrain has
been reduced to a minimum. There are a couple of flights
(Gulf Air) a week to Europe, but the situation is
unclear. There are no flights between Saudi Arabia and
Bahrain. Check with your airline which flights are
going. Entry to Bahrain is only allowed for Bahraini
nationals who wish to return to the country. The
cross-border (road/bridge link) to Saudi Arabia is only
open to Bahraini citizens traveling back to Bahrain, but
there may be changes in the near future and
opportunities for the embassy to apply for a driving
permit. Contact the embassy about this.
All travelers are tested for the coronavirus and
quarantined by positive results. This also applies to
citizens of Bahrain and other GCC countries (countries
in the region). Visas on arrival in Bahrain are
All educational institutions and mosques have been
closed for the time being, but some business activities
have now reopened in April. Everyone who moves outside
must use mouthwash. It is illegal to have collections of
more than five people. Persons who do not follow the
measures risk three months' imprisonment and a fine of
at least BHD 5000 (NOK 140,000). The situation in
Bahrain is evolving from day to day and Norwegian
travelers are asked to monitor the situation with the
help of, among other things. these pages:
- Bahrain Health Department
- Guidelines from Bahrain's Department of Health
- Bahrain Health Department's account on
- Bahrain's official news agency(on twitter)
- Overview of the situation in the Middle East
Most hospitals in Bahrain and especially the private
ones are of a good standard. Prices can be high and
prepayment may be required. It is therefore strongly
recommended that before the trip you take out a regular,
good travel insurance which also includes the
possibility of transport home in case of serious
For up-to-date information on health and diseases in
the region, see the website of the Norwegian Institute
of Public Health.
If you travel with prescription medicines, they
should be stored in the original packaging and carried
in the hand luggage. Further information can be found on
the website of the Norwegian Medicines Agency under "
Medicines on foreign travel ".
Bahrain is a small island state in the Persian Gulf.
The capital Manama is an international trade and finance
center and a popular tourist destination for the entire
region. Arabic is the public language, but English,
Hindi and Urdu are widely used. There is a wide
international presence in Bahrain, including about 40
UD's operational center: (+47) 23 95 00 00
The climate is very hot and humid in summer and from
May to October the temperature can reach 45 degrees and
above, with very high humidity. From November to April,
however, considerably lower humidity and moderate
temperatures can be expected.
The currency unit is the Bahraini Dinar (BHD), which
has a fixed exchange rate against the US dollar of USD 1
= 0.376 BD. 1 BD = approx. NOK 23 (January 2020). One
dinar is divided into 1000 fils, but many stores still
use Saudi Riyals (SARs) as currency exchange. SAR can be
used anywhere on par with Bahraini dinars. ATMs are very
widespread and accept all regular cards. You can pay by
card in most hotels, restaurants and shops.
When it comes to transport, Manama has a collective
offering under development, but this is very limited in
the rest of the country. Most people use a car and there
is good access to rental cars, as well as taxis and
Uber. International driver's license is a prerequisite
for renting a car. For permanent residence in Bahrain, a
local driver's license must be obtained.
The work week in Bahrain is from Sunday to Thursday.
On weekdays, banks and public offices are normally open
from 08.00 to 12.30/14.00. Friday is a Muslim holiday
and most shops are closed until the afternoon. Saturday
is day off, but most of the shops and other things are
National Day is December 16 and Martyr Day December
The power supply is at 220 V voltage. British plugs
(three plugs) are used. There is generally good
telephone coverage and Norwegian phones can be used.
The time difference to Norway is 1+ hours at summer
time in Norway and 2+ hours at winter time.
Customs and rules: Bahrain is a
Muslim country and visitors must respect local norms and
rules. Manama is nevertheless a relatively liberal
metropolis, where alcohol is served in hotels and many
other places. However, the legislation is strict and it
is forbidden to be drunk in public places.
Bahrain has no official rules on how women should
dress, but it is expected to cover themselves when
visiting religious places. However, Bahrain has major
regional differences. Villages on other parts of the
island, often Shi'ite, are more conservative and have a
different dress code. As a general rule, covered
shoulders and knees are recommended. Women must wear
abaya and scarf when visiting mosques.
Homosexuality is banned in Bahrain, but is rarely
Possession, use or smuggling of illegal drugs, even
in small quantities, can result in severe penalties.
This also applies to certain drugs classified as
narcotic drugs. If in doubt, one should investigate
further. The Bahrain Embassy in London, which is also
the Bahrain Embassy to Norway, can be contacted for more