Bahrain has a public bus system linking most of the major towns and residential areas. The fare is a minimum of 150 fils per trip. Buses run about every 40 minutes between 6am and 9pm from the Manamabus station (Government Ave), and there are user-friendly bus terminals in Isa Town, Muharraq and Riffa. A few private buses and minibuses ply the main routes and cost about 100 fils per trip. The only difficulty with the bus system is working out the routes.
Driving around Bahrain is straight forward and roads are well signposted to the main sites of tourist interest. Some roads south of the Tree of Life are currently off limits to the public though this will change with the new developments.
Speed limits, the wearing of seat belts and drink-driving laws are rigorously enforced. Speed limits are 60km/h in towns, 80km/h in the outer limits of suburbs and 100km/h on highways. Petrol stations are well signposted, especially along highways.
Although there is a bus service to various points around Bahrain Island, it is much more convenient to rent a car, as the buses are not wholly reliable and don’t go directly to the points of interest for a visitor.
Car-hire companies have offices in Manama and at the airport, charging from BD15/72 for one day/week for the smallest four-door sedan.
Rates exclude petrol, but include unlimited mileage and insurance. To avoid the excess of BD200 to BD300 in case of an accident, it’s wise to pay the extra BD2 Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) per day. Rates are for a minimum of 24 hours. Companies normally only accept drivers over 21 years old (over 25 for more expensive models), and foreigners must (theoretically at least) have an International Driving Permit, although a driving licence is often sufficient. There is nowhere to rent a motorcycle.