Are you planning to visit Bahrain and wondering what is the best sim card for your trip to Bahrain to stay in touch and not to waste money on high roaming charges. Being connected makes traveling in Bahrain easier and much more fun. Traveltomtom recommends buying a prepaid sim card for Bahrain on arrival or getting an e-sim card.

This is a complete guide for staying connected on your trip to Bahrain with everything you need to know for buying a Bahrain sim card, up to prices as per June 2024, a comparison of 4G/5G network in Bahrain, all the available data packages, where to buy a sim card, my recommendation, the best e-sim cards for Bahrain, a vlog with my experiences, information about international sim cards and more.

When I traveled to Bahrain I was honestly pleasantly surprised. It was my first time in this small country in the Arabian Gulf and I was pleasantly surprised.

Traveling is my biggest passion and that is how I ended up in Bahrain, country no. 120 on my journey to visit every country in the world. If I don't have an e-sim card yet buying a local prepaid sim card is the first thing I do when I get to a new country.

Many years I go I started documenting this and therefore you can already find more than 200 sim card guides on Traveltomtom from all over the world: Paris, London, Israel, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Jeddah, RiyadhOmanPakistan, Europe, USA, Muscat, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Vietnam, China, United Kingdom, Australia and many more.

Why buying a sim card for Bahrain

Trust me, life without a working data connection on your phone gets a lot more complicated. It is not the end of the world, but navigating on Google Maps, ordering a taxi, finding nearby restaurants or sending a message on WhatsApp is suddenly not possible anymore without data on your phone.

To avoid high roaming costs Traveltomtom recommends buying a local prepaid sim card or getting an e-sim card for Bahrain. Either way is pretty simple, fast and affordable.

Also a reminder that free public WiFi is no guarantee that it is working or that the signal is strong enough to reach your hotel room for example. Public WiFi is an UNSECURED connection and in these cases it is advised to use a VPN.

In case you don't want to swap physical sim cards then you can either look into an e-sim card for Bahrain (more about it below) or get yourself a portable WiFi device. Check the following link for a review of pocket WiFi's compared to local sim cards.

My recommendation

Traveltomtom recommends an STC sim card for Bahrain. They have some of the best prepaid sim card deals in Bahrain and also the strongest 4G/5G network. For $20 USD you get 22.5 GB data.

E-sim cards are simply so convenient to use that Traveltomtom definitely recommends them, they are however a little more expensive than local prepaid sim cards. You can order your e-sim card for Bahrain on the internet.and arrive prepared for your trip. For $18.00 USD you get an e-sim card with 5 GB data. 

Another great way to stay connected is a global travel sim card with data. These international sim cards allow free roaming in multiple countries and some are great for traveling to Bahrain. Check out my comparison of the best global sim cards in 2024 and pick the one that suits your trip.

Best e-sim cards for Bahrain

The easiest way to stay connected when traveling to Bahrain in 2024 is an e-sim card.

You order an e-sim card for Bahrain on the internet, you receive a QR code, scan it, follow the simple steps and within less than 2 minutes you have a Bahrain e-sim card installed on your phone.

Upon arrival in Bahrain it automatically connects you to an available network and you enjoy data on your phone pretty much when the plane lands.

The mobile internet providers in Bahrain also provide e-sim cards for toourists, but they charge an extra fee for an e-sim card and you can only get them on arrival in their stores. STC and Zain both charge 3.125 BD ($8.3 USD) and Batelco even 8 BD ($21.2 USD) extra just for activating a Bahrain e-sim card instead of a physical prepaid sim card.

Therefore when looking for an e-sim card for Bahrain Traveltomtom recommends to order an e-sim card for traveling in Bahrain on the internet.

Make sure your phone is e-sim compatible before ordering an e-sim card for Bahrain.

Airalo

Check out the following Bahrain e-sim card plans that you can order directly online:

  • 1 GB for 7 days = $6 USD
  • 2 GB for 15 days = $9 USD
  • 3 GB for 30 days = $12.5 USD
  • 5 GB for 30 days = $18 USD

Click here for more info or to order a Bahrain e-sim card via Airalo.

The Airalo e-sim cards from Saar Mobile operate on the 4G/LTE network of STC in Bahrain. STC is the best mobile data network in Bahrain in 2024. More info about the network strength below.

SimOptions

simoptions esim card plans for bahrain 2024

SimOptions is another e-sim provider that trusted and used multiple times by Traveltomtom. They sell international e-sim cards that are valid in up to 141 countries, including Bahrain.

  • 6 GB data for 8 days = $19.90 USD
  • 3 GB data for 30 days = $24.90 USD
  • 5 GB data for 30 days = $34.90 USD
  • 6 GB data for 15 days = $39.90 USD

Click here for more info or to order an international e-sim card for Bahrain via SimOptions.

Nomad

nomad esim card plans for bahrain 2024

Traveltomtom also uses e-sim cards from Nomad a lot. Sometimes they have amazing e-sim card deals, but the ones from Bahrain are more expensive compared to SimOptions and Airalo.

  • 1 GB for 7 days = $12 USD
  • 3 GB for 30 days = $30 USD
  • 5 GB for 30 days = $45 USD

Click here for more info or to order an e-sim card for Bahrain via Nomad.

If your phone is not e-sim compatible you can also still order a physical sim card for Bahrain and get one delivered to your home address before your trip. Click on the link to see all the physical Bahrain sim card deals.

Where to buy a prepaid sim card in Bahrain

sim card bahrain airport

The most convenient place to get a local sim card in Bahrain is at the new international airport on arrival. It is very simple and as soon as you walk into the arrival hall you will see the mobile internet provider shops on your right hand side.

To make it even easier for you I recorded a vlog from my experiences buying a sim card at Bahrain Airport.

The stores are open 24 hours and you can pay by credit card. If for some reason you missed the opportunity to buy a sim card a Bahrain International Airport then check out any of the bigger malls and locate the nearest mobile phone store through Google Maps.

Mobile internet providers in Bahrain

There are 3 main mobile internet providers in Bahrain: Zain, Batelco and STC. All of them sell prepaid sim cards for tourists with monthly plans.

You will find their stores on the airport as well as in the bigger shopping malls across Bahrain. May you run out of balance or credit then you can top up very easily by buying credit in any random phone store.

All the Bahrain mobile internet operators offer physical prepaid sim cards as well as e-sim cards for tourists. However, they charge an extra fee for the use of an e-sim card.

Registration process

For buying a sim card in Bahrain you need to bring your passport. In the store they will take a copy or a photo of your passport page and your new Bahrain sim card will be registered on your passport number. You will also have to give your fingerprint.

Another very important thing is that your mobile phone needs to be unlocked, if your phone is locked the Bahrain sim card won’t work in your phone. Unlock your phone before your trip to Bahrain. If you are unsure contact your provider.

When you buy a prepaid sim card in Bahrain then expect: plug and play! Prepaid sim cards are instantly activated and work automatically once you put them in your phone. 

Prices sim cards in Bahrain

All mobile internet providers in Bahrain sell prepaid sim cards with data packages valid for 1 month. Unfortunately you can not find data packages valid for 1 week. The prepaid sim cards are free if you purchase one of the below packages. With all the Bahrain prepaid sim cards a hotspot is available!

Info and prices below are updated in June 2024 and prices are in Bahraini Dinar: $1 USD = 0.38 BHD and 1 BHD = $2.66 USD. Yes that is right, the Bahraini Dinar is much stronger than the USD.

Zain

zain prepaid sim card bahrain

They keep it very simple at Zain and they only offer 2 prepaid sim card packages, valid for 1 month.

  • 8 BD = 24 GB + 200 minutes - $21 USD
  • 10.5 BD = 100 GB data only - $28 USD

At Zain they offer e-sim cards for tourists for an extra fee of 3.125 BD ($8.3 USD).

Batelco

batelco sim card bahrain

Batelco has 5 prepaid sim card deals, 2 data-only and 3 data + calling packages, all valid for 1 month.

  • 7 BD = 8 GB data + 500 minutes - $18.5 USD
  • 10.5 BD = 12 GB + 800 minutes - $28 USD
  • 7.35 BD = 10 GB data only - $20 USD
  • 10.5 BD = 100 GB data only - $28 USD
  • 8 BD = 10 GB data + 35 GB social media + 80 minutes + free international minutes*

* for example, India: 600 minutes, Pakistan: 360 minutes, UK & USA: 257 minutes, etc. see for more details photo above.

At Batelco they offer e-sim cards for tourists for an extra fee of 8 BD ($21.2 USD).

STC

stc sim card bahrain

At STC they also offer only 2 prepaid sim card packages valid for 1 month: 

  • 7.5 BD = 22.5 GB + 200 minutes - $20 USD
  • 10.5 BD = 100 GB data only - $28 USD

At STC they offer e-sim cards for tourists for an extra fee of 3.125 BD ($8.3 USD).

Best 4G/5G network in Bahrain

Yes, there is 5G in Bahrain and it is pretty widespread around the country, but it depends on which operator. Especially in the touristy areas where you will find the best things to do in Bahrain. During my trip to Bahrain I constantly enjoyed a 4G or 5G signal with my STC sim card.

Let’s have a look at the 4G/5G coverage maps for Bahrain based on the data collected by nPerf.

Zain 4G/5G network coverage map

zain 4g 5g network coverage map bahrain 2024

Batelco 4G/5G network coverage map

batelco 4g 5g network coverage map bahrain 2024

STC 4G/5G network coverage map 

stc 4g 5g network coverage map bahrain 2024

From the above mobile internet coverage maps we can see that all 3 mobile internet providers in Bahrain have an extensive 4G/LTE network across the country. However, we can also easily conclude that STC has the strongest network and Zain the least strongest.

STC has the best 4G/5G mobile data network coverage in Bahrain in 2024.

Best prepaid sim card for Bahrain in 2024

From the above collected data and comparison from the best mobile data network and the prices for prepaid sim cards Traveltomtom comes to the conclusion that STC is the best sim card for Bahrain in 2024.

They not only have the best best prepaid sim card deal for tourists but they also have by far the strongest 4G/5G mobile data network in Bahrain. An STC tourist sim card for Bahrain with 22.5 GB data and 200 minutes cost $20 USD.

E-sim cards are more expensive but you can order them online and are therefore recommended for those who want to arrive prepared and be online as soon as the plane lands. Nomad and SimOptions also sell e-sim cards for Bahrain, but Airalo has the best e-sim card deal for Bahrain in 2024. The Airalo e-sim cards operate on the STC network.

Order a prepaid sim card for Bahrain online

orange holiday world international prepaid sim card for bahrain

If your phone is not e-sim compatible but you would like to order a physical prepaid sim card on the internet then check the following.

Arrive prepared in Bahrain with an international prepaid sim card. You order them online and a physical prepaid sim card will be delivered to your home address. You put this sim card in your phone and it automatically connects to an available network upon arrival in Bahrain, basically when the plane lands you are instantly online.

SimOptions offers the following international prepaid sim card valid in 124 countries, including Bahrain:

  • 10 GB data for 14 days = $49.90 USD

Click here to order an international prepaid sim card for Bahrain via SimOptions.

Also last reminder that if your phone is e-sim compatible you can arrange everything directly online by ordering an e-sim card for Bahrain via either NomadSimOptions or Airalo.

I hope all the above tips for buying a Bahrain sim card were helpful. May you have any questions then please don’t hesitate to leave me a comment below. I am more than happy to help you out.

Curious what it looks like trying to visit every country in the world? Go check out my Instagram account @traveltomtom and follow along. As of June 2024 I have visited more than 155 countries, so still a long way to go.

Enjoy your trip to Bahrain!