Best Bahrain SIM Cards for Tourists: Updated Prices & Where to Buy 2024

Planning a trip to Bahrain soon? Simplify your connectivity by opting for a tourist-friendly prepaid Bahrain SIM Cards that offer both calls and data. In this guide, we will provide information on the various SIM card options available in Bahrain, including pricing, the best plans, and where to purchase them. With the right SIM card, you can stay connected effortlessly while exploring the wonders of beautiful Bahrain, ensuring a stress-free communication experience.

Bahrain SIM card

I. Should You Get a Sim Card in Bahrain?

Definitely! Travelers should choose Bahrain SIM Card for the best convenience

When it comes to staying connected in Bahrain, there are several options to consider: SIM cards, free Wi-Fi, and international roaming. Each option has its own advantages and disadvantages. Here is a comparison table of these connectivity options in Bahrain:

CriteriaBahrain SIM CardFree Wi-FiInternational Roaming
ConvenienceHigh – Internet access from your phone anywhereLow – Need to find and stay near hotspots (unavailable when traveling to remote areas)High – Use existing number
PriceLow – Affordable plans available with ample dataFreeVery High – High fees for calls, texts, and data usage
AvailabilityHigh – Reliable coverage even in remote areasLow – Available at limited hotels, restaurants, cafes,High – When within network coverage

As you can see, a Bahrain SIM card offers high convenience with internet access available anywhere. It is cost-effective, with affordable plans providing generous data allowances.

Free Wi-Fi, on the other hand, may be limited in availability and requires staying near hotspots. International roaming can be quite expensive, especially for extended stays in Bahrain.

II. Types of Bahrain SIM Card for Tourists – Which One is the Best?

Categorized by their form, tourists visiting Bahrain have the option to choose between a physical prepaid SIM card or a prepaid eSIM for connectivity.

1. Physical Prepaid SIM Card for Bahrain (Mini SIM, Micro SIM, Nano SIM):

Physical SIM Card is quite popular with all travelers to Bahrain
Physical SIM Card is quite popular with all travelers to Bahrain

Tourists can opt for two main variations of physical prepaid SIM cards in Bahrain, categorized by plan types:

Data-only plans:

  • Provide internet access via data.
  • Do not include calling or texting services.
  • A more affordable option suited for light internet users.
  • Ideal for communication through apps.

 Data + Voice & Text plans:

  • Include internet, calling, and texting services.
  • Come with a Bahrain phone number.
  • Offer a more comprehensive communication solution.
  • Slightly more expensive compared to data-only plans.
  • Best suited for longer trips or frequent callers.

2. Prepaid eSIM for Bahrain (Virtual SIM)

Bahrain eSIM needs compatible devices
Bahrain eSIM needs compatible devices

An eSIM is a digital SIM card embedded within your device, eliminating the need for physical card swapping when changing carriers or plans.

Prepaid eSIMs for Bahrain function similarly to regular SIMs. Activation is convenient, requiring scanning a QR code or clicking a link. eSIM plans offer data-only or data with talk/text options, similar to physical SIM choices. 

Prepaid Bahrain SIM CardPrepaid eSIM for Bahrain
Pros– Widely available for purchase in Bahrain
– Affordable rates for data and calls
– Compatible with all unlocked smartphones
– No need to purchase a physical SIM card
– Convenient activation process
– Can pre-order eSIM before travel
Cons– Requires a physical SIM card
– Risk for loss of main SIM Card
– Device must support eSIM profiles

Advice: If your phone supports eSIM, choose PREPAID DATA eSIM. It's the best way to access the internet on your phone in Bahrain in 2024.

III. Best Bahrain SIM Card Packages for Tourists and Price

Good to know: $1 USD = 0.38 BHD

In Bahrain, there are 03 main mobile internet operators: Zain, STC, Batelco and many MVNOs (mobile virtual network operators) of these major operators.  

Below are some packages for Bahrain travel of the major cellular internet operators:

1. Zain

They 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).

2. Batelco

A Batelco kiosk sells Bahrain SIM Card
A Batelco kiosk sells Bahrain SIM Card

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

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

3. STC

STC 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).

IV. Where to Buy a Tourist SIM Card for Bahrain?

There are 4 main ways to buy a tourist SIM Card for Bahrain: 

  • Buying online before departure
  • Buy at airports after arrival
  • Buy in Bahrain cities at official stores, convenience stores
  • Buy online 

1. Buying online before departure

How: Purchase from websites of Bahrain carriers like Zain, Batelco or other travel SIM retailers. They can ship to international addresses.

Requirements: Valid passport details (if buying from mobile network operators). You may need a VPN if buying from abroad.

Cost: Starts around $18 for a basic plan. Shipping fees may apply.

Convenience: Can be used immediately upon arrival, saving you a trip to the airport.

Con: Non-refundable if plans change, and network coverage may vary.

2. Buying at airports after arrival:

STC has kiosks selling Bahrain SIM Card in Airport
STC has kiosks selling Bahrain SIM Card in Airport

How: Purchase at airport kiosks of carriers located at airports such as Bahrain International Airport

Requirements: Valid passport, cash (possibly), and an unlocked phone.

Cost: Higher than other places, with possible activation fees.

Convenience: Can be used right away without shipping delays. Gives you a chance to try before buying.

Con: Limited options and higher prices compared to online purchases.

3. Buying in Bahrain cities at official stores or convenience stores:

How: Visit carrier stores in major cities, or consider purchasing from online retailers 

Requirements: Valid ID is mostly required.

Cost: Average prices range from $20-40 for basic plans, with discount stores available.

Convenience: Offers wider options compared to airports, but return policies may vary.

Con: Activation may be delayed, and it requires additional travel effort.

4. Buying eSIM online:

eSIM has many advantages in many aspects
eSIM has many advantages in many aspects

How: Register for eSIM on carrier websites without needing a physical SIM card.

Requirements: Requires a compatible smartphone and ID verification.

Cost: Around $30 for an average plan. Prices may vary.

Convenience: Offers instant activation without shipping. However, eSIM compatibility may be limited to certain devices.

Con: Wastage if plans change and limited device compatibility.

Our recommendation: The best, easiest, and cheapest way to get data for internet connection during Bahrain travel is to use a prepaid Bahrain eSIM card. 

V. How Much Data is Enough for a Prepaid Tourist SIM Card for Bahrain ?

By choosing a 1GB data package, you can enjoy the following activities during your trip:

  • Check your emails.
  • Use navigation maps and do basic online browsing.
  • Use messaging services like WhatsApp.
  • Stay active on social media by scrolling through feeds, although video watching may consume more data.
  • Listen to music for an hour or two.
Access the Internet in Bahrain is quite easy
Access the Internet in Bahrain is quite easy

Here is a summary of data usage and plan recommendations for your Bahrain trip:

User TypeApproximate Monthly Data UsageSuitable Activities
Heavy User10+ GBVideo calling, watching HD videos, browsing the web a lot, playing online games
Medium User5-10 GBChecks email daily, uses maps, occasionally streams HD, uses social media
Light User3-5 GBChecking email, using maps, and light browsing on cell phone during the trip

VI. Bahrain eSIM – Alternative to Physical SIM Cards to Get Internet in Bahrain

Bahrain eSIM is a virtual SIM card that securely stores the necessary mobile data to access the mobile network in Bahrain. Here are some reasons why Bahrain eSIM is the preferred choice:

  • No physical SIM required: With an eSIM, you can easily purchase and activate a data plan using a QR code sent to your email.
  • Simple setup: Activating a Bahrain eSIM is quick and straightforward, directly from your phone.
  • Flexibility to change plans: If you come across a better deal, switching plans and providers is just a few taps away with eSIM technology.
  • Constant connectivity: With an eSIM integrated into your device, you won’t have to worry about misplacing or losing a physical SIM card. 
Gigago Bahrain eSIM plans
Gigago Bahrain eSIM plans

When purchasing an eSIM plan for Bahrain from major carriers, you may need to go through ID verification and registration. However, opting for an eSIM package from a trusted provider like Gigago eliminates the need for ID verification. All you need is an eSIM-enabled smartphone, watch, or tablet.

For Bahrain, Gigago offers multiple data plan options, starting from 1 GB for 7 days with $6.90 . What is great about Gigago’s Bahrain eSIM is that its plans’ costs are diversifying, varying between $6.90$19.90 . Thus, it does not matter how Internet users you are and how long your trip is in Bahrain, there is always an option for you with Gigago.

VII. Which Bahrain Mobile Networks Are The Best for Tourists?

The three main cellular network operators in Bahrain are Zain, STC, Batelco. They all provide good coverage across major cities and tourist areas.

1. Batelco

Bahrain Telecommunication Company BSC, trading as Batelco, is the principal telecommunications company in Bahrain

  • Rank: Batelco is the the largest network in Bahrain
  • Coverage: This network covers about 98% of Bahrain’s population
  • Speed: Currently its speed ranks on the place 1 from 12 providers in Bahrain with 68.21 Mb/s Download Speed and 28.25 Mb/s Upload Speed and  24 ms Ping Latency
  • Rates: Prepaid plans provide better value, like 10 GB data only – $20 USD
A Zain SIM Card
A Zain SIM Card

2. STC

Saudi Telecommunication Company provides ICT services in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, across the Middle East and Europe.

  • Rank: STC is the second largest network in Bahrain
  • Coverage: Coverage over 98% of the population.
  • Speed: Currently it ranks on the place 2 from 12 providers in Bahrain with 79.25 Mb/s  Download Speed and 21.07 Mb/s Upload Speed and 38 ms Ping Latency
  • Rates: Prepaid SIM cards with 22.5 GB – 100 GB from $20 USD- $28 USD and valid for 30 days

3. Zain

The Zain brand is one of the most recognized telecom brands across the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region, with a brand value in excess of US$2.74 billion

  • Rank: Zain is the third largest network in Bahrain
  • Coverage: Zain’s network covers over 95% of the Bahrain’s population.
  • Speed: Zain Bahrain B.s.c. is an internet service provider which operates in Bahrain. Currently it ranks on the place 3 from 12 providers in Bahrain with 80.47 Mb/s Download Speed and 24.33 Mb/s Upload Speed and 59 ms Ping Latency
  • Rates: Prepaid SIM cards with 24GB – 100GB data and cost 21 – 28 USD and valid for 30 days

VIII. How to Use Bahrain Prepaid SIM Cards and eSIM

Travelers can easily purchase and activate Prepaid SIM Cards or eSIMs for Bahrain, ensuring a seamless and connected experience throughout their trip. Here is a simple guide to assist you:

1. Using Prepaid Bahrain Tourist SIM Cards:

Purchase a Bahrain SIM card and follow these steps:

  • Power off your phone and safely remove your existing SIM card.
  • Insert the purchased SIM card into the appropriate slot.
  • Power on your phone and wait for it to connect to the network.
  • Configure the APN settings provided by the SIM card provider if necessary.
Activation of Bahrain SIM Card with simple steps
Activation of Bahrain SIM Card with simple steps

2. Setting up and Activating Bahrain eSIM:

To set up your Bahrain eSIM, follow these steps:

  • Ensure your device is unlocked and compatible with eSIM.
  • Purchase and download your Bahrain eSIM online. The activation pass/QR code will be sent to your email.
  • Open the eSIM settings on your phone and scan the QR code or enter the activation pass.
  • Restart your device, and you’re ready to go! No need to deal with physical SIM cards.

IX. FAQs

Can I keep my Bahrain SIM card for future visits?

Yes, you can keep your Bahrain SIM card for future visits. SIM cards typically have a validity period, so as long as you recharge or use the SIM card within that period, it will remain active.

How do I check my remaining balance or data usage on a Bahrain SIM card?

To check your remaining balance or data usage on a Bahrain SIM card, you can typically use the following methods: USSD Codes, Mobile Apps or Customer Service

What documents do I need to purchase a SIM card in Bahrain?

To purchase a SIM card in Bahrain, you will typically need to provide a valid passport or national identification card (NIC) along with your personal details.

X. Conclusion

In conclusion, we highly recommend purchasing a Bahrain SIM card or eSIM for travelers. We hope that the information provided in this article has been helpful to you. For the latest packages with special prices for your upcoming trip, please visit Gigago.