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Best Tourist Sim Cards in Bahrain in 2024

Choosing a sim card is hard. We've analysed the best tourist sim cards in Bahrain across pricing, coverage and data. Find out the best pick!

When traveling to Bahrain, having a sim card is essential for easy navigation and staying connected. Access to the internet allows you to find the best restaurants, get directions to your accommodation, book a taxi, and share photos with your family while on the move.

While roaming is an option, international fees can quickly accumulate, so it is recommended to either get an eSIM or a local sim card to access local phone rates. Fortunately, obtaining an eSIM or local sim card in Bahrain is a breeze, but it’s helpful to know which option is best for you.

This comprehensive guide provides up-to-date pricing and highlights the absolute best sim card to purchase in Bahrain.

Table of Contents

Best Sim Card in Bahrain for Tourists

The best sim card in Bahrain is the STC prepaid 7.5 sim card. This sim card includes 9GB of data and 500 local minutes valid for 28 days for just 7.5 BHD, or about $20 USD. For most travellers this will be plenty, but they also offer larger packages including 16GB for 9.5 BHD allowing you to choose how much data you require.

The only catch is that mobile network operators don’t offer cheaper prepaid plans in Bahrain, so if you are on a budget and are willing to have less data then you may want to consider an Airalo Bahrain eSim instead. For $6 USD, $12 USD or $18 USD you can buy 1GB, 3GB or 5GB respectively. So slightly worse value per GB, but cheaper overall for anyone who is fine with less data.

Due to the convenience offered by using eSims, I would also generally recommend them over the local sim cards for travellers who don’t require huge amounts of data and wish to avoid the hassle of visiting a store, buying a sim card, topping up, buying a plan and installing a sim card. It’s a lot easier to buy the eSim online before you go and it will self-activate when you arrive in Bahrain.

In terms of the networks in Bahrain, all three providers, STC, Batelco and Zain offer extensive networks with STC having arguably the best coverage, but it’s all very close. Airalo uses the Zain network which will have you covered across basically anywhere in Bahrain.

Bahrain Sim Card Prices

A Tourist Sim Card in Bahrain costs 7.5 BHD in June 2024, however, the exact price will often depend on the store you visit and the plan you choose.

Alternatively, an eSim in Bahrain will cost between $6 USD and $18 USD. This, again, depends on how much data you require and which eSim provider you choose.

I generally recommend this Airalo plan for most tourists visiting Bahrain which includes 5GB of data which is valid for 30 days and costs $18 USD.

Bahrain Sim Card Providers

The main SIM card providers in Bahrain are STC, Batelco, and Zain. STC, also known as Saudi Telecom Company, offers a range of services including mobile, fixed-line, and internet services. Their SIM cards provide users with reliable network coverage and competitive call and data packages. Batelco, a leading telecommunications company, provides SIM cards that offer excellent connectivity and a wide range of services such as voice, data, and value-added services. Zain, another prominent mobile operator, offers SIM cards with extensive network coverage and a variety of calling and data plans to suit different needs. These providers have established themselves as key players in Bahrain’s telecommunications industry, providing reliable and efficient services to satisfy their customers’ requirements.

STC Tourist Sim

STC, the leading telecommunications company in Bahrain, offers excellent tourist SIM card services perfect for travelers. Their tourist SIM cards provide seamless connectivity with high-speed internet access, ensuring tourists stay connected throughout their trip. With affordable packages and attractive data plans, STC’s tourist SIM cards are specifically designed to cater to the needs of tourists by offering hassle-free communication options. Enjoy a reliable network and fantastic services with STC’s tourist SIM card during your visit to the beautiful country of Bahrain.

STC Bahrain Tourist Sim Price

The price of a STC tourist sim card in Bahrain is 7.5 BHD.

The plan offered by STC stores includes 9GB data + 500 local minutes valid for 28 days.

Batelco Tourist Sim

Batelco is the leading telecommunications company in Bahrain, offering reliable services to both local residents and tourists. Their tourist sim cards are a popular choice for visitors, providing affordable packages for calling, texting, and data usage. With widespread coverage and fast internet speeds, tourists can easily stay connected and access online maps, translation apps, and social media platforms. Batelco’s customer service ensures a hassle-free experience, making their sim cards a must-have for travelers in Bahrain.

Batelco Bahrain Tourist Sim Price

The price of a Batelco tourist sim card in Bahrain is 7.5 BHD.

The plan offered by Batelco stores offers 9GB data + 500 minutes valid for 28 days.

Zain Tourist Sim

Zain is a leading telecommunications company in Bahrain, offering reliable and affordable tourist SIM cards. Their SIM cards provide tourists with access to high-speed internet, allowing them to stay connected while exploring the country. Zain’s plans offer ample data allowances and competitive calling rates, ensuring an uninterrupted travel experience. With excellent network coverage and support, Zain is the ideal choice for tourists seeking hassle-free communication in Bahrain.

Zain Bahrain Tourist Sim Price

The price of a Zain tourist sim card in Bahrain is 7.500 BHD.

The plan offered by Zain stores includes 9GB + 500 minutes valid for 28 days.

How to Get a Sim Card in Bahrain

Identify mobile providers: STC, Batelco and Zain are your best options in Bahrain.

Find your nearest store: Locate a store or retailer by searching on Google Maps for your nearest store or asking at your hotel reception. I’ve never had issues finding a store as they can usually be found in major cities, shopping centers, or tourist areas. If possible, I always recommend to to avoid airports and head in to an official store in the city.

Bring the necessary documents: It is always a good idea to carry your passport or identification documents for sim card registration purposes. We’ve found most providers will need to confirm your identity to provide a sim card and it can be a major hassle to head to a store only to have to come back again later with your passport.

Choose your plan: Either request the plan you are after or consult with the staff in the store to select the right plan for you. My recommendations at the beginning of this guide are a good starting point, but the staff will usually be able to suggest the best option.

Pay and activate your card: Pay for the SIM card and plan, and the staff will activate it for you.

Test: It’s always a good idea to check that you can access the internet before you leave the store. I always search for something on Google then refresh my Instagram feed to check it’s working fine.

Where to Get a Sim Card in Bahrain

At the Airport

Buying a prepaid sim card for Bahrain at the airport is usually considered the most convenient option for travellers arriving by plane.

However, airport stores selling sim cards are almost guaranteed to charge inflated prices, so if you are a cost-conscious traveller then you should definitely buy your sim card from a store in the city center.

In addition to this, we would argue that buying physical sim cards at all aren’t particularly convenient now that most people use esim compatible phones. If you are looking for the most convenient option, then buying an esim before you arrive or with the airport wifi is much easier and will save you having to queue up or communicate with staff.

If you must purchase a sim card at the airport in Bahrain then you will be in luck. All major international airports in Bahrain have stores selling sim cards. Despite the prices being higher than normal, the staff are knowledgable and will be able to get you set up with the correct sim card relatively quickly.

In Stores

If you want to avoid the inflated sim card prices you’ll find at the airport and your phone isn’t esim compatible, then you’re going to need to head in to a store to buy your sim card.

I recommend visiting one of the official retail stores of the mobile internet operators such as STC, Batelco and Zain. Your best option is to enter their names into Google Maps and find the branch closest to your hotel or accommodation. Typically the staff in the official stores in Bahrain are knowledgable and helpful which means you can ensure you’ll walk away with a functioning sim card.

Despite this, it’s always a good idea to check your internet is working before you leave the store by loading a Google search results page and your preferred social media app. You should also ensure you always bring your passport with you when purchasing a sim card in case they need to register it.

Online

If you like to be prepared and would prefer to arrive in Bahrain with your sim card all sorted and your phone ready to connect to the internet immediately then you should look into purchasing a sim card online.

The first option is to buy your sim card in advance via SimOptions, which is a company that will prepare and ship a sim card directly to your door. It’s a reliable and effective service, but with the invention of eSims it’s becoming obsolete.

The better option is to purchase an eSim online. We’ve written more on that below!

Bahrain eSim

An eSim is a digital version of a traditional sim card and is most likely the future of connectivity for mobile devices. The convenience of no longer visiting a store, handing over your passport and purchasing a physical sim card is quickly making physical sim cards obsolete in favour of eSims.

We recommend Airalo’s eSim when travelling to Bahrain. The Airalo Bahrain eSim offers fast internet speeds, wide coverage and extremely competitive prices making it a far more compelling option than purchasing a physical sim card from any of the local sim card providers.

In order to get set up with an Airalo eSim, all you need to do is visit Airalo here and purchase the eSim online (the $18 USD plan is suitable for most travellers). Once you’ve purchased the sim card Airalo will email you instructions and a QR code. Following these instructions should take just a couple of minutes, then you’ll have a sim card in Bahrain without having to venture outside.

Airalo Bahrain

Our preferred eSim provider in Bahrain is Airalo. We used them, alongside a local sim card on another device, for our most recent trip to Bahrain and found the service to be equal to the local sim card but without the hassle of acquiring a sim card in a store.

Airalo’s Bahrain eSim uses the Zain network to provide data and connect users to the internet. You can expect very good coverage and reliability with the Zain networknetwork as they are amongst the best mobile internet operators in Bahrain.

Here are the plans and prices for Airalo’s Bahrain eSim:

1GB data valid for 7 days – Price: $6 USD
3GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $12 USD
5GB data valid for 30 days – Price: $18 USD

For most travellers we recommend the 5GB data plan for $18 USD which is valid for 30 days. Some travellers may prefer a larger plan, whilst travellers visiting for just a couple of days may be fine with a smaller plan.

Holafly Bahrain

An alternative eSim provider we can recommend is Holafly.

Holafly’s eSim is a suitable option for travellers who require large amounts of data, such as digital nomads and people who work online while they travel. All of Holafly’s Bahrain eSims offer unlimited data.

Holafly’s Bahrain eSim uses the Stc Bahrainnetwork to provide data and connect users to the internet. This network will provide reliable speeds and coverage while in Bahrain

Here are the plans and prices for Holafly’s Bahrain eSim:

Unfortunately, the Holafly esim packages for Bahrain are temporarily unavailable on the Holafly website. We’ll add the prices back in here once they are available again.

What is an eSim?

An eSIM, also known as an embedded SIM, is a type of digital SIM card that comes built into electronic devices like smartphones, tablets, or smartwatches. It differs from regular physical SIM cards as it doesn’t require insertion or removal from the device.

Instead, the eSIM is incorporated directly into the device’s hardware and can be remotely activated and programmed by a mobile network operator. This capability enables users to switch between various mobile networks or plans without the need for physically swapping SIM cards.

eSIM technology provides convenience, flexibility, and user-friendliness, especially for frequent travelers or those who frequently switch between different mobile networks or travel internationally. It eliminates the necessity of purchasing and inserting physical SIM cards, making it convenient for managing multiple mobile connections on a single device.

To activate an eSIM, users can either scan a QR code provided by their mobile network operator or manually input the activation details. Once activated, the device can connect to the selected mobile network and access voice, data, and messaging services just like with a traditional SIM card.

Why Use an eSim?

There are several benefits to using an eSIM:

– Convenience: No need to physically insert or remove a SIM card when switching networks or plans.
– Dual SIM functionality: Have two active mobile numbers on one device.
– Space-saving: No need for a physical SIM card slot, allowing devices to be smaller or use the extra space for other components.
– Remote provisioning: Activate and manage mobile plans over the air without a physical SIM card or store visit.
– Future-proofing: As eSIM technology grows, more networks and providers support it, ensuring access to new services and offerings.

Overall, eSIM technology offers flexibility, convenience, and future-proofing for mobile connectivity.

eSim Supported Phones

eSIM technology is becoming increasingly popular and is supported by a growing number of smartphones and other devices. Here are some examples of eSIM-compatible phones:

Apple iPhone series (iPhone 11, iPhone 12, iPhone 13, etc.): Apple was one of the early adopters of eSIM technology and offers support for eSIM on various iPhone models.

Google Pixel series (Pixel 3, Pixel 4, Pixel 5, etc.): Google’s Pixel smartphones also support eSIM functionality, allowing users to activate and use eSIMs.

Samsung Galaxy series (Galaxy S22, Galaxy Note 20, etc.): Many of Samsung’s flagship devices now come with eSIM support, enabling users to utilize eSIM technology.

OnePlus devices (OnePlus 7, OnePlus 8, etc.): OnePlus has included eSIM support in some of its smartphone models, offering users the flexibility of using eSIMs.

Motorola Razr (2020): The latest iteration of the iconic Motorola Razr features eSIM compatibility, enabling users to use eSIMs for cellular connectivity.

These are just a few examples, and the list of eSIM-compatible phones continues to expand as more manufacturers embrace this technology. There’s a very strong chance your phone supports eSims so if you’re unsure we recommend looking it up on our list of eSim supported phones.

How to Use an eSim

Using an eSim is new for many travellers, however, the good news is it’s surprisingly easy to get set up – even for the technologically challenged!

Here’s a general guide on how to use an eSIM:

Check eSIM Compatibility: Ensure that your device supports eSIM functionality. Many newer smartphones, smartwatches, tablets, and other devices are eSIM compatible including all iPhones produced since 2018.

Obtain an eSIM: There are multiple ways to acquire an eSIM. You can purchase an eSIM online from a provider like Airalo (which we recommend) or directly from a mobile network operator. Some devices also allow you to scan a QR code provided by your carrier to download the eSIM profile.

Activate the eSIM: Your eSim provider will send you instructions to activate the sim. This will usually involve scanning a QR code, entering an activation code, or downloading the eSIM profile directly onto your device.

Set up the eSIM: Once activated, your device will guide you through the eSIM setup process. This typically involves selecting the eSIM as your preferred mobile plan, configuring settings like data roaming, and entering any necessary authentication details.

Enjoy the Connection: Once the eSIM is set up, you can use it as you would with a physical SIM card. Make calls, send messages, browse the internet, and use data services as needed. You can also switch between eSIM profiles if you have multiple eSIMs installed on your device.

Mitchell

Mitchell

Hi, I’m Mitchell. I’m a full-time traveller, explorer and travel blogger. I've travelled all around the world, using and testing countless travel sim cards along the way. I'm the founder of and writer for Travel Sim Expert where I write guides to help travellers stay connected all around the world.

Hi, I’m Mitchell. I’m a full-time traveller, explorer and travel blogger. Travel Sim Expert is a blog dedicated to helping you find the best sim card for you, no matter where you are or what your budget is. 

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