The currency in Bahrain is the Bahraini dinar BD, which is divided into 1000 fils. One dinar is worth nearly three US dollars US$2.66, to be precise, as the exchange rate is fixed, making this one of the world's strongest currencies, and this can get some getting used to: that seemingly cheap ten-dinar taxi ride is in fact almost $27 and thus an extortionate rip-off!
The dinar is a fully convertible currency, and there are currently no restrictions on its import or export. Denominations for coins are 5 fils, 10 fils, 25 fils, 50 fils and 100 fils. Denominations for banknotes are 500 fils BD 1/2, BD 1, BD 5, BD 10 and BD 20.
The dinar is pegged to the Saudi riyal at 1:10, and riyals are accepted almost everywhere at that rate, although odds are you'll get your change in dinars and hotels may try to screw you out of a few percent. If coming in from Saudi, there's no reason to change your money, but do try to get rid of any excess dinars before you leave the country, as they're hard to exchange elsewhere, even in Saudi.
Like most Gulf countries, Bahrain is not cheap. With recent rising costs a decent dinner can cost around BD 4.0, and car rental at BD 10-20/day is reasonable, but hotel prices will put a dent in your budget: a perfectly ordinary room in a "good" hotel can set you back BD 100. Do not travel to Bahrain during the annual F1 race in April if looking for reasonable prices, as hotels will quadruple their rates. A room at the Gulf Hotel during this race will cost you upwards of BD 300/night.
There are several major malls in Bahrain that offer international and luxury labels shops and botiques, supermarkets and so forth, as well as food courts, contemporary and traditional cafes, play areas and arcades, cinemas 3D & 2D and even an in-door water park.
A visit to the local souq sook is a must. There you can negotiate the price on ârolexesâ, jewellery, and many other gifts. The souq is also home to many excellent tailors. If you're there for long enough say a week then you can take a favourite clothing item in and they will "clone" it precisely in any material you select from the huge range available.