The Saudi-Bahraini Transport Company SABTCO (http://www.sabtco.biz/), tel. +973-17252959, runs eight buses daily from the SAPTCO bus station in Dammam via Khobar in Saudi Arabia, across the King Fahd Causeway, to the bus terminal next to the Lulu Centre in central Manama.
The service uses comfortable aircon minibuses with a trailer for luggage. Tickets cost SR60/BD6 and can be purchased in advance, although they'll squeeze you in without a reservation if there is space. As crossing the Causeway involves two passport checks and two customs checks, figure on 2 hours for the trip, plus any traffic delays at busy times like Wednesday evenings. At congested times, buses may actually be slightly faster than private cars, as they can use separate lanes at immigration and customs.
Note that, as of 2011, Bahrain Saudi Transport & Tourism BASATCO (http://en.speedymotors.co...) offers what seems to be similar buses for a slightly lower fare of BD4, although four times a day only.
As of January 2011, the schedule for SABTCO is as follows:
|From Dammam||From Khobar||From Manama|
Bahrain International Airport IATA: BAH, in Muharraq just east of Manama, is the main base for Gulf Air (http://www.gulfair.com) and has excellent connections throughout the region and London. The airport has good duty-free shopping and a 'Transotel' offering beds and showers for a fee to those awaiting flights. Many residents of eastern Saudi Arabia choose to fly out via Bahrain, and Gulf Air offers shuttle services to Khobar and Dammam to cater to this market; inquire when booking.
The low cost carrier Air Arabia offers daily flights from the Sharjah Airport IATA: SHJ north of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
Taking photographs is prohibited in the terminals
The 26-km King Fahd Causeway connects Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. Rental vehicles usually cannot be taken across, but SABTCO's BahrainLimo taxis that seat up to four can take you across for prices starting from BD30/SR300. Unofficial taxis, found hanging around bus stations at both ends, can offer slightly lower fares.