Introduction to the Grand Prix
The Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix is held at the Bahrain International Circuit. The drivers race after sunset under floodlights to allow for more comfortable conditions for teams and spectators alike. This modern circuit provides decent racing and excellent grandstand views, being designed by Hermann Tilke on a blank sandy canvas. Due to its location, an adhesive has to be sprayed onto the sand around the track to keep it from blowing over to the circuit. It is one of only 2 Grands Prix in the Middle East, besides the F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
- First Grand Prix: 2004
- Number of Laps: 57
- Circuit Length: 5.412km
- Corners: 15
- Fastest Lap: 1:31.447 by Pedro de la Rosa in 2005
- Language: Arabic
- Currency: Bahraini Dinar (BHD)
- Time: GMT +3
What are the best grandstands to watch F1 Bahrain Grand Prix?
This modern circuit was designed with spectators in mind. There are a limited number of grandstands so that the spectators don’t find themselves trekking anywhere far through the desert heat.
Botelco Grandstand – provides visibility of majority of the ‘inner’ portion of the track. You can see the cars in action from turn 7 all the way down to turn 11. Large screens in front of this grandstand ensure you don’t miss any action during the day.
Turn 1 Grandstand – located at the end of the main straight, offers views of the back of the cars racing over turns 1 to 3, which is a hot spot for overtaking. Similarly, you will be able to see the front of the cars over the same turns at the University Grandstands.
Main Grandstand – similar to most circuits, located opposite the pit-lane and is great for capturing the race prep, pit-stop action and the post-race formalities. However, not much of the rest of the track is visible from here.
For those thinking of purchasing the general admission tickets, make sure you come prepared with adequate cover to protect yourself from the sun if you’re arriving before sunset. The temperatures here can get quite extreme!
Security and X-Ray checks are done at the gates for all visitors. All food except for small snacks will be taken away as well as all horns and spray cans. Alcohol is strictly prohibited.
There are no strict rules on clothing and women may wear short sleeved tops and short dresses or skirts if they like.
How to get to F1 Bahrain Grand Prix?
Getting to and around Bahrain
Most fans will arrive through the Bahrain International Airport (BAH). The airport is home to Gulf Air which offers direct flights from several destinations in Middle East, Europe and Asia. Those travelling from USA or Australia however, will need to connect through Dubai or Abu Dhabi.
There are several hotels around Bahrain that provide a free shuttle bus for their residents. Check this when booking your accommodation. If your hotel does not provide this for you, you can transfer by one of the following options:
This is the most convenient option by far. Taxi ranks are located outside the arrivals terminal. A journey to Manama city centre should take 10-20 minutes depending on traffic and cost around 6-8 Dinar. Be careful to not get overcharged and make sure your driver uses the meter. Not using one in Bahrain is illegal for taxis so insist on it.
Uber is now available in Bahrain and you can hail a ride from the airport to your destination. Careem is another ride-sharing app used in Bahrain and offers a scheduling service for those looking to pre-book. Drivers will pick you up at the arrivals terminal, instructions should be provided on the app once a booking is confirmed.
Renting a car
Another option, particularly if you are travelling in a group, is to rent your own car. Prices can vary substantially between companies and based on the model of the car. Fuel is cheap and most places will have parking available.
The public transport system around Bahrain is not that well developed but there are buses to take you from the airport to Manama city centre. Buses on most routes run approx. every 20 minutes and cost less than 1 Dinar. For full list of routes and time schedules, visit bahrainbus.bh.
Getting to the Bahrain International Circuit
The circuit is located around 25km from Manama city centre in the area of Sakhir. Unfortunately, there is no public bus service available to get to the circuit but you can get there one of the following ways:
By shuttle bus
Several hotels offer free or paid shuttle bus services that you can use. You can also get on a hotel shuttle bus to the circuit by showing your F1 ticket, even if you are not staying at that hotel.
Here is the latest available list of hotels that provide such service:
- Gulf Hotel
- Intercontinental Regency
- Downtown Rotana
- K Hotel
- Best Western Plus The Olive
- Ramada City Centre
- S Hotel, Swiss-Belhotel Seef
- Domain Hotel
- Wyndham Garden
- Crowne Plaza
- Diplomat Radisson Blu
- Reef Resort & Spa
- Jumeirah Royal Saray
- Fraser Suites Seef
A taxi or an Uber is another option to get to the Bahrain Grand Prix. The journey should take 30min-1h depending on traffic and fares are around 15 Dinar. If you book an Uber, our advice is to get your driver’s contact number and arrange a pick up from the circuit. Contact him 30mins before you want to return and agree a pick up point.
Driving to the circuit in the comfort of your own car is relatively easy. If you hold 2 or more grandstand tickets, a free parking sticker will be issued to you.
Where to stay for the F1 Bahrain Grand Prix?
There are hotels available near the Bahrain International Circuit. Travel time savings to and back from the circuit is the obvious benefit to staying here. The downside is these hotels will be quite expensive during the Grand Prix weekend and there is not much else to do around this area.
Those who wish to enjoy some of the best Bahrain has to offer are better off staying in the capital city of Manama. We recommend the following areas:
Al Seef – attracts many with its great location, skyscrapers and an abundance of 5-star hotels. Some of the largest shopping malls on the island are located here as well as a selection of restaurants.
Al Juffair – an area popular for its nightlife, bars and cafes. There are several hotels to choose from and this area is also popular with high end apartments for short term rent. Juffair is also known as the red light district of the city which may be something you would like to consider before booking.
Amwaj Islands – a group of man-made islands located outside of the city centre, not far from the airport. One of the priciest areas of Manama, you will find many luxury villas and apartment to choose from.
What else is there to do in Bahrain?
From entertainment and sporting activities to cultural and historical sites, Bahrain offers plenty of choices for those looking to extend their stay.
- Bahrain National Museum is the oldest and largest museum in Bahrain. There are 3 halls dedicated to the ancient civilisation of Dilmun. Another 2 dedicated to pre-industrial culture and lifestyle while the final hall focuses on Bahrain’s natural environment.
- The Lost Paradise of Dilmun Water Park is the largest water park in the Middle East. Slides, lazy rivers, pool-side cabins and restaurants can all be found here. It is a great family excursion, however, being located around 45 min away from Manama city, is probably best as a full day activity.
- Dive Bahrain – world’s largest underwater theme park opened in 2019. For the first time ever, a Boeing 747 has been submerged here to be used as a natural reef. A copy of a traditional pearl merchant’s house has also been built for divers to explore. Further plans include submersion of decommissioned ships to provide complex habitats for fish and other marine life.
- Souqs – no trip to Bahrain is complete without a wonder through many of Bahrain’s traditional markets. Here, you will find everything from hand-made souvenirs and jewellery to electronics.
- Desert Safari – from buggies, ATVs and 4x4s to horseback and camelback riding tours through the desert, you will have a myriad of options. The Tree of Life is a popular attraction for tourists in this region. A 9.75m tall tree, covered in green leaves is the only large tree in the desert and nobody is able to explain how the tree survives.
Got some tips or a comment on this F1 Bahrain Grand Prix Travel Guide? Leave a comment or write to us through our contact page!
Grand Prix Insider