Top 50 Things to Do and to See in Bahrain


Bahrain

Bahrain is an island and kingdom in the Persian gulf. The capital city of Bahrain is Manama. in many places of Bahrain island sand bars are met by shallow seas. Some of the best attractions of Bahrain include historical sites, oil wells, mounds, forts, beaches, deserts, parks and the Islamic study center. There are also throughout modern high-end shopping malls and an ancient city nearly 5,000 years old. The fifty things that you can do along with your family in the Bahrain are as follows. www travelrows.com

1. Bab Al Bahrain

‘Bab Al Bahrain’ (Arabic) a landmark in Bahrain means Gateway to Bahrain. This monument primarily consists of a huge arch, below which is road, and it is entrance to the Manama souq (marketplace). It built by the British 1940 but redesigned later by Sir Charles Belgrave in the year 1945 and housed many government offices then. It got refurbished later. The Government Avenue located right opposite to this monument is busy shopping center as well as home to local Municipality. The monument is incorporated with Islamic architectural features and it is overlooking the sea. It’s truly a land mark of Bahrain with busy life around it and all shopping activities going around it.

2. The grand mosque

The grand mosque is an impressive mosque, which is originally called as the Al Fateh Islamic Centre which has the distinction of having the world’s largest fiberglass dome. It is Bahrain’s largest mosque. Delicate architecture and Arabic design make it a breathtaking and beautiful monument from inside as well outside. It’s capable of accommodating around 7,000 (Musallee) worshippers. It also houses the Religious Institute for Islamic Affairs.

Mosque Entering Etiquettes:

  • Must be in the status of cleanliness (Islamic cleanliness involves washing private parts with water every time when a person passes urine, one who doesn’t wash is considered as un-lean and later needs to take a bath) to enter the mosque, as it is the case with every other mosque.
  • Remove footwear before entering the mosque.
  • Must wear cloths covering legs just above the ankle.
  • Women must cover entire body along with head. Covering face is not obligatory.

3. Beit al-Quran

Beit al-Quran is an excellent example of modern Bahraini architecture which is very distinctive because of its wrapping of carved Kufic script. The building is situated next to the Bahrain Red Crescent Society, off Exhibition Ave. The main entrance and car park are at the back of the building. It is a museum and research centre opened in the year 1990, and home to a large number and striking collection of Qurans, manuscripts and woodcarvings. It is a place where you can get introduce to Islam, the second largest religion in the world and the fastest growing religion on the face of earth because of high conversion rate of people to it from other beliefs. Here you can also lookout for Islamic calligraphy and the miniature Qurans.

4. Bahrain national museum 

It is built in the year 1988, which provides a comprehensive glimpse of Bahrain through the ages. It is situated on the intersection of Muharraq Causeway and King Faisal Highway. It is also one of the first museums in the Gulf. Most of its treasures are from Dilmun, especially from Qal’at al Bahrain. Also on exhibit is pearl diving and how it has influenced the area. The first floor is has a traditional market(soug). The other exhibits of the museum include sculpture displays, rotating art and a wildlife hall. The most interesting of all the exhibits is a reconstructed ancient burial mound that dates back to 2800 BC.

5. Bahrain fort

One of the most important historical sites in Bahrain is Bahrain Fort. It is located on the north coast, and it was built in the 14th century. But excavations in the area have revealed that the site of settlements dates back to the Dilmun era, which was around 3000 BC. During the early 1500s, the Portuguese used Bahrain as the key point to protect their trade routes between Africa, India and Europe. When they invaded Bahrain they set up a military base at this Fort. This fort is sometimes called as the Portuguese Fort.

6. Al Areen wildlife park & reserve

Home to endangered species whose natural habitat is the Arabian Peninsula, it is located some 20km south of Manama. It is an eight square km animal sanctuary which has rare inhabitants, which include the Arabian Oryx, almost extinct in the wild, springbok, impala and the Persian gazelle. The Park is also home to some African animals. Some of Arabian species include scimitar-horned oryx, addax, dama gazelle, barbary sheep, Asiatic onager Nubian ibex, and wild goat. Some wild bird species also get attracted to the Al areen Park.

7. Riffa fort

Riff fort was built in 1812 and offers a great view across the Hunanaiya valley. Riffa Fort built using sandstone. There are about 35 rooms in a three square yard area. Riffa was once seat of the government until 1869, thus it was strategically important in its earlier days of existence. You can gaze across the valley from this historic fort. The unqiue thing about Riffa Fort is its architecture. It is Its boldness did not diminish over time and has the same awesome look and appeal that visitors from foreign land would find it truly amusing.

8. Al Khamis mosque

This mosque is believed to be the first mosque in Bahrain; the foundation of this mosque is considered to have been laid in 692 AC, however, an inscription found on the site suggests the foundation to be laid out in 11th Century. The Al Khamis Mosque is constructed during the era of the Umayyad caliph Umar II. There are two identical minarets attached to this mosque which makes it easily noticeable as one drives along the Shaikh Salman Road in Khamis. It also forms one of the oldest Islamic relics in the region.

9. Beit Al Siyadi

It offers you a glimpse into Bahrain’s rich and famous history. It is located a short distance from Beit Al Jasra (Shaikh Isa’s House) in Muharraq. In the 19th century Beit Al Siyadi belonged to a pearl merchant. The house provides an excellent evidence of the best local architecture from 19th century. It has been built on the unique architecture of Arab and Persia.

10. Pearl monument

Pearl Monument is located at the end of the Manama-Muharraq causeway; it is one of most recognizable landmarks of Bahrain. It is a gem of Bahrain where six dhow ‘sails’ float in the air, that hold a giant pearl in their midst. Beautifully built and abundant in images of Bahrain’s past. It is a favorite of photographers. There is a beautiful light show that is produced by the buildings reflects an excellent view at night.

11. Guest Palace in Gudaibiya

It is built in the 1950s; earlier the Guest Palace in Gudaibiya was on the seaside as the land reclamation pushed it further inland. The palace is now mainly serves as the residence for heads of state and other dignitaries. Visitors here are not allowed to go in, but can view a glimpse of the palace and its magnificently manicured lawns through the iron gates. It’s another land mark of Bahrain, where visitors want to visit.

12. Bahrain city centre

It is located in the center of Manama city, which is capital of Bahrain. It is the largest combination of shopping and entertainment centers in Bahrain. There are more than 350 shops displaying high-end brands, the mall is home to more than 50 cafes and restaurants. On the second floor there is a Water park which has pools, slides and other water activities. The mall also has some cinema houses. There are giant arcade with rides, a bowling alley and game simulators in the mall.

13. Qal’At-a-Bahrain, a unesco world heritage site

An archeologically important site Qal’at Al Bahrain is a place near Manama where Bahrain inhabitants first arrived at around 2,300 BC. The site has been dug by archaeologists through an artificial mound measuring roughly 30 acres and they found evidence of households, military encampments and religious sites. Over the mound a fort is situated that dates back to the 15th century. The fort was built in three periods; Portuguese built the last one when the island of Bahrain became part of their empire. It was a prime shipping port. This UNESCO World Heritage Site features the elegantly arched buildings and groves of palm trees, which was once the capital of Dilmun.

14. Beit sheikh isa bin ali

It is a palace located in Al-Muharraq, around three miles northeast of Manama city. It is the former home of Shaikh Isa bin Ali Al-Khalifa. Here you can get a taste of what palace life used to be in the 19th century. The home has separate areas for men, women and children, all generously decorated and cooled by a wind tower system. For children there was summer living room and women there was their own private courtyard. Separate courtyards were built for the men and visitors to the palace.

15. Beit Al Jasra

It was built in the year 1907 and only local materials were used for its construction, this is also the birthplace of former Amir Shaikh Isa bin Sulman Al Khalifa who was born on 1933; today it’s a heritage museum. One of the most enthralling rooms is one where dates used to be collected in palm baskets and left for ripening. Beith Al Jasra is one place where you can get a chance to understand how the Gulf kings used to spend their lives.

16. Arad fort

Another historical monument of Bahrain is Arad Fort that was built during15th century in Arad, Bahrain. It has typical Arab style architecture. It’s located in close proximity to the airport, adjacent to the waterways between Bahrain Island and Muharraq Island. The fort has under gone extensive renovation and gives a magnificent view when illuminated at night. It is opined that the fort was captured by the Omanis during their brief occupation of Bahrain in 1800 used as their base. The Arad Fort craft markets offer children rides and traditional music events are held in the forecourt of the fort on Thursday and Friday afternoons.

17. Manama Souq

Manama Souq is the old bazaar called as souk of situated in Bahrain’s capital, Manama. It sits in the north of Manama Peninsula. It is a busy market with numerous traditional as well as modern shops. It’s in the heart of the city, near Bab Al Bahrain. It stretches from Isa Al Kabeer Avenue on the east side, Government Avenue on the north and on the west Shaikh Hamad Avenue. Here you can buy all kinds of fabrics, kaftans, spices, thobes, dry fruits, nuts, handicrafts, and souvenirs etc. Visit to gold souk where you get hallmarked and pure gold.

18. First oil well

Located in Bahrain, it is the first oil well in the Persian Gulf. The oil spurts were first spotted on 16 October 1931 in this well. And the full-fledged blow heads of oil started on the morning of June 2, 1932. Initially the oil flow rate was per hour 400 barrels. The well is located under the Jebel Dukhan, referred as the Mountain of Smoke that stands at a height of 450 ft or134 m. It also happens to be the highest point of the island.

19. Barbar temple

The Barbar temple is located in the village of Barbar, Bahrain; it’s an archaeological site and considered to be part of the Dilmun culture, the oldest dating back to almost 3000 BC. It’s believed that the temples were constructed to worship Enki, the supposed god of wisdom and freshwater, and his wife Ninhursag. Though the Muslims do not worship any idol or deity hence it is thought these belong to some non-Muslim culture of Dilmun. A Danish archaeological team in 1954 discovered the most recent of the three Barbar temples. The temple has two altars and a natural water spring. During the recent excavation many weapons, tools, pottery and small pieces of gold were found that are displayed in the Bahrain National Museum.

20. Tree of life (Shajarat Al-Hayah)

The mesquite tree in Bahrain is called as ‘The Tree of Life’; it is a natural wonder and a mystery for the world. It is more than 400 years old. In the stark desert stands this mature mesquite, broad, and shady tree in solitary majesty. It is the lone tree in a sea of hot sand; it is a kind of miracle. Till today the source of water to the tree remains a mystery. There is absolutely no vegetation in the surrounding areas of it. Not only this, it has surpassed the life expectancy of its species by over 300 years. Steve Martin described it as ‘a wonder of the world’ in the film LA Story.

21. Al Dar islands

The beach resort of Al Dar Island welcomes you for regular pearl dives as well as cruises to Jarada Island where you can sunbath on the white sand and bobbing in its clear waters. You can also get a chance to see more than 200 species of fish and up to 30 types of coral. You can also watch Dolphin along the surrounding coral reefs they can be are best spotted at sunrise or sunset. Taking a dhow for offers you an authentic experience. A 45-minute ferry ride from Al Dur Jetty to Hawar Island takes you to the Hawar Islands which renowned for wildlife preserve of international importance and offer a pristine beach and dolphins to see along with rare birds thanks.

22. Bahrain oil museum

Bahrain oil museum was built in the year1992; it is one of the important tourist attractions in Bahrain. It is small but has very interesting artifacts, the museum explains a lot about the black gold industry in Bahrain along with the history of that era. It was constructed to mark the 60th anniversary of the first discovery of oil in the island of Bahrain. The oil museum is far off the busy town, in the midst of the oil fields. It is strategically situated only few meters from the first oil well in Sakhir. Visiting it gives an experience about oil rigs and it’s amazing.

23. King Fahd causeway (Saudi causeway)

The King Fahd Causeway is one of the largest causeways of Gulf connecting Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Foundation stone for the construction was laid during 1968 and the construction continued till 1986. It got officially opened to the public in 1986 itself. It is a four-lane road which is 28 km (17 mi) long and nearly 23 m (75 ft) wide. The weekend sees a heavy traffic on this causeway else it’s not much congested for the visitors.

24. Dilmun Water Park

Dilmun Water Park is located in Sakhir which is a themed water park consisting of slides, pools and various other thrilling water attractions. The entire park has been extensively themed based on the historical Dilmun period of Bahrain. It’s just five minute drive from the Bahrain International Circuit and 25 mins from Manama/Seef district. Here family fun rules supreme and adrenaline rush will be at its peak.

25. Bahrain Dolphin Park

Bahrain Dolphin Park is located at Al Fateh – Marina Cornice which falls between the Grand Mosque and Marina Club. It is functional from December 1998. The Dolphin Park has a capacity of maximum 620 people. The park is presently home to two bottlenose Dolphins and one Beluga Whale. You watch graceful water tricks performed by the Beluga Whale for about 15 minutes. Visitors can also swim along with special Beluga Dolphin.

26. Adhari theme park

It is located near Adhari, the park is built-up in area of 165,319 sq. mt. It consists of a total 34 rides, including a go-cart ride, a monorail, a traditional shopping mall, family recreation amenities and children’s museum. The park is going to acquire Ain Adhari, one of the historic landmarks in of Bahrain. It’s one of many privately held theme parks of Bahrain that’s frequented by families very often that include local as well as foreigners.

27. Al Jazeer beach

Located near Al-Areen Wildlife Park in Bahrain, this is one of the popular beaches for natives to unwind at the weekend. It has a beautiful stretch of beach, with excellent facilities, that include well maintained barbecue services. One of the most popular and picturesque shisha cafés on the island offers you delight in food as well as ambience. You would find more European on this beach than any other beach in the Middle East.

28. Bahrain grand prix

If you get a chance to see the Formula One Championship race- The Bahrain Grand Prix- then it is awesome. It first took place at the Bahrain International Circuit on April 4, 2004. It is the first Formula One Grand Prix held ever in the Middle East. The FIA has awarded the inaugural race as the “Best Organised Grand Prix”. The Bahrain Grand Prix usually falls on the as the third leg of race of the Formula One calendar.

29. A’Ali burial mounds

It’s one of the largest Cemetery in the world, probably the largest prehistoric cemetery in the world. There are a roughly estimated 170,000 burial mounds that date back to the period of 3000 BC and 600 AC. Each of these mounds envelops a stone built chamber which forms the grave. Few of them are still intact today. A’ali village mounds are the best preserved mounds of Bahrain.

30. Dilmun burial mounds

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These are Dilmun era Burial Mounds in Bahrain that dates back to the Dilmun era. When some tumuli got opened items dating back to around 4100 – 3700 BC of the same culture were found. The small mounds usually consists only one chamber. The chambers are usually built rectangular with 1-2 alcoves at the northeast end. These mounds are of great historical significance as they are a prime source of studying past of Bahrain, as the dead were generally buried with accompanied by few items.

31. A’Ali village

A’Ali village is famous for pottery, where you can still watch potters moving their wheels and enjoyably crafting lovely and impressive pots. This industry is an inherent part of the island and has been practiced through many generations. The clay of A’Ali has a unique blend of two types, which is ideal for creating signature bread ovens, moneyboxes, pots for plants, and water pipes. This place is a good place to bring kids, where they can make their own clay masterpieces.

32. Jebel Al Dukhan

It is the highest point in Bahrain, which is romantically called ‘Mountain of Smoke’. Jebel’s low lying hills are located at the southern most point of the island, and are a famous place for overnight camping trips. If you see one sandy hill like of Jebel Al Dukhan it is as such you have seen them all.

33. Karbabad handiwork

The Island of Bahrain is not only famous for oil, wealth and Sheiks but of some very hard working people who indulge in handiwork such as pottery and Karbabad. Under the shade of the trees, you will find weavers splitting lengths of palm to make baskets and circular dining mats (sofras). You can get good dyed stuff with purple or green, these are colorful beautiful palm offerings form.

34. Bani Jamra village

Bani Jamra village is located in north-western part of Bahrain. The natives of this small village are famous for their weaving abilities. They are into another famous craft of Bahrain – woven clothes. The cloths of this village are famous for their detailed patterns with vibrant colors. Threads imported from India and China is usually woven into abayas (cloaks) for women; for men, the brightly checked sarongs. The craftsmanship is an intricate and protracted process that involves spinning, stretching and starching which guarantees a fine quality of cloth.

35. Siyadi house

This is a multi story house that is a prime example of Bahrain architecture 19th century period. It was once belonged to the well known pearl merchant Ahmed bin Jassim Siyadi. It built with work from the most gifted craftsmen of the time. The intricate work is illustrated through geometric ornaments, gypsum designs, stained-glass windows, ornate ceilings, carved screens and a big safe set into the wall of a small reception room.

36. Beit Sheikh Isa

It is located in Muharraq and an excellent example of architecture and carvings of 19th century. It is also called as Isa Town. Earlier it was used by Sheikh Isa bin Ali Al Khalifa as his home and centre of government during 1869 to 1932. Beit Sheikh Isa is also a place where the notorious Persian market comes to life, and a place for carpets and second-hand bargains. It’s also a thriving hub of schools, supermarkets and shopping malls.

37. Bahrain yacht club

It is located on the west coast of Bahrain Island, south of Sitra. Yachting and power boating are fashionable pastimes in Bahrain; it’s an opportunity to enjoy a outdoors and explore the islands which is less than 20km from the mainland. It’s a one of the family oriented powerboats and sailing club. Other facilities include wet and dry moorings, with Toppers, Wayfarers and Lasers available for hire.

38. Saar settlement

Saar settlement consists of residential dwellings that are inhabited by the Dilmunite people almost 4,000 years back. The houses are separated as living rooms, drawing rooms, kitchens and courtyards. This area is reachable through the main road of Saar. Today, this is the only archeological site found with near the burial grounds along with residential dwellings. Other relics found on this site are Saar Temple and a tomb.

39. Al-Dar and Bird islands

Al-Dar and Bird Islands is located about eight nautical miles off the east coast of the mainland. It is one pf the most popular places for boaters. Although Al-Dar or Fawklands Island as it is sometimes referred to as, has bathing facility and a restaurant for day-trippers, but both are almost untouched and not inhabited. Visiting boaters usually create their own entertainment.

40. Hawar island

Hawar Island is located in the south east of the mainland, it a best place for experienced sailors who want to venture into sea. Hawar Island is an eye-catching splendor with water sports equipment available for hire. A 45-minute boat trips to Hawar Island operate daily from Ad-Dur Jetty. The flat appearance of the island obscures the fact that a line of wrecked cliffs faces much of the eastern shore and Bahrain’s eastward overhanging headlands.

41. Desert camp

The Desert Camp is located in the town of Sakhir. It is an excellent opportunity to stay in a camp in a desert and watch the solitude of desert from mainland. There are different sizes of tents that accommodate over 300 campers. Tourists are provided all the facilities. You can find here local coffee shop, traditional artistic shows, bakery, and also enjoy camel riding, singing, dancing etc.

42. Marine club

Bahrain’s another very popular destination is the Marina Club. Here you can find extensive wet and dry mooring, servicing, painting, a boat hoist, and a repair yard. A few boats are available to rent for fishing or diving trips, with the facility of a captain to navigate around difficult sand banks. Youngsters enjoy this fun activity along with jet skis, banana rides ski and tow, and rings or Hobie Cats. It is a good place for fun and frolic.

43. Camel farm

The Camel farm is located in Janabiya, where camels are found in abundance and many varieties. You can go on a ride or just watch the hundreds of camels as they race for their evening feed. Don’t get scared as they are usually quite friendly. If going to Middle East and not enjoying a Camel ride and photo op, then you are missing out something.

44. Friday mosque

Among the old mosques of Bahrain Friday mosque was built in 1938. This mosque can be easily identified by its colorful, mosaic minaret, which is the mosque’s most interesting architectural feature. People usually gather on Friday to offer congregational prayer. The reflection of mosque appears in the glasses of windows of the neighbouring Batelco Commercial Centre.

45. Building Dhow

Get a chance to see how Dhow building is done, take a look at the skilled Bahraini men building crafts (Dhow) in the city of Muharraq, near the old sea port. Dhows are one of the most ancient traditional crafts in Bahrain. The crafts are used for fishing, pearling, passenger or cargo transport. They are unique and offer joyous rides.

46. Heritage festival

Bahrain is an island of crafts men along side the wells of oil. The Heritage Festival Village offers you glimpse into different crafts of Bahrain. It is located next to the National museum. When you get a chance to visit this place you can see some of Bahraini’s most talented craftsmen at work weaving basket, making pots, or doing other handicrafts.

47. Wind towers

Wind tower offers a window to look into the past of air conditioning system of the Middle East that burns every summer in temperatures reaching up to 45-48 degree Celsius. Wind towers were a traditional method for air conditioning in the days before electricity. These Wind Towers are still seen erected on many houses of Manama and Muharraq. Open from all the four sides, they catch hold of wind propel it into the rooms thus making rooms cool.

48. Kids kingdom

Kid Kingdom is an amusement park for Kids situated in Isa town. Kingdom that has limited rides but it’s safe and good place for kids to enjoy. Many traditional and cultural events are held for kids here along with fun. There is a plenty of amusement stuff available for kind in the Kid’s Kingdom. You can get more information on events from local teen magazines or news papers..

49. Bahrani cuisine

It includes food staples such as fish, meat, rice, and dates. One of the popular and traditional dishes of Bahrain is is Machboos. It consists of meat or fish served with rice. Another popular Bahraini dish is Muhammar which is sweet rice that is served with dates or sugar.

Other dishes include:

  • Falafel
  • Shawarma
  • Fried balls
  • Chickpeas

50. Bahrain souvenirs

When you visit a country you would definitely want to carry a souvenir of that country. Bahrain souvenirs include potteries and Karbabad apart from these Bahrain also has imported souvenirs from Pakistan, Yemen, India, and Iran. There are plenty of shops that also sell brass coffeepots, silver jewellery, coral beads and lapis-lazuli, kilims and carpets in the streets of Adliya district.


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