Lying in the Arabian Gulf, Bahrain is a country packed with beautiful architecture, rich in history, diverse in culture and full of natural beauty.
Land of the ancient Dilmun empire and once the main hub for the pearl fishing trade, today Bahrain is wonderfully multicultural with many of the population being expatriates from all over the world.
We take a look at some of the best things to do and explore in beautiful Bahrain.
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Visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Qal’at al-Bahrain -The ancient Dilmun fort dates back over 4000 years.
The Dilmun Burial Grounds – Believed to be the largest prehistoric cemetery in the world.
Old Houses of Muhurraq – Visitors can embark upon a fascinating journey through the country’s pearl trading history and follow in the footsteps of the esteemed jewellery designer Jacques Cartier. The site includes a collection of listed buildings, predominantly old merchant’s houses, each one an opulent example of Arabic architecture.
Island Hopping (Al Dar, Jarada & Hawar Island)
Away from the main island lies an array of secluded and pristine islands and some truly fantastic wildlife, with many boat tours and hotels that offer excursions out to them:
Jarada Island – A tidal island located approximately 14kms from the capital, the island is like a magical secret as it appears in the ebb and disappears in the tide. It is completely unspoiled with golden sands and clear blue waters. Couples can make this island their own private getaway for the day.
Hawar Islands – A collection of Islands a short boat trip from the mainland and home to an exceptional array of wildlife.
Al Dar Islands – One of Bahrain’s natural beach resorts and the nearest getaway from the city, located 12km south east of Manama and an 8 minute offshore boat ride from Sitra Fisherman’s Port. It hosts chalets, bars and an exceptional array of water sports including a PADI dive centre.
Cafe Culture- Block 338
Bahrain has a thriving café and restaurant culture. Block 338 is a charming pedestrian quarter crammed with international restaurants, art galleries and small boutiques. A great location on a Thursday night, the start of the Bahraini weekend.
With its narrow streets and alleyways, Manama Souk in Bahrain’s capital, is full of traders selling a wealth of goods, from heady spices and perfumes to gold and shisha bottles. Here you can pick up anything but the real reason to visit is to experience the bustling streets of a market that still has the atmosphere of ancient times. Don’t forget to haggle!
Bahrain National Museum
Step back in time when you step through the doors of the Bahrain National Museum. Get a glimpse of the nation’s rich cultural and historic legacy as you walk through the main halls that hold ancient artefacts, each with a story to tell. From the traditional handicrafts to the local customs and traditions, a tour of the museum will be an enriching experience that proves why the Bahrain National Museum is still one of the most popular tourist attractions in Bahrain.
Al Fateh Grand Mosque
The Al-Fateh Grand Mosque is one of the largest mosques in Bahrain, and the largest mosque in Bahrain, covering 6,500 square metres and having the capacity to accommodate over 7,000 worshippers at a time. This beautiful testament to Islamic architecture was built with marbles from Italy, glass from Austria and teak wood from India then crafted to perfection by local Bahraini artisans. An example of Islamic architecture at its finest.
Bahrain International Circuit
Bahrain International Circuit is the Middle East’s first Formula One venue built on a former camel farm. Even if you can’t make it to Bahrain in time for the Grand Prix in March, you can still experience the Formula 1 Track. Take a guided tour, a behind-the-scenes look at the operation, which includes the track and Sakhir tower, or you can drive the route yourself.
Go diving for pearls
Bahrain was once dubbed the Island of Pearls for very good reason, and you can experience this traditional trade by diving for the precious natural gems yourself. Keen divers can now join a dedicated pearl-diving trip. A licensed operator kits you out with all the proper gear and fully briefs you before you are taken out to the dive site. You can collect up to sixty oysters and will be allowed to keep whatever you find.
Underwater Theme Park
Launched to the public in September 2019, the Bahrain Underwater Theme park is the largest in the world. Here you can explore a sunk Boeing 747 and other attractions at the bottom of the ocean.
Bahrain’s temperature and climate are ideal for water sports, enabling enthusiasts to enjoy their hobbies almost all year round. Bahrain’s beaches and yacht clubs offer a wide variety of water sports such as windsurfing, parasailing, kite surfing and paddle boarding.