So, I want to take my family on a trip, and I think it’s a perfect time for us to visit Bahrain. We`ve never been there before, and we can’t wait.
Before we visit any country, we have to do some research so that we can learn more about the country as we try to find ways to enjoy our stay there.
What is Bahrain famous for? Bahrain is a country comprising Bahrain’s island and approximately 30 smaller islands in the Persian/Arabian Gulf. Although it’s Asia’s third smallest country, Bahrain is among the most visited countries on the continent. The country combines historical locations that reflect 5 thousand years of the country`s civilization and modern Arab culture. The country offers an unparalleled combination of leisure destinations, culture adventures, and entertainment options.
In this blog post, I’ll share a list of items that Bahrain is most famous for, some of the best exciting opportunities available for you, and the must-visit locations in the country.
Bahrain National Museum
Visiting Bahrain National Museum will help you step back in time. The museum gives you a glimpse of the country`s rich historical and cultural legacy as you pass by the main halls that host ancient artifacts.
Each artifact bears a unique story. From local traditions and customs to traditional handicrafts, a trip to the museum will offer you an enriching experience.
The museum lies in one of the most alluring buildings in the county. It was opened in the late 1980s with a magnificent patio overlooking the sea. It should be one of the exciting places to set foot in when you visit Bahrain.
It’s a pleasant and small village on the coast. The village is mainly visited for its traditional handicraft center as well as the former royal home.
You can learn pottery, boat building, and basket making, too, as you watch women weave mats from bright or plain palm fronds.
You can also appreciate and experience this typical Bahrain community by sparing some extra time to stroll through the villas and small private plantations. The village is nestled in abundant greenery overlooking the water. It is a great location to spend your day if you want to indulge in some refreshing activities.
Al Fateh Mosque
Named after the conqueror of Bahrain, Al Fateh Mosque boasts as one of the world`s largest mosques.
The mosque has a vast fiberglass dome built on top. It’s the largest in the world.
The mosque is spectacular in appearance thanks to Italian-Mable floor and calligraphy writing.
This beautiful demonstration of Islamic architecture also features teak wood from India and glass from Australia.
All this is crafted to perfection by the country`s local artisans. If you need to explore Islamic culture at its best then visit Al Fateh Mosque during your visit to Bahrain.
The Tree Of Life
Well, if you`re looking for a miracle in Bahrain, you`ll find one under the shade of this 500-year-old major mesquite tree.
Standing alone at the top of the 25-foot high sandhills, The Tree of Life is located in the middle of a desert without any supply of water, a reason why the tree is considered a legend. The tree is also believed to belong to the Garden of Eden.
It is indeed the 7th wonder of nature having miraculously stood the ravages of time and still remains fresh and green. Close to 50,000 people visit the tree. Why not be among them? You can take photos in its shade and relish the sunken walkway marked by over 15 silhouettes, among other famous trees.
Beit Al Quran
Established in 1990, the Beit of Quran has been a versatile complex dedicated to the Islamic arts. The complex hosts one of the most famous museums, which features ten exhibition halls.
The museum showcases a magnificent collection of Quranic manuscripts dating back to the 7th century.
You can’t visit Bahrain and not witness the most elegant collection of ancient Qurans. Beit Al Quran is an excellent homage to Islam`s holiest book. It displays Qurans from each century since the origin of Islam on 610. The building also houses a library, a madrasa, and a host of various art exhibitions.
Riffa Fort was built originally as a residential and defense complex in 1882. It is a historic landmark and a witness to one of the most vital junctures in Bahrain`s history.
Within its great architecture lives the memory of the ruling family of Bahrain. The fort has now been restored and stands as a classic piece of Bahraini fortification.
Riffa Fort boasts a small museum featuring raised walkaways passing through a series of interaction areas that will really enhance your visit. You can opt for a late-afternoon tour as it is particularly atmospheric, especially if you conclude it on the café`s outdoor glass terrace facing the Hunayniyah.
Once you get to Bahrain, make sure you lose yourself in labyrinthine Manama Souk, located in Old Manama. It is an open-air trading center where you can engage in some legit street life and experience the bustling trading hub past of the country. It is best described as a warren of narrow streets.
Traders here sell a wealth of goods, from gold and perfumes to sheesha bottles and heady spices. You can also pick up everything from bargain t-shirts to electronic products.
Manama Souk is where modern lifestyle meets ancient traditions. It’s the sounds and the smells of the market that induce the experience.
Bahrain Fort and Museum
You can experience Bahrain`s robust trading history through its many archeological sites, including Bahrain Fort, which is considered a UNESCO World Heritage site.
It is the site where the former capital of Dilmun was located, and it`s among the archeological sites in the Arabian Gulf. A visit to Bahrain cannot be complete without a visit to this location.
NOTE: The fort has been open to the public since 2008. The museum showcases five exhibition halls arranged around a robust Tell Wall. Around 500 artifacts are displayed.
Bahrain International Circuit
If you like cars and the adrenaline that comes with racing, then don’t miss a visit to the Bahrain International Circuit. It hosts major events throughout the year, including the Grand Prix, drag racing, desert 400, v8 supercars among other kinds of events. It features an inner track, paddock circuit, Grand Prix track, overall track, and several others.
Get a taste and feel of fast life at this international circuit, referred to as the Home of Motorsport in the Middle East.
Here you can meet the who`s who of the racing world and racing enthusiasts during the Grand Prix week. Be part of the large crowds that gather at this spectacular place.
Al Areen Wildlife Park
Al Areen Wildlife Park and reserve prides itself as the home of wildlife in Bahrain. Established in 1976, the park is among five protected areas in Bahrain and is the country`s only designated and protected area on the land.
Its establishment aimed to try and preserve the remaining Arabian endangered wildlife.
Al Areen a lush green park and a top tourist spot. The park features a robust number of local flora and fauna, including more than 10,000 plants and over 500 species of animals. It has species native to the country, both animals and plants, as well as species originating from South Asia and Africa.
The Pearling Trail
Bahrain is the focal point of the Middle East, and there is no point in visiting the country and not visiting the country’s cultural treasures. It is home to the world’s most beautiful and iridescent pearls.
A tour on the Pearling Trail will take you down the route of the pearl divers and show their way of livelihood before the discovery of oil.
The location consists of over fifteen buildings, three offshore oysters, and part of the seashore. The named buildings include mosques, storehouses, shops, and residences of wealthy merchants. The site is the only remaining complete example of the historical tradition of pearling.
Mountain of Smoke
Jabel Al Dukhan, popularly known as the Mountain of Smoke, is a spectacular hill situated around 134 meters above the mean sea level in Bahrain. It is the highest point in the country.
It earned the name from an atmospheric phenomenon whereby humidity gets to high levels in and around coastal locations. When this happens, the mountain is surrounded by a thick haze, which may look as if it’s engulfed by smoke.
Take a break and stretch your legs. The mountain is filled with caves, and who knows, you may discover something new up there. Ultimately, it is a magnificent sight to see and a fun hike with the family.
The Arad Fort is another great site to visit in Bahrain. The fort was constructed in the 15th century after a bizarre style of Islamic forts. The fort is popular for being among the prominent defensive forts in Bahrain. Today, the fort hosts numerous seasonal festivals across the year.
There isn’t much to see inside, but this could be the reason that the fort is worth a trip.
As a visitor, you may often find yourself or you and your family as the only people inside the port, allowing you to absorb the history uninterrupted.
TIP: The fort sits in a prominent spot overlooking a shallow coastal inlet with a beautiful view of tall buildings.
Al Dar Islands
On a typical day in Bahrain, taxis take tourists to this little desert island, which features a bar, a gym, a covered play area for kids, two decent eateries, various day-accommodation options, and shallow swimming areas. It’s a good location if you need time off from the mainland. It is famous with families who visit with large picnics, at weekends.
You can party the night away at Lunarfest, the full moon party held on Al Dar Islands.
The party is held once every quarter. The wild beach parties done in the middle of the Arabian Gulf had a significant impact on developing Bahrain`s party scene as one of the greatest in the middle east.
It’s an archeological site located on the Arabian Peninsula with a height of 39ft. It’s the capital of Dilmun and is a place full of antiques. This structure showcases an ancient settlement with small houses made of binding material.
It is an artificial mound resulting from successive layers of human occupation. The location will offer a beautiful look to your eye.
As you go across the empty hallways of this pre-historic fort, you`ll realize that you are walking among legends. It is among the best-preserved sites of the pre-historic Dilmun culture. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is well-preserved so that you uniquely experience history.
A`Ali Royal Mounds
Among Bahrain`s mysterious ancient heritage are the thousands of burial mounds that overlook the landscape north of the island. Traversing the Dilmun era to the Tylos era, these burial mounds stand out in terms of concentration and sheer count.
The royal burial mounds in the A`ali village are the most impressive and best-preserved.
There are pottery workshops within the mounds that have grown organically over the years enabling artisans to include their installations around the tombs. They also use burial chambers as kilns. Visit late in the afternoon when the weather is cool so that you can wander around the surrounding street and see more royal mounds.
Bab Al Bahrain
Bab Al Bahrain was constructed in 1949 and once housed harbored the government`s administrative offices.
It sits in front of the Manama Souk and acts as a fitting entrance to the Souk. Bab Al Bahrain initially overlooked the sea, but the sea has since been pushed some kilometers north due to land reclamation.
Plan a visit to this historic building. Locate the Government Avenue that stretches along this building, which houses several prominent banks and business organizations. Also, you can find Gold City, a great gold ornament` shopping building on Government Avenue.
Another worth-visiting location in Bahrain is Barbar Temple, which is a popular archeological site situated in the village of Barbar. It is a complex comprising three 2nd and 3rd millennium BC temples sitting in the middle of a freshwater spring. They’re believed to be dedicated to the Mesopotamia god of sweet water and wisdom
These temples are constructed using limestone blocks. The floor is covered with bones of cattle presumed to be from sacrificed animals. You`ll be introduced to the site by the display at the visitor` center, which can be seen from a walkaway that surrounds it.
This makes it hard to engage with the excavation, but plans are underway to try and create a better, immersive experience.
It is one of the oldest (more than 100 years) sections of MuharraqSuq. It offers a captivating shopping experience.
The section has undergone extensive restoration by the government and now features several renovated shops, dealing in a variety of products ranging from tea to spices and pearls.
Lost Paradise of Dilmun Water Park
Make a splash and relish in some family time at this water park in Bahrain. This sprawling water park has something to offer to everyone regardless of age.
It is a great way to spend some time relishing in the beautiful sunshine and warm climate or enjoy a day out with family.
Themes on the countries rich heritage link to the customs in Dilmun, this amusement park is both fun and educational. Have a refreshing experience at this state-of-the-art water park that is full of fun-packed adventure.
Busaad Art Gallery
Found in a beautifully restored 1930s building, this art gallery is the former home of Ebrahim Busaad. On display are his elegant pieces of calligraphy and the more colorful and bold canvases.
The building has a small gift shop upstairs, and the lovely wooden balconies are beautiful to the eye.
TIP: Plan a visit to Busaad Art Gallery and see pieces of art that depict a diverse range of themes.
Saar Temple and Burial Chambers
This broad site boasts a Dilmun-span temple dating back to 1900 BC. It is surrounded by several buildings yet to be formally identified.
You can visit the site and see its exciting excavations like the series of honeycombed burial chambers found south of the temple.
Coping stones have been removed from the chambers revealing the alluring inner sanctums. The temple is believed to have a crucial role in dictating the summer solstice.
Albareh Art Gallery
This small gallery in artsy features art from across the region. The art is calm and welcoming and is found in two sizeable rooms where exhibits are consistently replenished.
They display work that seeks to push the boundaries expected of Arab artists.
Albareh is not like the usual, tired, clichéd regional art you`re used to. You can find some nude photos on display. If you like any of them, you can buy it.