8 things to do in Bahrain ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ญ

Here are 8 things to do in the Kingdom of Bahrain! An island nation in the Persian gulf with a small archipelago made up of 70 natural islands and 33 artificial ones. Bahrain is situated off the North East coast of Saudi Arabia and is connected by a 16 mile bridge.

Bahrain boasts a lovely climate: 20-30 degrees in winter and spring and then rising to highs of 50 degrees in the summer! Be sure to stay somewhere with air conditioning and a pool.

1. World Trade Centre

This is a striking 240 metre high building with 50 floors, 2 towers and is located in the capital Manama.

The building is an extension to the 5* Sheraton Hotel complex and is home to offices. The said shaped towers were inspired by traditional Arabian trading ships.

Top Tip: Visit at sunset or after dark as the lighting is better and it will be less busy and cooler!

world trade centre
Image by Mahmood-Ali

2. Al-Khamis Mosque

This is believed to be either the first mosque to be built in Bahrain (or one of the oldest mosques) and was built during the Umayyad era in approximately 692 AD. There is an on-site inscription suggestion a foundation date during the 11th century and since then has been rebuilt twice in the 14th and 15th centuries.

At the moment the mosque in partly in ruins and partially restored. It is fun to wander through the ruins and wonder what secrets this mosque has. At each of the minarets there is a tiny little door allowing you to climb the stairs. It is a long way to the top though!

Bahrain
Mosque entrance
Bahrain
Al-Khamis Mosque

3. Al Fateh Grand Mosque

Located next to the Al Fateh highway this is one of the largest mosques in the world as in covers 6,500 square metres and has the capacity to accommodate over 7,000 worshippers at any one time.

It was built by the late Sheik Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa in 1987 and materials used include marble from Italy, teakwood from India and glass from Austria. Its fiberglass dome is the largest in the world.

It is possible to book tours here. On arrival, women will be provided with a black cloak and headscarf to wear for the duration of their visit. To find useful apps for booking tours and tickets, check out my Handy Travel Apps page.

Top Tip: Open from 09:00 – 16:00 and closed on Fridays.

Bahrain

4. Bab Al-Bahrain

This is Manama’s best souk with cheerful stall holders and bargains around every corner.

This is great for authentic souvenirs such as rugs, cushions and lamps. Small rugs cost approximately ยฃ80 while larger ones go for about ยฃ130. They are beautifully handmade and some are from surrounding countries such as Afghanistan. If you are flying and don’t want to risk putting it in the hold, the stall holder will package it up so that it can easily be carried onboard an aeroplane.

Something I found enjoyable about shopping in this souk was that the stall holders don’t bother you and try to sell you everything. They just watch you browse and only help when you ask. If you are laden with bags when you enter the shop, they will take your bags and put them by the counter for safe keeping until you are finished. This is very welcome when the bags are heavy but also could be so you don’t accidentally break anything with a stray bag!

Bargaining is welcomed and here it is best to offer half price and go from there!

The souk is open throughout the day an evening apart from 13:00 – 15:00 every day when it shuts for lunch.

Top Tip: Visit at night when all the lamps are lit, looks so pretty!

Lamps
Bahrain Souk
Souk
Making friends in the Souk

5. The Tree of Life

Set on a hill in a barren area of the Arabian Desert about a mile from Jebel Dukhan (the highest point in Bahrain) is the Tree of Life. It is 9.75 metres high and is over 400 years old.

No one is sure how this tree survives as Bahrain has little rain and it certainly isn’t watered! One theory is that as the roots are 50 metres deep, this may be deep enough to reach water. Another theory is that the tree has somehow learned to extract moisture from the surrounding sand. The third theory (my personal favourite), is that the tree stands in what was once the Garden of Eden so it has a mystical source of gaining the water it requires.

However, due to all of this, the tree is a tourist attraction and approximately 65,000 people a year take the trip out to the desert to visit it.

It is very peaceful standing or sitting under it and hearing the swish of the leaves in the breeze.

Top Tip: Wear trainers as it is a struggle walking up the hill to the tree in sandals or flip flops. Sand everywhere!

Bahrain

6. Qal’at al-Bahrain

This is also known as the Bahrain Fort or the Portuguese Fort and is an archeological site located about a 10 minute drive outside of Manama. It was built in the 16th century by the Portuguese and is a Unesco World Heritage Site.

It is thought to have been the capital of the ancient Dilmun Empire and has been inhabited since 2300BC.

It looks across the Gulf and you are able to see the skyline of Manama in the distance. I find this to be a lovely contrast as you are standing on the site of something so old, look up and you can see something really modern.

There is a museum where you can pick up an audioguide and a cafe where you can enjoy a refreshing drink after exploring the Fort in the heat.

Fort
Bahrain

7. Royal Camel Farm

The farm is home to over 600 camels and was built by Sheik Mohammad, the King of Bahrain as a way of preserving the camels. Even though this is called a farm, the camels are not bred for food or anything else, they are there to be preserved!

Before cars, camels were there main forms of transport for most people as in the dry and humid climate, they were the perfect way for getting around.

For many people in Bahrain and also across the Middle East, camels are seen as a symbol of power, wealth and fertility. This is because their ancestors worshipped them and saw them as a sacred symbol of life and prosperity. Most tours include a trip to the camel farm.

Top Tip: Open daily from 08:00 – 17:00 and is free

Camel Farm
Bahrain

8. Marassi Beach

As Bahrain is famous for its beautiful islands, you can’t visit Bahrain and not take a trip to an island.

Marassi Beach, situated on the island of Muharraq is of the most beautiful and cleanest beaches to be found in Bahrain. If you don’t feel like laying on the beach all day there are plenty of activities such as parasailing, kayaking and banana boats to interest you. There is also a pool and waterpark for those who aren’t so keen on the sea! Parts of the island have become UNESCO World Heritage sites, such as the 3 oyster beds and Siyadi House, which is a traditional building that used to be owned by a pearl merchant.

Bahrain

C.King

Brit girl on a bummel. A solo female traveller accompanied by her camera, aiming to see as much of the world as possible and sharing what she's learnt along the way!

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