Museums can be cool and all, but what’s so special about this one?
Well, unless you want to remain oblivious to Bahrain’s rich heritage and history, then this is a definite must-do. There are nine main halls across six sections, encapsulating 4,000 years of the island’s history, and featuring traditional handicrafts, burial mounds and ancient documents, to name a few. But it’s also a beautiful, ocean-facing building that’s worth taking a look at just for its architecture.
Gotcha! I already went without you...
I’m hurt... I thought we went everywhere together!?
I couldn’t wait, it sounded too good. Should I go back?
There’s always something new to see or do at the museum, including contemporary art exhibitions and music performances. Also, just last month, a temporary exhibition was set up, following new archaeological discoveries, to offer new research and interpretations across the Tylos, Dilmun and Islamic halls.
Oh that’s interesting. What about the other buildings?
You mean the stunning Bahrain National Theatre, the Art Centre and the Cultural Hall? Oh, there’s always something going on, especially this year while Manama is the Capital of GCC Tourism. Your best bet is to download the Bahrain Culture App to find out what’s going on at all times – there are often last minute additions that are well worth knowing about.
Great! That’s really handy to know. So is there anything else in the area that I should know about? I’ve noticed some boats hanging around...
You’re rather sharp, aren’t you? Yes, you can hop on a boat from the museum and float on over to Bu Maher to see the fort, which is also the starting point of the Pearling Trail (which we’ve already taken you around).
Sailing makes me hungry...
What’s new? You have to try out Darseen Café. It’s located in the museum and has great natural light streaming through the huge glass windows, which also look out onto the Arabian Gulf. There’s an international selection of food, plus traditional Bahraini bites.
Only at Bahrain National Museum
Bahrain National Theatre
Just down the road from the marvellous museum is this stunning building, which opened in 2012. Built on 12,000 square metres, overlooking the sea, the 1,001-seat theatre is the third largest in the Arab World. Its architectural design and wood-covered inner walls draw inspiration from 1,001 Arabian Nights and the likes of Yanni, Placido Domingo and Il Divo have performed here.