Whenever a friend asks for some suggestions of things to do in Bahrain, it can be difficult to narrow it down.
There are many top attractions, beaches and parks that it can seem overwhelming.
We've rounded up 25 top things to do in Bahrain to make it easier to navigate.
Laze about at the beach
Bahrain is the perfect spot to soak up some sun and work on your tan. Head down to Al Jazayer beach in Zallaq for a public spot favoured by locals, or visit the private Solymar beach on Amwaj Islands. Solymar beach has a ladies’ day on Tuesdays and hosts plenty of weekend events that children aren’t allowed to enter.
24 hours. Zallaq (no number).
Free (weekdays, kids under 11) BHD10 (weekdays, adults), BHD15 (weekends, adults). Daily 10am-midnight. Amwaj Islands (3509 4777).
Take a tour of Bahrain International Circuit
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. A guided tour, which includes the track and Sakhir tower, costs just BHD6.5, or you can pay more and drive the route yourself.
From BHD6.5. Tue, Thu and Sun, varying times. Sakhir. www.bahraingp.com (1745 0000).
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. You can collect up to sixty oysters and will be allowed to keep whatever you find. Read our ultimate guide to pearl diving in the Kingdom here.
Admire the Manama skyline from a rooftop
The Manama skyline has plenty of iconic buildings, including the World Trade Centre which was recently named one of the most influential skyscrapers in the world, and there’s no better way to experience it than from a rooftop restaurant. We recommend heading up to the Blue Moon Lounge on the 50th floor of the Four Seasons in Bahrain Bay, but you can also check out our guide to the top rooftop spots here.
Sun and Tue 6pm-midnight; Wed and Thu 6pm-2am; Fri 4.30pm-2am; Sat noon-midnight. Blue Moon Lounge, Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay (1711 5046).
Haggle for a bargain in Manama Souq
A must for any visitor to Bahrain. Pick up spices, souvenirs and delicious sweets such as halwa, but don’t even think about paying the quoted price for things. Haggling is half the fun of any trip to this Bahrain institution.
24 hours. Bab al Bahrain (no number).
Discover the history of Bahrain on the Muharraq pearling path
There are three UNESCO world heritage sites in Bahrain, and this is one of them. Follow the route (you’ll find a full map on the pearling path website here) and visit the homes and warehouses once used in this prosperous trade.
Qal’at Bu Mahir and Bu Mahir Visitor’s Centre: Wed-Mon, 10.15am-4.30pm. Pearling Path Visitor and Experience Centre: Thu-Tue, 10am-5pm. Al Nukhidhah House: Sat-Thu, 8am-1pm, 4pm-7pm. Muharraq (1729 8777).
Learn about the Dilmun empire at Bahrain Fort
Once the weather cools down, the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities puts on regular sound and light shows at Bahrain Fort which explore this history of Bahrain from 3000BCE to the current day. It’ll keep the kids entertained, and Qal’at Al Bahrain is best seen at night.
You can find out when the next show is on the BACA website here.
Dive into the world’s biggest underwater theme park
Dive Bahrain opened to the public in September 2019, and it’s already drawing in huge crowds. The top attraction at the theme park is a submerged Boeing 747, and in the future there’ll be more structures including a replica of a traditional Bahraini pearl merchant’s house.
You can book a tour through one of the official dive centres listed on the Dive Bahrain website here.
Go for a jog at Dohat Arad Park
This park next to Dohat Lagoon has a 3.3km walkway, the longest in the Kingdom. Go for a casual stroll and admire the view, or pound the pavement and burn some serious calories.
Khalifa Al Khabeer Highway, Muharraq (no number).
Take a tour of Bahrain’s largest mosque
A guided walk around Al Fateh Grand Mosque is the perfect way to learn more about Islam in the Kingdom. Everything from the doors to the floors has an interesting origin story behind it and you’ll come away from the experience with more facts than you know what to do with.
Sat-Thu 9am-4pm. Awal Avenue Corner, Al Fatih Highway (1772 7773).
Pick up a souvenir in the A’Ali pottery district
If you want something to remember your trip to Bahrain that isn’t a novelty tea towel, t-shirt or fridge magnet, head to Avenue 42 in A’Ali. Here you’ll find master craftsmen at work on all sorts of pottery, and you’ll even be able to buy some traditional ceramics.
Visit the Dilmun burial mounds
Another UNESCO world heritage site, these graves, some of which date back to 2050BCE, are scattered across A’Ali, Madinat Hamad and Janabiyah. Some of them have multiple chambers and hosted the bodies of Dilmun royalty, and you can find out all about them on site or at the Bahrain National Museum.
Bolster your knowledge at the Bahrain National Museum
Bahrain has a rich and varied history, and you can find out all about it at the Bahrain National Museum. This attraction has plenty of exhibitions to check out and is split into categories such as customs and traditions or trades and crafts.
Wed-Mon 10am-6pm. Shaikh Hamad Causeway, Manama (1729 8777).
Take a boat ride over to Bu Maher Fort
You can buy a boat ticket to Bu Maher Fort for just BHD1 from the Bahrain National Museum. The trip over the water gives great views of the Manama skyline and you can learn about the fort which dates back to 1840 too.
Take a boat trip to Al Dar Islands
If you’re looking for a very special day out in Bahrain, head to Sitra Fisherman Port and get a boat over to the Al Dar Islands. You can rent out a beach hut for the day, or go kayaking, fishing or even dolphin watching in the beautiful waters nearby.
BHD5 (adults, weekdays), BHD8 (adults, weekends), BHD2 (children, weekdays), BHD4 (children, weekends) for the boat journey to the island. Sitra Fisherman Port (1770 4600).
Treat yourself to a spa day
There are plenty of spas you can try out in Bahrain, but we think one of the best is at the La Fontaine centre of contemporary art. Explore the gallery before getting a massage and combine culture with relaxation.
Prices from BHD20. Tue-Sun 9am-6pm. Hoora Avenue, Manama (1723 0123).
Drive down to the Tree of Life
The Tree of Life is a must-see on any trip to Bahrain. This tree is hundreds of years old and nobody quite knows how it survives in the middle of the desert with no other vegetation around. You can also head to one of the campsites nearby and make a night of it.
Off Musakar Highway, between Riffa and Awali (no number).
Enjoy free concerts during the International Music Festival
Every year Bahrain plays host to an international music festival, and there are plenty of free gigs to attend. This year’s week-long event in October featured free concerts from German rock band Treptow and oud player Daline Jabbour.
You can find out about the October festival on the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities website here.
Take pictures with camels at the Royal Camel Farm
There are more than 600 camels at this attraction in Janabiyah, and you can even feed and pose with some of the younger animals. A great day out for everyone, especially the kids.
Free. Daily 8am-5pm. Janabiyah (1788 1188).
Splash about at a waterpark
The Kingdom has two great waterparks you can try: Wahooo! In Bahrain City Centre, or the Lost Paradise of Dilmun in Hawrat Ingah. The Lost Paradise of Dilmun is bigger than Wahooo! But a bit of a drive from Manama city centre.
Wahooo: BHD8.5 (guests below 1.2m in height), BHD13 (guests above 1.2m), BHD4 (guests under three). Mon-Wed 11am-8pm; Thu 11am-10pm; Fri-Sat 11am-9pm. City Centre Bahrain (1717 3000).
Lost Paradise of Dilmun: BHD8 (guests below 1.2m in height), BHD18 (guests above 1.2m). Mon-Thu 10am-7pm; Fri-Sat 10am-9pm. Hawrat Ingah (1784 5100).
Catch a show at Bahrain National Theatre
Bahrain National Theatre, which draws inspiration from the stories from 1,001 nights, is the third largest theatre in the Middle East with 1,001 seats. In October, it hosted L’Orchestre Lamoureux, and in November there will be a performance of Swan Lake.
You can find out more information on upcoming shows on the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities website here.
Try some traditional food
You can’t say you’ve truly experienced a new culture until you try some traditional dishes, and there’s no shortage of spots to pick up authentic food in Bahrain. We recommend heading to Haji Gahwa in Manama Souq or Saffron by Jena in Muharraq.
Haji Gahwa: Daily, 5.30am-9pm. Manama Souq (1721 0647).
Saffron by Jena: Daily, 8am-10pm. Souq Al Qaseriya, Maher Avenue, Muharraq (1362 3191).
Find out more about Islamic art
The Beit Al-Qu’ran complex has plenty of Islamic art and manuscripts from many centuries ago, and you can also take a look at some very old Qu’rans here. There’s a mosque, ten exhibition halls and a library for you to visit.
Sat-Wed, 9am-1pm, 4pm-6pm. Thu, 9am-1pm. Hoora, Manama (1729 0101).
Go on a shopping spree
There are malls dotted all over Bahrain, and you can find everything you need in the Kingdom. We recommend heading to City Centre Bahrain, the largest mall, or going to MODA Mall near the World Trade Centre if you need to pick up some luxury goods.
Watch the latest movies in style
Everyone loves going to the cinema, but if you’re after a stand out experience, why not head to one of these luxurious cinema experiences. Cinepolis in the Atrium Mall has 4D showings, or you can get a three course meal during the Theatre by Rhodes experience at VOX Cinema in City Centre Bahrain.
4D movie: BHD4.2. Cinépolis, Atrium Mall, Road 2719, Saar (1769 8000).
Theatre by Rhodes: BHD20. VOX Cinema, City Centre Bahrain, Road 4650, Manama (1725 8900).
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