Whether you’re feeling the pinch on your visit, or you live in the Kingdom, you don’t have to miss out just because you’re saving your dinars.
Feed some camels at the Royal Camel Farm
The Royal Camel Farm is home to more than 600 animals, most of which are (unsurprisingly) owned by the royal family. Entry is free, and you’ll get the chance to feed some of the younger camels towards the end of the farm.
Free. Daily 8am-5pm. Janabiyah (1788 1188).
Laze about on the beach
In the winter months, there’s no better place to spend time in Bahrain than at the beach. There are plenty of private beaches attached to hotels, but there are also lots of gorgeous public beaches, too. You can check out our guide to the best of both here. If you want to stay close to Manama, head to Arad Fort beach, but if you have time to drive out further you should definitely check out Al Jazayer beach.
Take a tour around Al Fateh Grand Mosque
Bahrain’s biggest mosque is open to the public from Saturday to Thursday, and there are plenty of free guided tours in several languages going on throughout the day. You can wander about on your own, but if you want to appreciate the beauty of the building and understand a bit more about Islam, you’ll want to chat to one of the experienced guides.
Sat-Thu 9am-4pm. Awal Avenue Corner, Al Fatih Highway (1772 7773).
Visit Qal’at al Bahrain
Qal’at al Bahrain is one of the Kingdom’s most fascinating attractions, and definitely not one to miss. The site has been occupied since 3000BCE, but the current structure dates back to the Portuguese occupation. The museum on site costs BHD2, but the fort itself is free to enter.
Free (fort), BHD2 (museum). Tue-Sun, 8am-8pm. Bahrain Fort Museum, near Karbabad (1756 7171).
Wander around Manama Souq
There’s nothing quite like wandering through Manama Souq behind Bab al Bahrain, taking in all the sights and smells, and trying to avoid being pulled in by shop owners. Entry is free, but we can’t guarantee you won’t end up buying a souvenir or two.
24 hours. Bab al Bahrain (no number).
Visit the Tree of Life
You probably thing it’s a bit odd to drive for miles just to see a tree, but hear us out. This tree is in the middle of the desert, with no other vegetation around. Scientists don’t know how it survives, but it is believed there is an underground water source nearby (although that doesn’t explain why nothing else is around). Head here at sunset and then admire the stars above without the light pollution.
Off Musakar Highway, between Riffa and Awali (no number).
Explore the A’Ali pottery district
Avenue 42 in A’Ali has dozens of pottery shops. Wander down the street and admire finished pieces, or peer inside and catch craftsmen at work. You don’t need to spend any money here, but it’s definitely worth picking something out as a present.
Avenue 42, A’Ali (no number).
Walk the pearling path
The pearling path in Muharraq will take you through some of the most historic sites in the Kingdom. Along the way you’ll spot pearl merchant’s houses and storehouses, and there’s visitor centres so you can learn more about the history, too. There’s a map on the pearling path website here.
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).
Enjoy one of Bahrain’s green spaces
If you’re looking for a calm way to spend your day, why not head to one of Bahrain’s great parks? You can go for a jog at Dohat Arad Park, which has a 3.3km walkway around the lagoon, or admire the fauna at Budaiya Botanical Gardens.
Check out the paintings at Busaad Art Gallery
Holidays are all about absorbing some culture, and where better to do this than at an art gallery? Busaad Art Gallery contains the works of Bahraini artist Ebrahim Busaad, and is held in the house where Busaad himself was born. The best part? It’s completely free.
Free. Sat-Thu 9am-1pm, 4pm-8pm. Busaad Art Gallery, Muharraq (1700 0020).
Explore the Bahrain National Museum
Bahrain’s biggest museum contains artefacts from the Dilmun Empire up until the modern day. You’ll get to learn about traditional handicrafts, the Dilmun graves dotted across the Kingdom and much, much more.
Free. Wed-Mon 10am-6pm. Shaikh Hamad Causeway, Manama (1729 8777).
Visit the farmers’ market
Every Saturday during the winter months, Budaiya Botanical Garden plays host to a farmers’ market. There’s fresh fruit and veg, plus plants, for you to buy, but you can also just wander about and enjoy the atmosphere.
Free entry. Every Sat 8am-2pm. Budaiya Botanical Garden, Budaiya www.instagram.com/farmersbh/ (no number).
Check out the Dilmun burial mounds
The Dilmun burial mounds are one of Bahrain’s three UNESCO world heritage site, and for good reason. Some of these mounds date back to 2050BCE, and have given valuable insight into who was ruling Bahrain in this period. The best preserved graves are at A’Ali.
Off Shaikh Khalifa Bin Salman Highway (no number).