If you know absolutely nothing about Bahrain (no judgement here), it can be difficult to know which places you should visit.
While there’s plenty to see in the capital, there’s more to Bahrain than just Manama.
Luckily for you, we’ve rounded up all the top places you should visit in Bahrain to make your trip even easier.
Read on for our picks.
The obvious place to start on any trip is the capital. Manama is home to many of the Kingdom’s tourist sites and landmarks including the Bahrain World Trade Centre, Bab al Bahrain and Manama Souq, Al Fateh Grand Mosque and the Bahrain National Museum. Foodie hotspot Adliya in Manama is home to most of the best restaurants Bahrain has to offer, from Greek spot Attic to Italian eatery Oliveto, as well as a number of art galleries. And if you’re a shawarma fan, make sure you head to Osama bin Zaid Avenue, the famed shawarma alley in Bahrain. Juffair, near the American army base, is home to the so-called American Alley, famed for its bars.
After the glitz and glam of Manama, you should check out the more laidback former capital, Muharraq. Here you’ll find the Bahrain Pearling Path, which will give you an insight into this important trade dating back centuries. There are plenty of great museums, including Shaikh Isa bin Ali House, where the former ruler of Bahrain lived until 1932, and the Shaikh Ebrahim Bin Mohamed Al Khalifa Centre, which hosts exhibitions and talks about Bahraini history. Art fans should head to Busaad Art Gallery which features the work of respected Bahraini artist Ebrahim Busaad.
There are two main reasons to visit A’Ali, and both will help you get your culture fix on a trip to Bahrain. Although there are more than 10,000 Dilmun burial mounds scattered all over Bahrain, A’Ali is home to some significant discoveries and the best place to learn about the UNESCO world heritage site. Plus, A’Ali is a great place to pick up a souvenir as the pottery district is home to dozens of craftsmen willing to sell their wares to tourists. You’ll also be able to watch potters at work and they’ll be able to tell you about their methods and some of the traditional products they make.
If you’re visiting Bahrain during the winter months, you should head over to the coastal town Budaiya for the weekly farmers’ market. You can grab some fresh fruit and veg before exploring the rest of the botanical gardens, one of Bahrain’s best parks, or head out to the coast to laze about on the ever-popular beach. It’s a popular spot for expats to live, so there are lots of great restaurants in the neighbourhood too.
Riffa is Bahrain’s second biggest city, and as such has plenty to offer. Highlights include the fort, which was built in 1812 and is named after Sheikh Salman bin Ahmed Al Fateh who turned it into his residence during the 19th century, and the Bahrain Military Museum where you’ll find a collection of weapons, uniforms and documents from over the decades, as well as Jeeps and other vehicles. Riffa is also home to the Bahrain National Stadium, where all the major football games take place, and the Royal Golf Club.
Al Dar Islands
Locals and expats alike love Al Dar Islands, and it’s easy to see why. The islands provide a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of the city, despite being just an eight-minute boat journey away from Sitra. Here you’ll be able to soak up some rays or organise a family barbecue before playing in the calm waters. If you’ve got even more time in Bahrain, don’t forget to check out our guide to all the islands you can visit here.