BAHRAIN TRAVEL GUIDE
Things To See in Bahrain
Bahrain is an island nation with a rich history that spans thousands of years, and it offers a unique blend of cultural excursions, entertainment, and recreation. In the region, the first state existed as early as the third millennium BCE. At various times in history, the land belonged to the Sassanid kingdom, the Arab Caliphate, Portugal, and Iran. The nation was under British protectorate for a period of time. All of these historical phases have left their mark on the country’s landscape. Therefore, there are numerous attractions of interest here.
According to numerous archaeologists, the islands once housed the Dilmun state. The Sumerians thought this to be the origin of civilization. Qal’at al-Bahrain is the site where the remnants of this ancient culture are located. Scientists have discovered almost 4,000-year-old streets, temples, stores, and palaces buried beneath numerous cultural strata, including the Portuguese castle. Today, the excavation continues. Today, roughly a fourth of the region is accessible. On top of the hill stands a Portuguese castle called Qal’at al-Burtughal. It dates to the seventeenth century. The fortification is still in pristine condition.
Several regions containing vast necropolises of the Bronze Age Umm Al Nar civilisation are located in the north. These are the greatest ancient necropolises that have survived till the present day. Stone tombs have a diameter of 4.5 to 9 meters and a height of 1-2 meters. Pottery, stone or shell seals, weaponry, and bone artifacts were discovered in the tombs. More than one hundred thousand of these tombs are located on the territory of Bahrain. The Manama Saar Temple and the adjacent tombs are from the same historical period.
The Portuguese also erected Abu Mahir Fort. It is one of a number of marine commerce route-protecting fortifications. The fortification is in poor condition. However, the museum is accessible on its grounds. In addition to the history of the structure, you may also learn about the history of pearl digging in Bahrain.
Shajarat al-Hayat, often known as the Tree of Life, is an approximately 400-year-old tree. It is surprising that it grows independently in the desert. Numerous stories and suppositions overgrow the location. It is regarded as the final tree in the Garden of Eden. Additionally, it is assumed that an underground river nourishes its roots. The tree belongs to the Mimosa subspecies of the Prosopis cineraria species. These trees can tolerate temperatures up to 50 degrees Fahrenheit without requiring a great deal of water. It can also survive in salty soils. Its roots reach large depths (dozens of meters) and can absorb even the tiniest amounts of water. The leaves absorb moisture from their surroundings.
The Arad Fort was constructed in the 15th century to defend Muharraq Island. It was constructed in the style of Arab fortifications. The Fort is square and compact. At its four corners are cylinder-shaped towers. The fort was excellently suited for coastal defense and observation. Recently, a massive reconstruction was conducted. At night, the historic fortification is illuminated. It is a breathtaking sight. Riffa Fort was constructed in 1812 Nonetheless, some archaeologists date its founding to the seventeenth century. The citadel was Sheikh Salman bin Ahmed’s house. There were other government agencies located there. Isa ibn Ali Al Khalifa, one of Bahrain’s rulers, was born at the stronghold.
Isa ibn Ali Al Khalifa’s residence is a superb example of a royal residence. It is constructed in the classic Arabic fashion. The residence features a cooling system. This is a wind tower, which supplied the building with cold air. The tower was shut off for the winter. Arches, wooden furniture, doors, ceilings, and stained glass windows adorn the interiors.
The al-Fatih Mosque is among the world’s largest. The primary dome is composed of fiberglass. It is a true engineering masterpiece. The structure is modern. In 1987, its construction was completed. The entrance is blocked on Fridays (a Muslim holy day) and other religious holidays. The Al-Khamis mosque is the country’s oldest religious structure. It is thought that the first stone of the temple’s foundation was placed in the seventh century. Multiple times, the mosque has been renovated. The earliest of its components date to the fourteenth century. As a mihrab, a slab from the 12th century is employed (a niche indicating the direction where Mecca is located).
Little India is a neighborhood in Manama that resembles Delhi more than the capital of Bahrain. Here is where the Krishna Temple is located. It is older than two hundred years. There are numerous antique wooden houses made of Indian wood, gift shops, and cafes. Mini canyons at Al-Bahar are a natural attraction. Amazingly shaped golden rock formations that provide as winter habitat for numerous birds.
Wahooo is among the most innovative and contemporary water parks in the Middle East. It exceeds 15,000 square meters in size. Using games, rides, slides, and pools, the water park attracts millions of people. The style of the water park’s design is “subtropical paradise.” In its center is a schooner at anchor. This is a wonderful location for people of all ages. There are 30% outdoor and 70% indoor events in the park. This ensures a pleasant visit regardless of the weather. In addition, given the water park is located in the city’s core, guests will be able to stroll around the numerous stores. You will have the opportunity to devote a few hours to shopping or dining at a restaurant serving regional cuisine.
The Bird Kingdom of Asia is a singularly managed habitat. Over seventy avian species from all over the world reside here. There are 500 employees here. Some of these species are threatened. In order to aid in their conservation, they are carefully produced and raised in captivity in the Bird Kingdom of Asia. The setting was developed not only to captivate and entertain the entire family, but also to provide youngsters and their parents with an educational type of learning. While wandering through these labyrinths, tourists will be able to snap beautiful photographs and experience wonderful emotions.
Forts in Bahrain
Arad FortArad Fort, Road No 4233, Arad, Bahrain
The Arad Fort is a prime example of Omani military construction from the end of the 15th century to the beginning of the 16th. This fort played a significant role in Bahrain’s defense against marauders throughout the centuries, although it is unclear when it was built. The fort, which was restored in the 1980s using solely original materials, is attractively illuminated at night and holds periodic festivities.
Bahrain Fort and MuseumSeef Area Karbabad, Capital Governorate
Located in Seef and formerly known as Portugal Port, the Bahrain Fort or “Qal’at al-Bahrain” is 180,000 square feet in size. From 2300 B.C. to the 16th century, the fort has been inhabited. The fort was located in the capital of the Dilmun civilization and was called after the Qal’at al-Burtughal.
The fort’s excavated site reveals that it served residential, public, commercial, religious, and military functions. Archeological excavations uncovered several tools and artifacts, including Dilmun Stamp seals, fishing equipment, and cooking and food-transporting vessels from Oman and Mesopotamia. The Bahrain Fort, one of the three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Bahrain, is an impressive building that honors Bahrain’s deep-rooted history.
Sheikh Salman Bin Ahmed Al Fateh FortSheikh Salman Bin Ahmed Al Fateh Fort, Road No 368, Riffa
Due to its position in Riffa, Sheikh Salman bin Ahmed Al-Fateh Fort is also known as Riffa Fort. This historic site provides witness to one of the most pivotal moments in Bahrain’s history; the Al Khalifas, Bahrain’s reigning family, are memorialized inside its gorgeous architecture.
Learn about the Al Khalifa family through carefully selected exhibitions featuring their family tree, personal items, and favorite pastimes. Additionally, the fort contains the Saffron Café, which overlooks the scenic Al-Haniniya Valley.
Museums in Bahrain
Bahrain National MuseumBahrain National Museum
On December 15, 1988, the Bahrain National Museum was inaugurated by the late Amir, H.H. Shaikh Isa Bin Salman Al-Khalifa. It was regarded as one of the most prestigious museums of its sort in the Gulf area. The Bahrain National Museum is currently one of the island’s most significant cultural landmarks.
The exceptional building, conceived and designed by Krohn and Hartvig Rasmussen, features a white travertine marble exterior and is strategically positioned on an artificial peninsula overlooking the island of Muharraq. The museum complex consists of two connected buildings with a total floor area of roughly 20,000 square meters. The main structure contains the permanent display area, temporary exhibition halls, an art gallery, a lecture auditorium, a café, and a gift store. The administrative building houses the administrative offices, curatorial research rooms, conservation laboratories, display construction, and collection storage areas.
6,000 years of Bahrain’s history are preserved in the museum. The Halls of Graves, Dilmun, Tylos and Islam, Customs and Traditions, Traditional Trades and Crafts, and Documents and Manuscripts bring Bahrain’s history to life. The grand foyer provides entrance to the exhibition rooms on the ground and first floors, which are located on the ground and first levels. The foyer is a huge dramatic area accentuated by natural light shafts and features the exhibition “Investing in Culture.”
Mosques in Bahrain
Al Fateh Grand MosqueAl Fateh Grand Mosque, Awal Avenue Corner Al Fatih Highway
The Al Fateh Grand Mosque is the largest mosque in Bahrain and one of the largest in the world. It was constructed in 1987 under the sponsorship of the late Sheikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa and given the name Ahmed Al Fateh. The mosque accommodates up to 7,000 worshippers and is topped by the world’s largest fiberglass dome. Its walls are exquisitely adorned with Kufic calligraphy.
Al Khamis MosqueBilad Al Qadim, Sheikh Salman Highway
Al Khamis Mosque, constructed in 692 A.D., is one of the earliest mosques in the Arab world. Rebuilt in the 14th and 15th centuries, its foundation dates back to the 11th century.
During its repair, identical twin minarets were added to the historic Islamic structure, so making it immediately identifiable.
Bait al QuranBuilding No.17, Road No.1901, Diplomatic Area, Manama.
This prestigious museum houses a major collection of Quranic manuscripts and scriptures dating back to the seventh century in a building adorned with Arabic writing. There are several copies of the Quran that are themselves works of art. Some smaller copies are small enough to fit in the palm of the hand, and Quranic phrases have even been engraved on grains of rice. In addition to its significant historical collection, the Bait al Quran exhibition space frequently holds diverse art exhibitions, as well as a small mosque, a distinguished library, and a learning setting for Islamic instruction.
Parks in Bahrain
Bahrain is a novel experience for the global community. The phrase “land of contrasts” may be overused. However, travelers view the nation as a singular pearl in the center of the oceans. Against a bleak lunar setting more hospitable to camel racing than well tuned automobiles filled with cutting-edge technology, the spectacular landscape design is an architectural force. The country is 700 square kilometers in size. It has around 161 kilometers of coast. The largest islands include Muharraq, Sitrah, Umm a Nasan, and the Hawar Group.
Bahrain is often referred to as the “Gateway to the Persian Gulf,” which is evident in the population’s diversity and tolerance. The official language here is Arabic. However, English is frequently employed in business and is required in schools. Due to the high number of expats living in Bahrain, other languages such as Persian and Urdu are spoken in both traditional and modern markets. Geologists discovered petroleum in 1932. It was the first time “black gold” had been discovered on the Arab side of the Persian Gulf.
Once upon a time, the tiny island was a lush, fertile, verdant sanctuary. The nation’s foundation was its wealth of springs, of which several still exist on the site of the ancient Dilmun civilization, renowned for its plant products and agricultural expertise. Urbanization and land reclamation over many generations have resulted in the country becoming increasingly like its Persian Gulf neighbors: arid, unfit for the production of the majority of agricultural crops.
The Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Park is magnificent. On its property, there is a lake, pathways, restaurants, commercial centers, private recreation spaces, and an abundance of vegetation. This 80-thousand-square-meter park was created at a cost of about six million dinars. It is one of Bahrain’s largest parks. In the park, you may also hire skates, pedal boats, and bicycles. On-site amenities include a playground, rides, and a game room with air hockey. You can dine at Chai & Chapati or the Koffiatto restaurant in the tower with 360-degree lake views.
Bahrain’s summers are particularly hot. Winter temperatures seldom fall below 17 degrees Celsius. It does not rain frequently here. They fall primarily in winter. There are few fertile soils in this region. Only 8% of the land is utilized for agricultural purposes. There is also a freshwater problem here. The islands’ vegetation and wildlife are not particularly rich. There are 195 plant species, 17 mammal species, 14 reptile species, and a single amphibian species. Here, many migratory birds spend the winter. Some species of birds nest on islands. Numerous Bahraini plant species are well-adapted to desert and salty soils. They are able to draw water from enormous depths and absorb atmospheric moisture. Few huge animals inhabit the islands. Among them is the sand gazelle. Also found here are sand urchins, Arabian hares, and Indian mongooses. Deserts are home to a variety of bat species.
Bahrain is one of the few Persian Gulf nations concerned in environmental protection. Al Areen Wildlife Park was established in 1976 to protect the region’s unique biodiversity. In addition to the native plants and animals of Bahrain, there are also representatives of the fauna of Africa and Asia. There are more than 100,000 plant species, 45 animal species, and 82 bird species in the park. Numerous species are endangered. This list includes the Arabian Oryx, Southern African cheetah, steppe monitor lizard, Persian gazelle, springbok, and African wild dog. The park’s policy prioritizes the preservation of unique species, the recreation of endangered animal populations, and the breeding of animals in captivity. Open to the public is a portion of the park. It receives approximately 200,000 visitors every year. The recreation area is inaccessible to the public. It is frequented by veterinarians, park personnel, and a variety of professionals.
Tubli Bay is located between the islands of Bahrain and Sitrah in the eastern part of the country. Here is where Nabih Saleh Island is found. The bay is renowned for its abundant marine life and bird population. Its edges are lined with mangroves. The bay provides a spawning area for numerous fish and shrimp species. Several bird species overwinter here. Due to pollution and harmful industry consequences, the amount of the reserve has drastically decreased. Since 1997, however, efforts have been made to conserve the region’s distinctive ecosystem.
In the Persian Gulf can be found the Hawar Archipelago. The islands are nearly depopulated. The Bedouin tribe once inhabited this area. Today, though, their villages are deserted. On the islands, just the police station and the hotel remained. A specific fishing license is required. The islands are home to several bird species. Here, a rare species of cormorant breeds. On the islands, over sixty species of migratory birds spend the winter. These birds migrate to their breeding grounds during the spring. The nesting birds return to their nests. Here, unique creatures including the Arabian Oryx and the desert gazelle can be found. Near the islands, a significant colony of dugongs inhabits the water. Since 1997, the territory has been under state protection.
Arab Bay is a conservation area. It was recently established on the island of Muharraq near the city of Arad. Its purpose is to conserve the region’s unique maritime ecosystem. Typically, dolphins and porpoises inhabit the waters near Bahrain. Here, you are less likely to encounter whales and killer whales. Dugongs (sea cows) are frequently observed in coastal areas. These are the most peculiar sea mammals. There are around 700 kinds of fish in the waters of the Persian Gulf. Over 80 percent of them inhabit reefs, especially coral. There are thirty species of sharks in the Arabian Gulf. 16 are considered endangered. More pearl oysters are discovered in Bahrain’s waters than everywhere else. Therefore, pearl mining is very established in this region.
The island of Umm a Nasan is owned by the Crown. The area is off-limits to ordinary folks. The island has a tiny population of screw-horned goats. A little community is situated on the west bank. Multiple nomad families reside here. They take care of the island’s resident deer and gazelles. In recent years, the operation of industrial units and desalination plants has had a considerable negative impact on marine species off the coast. The government takes steps to maintain the distinctive nature of the Islands and coastal waterways.