Bahrain is a sophisticated, contemporary, and cosmopolitan kingdom of 33 islands in the Arabian Gulf. It is attracting a growing number of international tourists who want to experience the country's interesting blend of eastern and western cultures.
Bahrain is a tiny Arab kingdom on the Persian Gulf, formally known as the Kingdom of Bahrain. Bahrain is a collection of islands located between Qatar’s peninsula and Saudi Arabia’s northwestern coast. It is an island nation in the Middle East, along the western borders of the Persian Gulf. It is a tiny archipelago centered on the island of Bahrain, which has the most land mass.
It is just 23 kilometers (14 miles) east of Saudi Arabia and is linked to it by the King Fahd Causeway. The Qatar Peninsula is also close by, approximately 50 kilometers (31 miles) southeast via Bahrain Bay. Iran is situated 200 kilometers (124 miles) north of the Persian Gulf. In 2010, the population was 1 234 567 individuals, including 666 172 non-citizens. It has a land area of 780 km2, making it Asia’s third biggest nation after the Maldives and Singapore.
Bahrain is the ancient Dilmun civilization’s birthplace. It has been renowned since ancient times for its pearl workmanship, which was considered the finest in the world in the nineteenth century. Bahrain was one of the first places in the world to convert to Islam. Following the Arabul era, Bahrain was conquered by the Portuguese in 1521, who were ousted in 1602 by Shah Abbas I of the Safavid dynasty of the Persian kingdom. The tribe of Bani Utba conquered Bahrain from Nasr al-Madkuranda in 1783, and he has controlled the royal dynasty of Al-Khalifa since then, with the first hakim of Ahmed al-Fatehas Bahrain. Bahrain became a protectorate of the United Kingdom in the late 1800s, after numerous treaties with the British. Bahrain declared independence in 1971. Previously, the Kingdom of Bahrain proclaimed the state of Bahrain in 2002. Protests erupted in the nation in 2011, sparked by the Arab Spring in the area.
Bahrain has the first post-oil economy in the Persian Gulf. Bahrain began investing in the banking and tourist sectors towards the end of the twentieth century. Many major financial institutions are located in Manama, the country’s capital. Bahrain has a high human development index and has been designated as a high-income economy by the World Bank.
Manama, the main island’s capital, has excellent hotels, restaurants, retail complexes, an exciting (bazaar), and all the other amenities guests require for a memorable vacation. Furthermore, there are good beaches, year-round hot and sunny weather, English is spoken and understood everywhere, and the kingdom contains the remains of more than 5,000 years of civilisation to examine.
Bahrain is connected to the Arabian Peninsula by a 16-mile (25-kilometer) causeway. The archaeological significance of the islands was revealed during construction when hundreds of burial mounds dating from the third millennium BC were discovered, part of the well-ordered ancient metropolis of Dilmun that thrived where a forest of skyscrapers now climbs for the sky.
Bahrain has been prosperous throughout its history, first because of its strategic location for trade and fishing, as well as the amount and quality of pearls found in its waters, and more recently because of its oil resources.
Despite the fact that the government is less stable than in the past, Bahrain remains a popular tourist destination in the Middle East. A business or pleasure trip to Bahrain is a fascinating, pleasant, and rewarding experience.
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Bahrain Travel Guide
Everything you need to know about Bahrain before your trip
The Kingdom of Bahrain is quickly becoming a well-known tourist destination. This ancient kingdom was established some 5000 years ago. When translated from Arabic, the word “Bahrain” literally means “Two Seas.” One of the country’s largest and most iconic attractions is only a 10-minute drive from the country’s capital, Manama. This is the Bahrain Fort, or Qala’at al-Bahrain. The majestic old fort has been totally rebuilt, so visitors can now see it in practically its entirety. Unfortunately, the inside premises are unfurnished, but admission to the fort is absolutely free. Next to it is a museum dedicated to the Bahrain Fort. The museum’s construction was completed in 2008. Visitors can view several valuable relics discovered in the fort, including objects from the ancient Dilmun period, at this location.
The Tree of Life is one of Bahrain’s most well-known tourist attractions. Although the exact age of the tree is unknown, some experts believe it is more than 400 years old. The tree appears stunning amid a desert terrain, and it’s a miracle it’s survived in such hard conditions. Sunset is generally regarded as the finest time to visit the tree since the Tree of Life is exceptionally lovely and you will be able to take stunning and memorable photographs.
Manama also has a number of significant landmarks. The Al-Fateh Mosque is one of the world’s largest mosques, with a capacity of 7,000 guests at any given time. The mosque’s dome deserves special attention; the 60-ton-heavy cupola is also the world’s largest fiberglass dome. Manama Souq, located directly behind the Bab Al Bahrain building, is a market where you can buy literally everything, from souvenirs and garments to electrical items and traditional jewelry.
When it comes to museums, the Museum of Pearl Diving may be the most well-known. The museum is housed in an old historic structure that served as Bahrain’s first official court before being converted into a Traditional Heritage Center. After a full day of sightseeing, head to Corniche al-Fateh, a lovely promenade with stunning views of the city’s skyscrapers and planes landing at the airport.
Because Bahrain is a hot country, water activities are quite popular. In the Arabian Gulf, sailing and scuba diving are available all year. Finally, in April, Bahrain hosts the Grand Prix F1 race, which is well-attended by both locals and foreigners.
Best time to visit Bahrain
Bahrain may be quite hot and humid in the summer due to its location in the Arabian Gulf. However, from October to early April, the weather is nearly always sunny and warm, making it a great retreat from colder regions.
Visitors who want to see Bahrain’s Formula 1 race should go during the first week of April, but those who aren’t interested in the event should go at a different time; Grand Prix week is the busiest time of year.
Regardless of how travel agents spin it, Bahrain is a Gulf country with extraordinarily hot weather throughout the summer months, with the thermometer frequently reaching 90°F, even at night. The climate is definitely Mediterranean for at least eight months of the year, with wonderful bright days in the eighties giving way to mild evenings excellent for sitting outside. There is no finer place in the world to be during these times, especially because it is virtually always guaranteed not to rain. Each year, there are only about ten days with precipitation.
During hot spells, public facilities such as shops, hotel lobbies, offices, and malls tend to crank up the air conditioning to near-freezing temperatures, which is why you’ll find expats roaming around in shawls, cardigans, and cover-ups in 110°F weather. Average temperatures range from 65°F in January to 100°F in August, and seasons are few.
Visitors will appreciate any month that isn’t summer, given the heat of the sun. That means October through May are all very pleasant months, with the late and early seasons being especially pleasant.
Peak season is between December and March, however be aware that this can also overlap with the Bahrain Formula 1 Grand Prix, thus accommodations will be restricted near the conclusion of the high season. Summer can be enjoyable for individuals who are either brave or unaffected by the sun. Given the calmer conditions, it is feasible to enjoy Bahrain’s historic elements and gain insight into how Bahrainis have lived for generations in the midst of the sun and humidity. Ramadan and Eid holidays can be challenging since forward-thinking Saudis will often schedule their accommodations well in advance, resulting in room shortages.
Dress Code in Bahrain
Bahrain is one of the most lenient countries in the region in terms of dress code. In actuality, there is no official “dress code” Since Bahrain is a Muslim country, the only thing you must keep in mind is to dress modestly when in public.
In general, Bahraini citizens dress conservatively. By custom, ladies wear the Abaya (length dress) and the Hijab (head scarf), whilst men wear the Thobe (dress-like attire) and the Ghitraa (scarf) (head scarf). Depending on the location, non-Muslims are permitted to wear any modest, comfortable attire.
- Men are required to wear long pants; shorts are not permitted.
- Women should wear clothing that covers their shoulders and knees, as well as a head scarf. Sleeveless tops are prohibited.
- Men and women must remove their footwear prior to entering a mosque.
These regions are frequented by Bahrainis and include souqs, central markets, and villages. Here are the guidelines for visiting these locations:
- Men should wear long pants rather than shorts.
- Women should wear below-the-knee-length pants and skirts.
- Blouses with spaghetti straps are not allowed.
Malls and Restaurants
- The dress code is casual; conventional attire is unnecessary.
- If they choose to wear skirts, women must keep them below the knee.
- On private beaches, swimwear is permitted (shorts, swimsuits).
- At public beaches, casual attire is advised, but swimming attire is prohibited.
Bahrain is a generally welcoming host country, however it is essential to always display respect and courtesy with regard to their distinct cultural norms and religion. In areas frequented by local Arabs, it is preferable to wear long pants rather than shorts (shorts prevent access to various government buildings and museums), and women should avoid wearing see-through dresses. In beach clubs and hotels, however, swimsuits, bikinis, and shorts are acceptable attire. Do not display affection towards individuals of the opposing sex in public. Kissing in public has resulted in arrests, and it is socially unacceptable. Avoid confrontation at all costs and never engage in a debate, especially with a local.
While the country’s freedom of expression is frequently superior to that of its neighbors, this does not mean that you are free to make irrelevant remarks; defamation of the king is a serious offense, and local newspapers are largely pro-government.
During the month of Ramadan, eating, drinking, and smoking in public are strictly prohibited, and violators face fines or even jail time. Restaurants will be closed throughout daytime hours; even if they appear to be open after lunch, they will be preparing for Iftar and you will not be able to place an order until then.
Things To Know About Bahrain
Bahrain is the smallest of the Persian Gulf’s sovereign nations, and it has often had to walk a diplomatic tightrope over its bigger neighbors. Although the country has little oil reserves, it has developed itself as a refinery center and a banking center, as well as establishing a social-liberal monarchy.
Bahrain, a popular weekend destination for visitors from neighboring Saudi Arabia, is a cultural hotspot. UNESCO World Heritage Sites rub shoulders with still-bustling bazaars and carpet shops, while towers housing high-end hotels dot the mosque-studded skyline.
With a recent drive to compete for a spot on the world’s luxury tourism stage, this old port city in the Arabian Gulf now hosts major events — such as Formula 1’s Bahrain Grand Prix — unique experiences, and sophisticated museums that make it worthwhile to include on your itinerary.
Entry Requirements For Bahrain
A 14-day visa is available to citizens of 66 countries, whereas a 14-day online visa is available to citizens of 113 countries, including all those who are qualified for an arrival visa. For the most up-to-date information, go to the Ministry of Interior’s website. If none of these apply to you, or if you’re coming for reasons other than tourism or business, you’ll need a sponsor in Bahrain to submit your visa application on your behalf.
Bahrain is one of the few Gulf countries that recognizes Israeli passports (though visas are required) and passports with proof of trips to Israel.
At Bahrain’s airport, citizens of the European Union, the United States of America, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong, Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, and South Korea can obtain an entry visa.
How To Travel To Bahrain
Bahrain International Airport (IATA: BAH) is the primary hub of Gulf Air and is located in Muharraq, east of Manama. It offers good connections across the region as well as to London. The airport offers excellent tax-free shopping; a Transhotel that provides beds and showers (for a charge) to passengers waiting for flights is presently being renovated.
Many inhabitants of eastern Saudi Arabia prefer to travel via Bahrain, and Gulf Air provides service to Khobar and Dammam to meet this demand; inquire when making your reservation.
Air Arabia, a low-cost airline based in the United Arab Emirates, operates daily flights from Sharjah airport (IATA: SHJ), located north of Dubai.
Unlike most airports, this one is quite tiny, which is advantageous since departure and arrival are both quick (and simple).
How To Get Around In Bahrain
There are only two methods to reach Bahrain: by plane or by automobile through the causeway from Saudi Arabia.
There are flights to destinations all over the world from Bahrain International Airport, and an enormous project is currently ongoing to update and extend its facilities.
In addition, 28 bus lines circle the island. The buses are affordable, air-conditioned, and provide free Wi-Fi; nonetheless, they are primarily used by locals and not visitors.
At the airport, restaurants, and hotels, taxis are widely available, and Uber is also a popular mode of transportation. In addition, numerous automobile rental agencies have offices in Bahrain, and several have kiosks at the airport.
Destinations In Bahrain
Manama, the nation’s capital, is home to the country’s most notable attractions. Here, tourists can go on an excursion to the old Portuguese fort, whose grounds are now used for archeological digs. Al Khamis Mosque, one of the oldest Islamic structures, is located in the same region.
The complex of Beit Al Qur’an is particularly worth a visit because it contains a historic mosque, expansive library halls, and a local museum.
The capital is home to numerous architecturally stunning structures designed in the classic Arabian style. The most notable are Arad Fort, St. Christopher’s Church, and the principal Exhibition Center.
When you’re done with sightseeing, it’s time to relax on one of the expansive sand beaches or visit the traditional markets that are of appeal to all tourists. The Gold Souk neighborhood is one of the most popular
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.
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.
Things To Do in Bahrain
The Bahrain Grand Prix Formula One race, held in April at the Bahrain International Circuit, is the most significant annual event in Bahrain. Plan ahead because tickets are sold out and hotel costs have skyrocketed. Typically, first bookings are eligible for discounts ranging from 10 to 20 percent. Depending on the grandstand, tickets cost anywhere between BD 150 and BD 60.
Diving is growing popularity in Bahrain. Here, there are numerous dive centers. Warm coastal waters are teeming with aquatic life. There are around 400 species of fish here.
There are also several hundred coral species that support marine life. The northern waters support a greater biodiversity.
Rec-diving, derived from the phrase “shipwreck,” is also common. There are numerous shipwrecks from various time periods off the shore. Additionally popular in the north is drift diving.
Money & Shopping in Bahrain
In Bahrain, there are many large shopping malls with worldwide name and luxury stores, apothecaries, supermarkets, food courts, traditional and modern cafés, play areas and arcades, theaters (3D and 2D), and even an entry gate to an aquatic park.
A trip to the local souk is a must. There, you may haggle over the price of “rolexes,” jewelry, and a variety of other items. Many outstanding tailors may be found in the souk. If you stay long enough (say, a week), you may wear a favorite outfit and “clone” it with accuracy in any material from the vast selection available.
Bahrain is an extremely costly nation. However, many people want to bring home souvenirs from this stunning location. The famed traditional Arabic bazaar should be your first stop.
The benefit of Arab markets is the ability to haggle.
Food & Drinks in Bahrain
The variety of restaurants in Bahrain’s cuisine scene is outstanding. The principal dining room is Adliya. There are numerous cafés to choose from in Adliya, such as Coco’s (great cuisine at a reasonable price) and Lilou’s (extremely popular among residents who want to see and be seen).
In Bahrain, restaurants range from modest booths offering indigenous food to upscale eateries in five-star hotels. In shopping malls and the city center, one can find high-priced Western-style meals and (mostly American) franchises serving upscale cuisine.
Juffair has a famous lane known as ‘American’s Alley’ as a result of the large number of American eateries in that vicinity.
Bahrain has relatively permissive alcohol regulations, and it has long been a popular destination for tourists from Saudi Arabia and other neighboring “dry” nations.
Nightlife In Bahrain
Bahrain’s nightlife is quite well developed, which is surprising. This is primarily owing to the government’s tolerance and the large number of foreigners living in the country.
Bahrain is often referred to as the “Hawaii of the Middle East.” Everyone will find amusement after sunset. Nationwide, there are discos, karaoke bars, and live music clubs.
Adliya is especially renowned for its nightlife. This is Manama’s Bohemian district. Luxury hotels provide several possibilities for evening entertainment. Alcohol is permitted across the nation, even in clubs. This attracts tourists from neighboring, more conservative Arab countries.
Since practically all licensed establishments must be affiliated to four- and five-star hotels, there is no distinct nightlife district in Manama; rather, there is a grid-like distribution of venues across the city.
Festivals & Holidays In Bahrain
Bahrain is a Muslim country. Therefore, the majority of local holidays are religious.
Additionally, several festivals are hosted here. In Muslim nations, the New Year is not celebrated on January 1. Muslims celebrate the New Year on a different date.
In some nations, the celebrating of the New Year on January 1 is strictly prohibited. Bahrain is not among these nations. After achieving independence in the 1970s, the nation’s economy continued to grow significantly. Numerous foreigners started to arrive in Bahrain.
Today, they constitute nearly half of the country’s population. Consequently, numerous prominent hotels and nightclubs celebrate the New Year with shows, parties, and fireworks.
Traditions & Customs in Bahrain
Bahrain is a welcoming host country, however you must always show respect and politeness in regard to your cultural traditions and religion.
When visiting areas frequented by local Arabs, it is preferable to wear long trousers rather than shorts, and ladies should avoid wearing transparent dresses.
Swimsuits, bikinis, and shorts are acceptable attire at beach clubs and hotels. In public, do not display indications of love towards individuals of the opposing sex. People of the opposite sex have been arrested for kissing in public, and they are socially unacceptable. Always avoid getting into a fight and never engage in a debate, particularly with a local.
The official religion of the kingdom is Islam. It is followed by more than 70% of the population. Christians, Buddhists, and Hindus comprise for the remaining portion
Culture Of Bahrain
The predominant religion is Islam, and Bahrainis are renowned for their tolerance of various religious practices.
Marriages between Bahrainis and expats are fairly uncommon; numerous Filipino-Bahrainis, such as the actress, are examples. a child from the Philippines Al-Alawi Mona Marbella
Women’s traditional clothing typically includes the hijab or the abaya, and the regulations surrounding female apparel are relatively lenient compared to regional neighbors. Although the thobe, which includes traditional headdresses like as the keffiyeh, ghutra, and agal, is the traditional male costume, western clothes is widely used in the nation.
Despite the fact that homosexuality was allowed in Bahrain in 1976, numerous gays have been imprisoned since then.
Stay Safe & Healthy in Bahrain
Bahrain had a near-civil war in 2011, with hundreds of fatalities, hundreds of injuries, and a significant number of activists and medical professionals imprisoned and tortured. Although the huge protests were ruthlessly suppressed, the environment remains volatile, and protests, rioting, and police killings may occur at any moment.
Travelers should avoid the country’s northwest rural regions and communities. Large protests may happen at any moment, and although they can become violent at times, they are seldom anti-Western. Avoid locations where large groups of individuals seem to be congregating.
In Bahrain, the average incidence of social crime is low, while violent crime is uncommon. Robbery, theft, and theft do, nevertheless, occur. Minor crimes such as portfolio theft and theft of portfolios have been recorded, particularly in the old market districts known as souks.
FAQs About Bahrain
Is Bahrain open for tourism?
Travel to Bahrain is possible under the same conditions as before COVID-19.
Can I wear shorts in Bahrain?
Although there is no specific dress code in Bahrain, the common norm is to wear modest clothing in public. This typically entails modest length skirts and covered shoulders for women in public. In public, men should cover their knees with clothing.
What to buy in Bahrain?
Bahrain is known for its gold and natural pearls, but wandering the historic souks in Manama and Muharraq, you can observe the influence of civilizations as diverse as textiles, fragrances, and gastronomy. There, I can spend hours. Typically, I visit the local perfumers and create my own fragrance.
Do I need a Covid test to enter Bahrain?
On February 20, 2022, neither PCR testing nor quarantine will be required for any arrivals, regardless of vaccination status, including those traveling across the Causeway.
Is Bahrain friendly to foreigners?
It is simple to meet Bahrainis, who are often kind and extremely patriotic about their nation and culture. Numerous foreigners have close Bahraini friendships. Almost everyone knows English, therefore unless you have a strong desire to do so, you will not need to learn Arabic.
Is tipping rude in Bahrain?
In addition to a 5% government levy, a 15% service charge is customary in the majority of eateries. Although it is customary, it is not required to leave an additional 10% tip for the wait staff.
What food is Bahrain known for?
The cuisine of Bahrain includes biryani, harees, khabeesa, machboos, mahyawa, maglooba, quzi, and zalabia, among others. Arabic coffee is the national beverage (qahwah).
Can you drink tap water in Bahrain?
The tap water in Bahrain is unsafe to drink unless it has been treated or heated. Additionally, bottled water is generally accessible.
Can you drink alcohol in Bahrain?
Alcohol is legal in Bahrain, where there are a number of bars, licensed restaurants, and off-licences; however, drunken behavior in public or driving under the influence of alcohol is illegal, making the offender subject to a fine, imprisonment, and/or deportation, as well as the suspension of their driving license.
Is Bahrain Good for shopping?
With its bustling Souq and market streets, Bahrain is perhaps the top shopping destination. As you explore the cities, you will discover the top malls in Bahrain, which not only define luxury but also provide a global shopping experience.
What is the best month to visit Bahrain?
Dec-March. During these months, temperatures in the archipelago remain fairly nice. With a light breeze and occasional showers, the best time to visit Bahrain is between the months of December and March.
How much money do I need to visit Bahrain?
How much money will your vacation to Bahrain cost? You should budget around BHD48 ($128) each day for your trip in Bahrain, which is the average daily cost based on what other tourists have spent. Past travelers have, on average, spent BHD17 ($45) per day on food and BHD9 per day on lodging.