Situated in the Arabian Gulf, right between Qatar and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is the Kingdom of Bahrain. It is an island country made up of 33 islands, the capital of which is Manama, a center of culture and tourism.
The latest figures show that there are 1.38 million people in the kingdom, including Bahrainis and residents. Today, it is a major economic and financial hub, where people from different cultures come together. Here, you will also find some of the most historical sites in the region.
10 Places to Visit in Bahrain
At the Kingdom of Bahrain, you can visit the following places of interest:
1. Bahrain National Museum
Opened in 1988, the Bahrain National Museum is one of the earliest museums in the Gulf. It showcases archaeological exhibits featuring 6,000 years of the country’s history. The museum has a hall dedicated to traditional houses, clothing, and crafts. It also has an art hall where you will see the works of the country’s leading artists.
2. Bahrain National Theater
The Bahrain National Theater is the first national theater in Bahrain and a famous cultural icon. In fact, it is the third-largest theater in the Arab world with a seating capacity of 1,001 – an allusion to the Tales of 1,001 Arabian Nights. Aside from the main auditorium, it includes a smaller auditorium that can accommodate 100 guests.
3. Bab Al Bahrain
Bab Al Bahrain used to house the administrative offices of the government. Today, it houses the Ministry of Culture’s tourism sector offices and visitors’ center. It is situated by the entrance to the Manama Suq, a traditional market where you can buy handicrafts, perfumes, spices, textiles, and other souvenirs.
4. Beit Al Quran
Beit Al Quran, which translates to “House of Quran” is a building that contains a collection of Quranic manuscripts. It has more than 50,000 books about Islam written in English, French, and Arabic. It also includes an auditorium, a madrasa (religious school), a mosque, and a museum.
5. Bu Maher Fort
Constructed in 1840, Bu Maher Fort used to be a major fishing harbor. Today, it is the first stop in what is called the “Pearling Path,” a UNESCO World Heritage Site that presents the history of pearling traders in the area. You can reach the fort by taking a boat from the harbor at the Bahrain National Museum.
6. Formula One
The Bahrain Grand Prix holds the distinction of being the first Formula One Grand Prix to be conducted in the Middle East. Since 2004, the Formula One racing event has been a major part of the kingdom’s sports scene. You can actually take a ride on a race car along the F-1 track!
Muharraq is the former capital of Bahrain and is known for its traditional Bahraini houses. For instance, there is the Sheikh Isa Bin Ali House, which features four impressive courtyards and carved wooden doors. Meanwhile, the Sheikh Ebrahim Bin Mohamed Al Khalifa Center for Culture and Research includes several houses that showcase the kingdom’s rich heritage.
8. Qalat Al Bahrain Site and Museum
Qalat Al Bahrain, or “Bahrain Fort” is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is situated at the top of a 17.5-hectare hill. It is the former capital of Dilmun (the ancient name of Bahrain) and therefore one of the most important archaeological sites in region.
9. Sheikh Salman Bin Ahmed Al Fateh Fort
You will find the Sheikh Salman Bin Ahmed Al Fateh Fort in Riffa, hence it is also called “Riffa Fort.” It used to be the residence of the Al Khalifas, the ruling family of the kingdom. Today, it is a place where visitors can learn about the history of the ruling family and their people.
10. Suq Al Qaisariya
Suq Al Qaisariya is part of the Muharraq Suq, one of its oldest sections, in fact. Here, you will find shops that offer pearls, spices, tea, and other items. It also has a traditional café where you can relax after a whole day of traveling and shopping.
The Kingdom of Bahrain may not be as big or populated as other places in the Gulf, but it is certainly rich in culture, history, and tourist attractions. If you are wondering where to go on vacation, consider this kingdom as your next destination.
Photo Credits: Bahrain Authority for Culture & Antiquities