The country of Bahrain is not a very popular travel destination, but it’s definitely worth a visit, especially considering the high-developed tourism infrastructure. The name of the state means “two seas”. It is known to be located in the place of the “Garden of Eden” from the Bible. The main advantages of Bahrain are the bright and sunny weather all year round and the abundance of resort complexes.
The capital of this amazing Arabic country is Manama. It’s located in the northeastern part of the state. The city is appealing based on the large amount of interesting and picturesque mosques, historical sites and amazingly postmodern architectural approach. Manama started its development only after the “oil boom”. Qalat al-Bahrain, which is one of the World Heritage Sites, is a must-visit place in Manama. Among other noteworthy sites of the city is the ancient mosque of Al Khamis, as well as the Al Fateh Grand Mosque, which has one of the largest prayer halls capable of hosting around 7000 believers at a time. There you can also find one of the best museums containing a unique collection of the Quran of all ages and a large set of ancient manuscripts. If you have more time to spend here, the must-visit list also includes Al Jasrah, which is the birthplace of the reigning monarch, the House Seyyedi with its architectural and decoration treasures, St. Christopher’s Cathedral & Awali Church and finally Bahrain Exhibition Centre. The stay in the city can be organized in one of the best hotel complexes, as Ritz-Carlton has its hotel here.
A separate attention should be paid to the Museum of Pearl Diving in Manama. It’s in the first building of the Supreme Court. It used to be the main center of heritage and traditions. Currently the museum is devoted to the history of the country and the population, which is dealing with producing pearls. Here it’s popular to catch not only pearl fish, but also shrimp, swordfish and sponges. It’s one of the highest income-providing professions for the country, not considering oil income.
It’s no surprise that Bahrain also has a specialized Oil Museum. It was opened back in 1992 as a symbol of the 60th anniversary of oil field discoveries in the country. Here you will find not only documents about the oil industry, but also a large number of photographs and equipments. The museum is located at the foot of Mountain of Smoke, which is the highest point of the island. Only in 2 kilometers from the place you will appear in the middle of the desert. But this is not a typical desert, as there you will find the world-known acacia tree known as the “tree of life”. It’s still a scientific mystery how this plant grows and where it does get the water from.
Not far from the capital there is a small village called Bani Dzhamran, which is known for its weavers. A bit further is A’ali, where you will find the ruins of the “royal tombs”, which occupy a huge burial center. The village itself is a well-known pottery center. The entire region here is famous for having various kinds of traditional handcrafts.
Another remarkable site of Bahrain is the King Fahd Causeway Bridge, which has a length of 25 km connecting Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. It’s one of the most expensive bridges in the world, as around $2 billion was spent on its construction. The bridge hosts a luxury restaurant, which has an astonishing view both for Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. There’s no public transportation crossing the bridge, thus the visitors should choose between a taxi and a rented car.
It should be mentioned that Bahrain is not only spread on the eponymous island, but also a whole group of smaller islands. One of them, which might be among the most popular tourist destinations in the country, is Al-Muharraq. Though the distance between the islands is not that significant the spirit of the islands is quite different. The latest has preserved the local spirit of pre-oil dynasty. There you will find appealing old buildings. The most remarkable ones are the house of Sheikh Isa bin Ali Al Khalifa (once used to be the residence of the government) with its traditional wind tower, decorated walls and elegant bars, Abu Mahir Fort and Qalat Arad, which is specialized in building traditional local boats. And the final stop should be made at Sheikh Mohammed Al-Khalifa-owned camel farm.
Let’s state that from the point of view of tourism, Bahrain is a fun place with a fusion of the old and the new, the ancient and the modern, which are all co-existing in harmony.