The Top 11 Things to Do in Bahrain

Bahrain Fort

Getty Images/ John Elk

Bahrain is a one of the smaller destinations to visit in the Middle East but it offers a host of activities for tourists to enjoy during a visit to the Kingdom. Bahrain has more than beautiful beaches and fine dining to discover. It also is home to historic forts, ultra-luxurious hotels to retreat to, history museums, and so much more. No matter if you have only 24 hours or a week to spend in the Kingdom of Bahrain, use this guide to assist you with planning your escape to sparkling jewel in the Persian Gulf.

01 of 11

Visit the Bahrain Fort and Uncover Its Relics

Bahrain Fort

Getty Images/ John Elk

892 3618, Karbabad, Bahrain
Phone +973 1756 7171

Situated on a 17. 5-hectare hill is the UNECSO World Heritage site the Bahrain Fort. As the former capital of Dilmun, the site is home to an array of archaeological findings. It also features a museum that hosts more than 500 ancient artifacts, artwork, and relics meant to document the archaeological periods and ruins found at the site. The beautiful twists and turns moving throughout the fort are not to be missed as the fort is often visited by tourists and locals alike to explore the history of the Kingdom of Bahrain.

02 of 11

Experience the Bahrain National Theater

National Theatre of Bahrain

Getty Images/ mathess

6HVX+2F7, Shaikh Hamad Causeway, Manama, Bahrain

As the third-largest national opera house in the Middle East, after the Royal Opera House Muscat in Oman and the Cairo Opera House in Egypt, the Bahrain National Theatre is a must-visit while in the Kingdom. The stunning building is situated next to the Bahrain National Museum, the theater has hosted talent from where global performers from Russia to Spain have taken to the stage in all of their glory. The museum has also hosted an assortment of cultural activities, fashion shows, award ceremonies, and festivals. The theater also features a cafeteria and outdoor hall especially used for press conferences and small events.

03 of 11

Take a Day Cruise Tour

Beautiful sunrise view of Marina, Bahrain

Philip Mathew / Getty Images

There are a host of cruise and sailing options to choose from while visiting Bahrain. Some include leaving from Amwaj Marina in Manama or from the Bahrain Yacht Club for snorkeling trips or boat trips to view the sparkling skyline of Manama. For tourists interested in interactive activities while sailing the Persian Gulf, try out a fishing expedition where you can stay dry on the boat. Sail on a small sailboat, luxury cruise ship, or a traditional Middle Eastern dhow boat.

04 of 11

Explore the Bahrain National Museum

Exterior courtyard of Bahrain National Museum

John Elk / Getty Images

6HRX+86G, جسر الشيخ حمد, Manama, Bahrain

In order to take a peek into the history of the Kingdom, a visit to the Bahrain National Museum is a must-do activity. It is located in Manama, next to the Bahrain National Theater. As the most popular tourist attraction in Bahrain, make sure that you book tickets ahead of time if possible. The museum explores cultural activities in Bahrain, from traditional wedding ceremonies to galleries and contemporary art exhibitions. Additional attractions include a Bahraini craft shop, a wildlife hall featuring animals found throughout the country, and a small cafe for enjoying tea or snacks with friends and family.

Continue to 5 of 11 below.
05 of 11

View a Race at the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC)

Gate at the Pit Lane of Bahrain International Circuit, Formula 1 Racing Track. Control Tower with Bahrain Flag. Kingdom of Bahrain, Middle East.

Mlenny / Getty Images

Gate 255, Gulf of Bahrain Avenue Umm Jidar, Sakhir، 1062, Bahrain
Phone +973 1745 0000

Bahrain is home to one of the largest motorsport locations: the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC). The racing circuit is famed for its drag racing scene and the annual Formula One Bahrain Grand Prix. It also is celebrated for the BIC 2000 CC Challenge, which is the longest-running circuit racing series in the region. It’s a great opportunity to spot some of the greats in motor racing or celebrities attending events at the circuit. An additional part of the BIC experience is the Bahrain International Karting Circuit, a leading karting track featuring a mini Grand Prix and driver training.

06 of 11

Discover the Royal Camel Farm

camel sitting on the ground looking into the camera with palm trees in the background

Porojnicu / Getty Images

5FJ8+M3V, Janabiyah, Bahrain
Phone +973 1788 1188

Home to over 500 camels, the Royal Camel Farm in Manama is a great destination to head to with the family for a family-friendly activity. Another great point for visiting is that is absolutely free! Visitors can explore the estate all while feeding the gentle giants, tasting camel milk, taking pictures, or just gazing at the beautiful camels. Camel racing is a popular sport throughout the region, so don’t be surprised if you see a prize-winning camel on your trek through the exquisite farm.

07 of 11

Taste Fine-Dining at Luxurious Hotels

Black and orange dining room for the Plums restaurant. There is a large painting of an apple on the back wall

Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company

Bahrain is not short of options for fine-dining restaurants, be it at luxury hotels or self-standing establishments. Just The Ritz Carlton hotel in Manama has plenty of delicious options like Plums, which offers steak and seafood, and La Table Krug by Y, a high scale dining experience featuring Executive Chef Yann Bernard Lejard. For those interested in Middle Eastern cuisine, head to Takht Jamsheed found inside of the Gulf Hotel, which specializes in appetizing Iranian cuisine like grilled kebabs and Iranian polo rice dishes.

08 of 11

Shop 'Til You Drop at Bab al-Bahrain Souk

Fountain in front of Bab Al-Bahrain photographed at night

Mustafa Bastaki / Getty Images

ROAD 475, 304 Bab Al Bahrain Ave, المنامة، Bahrain
Phone +973 1729 8777

Bab al-Bahrain souk, found in the capital city of Manama, features a wide range of shops and stalls. These shops sell a wide variety of things such as souvenirs, spices, incense, perfumes, handicrafts, and colorful textiles. In addition to shopping to your heart’s content, visitors can sip on a cup of coffee while people-watching in the flourishing outdoor market or admiring the cultural landmark and visitors center located in the area as well.

Continue to 9 of 11 below.
09 of 11

Go Island-Hopping

Partially underwater image of hawar island and the seaweed in the clear water

Hani Bader / Getty Images

For those interested in experiencing the beautiful islands which surround the Kingdom of Bahrain, a day of island-hopping is a must. The Hawar Islands are just around 12 miles (20 kilometers) south of Bahrain and are best accessed by departing from Al-Dur Jetty off Al-Fateh Highway. The islands have stunning beaches and native flora and fauna. They're also a haven for bird watchers.

Another island to explore is the Al Dar island, best reached by leaving from Sitra Fishing Port. It also offers gorgeous beaches, chalets for renting, pearl dives, and even a cruise to Jarada Island while spotting dolphins and stunning coral reefs for divers.

10 of 11

See Beit Al Quran

Facade of the Bait Al Quran 'Isalmic arts Museum' in Manama
Allan Baxter / Getty Images
Building No.17، Rd No 1901, Manama, Bahrain
Phone +973 1729 0101

Situated in the Diplomatic Area off of Exhibition Avenue is the Beit Al Quran or the House of Quran. It features an exceptional collection of Quranic manuscripts and a library of more than 50,000 books written in Arabic, English, and French. Some manuscripts go back as far as the 7th century, so this is the place to be for history buffs. The extraordinary collection showcases Qurans written on rice, peas, parchment, and even grains. The center also houses a madrasa (religious school), a museum, an auditorium, a mosque, and a host of art exhibitions from around the country.

11 of 11

Relax at the Lost Paradise of Dilmun Water Park

Lost Paradise of Dilmun Water Park

Curtesy of Lost Paradise of Dilmun Water Park

Building 1663, Road 6227, Block 1062 Hawrat Ingah، Southern Governorate 000, Bahrain
Phone +973 1784 5100

For a family-friendly day out, visit the Lost Paradise of Dilmun Water Park. As Bahrain’s biggest water park, it covers 828,821 square feet (77,000 square meters) of land. The park is located near the Formula One Bahrain International Circuit in the southern governorate of Bahrain. It has a host of fun activities to enjoy including wading in the Oasis Pool, speed slides, tots pools, family raft rides, and so many more rides and water activities. The park also offers an array of dining options which include Indian fare at Roti Boti, an Arabian Grill restaurant, and a food court with burgers, sandwiches, and ice cream.

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The Top 11 Things to Do in Bahrain