Skyline of Manama, the capital of Bahrain
Skyline of Manama, the capital of Bahrain Depositphotos

The Complete Guide To Bahrain's Wonders And Delights

Nidhi Kadere

Bahrain is a small island nation in the Persian Gulf and consists of an arid set of islets. It prides itself on being one of the most popular tourist places in the Middle East. The Bahrain Tourism and Exhibition Authority (BTEA) found that Indian tourists to Bahrain increased by 87 per cent to 504,173 during the first half of 2023. Proximity to India, the ease of connectivity, and a diversity of offerings make the country an attractive choice for leisure and business.

Bahrain's popularity as a destination for weddings, vacations, and leisure is increasing so here's a guide for Indians keen on visiting the country.

Places To Visit

Qal'at al-Bahrain

Evening view of Qal'at al-Bahrain

Qal'at al-Bahrain, also known as the Bahrain Fort or Portuguese Fort, is an archaeological site. Deemed Bahrain's 'most important site in antiquity,' this fort is a mound created by many successive layers of human occupation. The site has been excavated to reveal structures of different kinds; residential, public, commercial, religious, and military, which tells of the site's importance as a trading port back in its day.

Timings: 8 am - 6 pm Tuesday to Thursday. Closed on Monday.

Al Fateh Grand Mosque

Al Fateh Grand Mosque, Bahrain

The Al Fateh Mosque, previously one of the largest mosques in the world, encompasses 6,500 square metres and has the capacity to accommodate over 7,000 worshippers at a time. It is located next to the Al Fateh Highway in Juffair, which is a suburban neighbourhood of Manama. The mosque is crowned with the largest fiberglass dome in the world and the walls are ornamented with Kufic calligraphy.

Timings: 9 am - 4 pm Saturday to Thursday. Closed on Friday.

Bahrain National Museum

Night view of Bahrain National Museum

Sitting adjacent to the National Theatre of Bahrain lies the Bahrain National Museum, the largest (27,800 square metres) and oldest public museum in the country. The museum possesses a collection of Bahrain's ancient archaeological artefacts acquired since 1988 and covers around 5,000 years of Bahrain's history, making it the country’s most popular tourist attraction.

Timings: 9 am - 8 pm Wednesday to Monday. Closed on Tuesday.


Tree of life, Bahrain

Shajarat-al-Hayat or the Tree of Life is neither a monument, nor a reserved forest area, but simply an unusual tree. It is the only major tree growing in the area and its survival in an area with very little water remains shrouded in mystery. This 400 year old tree is a local tourist attraction and stands 32 ft high. It is open to the public throughout the week.

Where To Stay

One of the most luxurious resorts in Bahrain is located in the capital Manama. The Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa is just 6 km away from Al Areen Wildlife Park and within a 10-minute drive to the Madinat Hamad 3 Burial Mound Field, a settlement of the Dilmun civilization.

The Vida Beach Resort Marassi-Al-Bahrain is located on the sea facing section of the island and offers an unbeatable view. Some of the more affordable alternatives include Pars International Hotel in the commercial heart of Juffair and the Ibis Seef Manama in the centre of Manama.

The Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa

Where To Eat

If you are looking for Indian food in Bahrain, the Bangalore Pub Bahrain will suit your taste. Travellers looking for an à la carte menu must check out the Mahonia Restaurant and Lounge. Rodeo Bahrain, La Plage, and Dublin Club are some of other gastronomic options besides the local restaurants.

Spice market

Where To Shop

If you are one of those travellers who cannot leave a place without getting your hands on local souvenirs, do not miss the Al-Qaisaryah Market, famously known as 'the pearl market'. You can buy pearls and miscellaneous items like dates and rugs.

The Joofri Supermarket in Muharraq Souq has one of the best toy shops in Bahrain. Souq Waqif, known as the 'standing market', and Manama Souq are the places you should visit to buy beautiful handicrafts, textile pieces, aromatic perfumes, and spices.

Souq Waqif

Getting There

To travel from India to Bahrain, book a flight from any major Indian airport like Delhi, Mumbai, or Chennai to Bahrain International Airport in Manama. Ensure your passport has six months' validity and apply for a Bahraini visa in advance through the embassy or online. Indians can also get a visa on arrival in Bahrain. Check flight schedules and visa requirements as they are subject to change.

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