Are you looking to indulge in old-world charm? We’ve got a destination which is astoundingly artistic and alluring. The Kingdom of Bahrain appeals with its glorious past. So here we’re discovering the treasure of activities it is adorned with.
Going back more than 5000 years, Bahrain was once the home to Dilmun, Tylos, and Awal civilisations. Today, this multicultural destination is leaving everyone spellbound with its majestic appearance, and if you have an appetite to discover something unique then Bahrain makes a perfect holidaying destination. From being the locus of the Gulf’s pearling past to being the home of the Dilmun Empire, or its fascinating history and culture, the admiring beautiful Al Fateh Grand Mosque to its rich culture, Bahrain offers an array of exhilarating experiences.
An exotic destination in the Arabian Gulf comprising 33 islands, Bahrain is a marvellous destination. A beautiful land, a land where the past and the present thrive alongside. The name ‘Bahrain’ translates to the ‘two seas’ in Arabic and, its strategic position has made it one of the most significant trading hubs and routes for the pearl-diving industry. Nestled in the Persian Gulf, Bahrain is brimmed with a myriad of attractions to explore the forts, mosques, castles, souks, and museums are a delight to every traveller.
While in Bahrain, start your day by visiting the grand Al Fateh Mosque, the largest worship place in Bahrain that can accommodate approximately around 7000 worshippers. The beautiful ornamented walls with Kufic calligraphy will leave you mesmerised, the mosque is an architectural marvel. Crowned with a large fibreglass dome, the construction of the mosque started in 1984 and was operational in 1987. The floors are made from Italian marble, the striking chandelier is from Austria, the teak wood is from India, the lamps around the mosque are from France, and the carpet is from Ireland. It has become an iconic tourist attraction. It is also the site of Bahrain’s National Library, which houses over 50,000 volumes of books in English and Arabic.
Bahrain is endowed with stunning places to visit; the Bahrain Fort also known as Qal’at al Bahrain built over 180,000 sq ft is one of the incredible structures that reflects the deep-rooted history of Bahrain. The fort was excavated and the archaeological dig revealed various tools and artefacts; Dilmun stamp seals, fishing tools, and pots used for cooking and transport of food from Oman and Mesopotamia. The heritage site comprises of four elements – the tell, an ancient sea tower, a sea channel and palm grooves. During sunset, the striking skyline and view of the fort are breathtaking and astonishing. A visit to the Bahrain Fort is a must as it brings you closer to its vibrant past, and it also reveals that the fort was used for residential, public, commercial, religious and military purposes.
The most interesting way to know more about Bahrain is to visit the Bahrain National Museum. The way the museum is preserving the nation’s culture and history is commendable. The museum houses nine main halls and classifies the accumulated heritage of the Kingdom of Bahrain into six different sections. As you pass through the halls, you will come across the 4,000-year-old history of the kingdom. The ground floor depicts the archaeological finds of ancient Dilmun, the Hall of Graves and Bahrain’s customs and traditions, whereas the first floor showcases documents and manuscripts, the period of Tylos and Islam and the traditional way of trades and crafts.
One of the most striking experiences is a boat ride in Bahrain Bay; the bumpy ride takes you on a tour where you can witness the most striking Bahrain skyline and gleaming skyscrapers. The trip is fascinating as it brings you closer to the marvellous architecture that represents the artistic aspects of Bahrain.
Feel the thrill
Bahrain makes a perfect holiday destination for family, solo travel as well as adventure seekers. The adventure side of Bahrain is full of thrilling experiences, so if you desire to take the wheel yourself, you are at the right place. Bahrain entered the world of Formula One in 2004 by inaugurating the Bahrain International Circuit, it can accommodate approximately 70,000 people. The BIC is an exciting place; it allows visitors to take an exhilarating ride on its state-of-the-art karting track. So, while in Bahrain, do not miss the opportunity to test drive the race car on the F1 track.
Well, there is more to experience in Bahrain; feel yourself amid the tallest wind tunnel in the world, with an overall height of 12 meters, constructed with tempered glass. If you desire to enjoy this life-changing experience, Gravity Indoor Skydiving is simply meant and designed for you. Feel yourself flying against gravity and enjoy the moment. Isn’t it electrifying?
There is more to experience
While in Bahrain, explore its streets, the mosques, the museums, the malls, the restaurants and the skyscrapers. Take a walk through the narrow lanes and explore the traditional houses of Bahrain. Muharraq is the former capital of Bahrain which houses the old traditional houses that have been restored; these houses are known for their Islamic architecture. The Old Houses of Muharraq is a splendid place to learn more about Bahrain’s architecture and its pearling history. It is a cultural heritage site inscribed out of the 3 UNESCO World Heritage sites in the country. The Muhharraq old houses are the houses of wealthy merchants during that era. Many of these houses have now been restored and converted into museums, libraries, auditoriums etc to showcase the pearling story to tourists.
Another more interesting place specially designed for kids and children, and nature lovers is the Al Areen Wildlife Park & Reserve, a natural reserve and zoo that accommodates varieties of species and is an apt place for travellers interested in flora and fauna. The best way to experience any destination is to walk around and explore every nook and corner. Block 338 is an appealing pedestrian quarter chock-full of art galleries, restaurants and much more. Block 338 is one of the most happening places in Bahrain; it is highly recommended to visit and explore the traditional Bahraini food or enjoy a fancy meal at any appealing restaurant. This is also an area for art lovers; the streets are painted in vibrant colours, which indeed is pleasing.
In the middle of nowhere
Surrounded by water, there are many beaches and islands in Bahrain and one of the impressive islands is Jarada Island. Situated about 15 nautical miles from the main island of Bahrain, Jarada is an extraordinary experience. A place full of serenity in the middle of the sea, Jarada Island appears during low tide and disappears once high tide arrives. This is a hidden gem in Bahrain and it allows visitors to relax on the beach, tan, swim, snorkel or simply chill. This secluded paradise is the perfect place to unwind and relax, so make sure to visit this island and enjoy the serenity.
The mysterious survivor
The iconic ‘Tree of Life’ is one of the top attractions in Bahrain. Also referred to as Shajarat-al-Hayat, it is a 400 years old tree, and its ability to thrive with no obvious source of water makes it popular. The tree is wide, and the branches grow downwards towards the ground. Despite being located in the Arabian Desert, the tree is covered with green leaves and is approximately 9.75 meters tall and a lone tree standing in the desert. It is a natural wonder that this magnificent mature 32-foot tall mesquite tree stands by itself on top of a 25-foot hill. The tree’s source of water remains a mystery. This desert wonder is a magnet for all those who fall in love with Bahrain because it is stated that anyone who touches this tree will return to Bahrain.
The ultimate shopping experience
Undoubtedly Bahrain offers a superlative shopping experience, from high-end shopping malls to traditional souqs that will attract the entire passer-by. Find the vibes of Indian shopping streets at Little India; the street here sells varieties of Indian products, traditional spices and gold and is famous for the 200-year-old Krishna Temple. Sip a cup of tea (chai), walk along the narrow alleys, and taste some Falafel. If you are planning to buy gold, the Bahrain Gold Souk is known for selling traditional and contemporary gold ornaments. Home to myriad gold shops, various options of carats and designs are available here. Manama Souq in the north of Manama is a traditional Arab market that sells everything from clothing to jewellery, spices, electronics, etc.