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Things to do in Bahrain

Start your trip at the Bahrain National Museum to understand the historical significance of ancient archaeological sites such as Bahrain Fort, where you can walk on the ramparts and take in beautiful city views. See exciting Middle Eastern art at Albareh Art Gallery in Adliya, then head to the desert for some serious pampering at the Banyan Tree Spa in Al Areen.

Banyan Tree Spa Al Areen, Bahrain. Photo by Banyan Tree
Albareh Art Gallery, Bahrain. Courtesy of Albareh Art Gallery
1

Albareh Art Gallery

Exciting Middle Eastern art

Albareh Art Gallery in Adliya is the place to view and snap up paintings, sculptures and photography by established and hot up-and-coming Middle Eastern artists. Make up your mind over a tasty snack in the delightful art-adorned café.



Cost

Free

Opening Hours

Gallery: daily 10am-8pm; café: daily 10am-11pm

Address

Road 3624, Block 336, Adliya, Manama, Bahrain

Telephone

+973 1771 7707

Transport

Taxi or car

Website

Albareh Art Gallery Website

La Fontaine Centre of Contemporary Art, Bahrain. Courtesy of La Fontaine Centre of Contemporary Art
2

La Fontaine Centre of Contemporary Art

Cultural oasis

A beautiful example of 19th-century Islamic architecture, the La Fontaine art centre in Manama was once a pearl merchant's home but now showcases international art in a gallery that wraps around a courtyard where performances are held under the stars.



Cost

Free but you pay for performances

Opening Hours

Tue-Sun 10am-1pm & 4pm-6pm, or later when there's a performance

Address

92, Hoora Ave, Manama, Bahrain 306

Telephone

+973 1723 0123

Transport

Car or taxi

Website

La Fontaine Centre of Contemporary Art

Beit Al Qur'an, Bahrain. Photo by Brian McMorrow, courtesy of www.pbase.com/bmcmorrow
3

Beit Al-Qur'an

Qur'ans and calligraphy

Housed in an Arabic-script-engraved building, the Diplomatic Area's Beit Al Qur'an features a mosque, a library and an internationally celebrated collection of Qur'anic manuscripts. Offering insights into Islam, this is also a treat for those interested in calligraphy.



Cost

Free

Opening Hours

Sat-Wed 9am-12pm & 4pm-6pm; Thur 9am-12.30pm

Address

Exhibition Rd, Diplomatic Area, Manama, Bahrain

Telephone

+973 1729 0101

Transport

Taxi

Bahrain National Museum, Bahrain. Photo by Brian McMorrow, courtesy of www.pbase.com/bmcmorrow
4

Bahrain National Museum

Ancient artefacts

The BHD13-million Bahrain National Museum, set on the East Corniche, tells Bahrain's fascinating story through various exhibits, most notably artefacts from the ancient civilisation of Dilmun, a burial mound transferred from the desert and a showcase of Bahraini customs.



Cost

500 fils; children under 13 free

Opening Hours

Daily 8am-8pm

Address

Shaikh Hamad Causeway, East Corniche, Manama, Bahrain

Telephone

+973 1729 8777

Transport

Taxi

Bahrain Fort, Bahrain. Courtesy of Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain
5

Bahrain Fort

Layers of history

Built during the Portuguese occupation in the 1500s, Bahrain Fort is an imposing sight on the edge of the sea in Karbabad Village. More importantly, it sits atop several layers of civilisation, going back as far as 2300 BC.



Opening Hours

During daylight

Address

Karbabad Village, Bahrain

Transport

Taxi or car

King Fahd Causeway, Bahrain. Courtesy of Bahrain Embassy
6

King Fahd Causeway

Bridging kingdoms

Opened in 1986, the 15.5-mile King Fahd Causeway is one the most expensive bridges ever built. A giant cultural landmark, it links the Kingdom of Bahrain to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, crossing the wildlife-rich Umm Nasan Island.



Cost

BHD2-BHD5

Opening Hours

Daily all day

Telephone

+973 17 796321

Transport

Taxi

Website

King Fahd Causeway Website

Barbar Temple, Bahrain. Photo by Brian McMorrow, courtesy of www.pbase.com/bmcmorrow
7

Barbar Temple

Ancient place of worship

It is believed that the Barbar Temple was built in three stages between 3,000 and 2,000 BC to worship the legendary God Enki. Remains include two sacrificial altars, a well and walls made of huge stone blocks.



Cost

Free

Opening Hours

Daily (closed Fri)

Address

South of Barbar Village, Bahrain

Transport

Car or tour company

Al Jasra Village, Bahrain. Courtesy of Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain
8

Al Jasra House

History and handicrafts

Al Jasra Village offers interesting cultural insights via the 100-year-old Al Jasra House where Sheikh Isa Bin Salman Al Khalifa was born, and the Handicraft Centre, where you can watch craftsmen making boats and weaving cloth and baskets.



Cost

Al Jasra House 200 fils; Handicraft Centre free

Opening Hours

Mon-Wed & Sun 7am-6pm; Thu & Sat 9am-6pm

Address

Al Jasra Village, Bahrain

Telephone

+973 1761 1454

Transport

Car, taxi or tour company

Al Fateh Mosque, Bahrain. Courtesy of Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain
9

Al Fateh Mosque

Islamic prayer dome

Featuring the world's largest fibreglass dome and beautiful Arabic architecture, Juffair's Al Fateh Mosque and Islamic Centre can accommodate 7,000 worshippers at a time. Non-Muslims are not only welcome, they are provided with modest attire and a guided tour.



Cost

Free

Opening Hours

Open for visits except at prayer times and on Fridays

Address

King Faisal Highway, Juffair, Manama, Bahrain

Telephone

+973 1772 7773

Transport

Taxi

Lost Paradise of Dilmun Water Park, Bahrain. Courtesy Lost Paradise of Dilmun Water Park
10

Lost Paradise of Dilmun Water Park

Waterpark in the desert

A fun day out for kids, the sprawling Lost Paradise of Dilmun Water Park in Al Areen features a lazy river, sandy beach, wave pool and a multitude of slides set amid fake ruins inspired by ancient Dilmun.



Cost

Visitors taller than 1.2m BHD14 per day; shorter than 1.2m BHD5

Opening Hours

Wed-Mon 10am-5pm (closed Dec to Mar)

Address

Al Areen, Bahrain

Telephone

+973 1784 5100

Transport

Car or hotel transfer

Website

Lost Paradise of Dilmun Website

The Royal Golf Club. Photo by Phil Weymouth, BIGC Photography
11

The Royal Golf Club

Golfing oasis

Designed by Colin Montgomerie, the championship course at Riffa's Royal Golf Club blends elements of links and desert golf. Beginners can try the nine-hole Academy course, and a floodlighting system even allows play in the cool of the evening.



Cost

BHD60; concessions BHD48

Opening Hours

Daily 6am-11pm

Address

PO Box 39117, Riffa

Telephone

+973 (0) 17 750 777

Transport

Taxi

Website

Royal Golf Club Website

Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain. © Bahrain International Circuit
12

Bahrain International Circuit

High-speed thrills

The International Circuit hosts the Bahrain Grand Prix every March, and offers a host of other activities. Try go-karting or take a 4x4 around the track. Those who like their entertainment a bit more sedate can take a circuit tour.



Cost

Circuit tour BHD6

Opening Hours

Daily noon-midnight

Address

Gate 225, Gulf of Bahrain Avenue, Umm Jidar, Sakhir 1062

Telephone

+973 17 45 0000

Banyan Tree Spa Al Areen, Bahrain. Photo by Banyan Tree
13

Banyan Tree Spa

Desert retreat

The Banyan Tree Spa Al Areen is a luxurious escape from the city. Enjoy a massage in a palatial Asian-flavoured pavilion or spend the morning in the state-of-the-art hydrothermal garden before lunching over vistas of desert and palm trees.



Cost

Massages from BHD45; Hydrothermal Garden (2 hours) BHD35

Opening Hours

Daily 10am-10pm

Address

Al Areen, Bahrain

Telephone

+973 1784 5000

Transport

Car or taxi

Website

The Banyan Tree Website

Tree of Life, Bahrain. Photo by Brian McMorrow, courtesy of www.pbase.com/bmcmorrow
14

Tree of Life

National mystery

At 400 years old, the Tree of Life has outlived the average Acacia by 300 years with no visible source of water. Although disfigured by graffiti, it has a certain mystique that makes the drive into the desert worthwhile.



Cost

Free

Opening Hours

Daily all day

Address

Off the Musakar Highway, between Riffa and Awali, near Jebel Dukhan, Bahrain

Transport

Car (an SUV is recommended as it's surrounded by sand)

Al Areen Wildlife Sanctuary, Bahrain. Courtesy of Al Areen Wildlife Sanctuary
15

Al Areen Wildlife Sanctuary

Wildlife viewing

The Al Areen Wildlife Sanctuary in Zallaq Village is home to several Arabian mammals, most notably the graceful Arabian Oryx and the Reem Gazelle. It's well known for also attracting flocks of migratory birds. View them all on the park's guided bus tour.



Cost

BHD1; children 500 fils

Opening Hours

Sat-Thu 9am-5pm; bus tours: on the hour every hour

Address

Zallaq Village (approximately 20km south of Manama), Bahrain

Telephone

+973 1784 5000

Transport

Car or taxi

Website

Al Areen Resort

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