Welcome to the bustling city of Manama, the capital of Bahrain and the hub of rich cultural heritage and an eclectic modern lifestyle. Whether you are a history buff, a foodie, or an adventurer seeking new experiences, Manama has something to offer everyone. With its captivating blend of old and new, the city has become one of the top-rated tourist destinations in the Middle East. In this post, we have handpicked some of Manama’s must-visit attractions and activities that cater to all interests and budgets. Get ready to explore this vibrant city and discover why Manama is a hidden gem waiting to be uncovered.
The 2 Best Family Activities in Manama
The 2 Best Family Activities in Manama
1. Guided Tour in Bahrain by Local Licensed Tourist Guide
Explore the best of Bahrain with a half-day guided tour by a local licensed tourist guide. With the convenience of pickup and drop-off from any location in the kingdom of Bahrain, and the comfort of private car transportation, you’ll have the ultimate flexibility to tailor your itinerary as you go. Your expert guide will take you through the highlights of Bahrain, whether you want to visit the spice bazaar or wander through the ancient Bahrain Fort. This tour also includes bottled water, tea, and coffee to keep you refreshed throughout the day. Experience a hassle-free day of sightseeing with this customizable tour of Bahrain’s must-see attractions.
2. Bahrain Bay Kayaking and Bbq Tour
Bahrain Bay Kayaking and BBQ Tour is a perfect way to experience the scenic beauty of the city from the water. The tour includes a kayaking trip in Bahrain Bay, followed by a delicious BBQ dinner near the beach.
The meeting point for the tour is Bab AlBahrain, where you will be greeted by your guide. Alternatively, pickup can be arranged from centrally located Manama hotels. The tour starts at 9:30 AM and lasts for a few hours, with the activity ending at the meeting point.
During the tour, you will get to see some of the city’s famous sights such as the Al-Fatih Mosque and the Bahrain National Museum. Entry fees to the Bahrain National Museum are included in the package. The tour ends back at the meeting point, where you can bid goodbye to your guide and enjoy the rest of your day.
Please note that this tour confirmation will be received upon booking, and it is not recommended for pregnant travelers, people with heart problems, or any other serious medical condition. There is no accessibility for wheelchairs and it is situated near public transportation. Get ready to have a thrilling and enjoyable experience in Bahrain Bay with stunning views of the city, kayaking, and BBQ dinner.
Most Frequently Asked Questions About Manama
If you are planning a trip to Manama, Bahrain’s bustling capital city, you likely have some questions about what to expect. Here are the most frequently asked questions tourists have about Manama.
1. What is the best time to visit Manama?
The best time to visit Manama is between November and March when the temperatures are mild, and rainfall is at a minimum. The summer months can be swelteringly hot and humid, making outdoor activities uncomfortable. Additionally, during Ramadan, which is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and typically falls in May or June, many restaurants and cafes may be closed during the day.
2. What are some must-visit tourist attractions in Manama?
Manama is known for its unique blend of modern and traditional architecture and culture, so there are plenty of things to see and do. Here are some of the top tourist attractions in Manama:
- The Bahrain National Museum, which displays artifacts from the country’s history and culture
- The Al Fateh Grand Mosque, the largest mosque in Bahrain
- The Bahrain Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with ruins from as early as 2300 BC
- The Bab Al Bahrain, a historic gateway to the old souk and central post office
- The Manama Souk, a traditional marketplace selling a variety of goods
3. How should I dress when visiting Manama?
Manama is a Muslim country, so it is important to dress conservatively out of respect for local customs and traditions. Women should dress modestly, covering their shoulders and knees, and avoid tight or revealing clothing. Men should also dress modestly, avoiding shorts and sleeveless shirts in public areas.
4. What is the currency used in Manama?
The currency used in Manama is the Bahraini Dinar (BHD). Many of the larger establishments also accept major credit cards, but it is always a good idea to carry cash for smaller purchases.
5. Is English spoken in Manama?
Yes, English is widely spoken in Manama, especially in the tourist areas. Arabic is the official language, but many people also speak Hindi, Urdu, and Tagalog.
6. What is the local cuisine like in Manama?
Manama has a diverse culinary scene with restaurants serving both traditional Bahraini and international cuisine. Some of the traditional Bahraini dishes include Machboos, a spiced rice dish with meat or fish, and Bahraini Kebab, made with ground meat, parsley, onions, and spices.
7. How do I get around Manama?
There are many different options for getting around Manama, including taxis, buses, and rental cars. Taxis are readily available throughout the city, and most drivers are happy to negotiate fares for longer trips. Buses are a more affordable option, but they may be crowded and run on their own schedule. Renting a car can be a convenient way to explore the city and surrounding areas, but be aware that driving in Manama can be challenging due to heavy traffic and poor road conditions in some areas.
8. What are some cultural norms to be aware of in Manama?
Bahrain is a Muslim country, so visitors should be respectful of local customs and traditions. When dining or meeting someone for the first time, it is customary to shake hands and say “Salam alaikum” which means “peace be upon you.” It is also common to remove your shoes before entering someone’s home or a mosque. Additionally, during Ramadan, visitors should avoid eating, drinking, or smoking in public during daylight hours out of respect for those practicing the fast.
How to Spend Your Time as a Tourist in Manama
Manama is the vibrant and cosmopolitan capital city of Bahrain, a small island country in the Persian Gulf. With its beautiful architecture, rich history, distinct culture, and plenty of attractions, visiting Manama is a must-do for any traveler. Here is your ultimate guide on how to spend your time as a tourist in Manama.
1. Visit the Bahrain National Museum
The Bahrain National Museum is a must-see for anyone interested in learning about Bahrain’s culture and history. The museum has a vast collection of artifacts and exhibits that showcase the country’s archaeological treasures, natural history, and cultural heritage. As you explore the multiple galleries, you will encounter fascinating installations such as the Customs and Traditions Hall, which features life-sized models of Bahrain’s traditional homes and crafts.
2. Discover Manama’s Traditional Markets
Manama’s traditional markets are a bustling hub of activity, where you can witness Bahrain’s culture and history being brought to life. The Bab Al Bahrain Souk is a popular market that offers a vast selection of goods, including traditional jewelry, perfumes, and spices. The Manama Souq is another interesting market where you can find everything from antiques, carpets, handicrafts, and pottery to gold and electronics.
3. Explore the Bahrain Fort
The Bahrain Fort, also known as the Qal’at al Bahrain, is an ancient historical gem that dates back over 4000 years. The fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most impressive examples of Bahrain’s rich past. As you wander through the Fort’s walls, you’ll learn more about the ancient civilization that existed in Bahrain and their way of life. The site also offers stunning views of the city and the sea.
4. Visit Sheikh Salman bin Ahmed Al Fateh Fort
Sheikh Salman bin Ahmed Al Fateh Fort is another impressive site that showcases the architectural prowess of Bahrain’s forefathers. The fort was built around the 17th century and is located in the city of Riffa. Today, the fort is a historical landmark and offers visitors a glimpse of Bahrain’s past.
5. Relax at a Beach Resort
Bahrain has some of the most beautiful beaches in the Persian Gulf, and spending some time relaxing at a beach resort is an excellent way to unwind. You can choose from a range of resorts, including budget-friendly options and luxurious ones. The Al Areen Palace and Spa is a popular resort that offers visitors a chance to relax in the comfort of their own private villa.
6. Attend the Bahrain International Circuit
The Bahrain International Circuit is a world-class Formula 1 race track that hosts the Bahrain Grand Prix every year. If you’re a motorsports enthusiast, you can take a guided tour of the track and facilities or watch the race live. The circuit also offers a range of other activities, such as karting and drag racing, that you can enjoy.
7. Sample Bahraini Cuisine
Bahrain’s cuisine is a fusion of different tastes influenced by its location at the crossroads of trade routes. You can sample everything from traditional dishes such as machboos, a seasoned rice dish with meat or fish, and balaleet, a sweet vermicelli dessert to international cuisine. Some of the must-visit restaurants in Manama are Masso by Chef Susy Massetti, Maki Bahrain, and La Vinoteca Barcelona.
8. Enjoy a Dhow Cruise
A Dhow Cruise is a traditional wooden boat used for transportation and trade in the Persian Gulf. Today, Dhow Cruises are a popular way for tourists to explore the waters around Bahrain, from the Manama coastline to the lush green Al Dar Islands. You can take a dinner cruise, a sunset cruise, or simply explore the sea and its surroundings.
9. Visit the Tree of Life
The Tree of Life is a 400-year-old tree that stands alone in the Bahrain desert, a true natural wonder. Visitors speculate that the tree’s remarkable age and healthy appearance are due to its roots tapping into the underground water. Though there is no evidence to support this, the Tree of Life is a popular destination for tourists who venture out into the Bahrain desert.
10. Attend Cultural Festivals
Bahrain hosts a range of cultural festivals throughout the year, such as the Bahrain Food Festival and Bahrain International Music Festival. These events showcase Bahrain’s diverse culture and heritage, where you can experience traditional dance performances, music, and art. Attending these festivals is an excellent way to immerse yourself in Bahrain’s culture and experience the warm hospitality of its people.
Manama is a city with an abundance of attractions that cater to all types of tourists. Whether you are interested in culture, history, nature, or simply want to relax, Manama has something for everyone. Plan your trip in advance and make the most of your time by visiting the sites suggested above. With these ten things to do, you’ll have a great time in Manama, and we’re sure you’ll want to come back again!
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