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Manama Travel Guide

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Bahrain, which means "two seas" in the Arabic language, is a country that consists of 33 islands in the Persian Gulf. Being the center of precious pearl trade, the country is also the first place where oil is found in the Middle East. Located right next to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain is a quite attractive place for tourists. Manama is the capital and only city of Bahrain. Although not as colorful and flashy as the capital of the United Arab Emirates, Dubai, Manama is a city where you can experience the Middle East in a simpler way.

General Information

Country: Bahrain
Region: Western Asia
Area: 30 km²
Language: Arabic (official), English, Farsi
Average temperature: 26 °C
Climate: Desert climate
Vegetation: Desert vegetation 
The difference between GMT: GMT+3
Telephone Code: +973 
Currency: Bahrain Dinar
Socket Type: Type G (three pin) 230 V


The capital of Bahrain, Manama is a peninsula in the north of Bahrain. Its closest neighbor is Qatar on the southeast.

Best Time to Visit Manama

The desert climate is dominant in Bahrain and the temperature in summer can rise to 50°C. Therefore, the period from October to February is the best time to visit Manama. At this time of the year visitors can enjoy a pleasant climate with warm sunlight and cool breeze.

Festivals in Manama

  • Autumn Fair (January)
  • Bahrain Reggae Beach Festival (February)
  • Bahrain International Book Fair (March)
  • Bahrain Summer Festival (August)
  • National Day (August)

Travel to Manama, Bahreyn

The distance between İstanbul and Manama is 2577 km by air. You can travel from Istanbul to Manama with direct flights lasting 4 hours and 20 minutes. There are regular flights from Istanbul airports to the Bahrain International Airport. You may follow campaigns for Manama flights and travel between two cities at attractive prices.


Transportation in Manama

Taxis, rental cars and buses are used for city transportation in Bahrain. Most tourists choose to rent a car or take a taxi. Taxis have separate tariffs throughout the day and the night. All taxis have a sticker on the rear windows showing the fare schedule. Buses are air-conditioned and it is possible to access information about bus lines by the Internet. You can also benefit from car rental options for a more comfortable and practical city trip.

Transportation to Manama Airports

The airport is 6 km from Manama. There are not many transportation options other than car rentals or taxis since the public transportation system in Bahrain is not sufficient. After landing at Bahrain International Airport, you can rent a car or take a taxi to access to the city center.


Places to Visit in Manama

At first glance, Manama may not look very exciting. But if you discover the golden shimmering buildings and the steel gray skyscrapers surrounding the bay, you'll find an exciting Arab city with a rich history and an interesting culture.

Bahrain Castle

Bahrain Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located on the dusty desert hills to the west of Manama. The museum is surrounded by picturesque sea views and lush greenery. The castle largely consists of stone structures from the 6th century that were used by the Portuguese. However, some of the excavated large mounds indicate that the site dates back to 2,300 BC. If you are interested in history, this is definitely a place you should visit in Bahrain.

Bahrain National Museum

Bahrain National Museum, one of the best museums of the Gulf region, was officially opened on December 15, 1988, by Emir Sheikh Isa Bin Salman Al Khalifa. The extraordinary building, designed by Krohn and Hartvig Rasmussen, is located on an artificial peninsula that is characterized by its white travertine marbles. The museum complex consists of two connected buildings with a floor area of approximately 20,000 square meters.

Beit Al Qur'an

The oldest ancient Qur'an collection in the region is on display in Beit Al Qur'an. It contains the Qur'an dating back almost every century and the oldest translations into European languages. With its distinctive architecture, Beth-el Qu’ran is a fine example of modern Bahrain architecture. There are a lot of manuscripts, hand carving and Islamic calligraphy in the Beit Al Qur'an. In addition, you can see the works of Mevlana and Omar Khayyam in the museum library.


Riffa, a large municipality with oil reservoirs, is located in the heart of Bahrain. The large Riffa Castle with its magnificent arbor and the ancient courtrooms is astonishing. You can find pearl necklaces, Middle Eastern spices and authentic trinkets at Arabian markets in Riffa.

Havar Islands

Located on the southernmost point of the Bahrain archipelago, the Havar Islands are one of the country's most deserted areas. It is home to the endangered Socotra cormorants that often travel along the coastline. Wildlife lovers may occasionally see the Arabian antelopes in Havar Islands.

Bab Al-Bahrain

Bab Al-Bahrain is located at the entrance to Manama Suq. Built in 1949 by Sheikh Salman Bin Ahmed El Fateh, the building opens to Manama Suq with its magnificent entrance. Manama Suq offers a unique shopping experience. There are many boutique shops in this area where you can buy textiles, spices, incenses, perfumes, and souvenirs. You may also visit traditional coffee shops in Manama Suq.

Al Fateh Mosque

Al Fateh Mosque, built in 1988, is named after Ahmed Al-Fateh. The mosque, where more than 7000 people can pray at the same time, has one of the largest glass fiber domes. Reflecting the architectural language of the period, Al Fateh Mosque has also a library that includes thousands of centuries-old books.


Located on the western coastline of Bahrain, Zallak is famous for its clear turquoise lagoons and palm trees surrounding the coast. Zallak has one of the most popular public beaches in the region. Water sports such as jet skiing and kite surfing are popular in here and there are barbecue grills all over the beach.

Where to Stay in Manama?

Take a close look at 7 city hotels where you can stay in Manama;

  • Wyndham Garden Manama
  • Al Areen Palace & Spa
  • Heraton Dammam Hotel
  • Sofitel Al Khobar The Corniche
  • Ramada by Wyndham Al Khobar King Abdullah Street
  • Radisson Blu Resort, Al Khobar Half Moon Bay
  • Atiram Premier Hotel


What to Eat in Manama?

Bahrain food culture has been influenced by Arab, Persian, Indian, African and European cultures. Dine is an important cultural event in Manama. Fish, rice, meat and hurma are frequently used in Bahrain cuisine. One of the most common dishes is Biryani, which is prepared with plenty of spicy rice and chicken or lamb.

Manama Cuisine

Do not return without tasting these flavors in Manama;

  • Biryani
  • Al-Mudalal
  • Felafel
  • Figata
  • Jireesh
  • Harees
  • Mahyawa

Manama Restaurants

  • Haji’s Cafe
  • Rayes Restaurant
  • Alreef Panasıa Restaurant
  • Masso
  • Bushido

Shopping in Manama: Best Souvenirs to Buy

Colorful markets and shops are among the main places you can spend time in Bahrain. The Bab Al Bahrain market in Manama is considered the largest shopping center in the city. In addition to the original oriental spices, which are worth gold for chefs around the world, you can definitely buy products such as clothing, jewelry, cosmetics, perfumes and crafts. If gold jewelry is your primary goal, you can also visit the Gold Souq Market.

Besides, Yatama Souq Market in Hamad town is the best place to buy high quality pottery at competitive prices. The pearls are one of the most popular souvenirs travelers get during their journey. In Manama, there are a variety of auctions where you can buy the most unusual products regularly decorated with pearls. You can buy charming crafts and jewelry made from pearls in any souvenir shop in the city.

Nightlife in Manama

Bahrain is a country where different cultures live together and nightlife offers a variety of options suitable for different demographics. You can visit bars, night clubs and lounges to enjoy with Arabic, Hindu or Western music at the capital Manama. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the places become quite crowded. Pool and beach parties are also part of the city's main night events.

Things to Do in Manama

  • Visit the Money Museum. Look closely at Arab, Islamic and Byzantine coins.
  • Watch the sunset from Bahrain Castle with your friends and family.
  • Participate in local festivals in Manama and become a part of the Bahrain Cultural life.
  • Enjoy the spectacular view of Laialy Zaman and relax with the cool breeze of the sea.
  • You can camp in the Sakhir Desert, watch the stars and have fun around the campfire.
  • You can visit art galleries such as Al Riwaq Art Space or Albareh Art Gallery and check out local artworks.
  • You may have fun with your family at the Wahoo Water Park in Manama.

Things to Know Before Visiting Manama

  • Keep in mind that smoking is prohibited while driving.
  • Manama is a great place for special events. You can choose luxury hotels in Manama for wedding and engagement events.
  • Three pin (Type G) sockets are used in Manama. Note that you may need a converter to use your electronic devices.

What are the emergency numbers in Manama?

Police/ Fire department: 999

Emergency: 998 or 112

Traffic police: 199

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