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, 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, 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.
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.
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 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, 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.
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