Visiting Bahrain was part of spontaneous ideas on the next travel destination. Whenever asked where I am going next, saying “Bahrain” seemed to be unexpected answer. Yet, I was so excited for discovering this new country, small – yet so different compared to Poland or India.
But how come Bahrain? That was a nice story!
Firstly, I started to play with the map. Thinking about new countries to visit, one where visas would not be a problem. And then I discovered online tools that can give you middle point locations between two cities on the Earth. You can test it and play with it too: half point calculator. Between Poland and India – Iran was the answer. So then I started to explore options on the map there, moving more and more south, over 2000 km more south. Finally, marking Bahrain as the next travel spot. A bit unexpected, a bit unknown to me at that time. But that’s what chasing moments is about. One suitcase, two planes and … welcome Manama, capital of Bahrain.
Manama has its real charm! Being both the capital and the largest city of Bahrain can enchant you with its two sides: modern and antique. Meaning of Manama says it all: “the place of dreams” or “place of rest”, yes – worth visiting to explore this city and entire country. Small but rich in unique places to discover and memories you can bring back home with you.
Let’s do a quick exploration of Bahrain and Manama together.
Before that, 4 important things to consider:
- Manama might be the best place to stay so you can find a good balance of discovering entire country and the capital; therefore, look for an optimal place for you to stay, proximity isn’t key – it is all close anyway. ?
- As the area of the entire country is 780 km 2, it is worth to rent a car to explore both the capital and the country. Driving is easy: Traffic is good, Bahrainis drive on the right-hand of the road and automatic cars are the norm (in fact you will struggle to rent a manual car if you enjoy more driving it, just like I did).
- Saudi Arabia is really close (25 km away), it might be worth checking visa allowance & rules before your travel to see if you could visit one more country.
- After our travel to Bahrain it seemed that all roads lead to the Petroleum Museum (even if you look at the map, it will seem a bit impossible :)), both when on planned daily tour or nicely called “spontaneous getting lost” – we were always seeing “Dar al-Naft Oil Museum”, so chances of visiting it are high!
Certainly, you can assume that you have seen museum already as it won’t be missed. What are the other beauties of Bahrain and Manama to witness? Many!
6 spots to consider or… not to miss!
Bahrain Fort (The Qal’at al-Bahrain), only 10 minutes’ drive west of Manama, this archaeological site is part of the UNESCO World Heritage and it is believed to have been the capital of the ancient Dilmun Empire.
Tip: visit it during the day and additionally enjoy evening walk over there!
Manama Souq, nothing better than a bit of local shopping, Manama Souq is the old bazaar of Bahrain’s capital, great for exploring local products, walk or photography.
Al Dar Islands, two islands located 12 km east of the Sitra marina (Fisherman’s Port) reachable by boats. Islands are uninhabited, they are the main picnic ground for Bahrainis and many tourists.
Tip: Depending on the month of the year, water temperature might be a bit cooler – still, jump in! ? And, take one of the last return boats to admire one of the most beautiful sunsets in the world!
Bahrain International Circuit, great attraction if you love racing or F1, available for visits all year long. Since 2004 home to The Grand Prix week, a yearly event, that attracts racing enthusiasts from around the globe.
King Fahd Causeway, 25 km of marvel of engineering & unforgettable drive, connecting Bahrain and Saudi Arabia by comprising five bridges and seven artificial islands. Even if you are not planning to cross the boarder – go for it: fantastic sea views across the Gulf of Bahrain and towards the cities of Al Khobar or Manama, depending in which direction you are travelling.
Tip: If you are not planning to cross the border, take the U-turn a bit earlier, else you might end up just by the customs control and you might need to practice your reverse driving skills in the middle of traffic (in short: it is possible! ?)
Tree of Life, our favorite place, magical place. Simple on one hand and on the other hand many people describe it as a miracle spot in Bahrain: 400-year-old majestic mesquite tree that is believed to be from the Garden of Eden.
Tip: Perfect place to relax under the shadow, stop while chasing life moments. You might find the place fully empty, all for yourself!
Moments that matter, no matter the midpoint.