Manama, Bahrain: Top Things To Do & See

by Faheem

Looking for things to do in Manama, Bahrain? You’ve come to the right place! This blog post will give you a detailed overview of the best activities and attractions in the city. Whether you’re interested in sightseeing, shopping, or simply soaking up the sun on the beach, we’ve got you covered. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip today!

Being an expat in Saudi Arabia, I often get asked about what my weekend plans are. And to be honest, most weekends involve me driving across the causeway into Bahrain. It’s become somewhat of a second home to me at this point. There’s just something about the island nation that keeps drawing me back. Whether it’s the laid-back atmosphere, the stunning beaches, or the delicious food.

If you’re planning a trip to Bahrain, I would highly recommend spending at least a few days in Manama. It’s the capital city and home to most of the country’s attractions. Trust me, you won’t be bored! Here are just a few of the things you can do while you’re in town.

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Best Things To Do In Manama, Bahrain

Bab Al Bahrain (Bahrain Gate)

bab al bahrain in manama

This imposing archway is one of the most iconic landmarks in Bahrain. It was built in 1945 to mark the entrance to the city’s central business district. Now, it’s a popular tourist spot for photos in the city and it marks the entrance to to Manama’s traditional Market.

World Trade Center Building

bahrain-world-trade-center-in-manama

The Bahrain World Trade Center is one of the most recognisable buildings in the city. It’s made up of two skyscrapers that are connected by a sky bridge. This skyscraper is the scond tallest building in Bahrain and first to incorporate wind turbines into its design.

Al Khakiss Mosque

ancient al khamiss mosque bahrain manama

This mosque is one of the oldest in Bahrain and definitely worth a visit. It’s located in the heart of the old city and it’s been beautifully restored. The mosque dates back to the 18th century and it’s one of the few that still has its original minaret.

Bahrain Bay

Bahrain manama bay

The best way to experience the bay in Bahrain is by boat. You can find many boat tours that will take you around the bay and show you all the sights. You’ll get to see the Bahrain World Trade Center up close, as well as the Bahrain Financial Harbour and the iconic man-made islands.

Bahrain National Museum

If you want to learn more about Bahrain’s rich history and culture, make sure to add the Bahrain National Museum to your itinerary. It’s one of the largest museums in the country and houses a impressive collection of artifacts. You could easily spend a few hours here exploring everything on display.

Al Fateh Grand Mosque

manama-bahrain-al-fateh-grand-mosque
al-fateh-grand-mosque-in-Bahrain-Manama

Bahrain is home to some of the most beautiful mosques in the world. And the Al Fateh Grand Mosque in Manama is definitely one of them. It’s the largest mosque in Bahrain and can accommodate up to 7000 worshippers at a time. Even if you’re not religious, it’s worth visiting for the architecture and stunning interiors alone.

Beit Al Quran

For a more unique sightseeing experience, head to Beit Al Quran. It’s an Islamic museum that houses over 6000 Qurans from all over the world. You can also find a copy of the world’s largest Quran on display here.

Manama Souk

manama-bahrain-souq-entrance

If you’re looking for a place to do some souvenir shopping in Manama, the Manama Souq is the perfect spot. You’ll find everything from traditional clothes and souvenirs to Bukhoor, perfumes and gold jewelry. Haggling is expected, so make sure to brush up on your bargaining skills before you go!

gold-shopping-in-bahrain-manama

If you are not invested in shopping, it is still a great place to wander around and take in the sights and smells. Also, there are many traditional cafes and restaurants in the area that are worth trying out.

Bahrain Fort

manama bahrain fort

Also known as Qal’at al Bahrain, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s one of the most popular tourist attractions in Bahrain and offers stunning views of the city skyline and the bay.

During the day temperatures are usually very high so better visit this place just before sunset when the day has cooled off. Plus, the city views from Bahrain fort are more beautiful at sunset just bring you camera!

Water Garden City

water-city-garden-bahrain-manama

Bahrain Garden city was just a short drive from our hotel and that’s where we had our dinner at Al Kofeia restaurant. The place was not busy as we expected to be but it has a few cafes and restaurants, a few benches to sit outside admiring the city lights.

water-garden-city-beach-tours

There was also a place where you can go on boat tour on the bay with a few Bahraini Dinars only but if you like to party and swim there also a private beach.

Al Areen Wildlife Park

If you are willing to take a short drive outside of Manama, Al Areen Wildlife Park is a great place to spend the day. It’s home to over 50 species of animals, including lions, tigers, and ostriches. You can also find a beautiful man-made lagoon here.

Where to stay in Manama, Bahrain

There are a number of great places to stay in Bahrain, depending on your budget and preferences. For a luxurious experience, the Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay is a great option. Or, for something more affordable, the Crowne Plaza Bahrain is a good choice.

Bahrain manama hotel view
Wyndham Garden Manama room view

We stayed at the Wyndham Garden Manama and would definitely recommend it. The hotels is well placed in the Seef District which has a lot of good dining and shopping options. Plus, it’s only a short drive from the airport. The rooms were spacious and clean, and the staff was very friendly and helpful.

Other accommodation in Manama Bahrain we recommend:

  1. Gulf Hotel Bahrain
  2. InterContinental Regency Bahrain
  3. The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain
Booking.com

Where to eat in Manama, Bahrain

You can’t visit Bahrain without getting broke trying all the delicious food from around the world. There is literally all kinds of cuisines available in Manama, Bahrain. From Arabic and Indian to Italian, French, and Chinese, you’ll find it all here.

The Butcher Shop & Grill

bahrain-manama-food-the-butcher-shop-and-grill

For some great steaks, we recommend The Butcher Shop & Grill steak house. It’s a South African Restaurant that’s located in City Center Bahrain mall, Manama. The meat is jaw-dropping and reasonably priced. And if you are a South African you are lucky because you get up to 20% discount by just showing them you South African ID or Passport.

Haji’s Cafe 1950

Bahrain Manama Hajis cafe
Hajis cafe breakfast
Hajis cafe interior

Haji’s cafe is an iconic and traditional restaurant in Bahrain. It a must try at least once when you are in Bahrain. It’s located in the old souq which is close to Bab Al Bahrain. The food here is amazing and very cheap. The restaurant is established in 1950 and still going very strong. We have tried their Arabic Breakfast menu and it was vey tasty and on a budget. But I have heard their lunch and dinner menus are even better.

AlKofeia Restaurant

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alkofeia-restaurant-in-bahrain-manama

On our stay in Manama we had a Palestinian dinner at Alkofeia restaurant located in Water Garden City. I was really impressed by the restaurant design and wall art. The serving plates were also very beautifuly designed. The Arabic food was very tasty and I loved the Palestinian drum music the staff play for the guests. Just keep in mind the food comes in big portions, so you can share.

How to get around Bahrain Manama

how to get around bahrain manama

The The best way to get around Bahrain is by driving. If you can rent a car, that’s the best option otherwise, you can use Uber. It’s very convenient.

The other option is to use the public bus system. I saw them running around the city mostly empty and I heard that they are air-conditioned and comfortable. On our visit to Water City Garden we say this small sightseeing bus ready to take visitors on a quick city tour at night.

How to get your Bahrain Visa

The first step is to check if you need a visa. If you’re from the US, UK, Canada, or Australia, you can enter Bahrain visa-free for a period of 14 days. If you’re from any other country, you will need to apply for a visa in advance.

If you are an expat in Saudi Arabia or Qatar, you can apply for a Bahrain visa on arrival. You will need to have your passport and a valid residency permit from either country.

Also, for people that have a Saudi Arabia visit visa they can apply for an E-visa for Bahrain which is valid for 14 days as well.

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top things to do in bahrain manama

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