The road less traveled.
You’ve probably come to this article to either:
Well, then, you’re in luck!
Bahrain is many things to people who’ve lived here a long time, we’ve been through a lot but what we’re most proud of, is the progress! There’s no other kingdom in the Gulf that’ll give you as much as Bahrain does! So now, that you’re convinced (we hope!) here are a few places or things to do.
Bahraini Breakfast – Saffron by Jena (Located in Manama Souq, Muharraq Souq and Riffa Fort)
This is a must! Indulge in some authentic Bahraini breakfast! You know they’ll be good because they serve just ONE food segment; BREAKFAST! If your pockets are full and you feel adventurous, dive right into their Royal Breakfast. As assortment of Balaleet (sweet ‘n’ salty egg noodles), Egg Tomato (these are the best eggs to order you can get on the island!), Hamsat Nikhi (fried chickpeas), Foule (mashed beans), Luba (kidney beans), Zinjibari (fried cheese pastry), Kabab Roll (rather obvious, I think), Mihyawa (flat bread with a fish, cardamom mixture) all for BD7/-! Check out the rest of the menu here.
And post that, no matter which location you pick, digest breakfast with a walk around the souq and take in the local shops or if you’re in Riffa, visit the fort.
Royal Camel Farm, Janabiya
Open from sunrise to sunset every day, The Royal Camel Farm is open to everyone; free admission. As you enter, don’t be disheartened to see camels that are chained as these are the male camels shackled to keep them from hurting other male camels during mating season. The female and young camels can be found in large pens roaming freely! You can get up, close and take pictures with them, and if you smile extra hard, they may even let you feed them! You can’t ride any of them, unfortunately :(
Bahrain Museum + Boat Trip over to Pearl Museum
For our history buffs, Bahrain has one of the coolest museums this side of the world. Open from Wed – Mon 8AM to 6PM. The Museum is the repository of 6000 years of Bahrain’s history. The story of Bahrain comes to life in the Halls of Graves, Dilmun, Tylos and Islam, Customs and Traditions, Traditional Trades and Crafts (this is our personal fave!), and Documents and Manuscripts. Don’t forget to look out for the entire Bahrain Map on the floor!
Don’t miss out on a quick boat trip over to the 2012 UNESCO Pearling museum at the small 1840 Abu Mahir Fort. It focuses on the development of Muharraq from the three primary pearl sea beds that provided the historic wealth for the traders of this capital until 1932.
Bahrain Fort + Watch the Tides
Built in the 16th century, Qal’at Al Bahrain, gives you a beautiful scenic view of the country. The Bahrain Fort (or Portuguese fort) was the capital of the ancient Dilmun empire. This square-shaped structure comprises high-quality stones, towers at the four corners (two of which form the main entrance), weapons, artefacts, holes in strategic locations used for shooting arrows, red tiles dating back to Hellenistic period, coins and a trench.
And if you’re there around sunset, head on over to the nearby section where you can sit and soak in the sunset while watching the tides come in.
It’s a must for any time of day! Click here to read more about it.
Dar An Naft – The Oil Museum
Set at the foot of Jebel Ad-Dukkan (Bahrain’s highest point), The Oil Museum was commemorated to celebrate the 60th anniversary of discovering oil in Bahrain. The museum is an ode to discovery of oil in Bahrain, the search and development and it’s benefits and impact for the people of Bahrain. It’s a library of historic documents and soil and rock samples that led to its discovery. Right next to the museum is ‘Oil Well #1’ that’s still in use and adjacent to the oil fields where 80% of Bahrain’s wealth comes from! Open Fridays 9am – 5pm.
Indulge in Bahrain’s favourite pass-time of drinking tea! Most small Bahraini shops carry the sweet masala chai but our favourite has to be ‘1977 Karak’ located in Muharraq! The creamy, just sweet enough tea concoction keeps us refreshed and ready to go always!
The museum is divided into five different sections (The Hall of Rulers, Forts Hall, Documents Hall, Horses Hall, and Old Weapons Hall). If you start with the Hall of Rulers, you’ll go through the history of how Bahrain was conquered by Sh. Ahmed Al Fateh (Ahmed the Conqueror), and you’ll find a map of the battles that took place at that time. All of the museums halls display progression of Bahrain’s military throughout the little kingdom’s history. Open on all days but check ahead for the timings before you go as they change on Friday / Saturday. Sunday – Thursday they’re open from 8AM – 1PM.
If, like us, you prefer to roam food markets and the like, head on out to the Salmabad Farmer’s Market for some incredibly fresh produce and fare. The market is open all year around and helps support local farmers. If you don’t wish to venture far if you’re in the city, head on down to the local central market located in downtown Manama (open from 8am – 3pm) that has not only fresh fruits and vegetables but also meat and fish!
When you’ve done all the exploring, soak in some Bahrain nightlife culture by heading over to Block 338 in Adliya. From cute little eateries to some excellent dance spots, the block is peppered with a lot to do! Coffee shops like Dose and 11:11 are packed right until it’s time to shut and gastros like LNT and Calexico serve some excellent food while also giving you the opportunity to shake a leg. If you’re headed there in the evening, I’d take a Careem to avoid the hassles of finding a parking spot! Unless you’re okay with paid parking at The Terminal!