Top places to visit in Bahrain
Bahrain is a cosy place on the globe in the area of the Persian Gulf. Worth a visit!
General Info: geographical location
Bahrain is an island, or rather an archipelago, which is already interesting! And there is something to see and do because the Kingdom of Bahrain consists of 33 islands. The island of Bahrain is the central part of the archipelago and is translated from Arabic as “two seas”. Are you wondering where is Bahrain? Well, It is the smallest Arab state, located in Southwest Asia. Bahrain is located at the intersection of trade routes of the Persian Gulf, where trade has always been active. Its small territory has a long and interesting history, which can be seen today by visiting various places to visit in Bahrain that connect it with both past and present. There one can clearly see its eastern flavour with desert, oases, minarets, oil rigs, Persian Gulf sea, the heat of day and coolness of nightfall.
A bit of history
Travellers are always interested in the history of the place where he is going. Geographically and economically, the island is located very well - at the intersection of sea trade routes. The first records of settlement of the island date back to the IV millennium BC. With the beginning of the new era, the island is actively populated by immigrants from Arabia, mixing with migrants from Iran and Africa. Then comes the history of the Arab Caliphate. The island for some time was under the Portuguese and the British. The state of Bahrain gained independence in 1971. Currently, the head of state is an emir. The main branch of the country is oil and gas production.
Of course, the cultural heritage of the archipelago is closely linked with Islamic traditions, by the way, the Bahrain population is multinational: these are the Persians, Arabs, Pakistanis, Kurds, including the British, where without them, these once ardent discoverers and colonizers. All this has left its imprint on the culture and life of the archipelago.
What to do in Bahrain and what to see in Bahrain? Top main places to visit in Bahrain.
Of course, the historically rich heritage of the Kingdom of Bahrain has a large number of monuments and attractions, located at different points of the archipelago of this small country.
Let’s start with natural tourist attractions.
Tree of Life
Everything is very interesting here at the land of the desert, which has enough oases. So, let`s move to a growing tree in the desert. More than four hundred years in harsh conditions, withstanding the scorching sun, lack of water, the tree has lived almost 400 years. This tree is a living symbol of the state of Bahrain or, as it is called, the “Tree of Life”. It is a surprising miracle of nature, to see and experience the greatness of this unusual Instagrammable place, to stand in the shade, to enjoy the coolness, looking at the hot yellow desert scorched by the sun.
And by the way, not far away, about two kilometres, you can see a Mountain of Smoke.
Mountain of Smoke
In the local dialect, Jebel ad-Dukhanvrode means nothing special, just the mountain. But Bahrain Island is a flat plateau with insignificant elevations. Here the creation of nature is located in the centre of the island - the mountain in the middle of the desert plains, which rises 120 meters above the desert. In the area, there are oil rigs, also a symbol of Bahrain’s prosperity, which make its mark with its own energy.
Mosques in Manama
We go further and do not forget that Bahrain includes masterpieces of Islamic architecture. The sophistication of oriental lines, colours that fit into the local landscape, sometimes creating a feeling of being in a fabulous country, detached from reality. These places are definitely worth a visit.
Let`s talk about the capital of Bahrain. It is worth mentioning a few words about it. The first mention dates back to 1345. In 1521 it was captured by the Portuguese, in 1602 - by the Iranians. Then the reign of the Caliphate dynasty. In 1958, Manama was declared portofranco. In 1971, it became the capital of Bahrain. In between cases, it is worth visiting the international shopping centre - a majestic modern structure in the form of developing giant sails, on the 42nd floor to visit the observation deck. Believe it or not! You will never forget it. And shopping here is very exciting. But let’s go back from the modern to the past.
Alpha Fatiha Mosque
Alpha Fatiha Mosque is one of the largest mosques in the world. It is located near the highway of King Faisal. The uniqueness of this mosque is its construction, and it was built in the late twentieth century. The dome of the mosque is made of glass, or rather of pure glass fibre, which weighs up to 60 tons, made and brought from Austria. It is the largest glass dome in the world. The mosque itself has clearly verified geometric forms. The mosque floor is made of Italian marble, doors are made of teak wood, brought from India. It is worth seeing. The National Library of the Kingdom of Bahrain is located in the same place. Guided tours are free. Women are given an abaiya (dress) and a sheila (kerchief) at the entrance. Within walking distance of the mosque is the Royal Palace, which is also worth paying attention.
Al-Hamis Mosque is the oldest mosque in Bahrain. It was built during the XI century with one minaret. Then it was rebuilt twice in the XIV and XV centuries. The area where the mosque stands, Biladal Qadim, means “old town”. The area of the building is 455 square meters. The building has a traditional structure, but it stands out from the rest of the mosques thanks to its two minarets. Inside is a prayer hall, the ceiling of which is supported by wooden columns built in the Middle Ages.
Archaeological findings in Bahrain
To feel everything, you need to visit the places of the past: to walk, touch the stone, catch the warm wind from the sea and desert, among the excavations and buildings of the distant past, to feel it all on yourself.
Fort Qalat Al-Bahrain
Fort Qalat Al-Bahrain, known as Fort Bahraini and Fort Nadir Shah, is a famous must see places in Bahrain, Manama. The Fort is an artificial hill built by the residents of the city over a long period of time, from 2300 BC to the 18th century AD. Different peoples took part in the process of its construction: Persians, the Portuguese, whom the Fort later served as a fortress. In 2005, the fort was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Barbar Temple is the oldest excavation complex, consisting of three temples. A group of Danish archaeologists discovered it in 1954. The temple in Barbara was built of imported stone - limestone from the island of Jidja. The complex is included in the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. It is believed that this cult building was erected to worship the Sumerian god Enki. The temple is located 10 km from Mamana near the village of Barbar.
We move on and go to the town of Muharakm, located in the north-east of the country. It was once the capital of Bahrain until 1923. By the way, there is a traditional Arabic bazaar, which is noisy, interesting and worth a visit.
The Seyyadi House
The main place in the city of Muharraq is the Seyyadi House, considered a building of the XIX century. It attracts not only tourists but also locals with its unique architectural style, correct and refined lines, inscribed in cubic forms. A striking combination of smoothness of Eastern architecture and the rich interior decoration looks unusually refined. The guidebooks call the Seyadi House one of Muharraq’s shrines.
Riffa Fort is the best place to admire the scenery of Hunanaiya Valley. The Fort was built in 1812 and is a classic example of Bahraini fortification. It`s located 10 kilometres from the capital of Bahrain. In addition to the architecture of the Fort has an interesting air conditioning system of those times. Wind towers leave an impression of bravado and firmness of the Fort. There is a museum where artefacts are kept, telling about the history of the country.
Al-Arin Wildlife Park
If you are a little tired of the hot desert and its landscape, you can go to the national park, aka Al-Arin. The park is quite small, no more than 10 square kilometres, and is divided into two parts, one being designed for breeding, tourists are not allowed there. The other part of the park will leave pleasant impressions and to some extent diversify the eastern flavour of previously seen places. Special buses run here. The park has a collection of flora and fauna and is inhabited by 1.5 thousand different species of animals. During the walk, you can find a desert porcupine or Persian gazelle, a giant turtle, zebra, look at flamingos, ostriches and other rare birds. You can relax and have lunch in the cafe in the park.
King Fahd Causeway
In addition to Bahrain’s historical rhythms, you can plunge into archipelago’s modern life. The island is small, all nearby. The top of such places includes several cute objects, one of which is difficult not to notice, and, however, everything here is like in the palm of your hand. And this place is a series of bridges of King Fahd. It is a whole modern architectural ensemble of bridges and platinum, connecting Bahrain with Saudi Arabia, named after the King of that country. The construction of the bridge lasted almost twenty years. Its length is 28 kilometres—impressive construction, which is worth seeing.
Golf is one of the best places to see in Bahrain. Here you can try yourself in golf. An interesting place is a site for this game with 18 holes. Its main difference is that you can play golf here in the dark, but it is for the amateurs.
Formula 1 Races
It is worth visiting the international driving range, located in the central part of the state in the middle of the desert. There are Formula 1 races, GP2 series races, 3GT formula, drag racing—a spectacular place. There is an interesting souvenir store, a karting club at the track, where you can ride if you want. By the way, in the desert Bahrain, there is a special track for those who like to drive off-road vehicles, of course, on the rough terrain.
The coastline and the sea
The coastline and the sea - many tourists, visit Bahrain for this. The number of sunny days per month is at least 28 days. Almost the entire coastline of Bahrain is a sandy beach, in some places with a small shell, an ideal place for sea bathing and recreation. In addition, there are places for scuba diving. The water here is always warm; the temperature is +26C. A variety of coral reefs, surrounding each island of the archipelago, rich underwater world, great conditions for diving - Divers from all over the world are eager to get to these places. Here you can see more than 30 species of polyps that form coral reefs, and more than 200 species of different fish. Diving for pearls is considered a popular activity in Bahrain. On Amwaj Island, where the main Natural Water Sports Center is located, you can try the whole arsenal of sailing from windsurfing, kitesurfing, and yachting, including modern and fashionable kind of SUP surfing. Among activities, there is also yoga on the water.
What else can be said about Bahrain: “The island has good weather”. Come over! Have a nice walk.
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