Places to visit

Bahrain for one day


What do you know about Bahrain? Did you know that the official symbol of the kingdom of Bahrain, the flag of Bahrain was approved on February 17, 2002? Did you know that the most ancient Epos of human civilization mentions the land of Dilmun - ancient Bahrain? Did you know that 97% of the European trade of pearls of Gulf was coming from Bahrain? Did you know that Bahrain was conquered by Portugals? Do you know how is the sea pure in Bahrain? Or how is the souq tasty and colorful in Manama? Or how did Hindians, Persians, Christians, and Jews arrive in Bahrain? Or how is majestic the House of Koran? You definitely will know it using this self-guided tour, but, let us start with the flag. The flag of Bahrain was red as a reminder of the colors of the Muslim Kharijites. In 1820, the white vertical stripe appeared on the flag, symbolizing a truce reached with Great Britain. In 1933, in order to be distinguishable from the similar flags of the region, a white stripe was limited by a zigzagged line. Since 2002, the five white triangles were depicted on a flag symbolizing the five pillars of Islam. Are you ready to explore Bahrain by one day? Let's go and do not forget to taste the delicious Chicken Machboos! Photo Simplified Pixabay License

Author & Co-authors
Evgeny Praisman (author)
Здравствуйте! Добро пожаловать в мои экскурсии! Я как-то понял, что погулять с каждым я не успею, гулять в группах мало кому сейчас хочется, а гулять «вслепую» быстро становится скучно. Так и появилась идея записывать маршруты и создавать полноценные путеводители, которые я здесь собираю. Если вы попали сюда, значит вам нужен ключик, чтобы открыть маршрут – пожалуйста! Напишите мне сообщение на телефон +972 537907561 или на и я с радостью вам помогу! Иначе, зачем я всё это делаю?
38.87 km
12h 37 m
Places with media
Amwaj islands Bahrain
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We suggest that you start your acquaintance with the pearl of the Arabian Gulf, the island kingdom of Bahrain, from here - from the northern artificial archipelago of the Amvaj Islands. It consists of nine islands with luxurious houses with private beaches and, perhaps, this is the most famous and recognizable place. Luxury and beauty is not the only visiting card of this place, but also high technology. For example, in houses, there is a vacuum sewer, fiber optic, and the depth of the channels allows large yachts to enter them. We are located on the island of Tala, and its name sounds like the Greek god’s name Tilos. This name was used by contemporaries of Alexander the Great to mention Bahrain. The great commander himself sent ships to the island of Tilos - Bahrain from the mouth of the Tigris and Euphrates, and the thirty oar galleys reached the island in one day and one night. In 323 BC, the sailors told Alexander: The island is large, there are no mountains there, and there are few forests, but everything is sown, and planted grows in abundance. " Yes, it is the fertility of the islands, it’s a convenient location on the way to India, and the wealth of freshwater is that created this paradise, which even the ancient Sumerians knew about. From here, we set off for our next stop and a short walk through a pleasant park in the center of Amwaj. Photo by Charles-Adrien Fournier on Unsplash

Lagoon Park Bahrain
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Excellent restaurants and apartments surround Laguna Park with hotel complexes. This is a magical place in the modern kingdom. The magical land of ancient Bahrain was called Dilmun. The ancient Sumerians mention it in the third millennium BC. in one of the most ancient myths of humanity that has survived to this day - in the saga of Gilgamesh. This is the country of "Sunrise" and "Land of Life." In the tales of the Sumerian gods, Dilmun is a land of happy life and abundance. There is a lot of ancient burial places on the island - people always wanted to find eternal life. The desert island has become so popular a symbol of life because fresh springs hit the coastal strip right from the bottom of the sea. There is also clean water on the island itself. This unique natural phenomenon, the presence of fresh and salty water, gave the common name of the island of Bahrain. It comes from the Arabic word Bahr - which means the sea, and Bahrain are two seas. Salty and fresh. The same features served the extraordinary beauty and uniqueness of pearls in shells off the coast of Bahrain. Bahrain pearls are still highly valued to this day, and the island itself is rightly called the pearl of the Persian Gulf. Photo Simplified Pixabay License

Arad Fortress Bahraine
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Ancient trading routes passed through Bahrain become more robust in the Middle ages and raises the need to defend the islands. Arad Fort that guarded in the 15th century, a separate island has been joined to Muharraq Island. Arad Fort was built in the Islamic military-style usual for the 15th century. The construction took place in the framework of fortification initiatives in front of the Portuguese invasion of Bahrain in ad 1622. This fort is one of the most compact defensive forts in Bahrain. The fort is square with cylindrical towers on every corner that has been extensively restored and is illuminated at night. The unique construction traditions that use the sea stones, lime, sand, and palm trunks were carefully preserved during the reconstruction. Due to its strategic location, Arad Fort was used as a defensive fortress throughout history, from the time the Portuguese occupied Bahrain in the 16th century to the reign of Shaikh Salman Bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa in the 19th century. Entrance fee costs 200 fills (0.2 Bahraini dinars (approx 50 US cents)

Siyadi House, Bahrain
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We continue our tour to the historic city of Muharraq, which served as the capital of Bahrain until 1932 when Manama replaced it. The famous Siyadi House is there. Muharraq is also known for its traditional market arts and music and a place where Ali Bahar, a Bahraini singer, raised. Conquered by the Portuguese in 1521 and then by the Persians in 1602, Al-Muḥarraq together with the rest of Bahrain came under the control of the Āl Khalīfah dynasty in 1783. The Siyadi family was a pearls merchants and arrived in Bahrain in the early 19th century and settled close to the rulers’ houses in the Sh. Abdallah. Abdullah bin Isa Siyadi builds Siyadi House. The house becomes a more massive complex of buildings includes a mosque and a majlis. The house is a part of the Bahrain pearling trail, which is known as the UNESCO World Heritage Site in the country. Siyadi Mosque considered being the oldest acting mosque in Muharraq. The architecture of these three buildings shows us the unique decorations of the pearling period of Bahrain. Nowadays, the Siyadi Majlis is patronized by the Ministry of Culture, Bahrain. Photo Simplified Pixabay License

Shaikh Isa Bin Ali House, Bahrain
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This majestic building was built as a residence for ruling Sheikh Isa Bin Ali Al Khalifa. Its unique architecture decorations and unusual engineering solutions represent one of the famous and best-preserved traditional buildings of the Persian Gulf. A marvel of construction, the inner space keeps cool in the summer heat ad allows inhabitants to feel the freshness of a real Persian palace. Although rooms are unfurnished, the modest and extremely artistic decoration catches the admired eyes of visitors for hours. Opening hours: Saturday-Thursday: 8 am-2 pm Photo Simplified Pixabay License

Bahrain Pearling Path, Bahrain
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Over the centuries, the ancient city of Muharraq on Muharraq Island was considered as the capital of the pearls industry in the Arabian Gulf region, being home for the most significant number of divers. All the people of the island were involved in the pearls industry between 1810 and 1923, the period in which the pearling economy flourished, whether by supplying and developing related industries or serving the largest fleet of pearl ships. With time, the pearl economy declined almost simultaneously with the discovery of oil and natural gas in Bahrain. These changes led to a decline in the role of the city of Muharraq, and the rapid development of the city of Manama, located in the port on the mother island of Bahrain. Being the old capital, Muharraq preserved its identity. Despite the new urbanization process in the region, the city keeps its architecture, the lookout of its streets, and intersections as it was in the pearl industry period. Natural pearl plantations in the northern part of the Kingdom of Bahrain were the principal place of the natural pearl industry, which flourished in the Persian Gulf from the third century B.C. In 1877, pearl exports accounted for three-quarters of Bahrain's exports, most of which were directed to Bombay, Iran, and Turkey. At the beginning of twenty century, Europe becomes the most critical market for the Bahraini pearl exports, where the percentage of pearl products exported through the Kingdom of Bahrain is estimated to be 97.3% of the total outcome of the Persian Gulf in the years 1904 and 1905. The value of the Bahraini pearl exports doubled six times during the years between 1900 and 1912. The pearl economy reached its peak between 1911 and 1912, but the events that followed later led to the collapse of this economy. Wars, financial crisis, the emergence of cheap artificial pearls, divers strikes led to the deterioration of pearl trade during the thirties of the twentieth century, and its collapse entirely by 1950. For thousands of years, the pearl and its associated merchandise have shaped the economy of Bahraini society and its cultural identity. Bahrain has become the regional economic hub, where met people involved in the pearl industry. The continuity of the impact of the pearl heritage, with its material and immaterial dimensions, is today a unique vector to the Gulf-regional relations, social and economic, ethnic and religious relationships. Pearl Path is a world heritage in Bahrain that passes through the ancient alleys of Muharraq. We encourage visitors to start their visit it the current location and pass to Bu Maher Castle and Bu Maher Visitor Center. Bu Maher Fort can also be reached by boat, which departs the Bahrain National Museum every half an hour between 10:15 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., except on Tuesdays. By the second quarter of 2020, Bu Maher Castle will be connected to the rest of the Pearl Trail via a pedestrian bridge, and visitors will be able to walk from the southern coastal point of the path to the northern end. Currently, visitors can return by boat to the Bahrain National Museum after visiting Bu Maher Castle and continue their visit to the track in Muharraq. Bu Maher Castle and Visitor Center open daily from 10:15 am Until 4:30 pm, except for Tuesday The Pearl Path Visitor Center is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. except on Thursdays Photo Simplified Pixabay License

Beit Al Quran, Bahrain
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The House of the Koran is the largest and richest museum in the world dedicated to the Holy Book. Islam says that, unlike other divine Books of the Almighty Lord (Taurat / Torah, sent to Musa (Moses), Zabur / Book of Psalms of Daud (David), Injil / Gospel revealed to Isa (Jesus)), the Holy Quran was revealed to Muhamed - the last Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and has not undergone any changes, being protected by the Allmighty for all 1400 years. Islam came to ancient Bahrain (the Persian Gulf Coast from Kuwait to Qatar) during the time of the Prophet Muhammad. Almost 350 years after these events a new branch appeared in Bahrain, the Qarmatians, and many wars commenced. They even stole the sacred Black Stone of Mecca. But a little less than a hundred years later the excitement subsided and the Sunni rulers supported the peaceful teachings of the Shiite Imams. In the thirteenth century Bahrain even housed its own scolar. Visitors can attend the Beit al Qur'an complex on Saturdays from 9 am to 12 pm and on Wednesdays from 4 pm to 6 pm. The complex's exterior designed on the old fashion mosque typical for the 12th-century. There are a mosque, a library, an auditorium, a madrasa, and a museum which is spread in ten exhibition halls. The library holds over 50,000 books and manuscripts mostly on Islam. They are written in Arabic, English, and French. The Al Hayat Museum exhibit rare Qur'anic manuscripts dating back to the beginning of Islam civilization. There are manuscripts from Mecca and Medina, Damascus and Baghdad. A rare manuscript of the Qur'an, printed in Germany in 1694 also exhibited there. In 955 in Switzerland Qur'an was translated to Latin. This world's oldest translation of the Qur'an is also part of unique exhibition. Photo Simplified Pixabay License

Bahrain National Museum
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Bahrain counts almost 5000 years of history. Being the most significant and oldest public museum in Bahrain, the Bahrain National Museum is number two of the must-visit list after the House of Koran. Its story starts in 1957 when the Danish Archaeological Expedition exhibit at the Hidaya Boys School in Muharraq the archaeological artifacts from its excavations in Bahrain Fort. Danish architects Krohn & Hartvig Rasmussen designed the building for the modern museum. In 2013 the museum celebrated its 25th anniversary by renovating the Hall of Dilmun Graves. These old burial hills date back to the golden age of the ancient Mesopotamian civilizations when people believed in eternal life after death in the paradise world of undiscovered Dilmun lands. The museum observes the historical Muharraq island - the next after Mesopotamian culture stage in the history of Bahrain. Muharraq's was once named Arwad. It also went back to the time of Dilmun some 5,000 years ago. Still, the name come to prominence in the historical records during the era of Tylos when Bahrain came under the domination of the Seleucid Greeks, and Muharraq was the center of a pagan cult dedicated to the shark god, Awal. The inhabitants, who depended upon seafaring and trade, worshipped Awal in the form of a giant statue of a shark located in the town. By the 5th century AD, Muharraq had become a significant center of Nestorian Christianity, which had come to dominate the southern shores of the Persian Gulf. As a sect, the Nestorians were often persecuted as heretics by the Byzantine Empire, but Bahrain was outside the Empire's control, offering safety. The names of several of Muharraq's villages today reflect this Christian legacy, with Al-Dair meaning 'the monastery' and Qalali meaning a 'monk's cloisters.' The museum is open from 10 am to 6 pm, except on Tuesdays. The museum also offers regular daytime boat trips to the Bu Maher Fort on Muharraq island, a part of the Bahrain Pearling Trail. Photo Simplified Pixabay License

Bab Al-Bahrain
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At this time, when we are a little bit familiar with the history of Bahrain let us meet its people, taste its tastes and feel its atmosphere on the old streets of Manama capital. Bab Al Bahrain meaning Gateway of Bahrain is a significant architectural monument in the business district of the city in Customs Square. This complex was built in 1949 almost on the coastal line and become the first formal public structure of Bahrain. In the second half of the 20th-century due to extensive land reclamation, Bab Al Bahrain found himself located several kilometers distant from the sea coast. The main element of the building - the huge arch is often referred to as the entrance to the Manama souq is decorated inside by extraordinary orient stylized lamp. In front of Bab Al Bahrain, Government Avenue runs, which leads to bridge connected the Bahrain Island with the continent. Bab al Bahrain is expected to become an interchange station serving the 109km Bahrain Metro. This project is expected to be completed by 2030. Photo by athar saeed on Unsplash

Shri Krishna Temple, Bahrain
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Bahrain always was a junction of sailing trade routes in the Arab gulf. Its ancient ties with India let the maritime trade route with Mumbai become the alternative to the coastal one. The trade route also opens cultural influences, migration of people, and development of ethnic and religious communities away from the maternal land. The ancient and iconic Shreenathji (Shree Krishna) Hindu Temple was established in Manama with the blessings of the royal family, in 1817 by the Thattai (Bhatia) Hindu Community. It is the first and oldest Hindu acting Temple in the Gulf countries. Photo Simplified Pixabay License

Matam Ajam Al Kabeer, Bahrain
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Like a Hindu community that appears in Bahrain almost 200 years ago, the Ajam of Bahrain counts hundreds of years of history. The name Ajam refers to a Persians of Bahrain or Iranians of Bahrain, the ethnic group in Bahrain composed of Shia citizens of Persian/Iranian background. Around 14% of the Bahraini citizen population adheres to Ajam Islam. They speak in Persian and Arabic. Persian migration into Bahrain dates back to the Sassanid and Achaemenid Persian empire. In 1910, the Persian community funded a private Al-Ittihad school, where the Persian language was learned. Matam Al-Ajam Al-Kabeer is the first and the largest Persian Matam in Bahrain. A rich Persian merchant Fareej el-Makharqa by Abdul-Nabi Al-Kazerooni was a representative of the Persian community in the council of the hakim Isa ibn Ali Al Khalifa. Being an immigrant from the Dashti region of Iran, he founded the matam in 1882, collected donations and hired orators to speak at the matam. in the 1890s, the matam was supported by Persian merchants, mostly the Bushehri and Safar family. In the 1930s the matam provided financial support and shelter for people in need following the collapse of the pearling market. Photo Simplified Pixabay License

Bahrain Synagogue
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Like other minorities of Bahrain, the Jewish community was established in the kingdom due to the merchant ties in the 19th century. These were Jews from Iraq, and some from Iran and India. In 1947 after the UN Partition Plan of British Palestina on two independent states, one for Arabs, another on for Jews, many Arabs in many Arab countries protested the establishment of non Arab state in the Middle East. A lot of the members of the Jewish community of Bahrain were forced to leave the kingdom after Arab rioters looted many Jewish homes and demolished the only synagogue in the capital city of Manama. Although the hostility of some citizens resulted in Jews emigrating, another synagogue was built for those who remained. Today the tiny Jewish community in Bahrain counts approximately 35 members. They can barely arrange a minyan - a community of minimum of ten adult males required for prayer. The Jewish community offered the building for another use or wanted to give it to charity since the synagogue is no longer in use. Still, the government didn't allow to change the purpose of the building and is aiming to preserve it only as a synagogue. As a result, recently, the old synagogue started to serve the prayers. It serves Jews coming in Manana from abroad, and together with the local community, it comes possible to pray. Abraham David Nonoo, the Jewish community’s unofficial leader and a member of Bahrain’s parliamentary counsel, intended to renovate the synagogue out of his funds. At the same time, Bahrain's Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa has offered to fund the construction of a new synagogue. Besides, the government also provided the Jewish community a plot of land to rebuild the synagogue, which was destroyed in 1948. Who knows, may it will be possible soon. Photo Simplified Pixabay License

Manama Souq, Bahrain
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Manama Souq is the real space of authentic local shopping experience; this is a real old oriental bazaar. You can try the best practices in bargains and haggle spontaneously in this crowded market spread on dozens of alleys and narrow streets. The colored stalls and shops sell textiles and handcraft rugs, spices, jewelry, and gold. Please don't miss the traditional Muhammara, it is usually eaten as a dip with bread, as a spread for crispy loaves, and as a sauce for kebabs, grilled meats, and fish. The market is open Saturday-Thursday: 8.30am-1.30pm & 4pm-9pm Friday: 4pm-9pm Photo Simplified Pixabay License

Bahrain Fort Museum
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A little bit to the East outside of Manama stands the imposing, centuries-old Qal'at al-Bahrain, known as Bahrain Fort. It was initially built by the Portuguese to defend their outposts in the Gulf. Archaeological excavations provide evidence for human settlement at this place for almost 5,000 years. Museum tells the story of the fort and excavation through the artifacts and documents. Convenient parking lot and close approach to the sea cost makes this place one of the most beautiful places to end the one-day self-guided excursion of Bahrain's. But, let us first tell the story of the fort. Opening hours: Daily: 8 am-6 pm Photo by Sean O. on Unsplash

Bahrain Fort
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Portugals initially built the Qal'at al-Bahrain on the artificial mound of 12 m height. The mound contained seven cultural layers and was once the capital of the Dilmun. The lower stratigraphy level represents evidence of human life dating back to the 2300 year BC when the town was the capital of the Dilmun civilization. As we already know Dilmun was, according to the Epic of Gilgamesh, the "land of immortality," the ancestral place of Sumerians and a meeting point of gods. The Danish expedition that excavated the mound in the 1950s revealed that it was a notable Hellenistic site. The site contains many necropoles and walls from different periods. The ruins of the Bronze Age consists of two fragments of the fortification wall surrounding streets and houses. Artifacts made of copper and ivory provide an insight into ancient merchant ties. Many sunk vessels have been unearthed in the area between the mound and the coastal line. During the Danish excavations of the Palace of Uperi "snake bowls," sarcophagi, stamps, and a mirror were revealed. All of these discoveries were exhibited in the 1950s. They made a significant change in the understanding of the cultural heritage of Bahrain, its rich and unique traditions, its colorful mosaic of people, religions, and history. It was a one-day self-guided tour, but we wish you stay for multiple days and enjoy the gentility and modesty of the pearl of Arabian Gulf which name is Bahrain.

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