Bahrain is an island state in Western Asia situated on the coast of the Persian Gulf.
This country is made up of one main island and over 30 smaller islands, making it the perfect tropical getaway for some fun under the sun.
Bahrain as a destination is not just limited to pleasure seekers, as this beautiful Arab state also has much to offer in terms of culture, history, and wondrous sights that are certainly worth your time.
From UNESCO World Heritage sites and even a centuries-old tree to beautiful mosques and several amusement parks, there’s no shortage of things to see and do in this beautiful country.
With that being said, we’ve narrowed down the 15 best things to do in Bahrain that you will surely enjoy!
Watch F1 Racing at Bahrain International Circuit
It may be unconventional to have a racing circuit in the middle of the desert, but Bahrain made it happen with the construction of the Bahrain International Circuit in 2002.
When the world-class circuit opened in 2004, it became the site for the first Grand Prix ever held in the Middle East.
Since then, Bahrain International Circuit has been the go-to venue for all motorsport events held in the region, from Formula One Bahrain Grand Prix and FIA Formula 2 to local drag races and endurance races.
Whether you’re a racing fan or not, a visit to the Bahrain International Circuit is a must because of its architectural magnificence and significance.
Beach Bum at Marassi Beach
Bahrain is blessed with beautiful islands, which is why a tropical escape is surely in the books for your stay.
If you’re looking for some fun under the sun, look no further than Marassi Beach, located in the upscale Diyar Al-Muharraq lifestyle area.
At Marassi Beach, you’re in for an unforgettable experience as the private beach is known for its peaceful ambiance and bountiful amenities.
Whether you’re walking barefoot on the two-kilometer stretch of white sand, working on your tan on one of the sun loungers, or sampling the local fare from the restaurants and food trucks all around, expect a luxurious vacation when you’re at this beach.
In addition to the amenities, you’ll also find various options for water sports onsite.
You can also rent equipment or pay to experience activities, such as paddle boating, kayaking, jet skiing, wakeboarding, and more.
You will need to pay a fee to enter the beach, so don’t forget to bring cash or payment options when you visit.
Pay a Visit to the Al Fateh Grand Mosque
On your trip, don’t miss a chance to visit the largest mosque in Bahrain and one of the largest in the world.
Constructed in 1987, the Al Fateh Grand Mosque spans 6,500 square meters that can accommodate 7,000 worshippers all at once.
It was built during the reign of Sheikh Isa ibn Salman Al Khalifa and named after Ahmed Al Fateh, the first monarch of Bahrain.
The mosque is made from concrete, but its most notable feature has got to be the dome made entirely out of fiberglass, which is even considered the world’s largest fiberglass dome.
Its interiors are just as grand and lush as its façade, adorned with marble elements and glass-blown designs that you can’t find elsewhere.
Shop ‘til You Drop at Manama Souq
When in Bahrain, you’ll get to try the old-school shopping experience at a souq or marketplace, and one of the most popular is Manama Souq.
Manama Souq is a lively place frequented by both locals and visitors for its variety of shops and eateries that give you a dose of daily Bahraini life.
There is much to see and shop at this traditional souq, from textiles and jewelry to spices and an assortment of souvenirs to take home as mementos of your trip.
It is a place where you can haggle and bargain with the vendors, so you are sure to get your money’s worth.
After spending your day shopping, you may fill up with Bahraini cuisine at any of the traditional coffee shops situated within the souq.
Be Amazed by the Tree of Life
Situated in the middle of a dry desert in Bahrain is a mysterious but wondrous attraction that will captivate you.
The Tree of Life, despite its unusual location, has managed to thrive for over 400 years in the barren Arabian desert.
Locally known as Shajarat-al-Hayat, the mesquite tree rises up to 32 feet and continues to grow despite lacking any visible source of water around.
Because of its mysterious existence, Bahrain’s Tree of Life is often attributed to myths and biblical tales such as the Epic of Gilgamesh and some interpretations of the Old Testament.
Learn about History at Bahrain National Museum
History buffs will enjoy a visit to Bahrain National Museum.
Located in Manama, Bahrain National Museum was built in 1988, making it the oldest public museum in the country and the largest.
The structure spans over 20,000 square meters and houses various historical artifacts offering a glimpse into Bahrain’s past dating back to 6,000 years ago.
Within the museum, there are plenty of exhibits you can explore.
There’s the Hall of Dilmun which features artifacts from the Dilmun civilization that existed from 5000 BC to 400 BC.
The Hall of Tylos and Islam chronicles the birth of Islam in Bahrain and features artifacts from Al Fateh, the oldest mosque in the country.
Meanwhile, the Hall of Customs and Traditions teaches visitors about the culture and ways of the Bahraini people, among others.
Say Hello to the Local Wildlife at Al Areen Wildlife Park & Reserve
For over 30 years, the Al Areen Wildlife Park & Reserve has been the home of various species of wildlife indigenous to the region and the conservation site for many endangered species.
From rare birds to wild animals and even desert plants, this sanctuary is a haven for nature lovers who want to have a peaceful commune.
Located in the desert area of Sakhir, the wildlife park is home to a total of 82 bird species, 45 mammal species, and 25 plant species indigenous to the Middle East.
You can explore all of them in the four sections of the park, namely: the Water Birds Park, Wild Birds Park, Wild Animals’ Complex, and Desert Flora Garden.
Have a Splash at The Lost Paradise of Dilmun
When in Bahrain, don’t miss a chance to have the best time at the country’s biggest waterpark.
The Lost Paradise of Dilmun brings joy to kids and kids at heart with 77,000 square meters filled with over 20 slides and attractions, guaranteeing a fun time for each and everyone.
Set in the desert on the east coast of Bahrain, the water park is themed after the Dilmun civilization and highlights the wonders of old Bahrain.
Whether you’re tubing down the Lazy River, relaxing by the Spa Pool, or going down the Aqua Loop Rocket Slide, there’s an endless amount of enjoyment at this sprawling waterpark.
Explore Bahrain Fort and Museum
Bahrain Fort, also known as Qal’at al-Bahrain or Portugal Port, was once the capital of the Dilmun civilization and is reported to have been built in the 16thcentury.
Located in the area of Seef, it is built over 180,000 square feet and is one of only three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Bahrain.
From the fort’s tell or archaeological site, many historical artifacts during the Dilmun era were unearthed.
This beautiful structure in the middle of the desert is a symbol of Bahrain’s rich history and is a must-visit if you’re invested in the country’s rich heritage.
Catch a Show at Bahrain National Theater
To further immerse yourself in Bahrain’s culture and arts, don’t forget to include Bahrain National Theater in your itinerary.
Bahrain National Theater is located next to Bahrain National Museum in Manama and was opened to the public in November 2012.
Since then, it has played host to various global and local musical performances and concerts ranging from orchestra and opera as well as cultural activities and awards ceremonies.
The theater is housed in a waterfront building complex built with a 1001-seater auditorium and a 150-seater studio theater.
Known to be one of the largest theaters in the Arab world, the building’s design draws inspiration from Arabian Nights.
Have an Adrenaline Rush at Gravity Indoor Skydiving
For adrenaline junkies, indoor skydiving at Gravity in Zallaq is an experience you won’t want to miss.
Gravity prides itself as Bahrain’s first indoor skydiving tunnel that offers a unique flying experience that doesn’t require you to jump off a moving plane.
At Gravity, you’ll be free falling in a tunnel with a height of 12 meters which will surely provide you with that adrenaline rush you’ve been seeking in Bahrain.
Whether you’ve had previous experience or are a novice at flying, Gravity’s expert instructors will ensure that you are completely safe throughout the 90-minute activity.
Marvel at the Beauty of Sheikh Salman bin Ahmed Al-Fateh Fort
Bahrain is truly a wonder when it comes to forts, and one other fort worth exploring on your visit is the Sheikh Salman bin Ahmed Al-Fateh Fort.
Also referred to as Riffa Fort due to its location in the city of Riffa, the ancient fort was reconstructed in 1812 by Sheikh Salman Bin Ahmad Al Fatih and became open to the public.
On your visit, enjoy an enlightening walk around the fort grounds and discover thousands of years of history that occurred within its walls.
Onsite, there is a small café where you can enjoy refreshments after a day’s worth of exploring the historic fort.
Visit Bait Al Quran Museum
In Bahrain, you will have a unique Islamic museum dedicated to showcasing and preserving Islamic arts.
The Bait Al Quran was established in 1882 in Hoora and houses an impressive collection of rare and ancient Quranic manuscripts as well as a library of 50,000 books all about the Islamic faith and written in various languages.
Featuring a façade that’s beautifully engraved with Arabic inscriptions, the museum is regarded as one of the world’s most renowned Islamic museums devoted to the Quran.
In addition to the museum, you will also find a mosque and a school within the establishment.
Get a Taste of Paradise at Al Dar Islands
If you’re fresh off the airport and already looking to have a splash on one of Bahrain’s many islands, the Al Dar Islands is one of the nearest and most accessible natural beaches.
About 12 kilometers from the capital of Manama and just a mere 10-minute boat ride from Sitra Fishermen’s Port, the Al Dar Islands is a group of resort islands where one can enjoy some fun under the sun as well as an assortment of water activities and amenities.
Popular things to do when you’re at the resort are arranging boat trips to go fishing, dolphin watching, and going on an island-hopping trip to see the beautiful Jaradah Island and its lovely sandbank.
If you prefer to stay at Al Dar, you won’t be bored because of the many amenities onsite: you can enjoy sand sports from volleyball and basketball, relax on your very own beach hut, which you can rent, or brave the waters and go kayaking or jet skiing.
Al Dar is also equipped with a restaurant and bar on-site, and for those looking to spend the night in paradise, there are plenty of chalet accommodations for you.
Have a Blast at Adhari Park
Unleash your inner child and spend a day at Adhari Park, also located in Manama.
Adhari Park is an amusement and leisure park where you can go to enjoy various rides and attractions while in Bahrain.
Based on the legendary freshwater spring of Aid Adhari that existed 800 years ago, the amusement park spans 165,000 square meters and is home to a total of 38 indoor and outdoor rides for everyone to enjoy.
Whether you’re enjoying the view of the park from the monorail, having a splash onboard a paddleboat, or challenging your companion to a bumper car, there’s no shortage of fun to be had at this amusement park.
In addition to the rides and attractions, Adhari Park is also equipped with a food court, restaurant, and several cafes to fill you up during your stay.
Bahrain is a destination that’s often overlooked, but dig a little deeper, and you’ll find that this country, located by the Persian Gulf, is steeped with history and chock-full of amazing sights and attractions worth a visit.
It has something for everyone— for instance, lovely forts and mosques for history and culture buffs, various amusement waterparks for fun-lovers, and numerous souqs for the shopaholics.
And since the country is an archipelago, it’s rich with beautiful islands and beaches such as the Al Dar Islands and the Marassi Beach that will offer you that tropical respite on your visit.
On your stay in Bahrain, don’t miss out on all the wonderful things to do that we’ve mentioned above for a most unforgettable visit.