24 Hours In Bahrain
Bahrain is one of the smallest countries in the world, while still being one of the richest with its oil reserves! It also has one of the most well connected airlines in the Middle East. But is there more to see in Bahrain than just the insides of the airport?
In this blog post, you’ll find everything you need to know to plan a visit to Bahrain, including what to see and how to make great use of a transit facility (visa-on-arrival) to spend time in the capital Manama.
Much like most other travellers, it was only after we booked ourselves on a Cairo-Bangalore flight that had a 14+ hour transit in Bahrain, that we actually though about visiting the Island Kingdom! And here’s a few places that we visited in the island country.
Al Fateh Grand Mosque
The largest mosque in the country (accommodating 7,000 worshippers) is also considered one of the largest in the world! The mosque was built in recent times and is an icon of the kingdom for the sheer beauty it displays. Expect to spend an hour inside learning about the religion and its evolution in Bahrain.
Tip: Take a free tour guided by the Nuns of the Mosque
Amwaj islands were built by reclaiming land from the sea! Today, besides having man-made beaches with turquoise water, these islands have also turned into real estate havens, with many uber-luxurious properties being built. Of course, most of these beaches turn into party zones in the evenings and on weekends (but keep in mind, that the country is still Arab, but not as conservative as its neighbors) and entry comes at a fee.
More places to see
Qal’at Al Bahrain
A Portuguese forst built in the 1500s stands strong today as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is only a few kilometres away from Manama, the capital city of the Kingdom. Expect to spend one hour there (entry fees apply)
Bahrain National Museum
The region has been inhabited for many millennia and this museum is the best place to learn about the cultures and traditions of the Arab people!
One of the most famous Islamic Forts that withstood the test of time. If you have never visited an Islamic Crusader’s Castle, this is one to start with. It’s only 4 kms away from the airport and can be visited in an hour!
The Tree of Life
A solitary life form that has survived for over four hundred years in an otherwise scorching uncultivable desert-land! It is revered as a miracle even today and the mystery around how it extracts water from its surroundings is still unknown!
More about traveling through Bahrain
Bahrain is very expensive to travel through (unless someone is hosting you) and can easily burn a hole in your pockets. Its best to take advantage of these Stopover packages or visit during the F1 Grand Prix (which is actually one of the very few reasons why Bahrain issues a tourist visa). Many European cruise ships dock at the Bahraini port for a day-stop.
For travellers from South Asia, you won’t be surprised at how many Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Sri Lankans, Afghans, Nepalis work here. Hindi and Urdu are spoken in Bahrain.
At the time of writing this, the Bahraini Dinar (BHD) is worth about INR 190 or USD 2.65. Expect to spend between BHD 3 to 5 per person, for snacks, dinner at small cafes, etc.
Do you have a tip or two to share with us, on travelling to Bahrain? We’re curious to know too. Tell us about it or share it with The Backpacksters community below.