Day 1 in Manama
Welcome to Manama! Upon arrival at the airport, you will go through customs and immigration. Should you opt to purchase a transfer to your hotel; a representative will be waiting for you as you exit immigration. Arrive at your hotel, check in, and do not give in to jet lag! There is so much for you to see and do!
We recommend you get acquainted with the city, wander around the heart of the city where you can find many restaurants, cafes, shops, museums and galleries to explore. Bal Al Bahrain or the Manama souq is located in the city center, narrow winding streets, and alleyways filled with vibrant stalls selling local handmade goods, gold, jewelry, pearls, regional spices, souvenirs, and delicious food. Pick up some great souvenirs to take home with you and enjoy something tasty for lunch.
La Fontaine Center of Contemporary Art is also found in the heart of the city by the souq, check out this one of a kind historical monument which captures the essence of a European chateau boasting beautiful Islamic architecture. The center features art galleries, an open-air amphitheater, a restaurant, a spa, and a dance studio with a beautiful fountain.
Two iconic buildings in Manama include the world-class Bahrain National Museum, which is the oldest and largest public Museum in Bahrain. Uncover the layers of Bahrain`s history in the vast collection of ancient archeological artifacts that have been acquired since 1988 and date back over 5,000 years. There are nine halls in the museum complex featuring exciting exhibits including Traditional Trades and Crafts, a Hall of Graves, as well as Documents and Manuscripts. Stop into the museum`s cafe, a chic and spacious place with a beautiful terrace overlooking the bay and the island of Muharraq.
Next, stop in to explore the avant-garde National Theatre of Bahrain, a waterfront complex overlooking the sea, the third-largest theatre in the Middle East consisting of the main auditorium with seats for 1,001 spectators, and a smaller studio with a capacity for 150 people. The theatre has been the host of many global performances by some of the world`s foremost artists such as the Orchestra of the 21st Century of Russia, legendary composer Yanni, Spanish Opera superstar Placido Domingo and Il Divo. Marvel a the building`s unique architectural design made with wood covered interior walls inspired by the tales of 1,001 Arabian Nights.
After a busy day of exploring, make your way down to the Al Fateh Corniche to capture a mesmerizing sunset. This is a popular area with locals and visitors alike where families relax on the grass, people walk and jog along the waterfront and local fishermen sell their fresh catch. Kiosks line the corniche selling coffee, spiced milk tea, and other refreshments. There is a bowling alley here as well as an ice skating rink, other recreational spaces are being added along with more cafes and restaurants.
Stop into one of the restaurants to enjoy some delicious local fresh seafood and take in the breathtaking views and soothing surroundings.
Day 2 in Manama
First thing this morning, head to the Central Market in Manama to see the treasure of the sea! There are three sections: meat, fish and produce, the market is bustling with local fishermen selling their catch of the day and locals gathering their fresh food and produce for their restaurants. The market features a great authentic atmosphere, and you can pick up some local goods yourself for a picnic later and enjoy some chai Karak (spiced milk tea).
Today you can soak up the sand, sun, and sea at one of Bahrain`s beaches. The beautiful beaches here are great for sunbathing and the waters are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and diving. You can take a diving tour of Bahrain`s famous pearls! instructors can take you to dive sites where you can find oysters on the seabed and then learn to open them in hopes to find an exquisite pearl. There are many other outdoor adventures including parasailing, jet skis, flyboarding, and wake surfing along with day trips to the Amwaj Islands.
After enjoying some time at the beach and eating your picnic head off for some more sightseeing. Beit al Quran (House of Quran) is dedicated to the Islamic Heritage and arts and the understanding of the Holy Quran. The Quran was established in 1990 and houses the most renowned Islamic museum in the world; Al Hayat Museum which showcases a fascinating collection of manuscripts and Quaran`s written on peas, rice, and parchment spread over several exhibition floors. The National Library here features over 50,000 books including one of the teachings of Prophet Muhammad, Al Azhar journals. The building's stunning architecture is based on the 12the century Al Khamis Mosque and is engraved with verses from the Quran and boasts a slender minaret.
The Al Fateh Grand Mosque is a must-see in the capital city of Manama, an iconic building boasting beautiful Islamic architecture. It is the largest mosque in the country and the world and can accommodate over 7,000 worshipers, the walls are decorated by Kufic calligraphy and the floors layered in marble with a fiberglass dome on top, which is the largest in the world. Take a tour of this serene establishment and hear the sound of prayers.
We highly recommend a horseback sunset desert ride when in Manama, jump on a majestic Arabian horse and ride past the Bahrain Fort over to Karbabad Beach, take in the spectacular scenic views, and absorb the stunning colors of another spectacular sunset. You can also explore the legendary Bahrain Fort and climb up the ancient towers and UNESCO world heritage site which is surrounded by excavated ruins.
As evening approaches, make your way to the vibrant bohemian neighborhood of Adliya boasting a rapidly growing arts scene in the city and known for its colorful nightlife. The lively neighborhood set in the heart of Manama is a famous entertainment and leisure hub boasting an abundance of world-class fine dining restaurants, and an explosion of cafes. Block 338 is Bahrain`s fine dining district in Adliya, a pedestrian-only area dotted with restaurants and cafes offering Indian, Mexican, Japanese, Italian, and Brazilian cuisine, stroll along the bustling street and take your pick from the fine selection of restaurants. After dinner you can wander around the Al Riwaq Art Gallery, a great location for art lovers, and then check out the vibrant night scene found in Adliya at rooftop bars with breathtaking views, thumping nightclubs and busy bars.
Day 3 in Manama
Start your day off with one of the highlights of the food scene in Bahrain, brunch! Many of the luxurious 5-star hotels, such as the Four Seasons (with celebrity chef Wolfgang puck) and The Domain, host some of the best brunches in the city featuring delicious buffets of all kinds of Arabian and international foods. Sit down and dine on a delicious meal with a mimosa and then relax by the pool, take a dip and soak up some rays in a luxury setting.
Do some shopping! Bahrain`s gold is some of the best in the entire world, head to Gold City where you will find several gold shops selling pure 22 and 24-carat gold. The shop windows dotted along temple lane by the famed Manama souq sparkle with diamonds and gold, choose from a wide variety of jewelry designed with diamonds and pearls.
Alternatively, visit some of the city`s spectacular shopping malls such as City Center Bahrain which is the largest mall in the Kingdom or head to MODA Mall by the famous World Trade Center for designer labels and other luxurious items.
There are many outdoor activities to enjoy in Manama including the Royal Camel Farm, the Al Areen Wildlife Sanctuary, and many public parks. Spend your afternoon exploring some of these green areas in the Kingdom. At Royal Camel Farm, you guessed it you can see lots of camels, you can pet them, feed them, and have your photo taken. The Al Areen Wildlife Sanctuary is an unusual zoo where visitors can see exotic birds, tortoises, hyenas, and lions along with plenty of wide-open green spaces, sprawling trees, benches to rest on and ponds with ducks.
There is also an abundance of amusement parks in Manama with Lost Paradise of Dilmun the largest and most visited water park in the world boasting a variety of pools, slides, and a variety of other attractions spread over a large area tropically decorated by palm trees and exotic plants.
On your last night in the city head on a sunset cruise and soak up the stunning sparkling scenery of the skyscraper skyline of Bahrain. Sail on Bahrain Bay where the stunning and iconic Four Seasons Hotel building stands, capture a glimpse of the famous World Trade Center, named one of the most influential skyscrapers in the world boasting the iconic triple turbines and more sights of the stunning city. The cruise will take you around the offshore islands like Reef Island and the Amwaj Islands and then back into port.
Once back on dry land visit one of the fabulous restaurants in the city, many housed in the fantastic skyscrapers that make up the skyline. There is the Blue Moon Lounge on the 50th floor of the Four Seasons set in Bahrain Bay with simply breathtaking views from the rooftop restaurant.
After dinner, enjoy some of the exciting nightlife in the city or take in a show at the Bahrain National Theatre where performances like Swan Lake and L`Orchestre Lamoureux are held.
Additional Days in Manama
If you are able to spend additional days in Manama visit Hawar Island situated off the west coast of Qatar in the Gulf of Bahrain of the Persian Gulf. A World Heritage Site boasting a unique environment and habitat for endangered species. This is a great place for nature lovers, bird watchers, and divers.
If visiting with children visit Wahoo Waterpark, a modern, futuristic waterpark covering 15,000 square meters filled with rides, slides, pools, games, and endless indoor fun with a subtropical outdoor setting. The waterpark is part of City Center Bahrain where visitors can find many eateries, shopping, and movies.
Your Last Day in Manama
Depart from your hotel to the airport for your return flight home. We recommend that you purchase a private transfer to the airport if so the representative will meet you at your hotel with plenty of time to get you to the airport for your flight out.