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Destination: Bahrain. An essential travel guide.

WHY TO VISIT BAHRAIN

The Kingdom of Bahrain is an archipelago of the Persian Gulf, located to the east of Saudi Arabia, and consists of some thirty islands, including a main island where the capital Manama is located. It has a population of just over 1,300,000. Until now this destination was mainly reserved for businessmen, given its natural resources in oil and gas, but the country is gradually opening up to tourism, which is developing rapidly.

Bahrain has several advantages: the country has a culture dating back several millennia, and its 150 kilometers of beaches allow many activities of relaxation. The east coast offers to the traveler the beach of Al-Jazair, the west coast is equipped with new infrastructures and invites to the practice of several water sports. On the way to the north of the country, one discovers beautiful landscapes of deserts overhanging the sea, and palm groves where mosques are hidden.

On the island of Dal Ar you can go jet-skiing or diving, watch dolphin shows, and less than half an hour from Manama children will enjoy the park of Paradise Lost with its Many water attractions. You can also explore the park of Al Arren where fauna and flora will surely exude you.

Also worth a visit is the capital Manama, which, beside its skyscrapers, is home to the souks district with its multiple odors and colors, as well as the National Museum, divided into 9 areas, each with a specific theme ranging from the history of Country to archeology. Also to see, the House of the Koran and its very rare manuscripts. Not far from Manama, you will discover the site of Qa'lat Bahrain, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a former Portuguese fort standing on top of a hill.

To the north-east of Manama you will admire the Al Fath mosque in the town of Juffair, which is one of the largest in the world, accommodating 7,000 people, with a cupola topped by a gigantic 60-tonne heavy dome, Built in 1987.

Finally, in the center of the country, you will not be insensitive to the presence of a 400-year-old acacia growing in the desert, without anyone knowing where it draws the water that feeds it.

Source: http://www.thebesttimetovisit.com/

WHAT TO SEE IN BAHRAIN

Top destinations in Bahrain are:

  • Manama
  • Riffa
  • Muharraq
  • Bani Jamra
  • Madinat Hamad
  • A'ali
  • Al Jasra
  • Madinat Isa
  • Al Budaiya
  • Hawar Island

WHEN TO GO TO BAHRAIN

Best period to visit Bahrain is from November to March.

Deserted by a desert climate with prevailing winds from the northwest, this country has only two seasons: a summer which roughly ranges from May to October, with temperatures sometimes exceeding 40 ° C during the day and wet days, as well as sand storms, and a winter from November to April, where the averages are between 20 and 25 ° C. 

It rains rarely (about 10 days of rain per year), and generally this precipitation takes place between December and March, with one or two days of rain per month.

It is therefore advisable to visit Bahrain between November and March, where you can enjoy warm days and soft evenings.

Following a list of typical festival and celebrations of Bahrain.

  • New Year's Day: Christians across Bahrain see in the New Year with the usual celebrations, with parties commonly featuring live music, alcohol and fireworks.
  • Ashura: Known as the Shiite day of mourning, Shi'a Muslims participate in the day of mourning in commemoration of the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali on Ashura. It is widely thought to be the day when Noah's Ark came to a standstill and to correspond to the date the Ka'ba was built in Mecca and the prophet Abraham was born.
  • Milad al-Nabi: Milad al-Nabi is celebrated on the birthday of Muhammad. The Sunni and Shi'a Muslims celebrate the festival on different days, which is normally a few days apart. The festivities on this day include processions, feasts, decorations and storytelling.
  • Independence Day: 27th June is celebrated as the Independence Day in Bahrain. Fireworks, opera and festivities are the part of the celebration.
  • Ramadan: Ramadan is the most important and holy month in the Islamic calendar. This is the period of fasting for the Muslims. The daytime activities generally come to a halt during this period as Muslims fast from dawn to dusk.
  • Eid ul Fitr: Eid ul Fitr falls at the end of the month of Ramadan. It is a three-day festival during which Muslims enjoy good food with their families and friends.
  • Bahrain Grand Prix Formula One Championship race (http://www.bahraingp.com.bh/)
  • Islamic New Year: Known as Muharram, the New Year is celebrated with enthusiasm in Bahrain. A ban on alcohol is observed at many venues on this day.
  • Feast of Sacrifice or Eid ul Adha: Known as the Festival of Sacrifice, Eid ul Adha marks the time of year when Muslims make the pilgrimage to Mecca. The festival is celebrated to remember the sacrifice of Abraham to his son, Ishmael, for God. On this day, Muslims across Bahrain sacrifice sheep, camels and cows on this day in a symbolic gesture.
  • Eid al-Watani: 16th December is the Bahrain's National Day. The celebrations include parades and processions.
  • Accession Day: 17th December is celebrated as the Accession Day in Bahrain. The buildings are beautifully decorated and illuminated and pictures of the royal family are posted on billboards around the capital.

HOW TO REACH AND TRAVEL THROUGH BAHRAIN

by plane, main airport is Bahrain International

by car

GENERAL INFORMATION ON BAHRAIN

country entry requirements: passport + visa (check your visa requirements)

health tips & vaccination: none

local currency: Bahraini Dinar

local time zone: GMT+3

electricity: type G (220 V, 50Hz)

mobile phone operators:

WHAT TO DO IN BAHRAIN

typical food in Bahrain 

  • Machbous: steamed fish or meat served with rice.
  • Muchammar: brown, sweet rice served with sugar or dates.
  • Khubz: large flatbread baked in a special oven
  • Baba ghanoush: smoked aubergine, pureed garlic, yoghurt and sesame paste.
  • Shawarma: lamb or chicken carved from a rotating spit and wrapped in flat bread.
  • Sambousa: crisp pastry cases filled with meat, cheese, sugar or nuts
  • Balaleet: a sweet saffron noodles served with a savory omelet on top
  • Falafel: deep-fried balls of fround chickpeas served in pita bread
  • Qoozi (Ghoozi): grilled lamb stuffed with rice, boiled eggs, onions and spices
  • Machbous:stewed meat or fish served with rice, seasoned with cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and turmeric
  • Koshari:macaroni tossed with lentils and rice, seasoned with cumin and cayenne
  • Chebeh Rubyan: Ground shrimp balls made with cilantro, paprika, cinnamon, cumin, chili powder, and turmeric
  • Mulhammar: Rice cooked with rosewater, saffron, sugar, and ghee
  • Uukkous Al-Badinjan: eggplant sauce made with lemon juice, garlic, parsley, chili pepper, and paprika
  • Baklava: rich, sweet dessert pastry made of layers of filo filled with chopped nuts and sweetened and held together with syrup or honey
  • Halwa: dense, sweet confections made of sesame or tahini-based form, which can be flavoured in various ways, and may include pistachios, almonds or chocolate
  • Kunafa: cheese pastry soaked in sweet, sugar-based syrup
  • Umm: Ali or Om Ali: creamy bread pudding with a nut stuffing
  • Arak: grape spirit flavoured with aniseed.
  • Gahwa: coffee, usually spiked with cardamom.

souvenirs in Bahrain

  • natural pearls
  • gold and silver jewellery
  • red clay pottery from A'ali
  • hand-woven cloth from Bani Jamrah
  • dalla and finjan coffee pots
  • spices
  • dates
  • carpets and rugs
  • pashminas and scarfs
  • ceramics
  • water pipes
  • textiles from Al-Jasra
  • weaved baskets from Karbabad

SIMPLE DICTIONARY

Hello: مرحبا (marhba)

Goodbye: وداعا (wadaeaan)

How are you?: كيف حالك؟ (kayf halk?)

Thank you: شكرا (shukraan)

What is your name?: ما اسمك؟ (ma asmak)

How much is it?: كم سعره؟ (kam saerha?)

Sorry: معذرة (maedhira)

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