The famous phrase “all roads lead to Rome” can also be said of Manama, the capital of Bahrain. No matter where you may be in the country, returning to this cosmopolitan city could not be any easier, making it no surprise that it is one of the most diverse and enriching of Bahraini destinations to visit.
With all roads leading to the capital, the most efficient way to visit Manama is by renting a car, as there is little chance that you will lose your way. Being a small city, and with maps readily available, this is your best bet when it comes to independently exploring all that Manama has to offer. For those who do not want to rent a car, taxis are easily found, although these can often seem quite expensive compared to taxis in other countries around the world, so be sure to research this in advance, and always go by the taxi meter rather than a pre-arranged fare.
Things to See and Do
With one third of Manama’s population being made up of expatriates, the city is quite the cultural melting pot, and always has an appealing diversity to it. There is such a wide range of attractions to be found here, from the historical and cultural to the sporting and recreational. The Bahrain National Museum is a must-visit, as is the Bahrain Fort and the Bahrain Fort Museum, all of which will teach you so much about the nation’s history and heritage. Shopping is also a popular activity here, and if you are looking for a more authentic experience rather than glitzy shopping malls, the expansive Manama Souq is the place for you. With its warm temperatures and calm waters, water sports are also popular in Manama, from scuba diving to pearl diving to fishing excursions, but there are also plenty of active land-based activities to choose from, such as bird watching and horse riding. Once the sun goes down, the streets of Manama burst into life, making it no surprise that the city is known for its diverse nightlife scene.
Food and Drink
The local cuisine in Bahrain is packed with flavor and spices, and restaurants in Manama range from local hole-in-the-wall eateries to grand five star establishments. The Manama Souq has a plethora of small restaurants and cafés that are known for serving up some of the tastiest local dishes in the country, while those who are after a more sophisticated dining experience should try Upstairs Downstairs, a classic Bahraini restaurant. Bahrain is often considered to be a gateway destination for those living in Arab countries that have banned alcohol, which is why its nightlife scene is so popular. Whether you are after live music, pounding dance clubs or intimate bars, you will easily be able to find this in Manama.
Manama is a truly captivating city to visit, and, with all roads leading to the capital, just about every visitor to Bahrain ends up in Manama. With everything from world-class attractions to authentic local food, this is a destination that expertly blends its traditional charm with a contemporary edge.