Bahrain offers a diverse shopping experience, ranging from traditional, bustling souks to luxury shopping malls. In the capital, Manama, visitors can soak up the colours and scents of the exotic spices at the Spice Souk, or browse the ornate jewellery on offer in the Bab-el-Bahrain Souk, which sells the famous natural Bahraini pearls. These maze-like souks offer a sensory experience like no other and offer a multitude of goods including locally made fabrics and ornate tea sets, as well as various stalls selling fresh Arabic coffee and sweets.
For a more relaxed shopping experience, Bahrain also offers a variety of vast shopping malls that boast designer boutiques and well-known brands. The Seef Mall, the first authentic mall in Bahrain, also incorporates Magic Island - an indoor amusement park.
The Bahrain Grand Prix is a world-renowned sporting event that takes place on the state-of-the-art Bahrain International Circuit (BIC). However, the track is not just for spectators – visitors can experience various adrenaline-pumping activities including Caterham passenger rides, drag and drift nights and karting.
The Tree of Life
A natural marvel, the Tree of Life is approximately 400 years old and stands alone on a small sand hill in the Bahraini desert. It is thought to be a site of an ancient cult and its survival in a harsh, arid environment with no apparent source of water remains a mystery. Tourists can also view artefacts discovered at the site and enjoy performances and stories telling of the tree’s fascinating past.
Bahrain National Museum
Founded in 1988, the Bahrain National Museum celebrates the country’s diverse culture and history. It is made up of nine grand halls showcasing various treasures through time, from prehistoric artefacts to Islamic manuscripts. The museum also hosts international exhibitions and the building itself is architecturally impressive.
Bahrain is also home to various ancient forts, including the most impressive Qal’at al-Bahrain, an artificial mound on the site of what was once a port and capital of the Dilmun civilisation. These forts represent fascinating relics of centuries of human occupation and tell of the country’s changing social fabric and rich maritime history.
British Airways direct from London Heathrow to Bahrain.
Via Dubai with Emirates from London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle and Glasgow.
Via Abu Dhabi with Etihad Airways from London Heathrow and Manchester and British Airways from London Heathrow.
Via Doha with Qatar Airways from London Heathrow and Manchester.
From London Heathrow to Bahrain: 6 hours, 25 minutes; to Dubai and Abu Dhabi: 7 hours and Doha: 6 hours, 45 minutes.
Onward connecting flight from Dubai and Abu Dhabi to Bahrain: 1 hour, 15 minutes.
From Doha to Bahrain: 45 minutes.
British Airways upgrades start from as little as £730 per person, each way.
Ramadan is observed for one month each year and is a period of fasting when the pace of life is slower, public areas are busier and there are certain restrictions, for example, consuming food in public, drinking alcohol and use of restaurants.