Located in the Persian Gulf, the Kingdom of Bahrain consists of over 30 different islands, and is one of the oldest merchant trading nations in the world. With its popularity as a dynamic tourist destination consistently on the rise, these are some of Bahrain’s must-see sights that every visitor should take the time to explore.
Bahrain National Museum
Situated on a prime waterfront location, in between Manama and Muharraq, the Bahrain National Museum boasts nine main halls that showcase the history and heritage of the Kingdom of Bahrain. Visitors are able to travel back 4000 years in time to Bahrain’s early beginnings, viewing everything from ancient manuscripts to traditional burial mounds to a replica of an authentic souk.
Qal’at Al Bahrain
Otherwise referred to as the Bahrain Fort, the Qal’at Al Bahrain is an important archaeological site that was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005, and was originally the capital of Dilmun, one of the region’s most significant civilizations. Archaeologists have been digging in this 30 acre area since 1954, and have since uncovered a wide range of ancient treasures. The fort’s on-site museum displays around 500 of these, telling the story of the history that this area has experienced.
Al Fateh Grand Mosque
One of the largest mosques in the world, and boasting the world’s largest fiberglass dome, the Al Fateh Grand Mosque, also known as the Al Fateh Islamic Center, is expansive enough to hold 7000 people at one time. Built in 1987, the mosque is, in addition to being an important place of worship, and one of Bahrain’s most popular tourist attractions, due to its intricate architecture and lavish decorations. The mosque is also where you will find the National Library of Bahrain, which has a collection of around 7000 books, some of which are over 100 years old.
Dilmun Burial Grounds
The largest prehistoric cemetery in the world, the Dilmun Burial Grounds consist of thousands upon thousands of burial mounds that are believed to span between the Dilmun era and the Tylos era. With such an incredible concentration of mounds in one area, this is a sight that will really help you to appreciate Bahrain’s history.
The Tree of Life
While you may not initially want to dedicate valuable sightseeing time to visit a tree, the story behind the Tree of Life is quite remarkable. Situated between Riffa and Awali, this acacia tree has stood strong in an otherwise barren desert for over 400 years, without a visible source of water. Its age is also impressive, as acacia trees usually only live for around 100 years, which is why this natural mystery has been featured in many movies and television shows. There is a visitor center on site that encircles the tree in order to protect it, and displays a range of the artifacts that have been discovered around the tree, many of which are believed to date back to the Dilmun civilization.
The island nation of Bahrain is wonderfully diverse, with its most popular sights showcasing everything from history to religion to nature. From the miraculous Tree of Life to the ancient Bahrain Fort, these are some of Bahrain’s sightseeing highlights that definitely should not be missed.