Flanked by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the Kingdom of Bahrain is a small archipelago comfortably sitting in the Persian Gulf. Even though it possesses all the features and facets of an 'Arab' city, the country is surprisingly socially liberal and relaxed in it's religious policies as opposed to it's other Middle-Eastern counterparts. Even though Bahrain is truly a cosmopolitan hub with it's avant-grade infrastructure, tree-lined boulevards, luxurious hotel chains and restaurants, sprawling shopping complexes, the country is brimming with a rich and glorious heritage to boot that helps preserve it's Arabic roots and culture.
Translated as 'Two Seas' in Arabic, Bahrain is composed of salt-water sea as well as the sweet-water springs offshore that aided in bringing about 4,000 years of civilization. When visiting the country, it is imperative to first head over to the capital, Manama. Several notable attractions in the metropolis are the imposing and magnificent Al-Fateh mosque, Bahrain National Museum, UNESCO World Heritage Site - Bahrain Fort, Babar Temple, Bahrain World Trade Center (BWTC) and so forth. Be sure to visit one of the most important landmarks - The Tree of Life ( Shajarat-al-Hayat), ocated 30kms off Manama. Millions of tourists head over every year to uncover the secret of the existence of the 400-year old wonder continuing to stand tall and healthy in the middle of the desert with no underground spring to support it.
If we're talking about forts, then Bahrain has a ton of them. History aficionados will have a field day exploring the Arad Fort and Abu Mahir Fort in Muharraq or the Sheikh Salman bin Ahmad Al Fateh Fort housed in Riffa. Art & artifact enthusiasts will have a great time touring the many museums housed in the city such as Al Oraifi Musem in Muharraq comprsing of Dilmun era relics, Beit al Quran in Hoora holding a unique collection of Islamic manuscripts, Currency Museum in the Diplomatic Area exhibiting Bahraini coinage and the Oil Museum in Sakhir showcasing the history of the local oil industry.
Take a stroll and lounge around the many beaches scattered in Bahrain and enjoy a relaxing evening and watch the mesmerizing sunset. Be sure to visit the impressive and remarkable prehistoric burial grounds in Bahrain. These grounds are densely covered burial mounds and can be seen at A'ali, which houses the largest cemetery in the globe, Al Hajar, Buri, Hamad Town, Sa'ar, Shakhoora and Tylos and so forth. Twitchers will be very interested to take a trip over to Hawar Islands as the rare environment is believed to be a ideal habitat for endangered species. Known to house several wildlife species, the archipelago is a paradise for birdwatchers and divers.
Bahrain is said to be a mecca for shopping thanks to it's sprawling and spacious shopping complexes with designer outlets and international brands as well as exclusive chic boutiques. If you're looking for something traditional then head over to a local souk to bargain over perfumes, spices, gold, sheesha bottles, traditional attires and so on. Since alcohol is allowed in the country, several Arabs from nearby countries gather in Bahrain to grab a drink in any of the bars and pubs housed in the nation.
Bahrain is home to several stay options. Millionaires can afford to book the best luxury hotels and spacious apartments their money can buy. Budget travellers will find plenty of modest and cheap accommodations.
Bahrain experiences arid climate with scorching summer and relatively mild winter. The best time to visit the country would be during the colder seasons from November to February when the temperatures are mild.