According to wholevehicles, Manama is somewhat different from traditional Arab cities: here you can notice the influence of British culture. For example, local taxis are exact copies of London cabs, and the floors are numbered according to the British system. Another feature is that alcohol is not prohibited here (with the exception of religious holidays), you can buy it in specialized stores or order it in a restaurant.
How to get there
Bahrain International Airport is at the service of tourists. Gulf Air operates daily flights from Moscow to Manama with transfers.
Bahrain ‘s public transport system is quite well developed. Buses run between major cities. They run every 40 minutes, from 06:00 to 20:00, depending on the route. The fare ranges from 150 to 200 fils, on some private buses you can ride for 100 fils. But, as a rule, people prefer to travel by taxi or their own car.
Finding a taxi in Manama is not difficult. There are parking lots near almost all hotels. The cars are equipped with meters, but not all taxi drivers use them. The fare is 800 fils for the first 2 kilometers and 150 fils for each subsequent kilometer. In the period from 22:00 to 06:00, tariffs increase by 50%. If you want to be sure that the taxi driver will turn on the meter, use the services of Radio Meter Taxis or Speedy Motors, these companies have one phone number. In addition, you can comfortably ride in a limousine, it will cost 900 fils for the first 2 kilometers and 200 fils for each subsequent kilometer.
Banks and money changers can be found on Government Avenue. Most banks have ATMs.
For shopping in Manama, it is best to go to one of the markets. In the Golden Souk market, you can buy both jewelry from famous European houses, as well as inexpensive gold rings, earrings, etc., brought from India and the Gulf countries. In addition, you can buy pearls here. Various fabrics can be bought at the Clos Souk Textile Market, while at the Central Market you will find fruits, vegetables, various herbs and spices. Of course, you can also go shopping in a shopping center, such as Seef Mall.
Cuisine and restaurants
Despite the abundance of restaurants with cuisine from around the world, preference is still given to local cuisine. Here you will be offered pilaf of all kinds, shish kebabs, seafood and fish dishes, and for dessert – oriental sweets, dates and fresh fruits.
Entertainment and attractions in Manama
Qulat Al Bahrain Site (Qalat Al-Bahrain Fort) – one of the largest forts in the country (280,000 m2, height – 8 m), located on the northern coast, was built in the 16th century by the Portuguese. The area where it is located is known as Kalat al-Bahrain, where traces of the Dilmun civilization have been preserved, which to this day holds many secrets. The ruins of ancient cities built 4000-5000 years ago were found on the territory. The fort is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. A small historical museum is located in the forts of Riffa and Salman bin Ahmet al-Fateh. Also noteworthy is the 16th-century Arab fort of Arad.
Manama is home to one of the most expensive bridges in the world, the King Fahd Causeway Bridge. King Fahad Causeway was opened in 1986, its length is 25 km and it connects Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. There are also many restaurants here, which offer great views of the bay. The bridge crosses the island of Umm an Naasan, on the territory of which there is a small nature reserve.
There are several mosques in the city: the Al-Khamis Mosque, the Friday Mosque, the Cathedral of St. Christopher and the Al-Fateh Mosque – the largest building in Bahrain. AL Fateh Grand Mosque is the first mosque in the region that was open to tourists. The largest on the island, it can simultaneously accommodate up to 7,000 people. The huge dome of the mosque is made of pure fiberglass and weighs over 60 tons. The mosque is also known as Al-Fatih Islamic Center. Al Khamis Mosque (Al Khamis Mosque) is one of the oldest relics of Islam, built in 642.
If you get bored, head to the Al Bander Nautical Club. Here you will find a swimming pool with heated sea water, restaurants, playgrounds and other entertainment facilities.
At the local hippodrome every Friday, from October to March, competitions are held, but it will not be possible to make a bet – the tote is prohibited.
Museums in Manama
The National Museum is one of the richest in the Persian Gulf. This is a must-visit place to get acquainted with the history of the Kingdom, its culture and traditions. Here are exhibits covering 7,000 years of Bahraini history, as well as works by contemporary Bahraini artists, sculptures and ceramics from all eras, a diorama showing life in the era of the Dilmun civilization (4000 BC). In addition, there is a restored burial mound, sections of the Arabic language, calligraphy, the Koran and folk crafts. Many traditional buildings and ships can be seen at the open-air exhibition.
Pearl Museum – located in the building of the country’s first Supreme Court. Local pearls were considered one of the best in the East – the centuries-old history of this process is reflected in the museum’s expositions.
The Oil Museum – located near “well number 1”, presents the history of the country’s oil industry: many samples of equipment, documents, old photographs, and even a working model of an oil platform.
Another interesting museum is the Quran House, which houses a collection of manuscripts, editions of the Quran, as well as unique wood carvings.
Weather in Manama
The average temperature in January is +17 °C, in July – +38 °C. Most precipitation falls from December to February. Droughts and dust storms are frequent. The best time to travel to Manama is from October to March.