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Manama is the capital and largest city of Bahrain with an approximate population of 155,000 people, roughly a quarter of the country's population.

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Points of Interest in Manama

  • Bab Al Bahrain. 8am-12pm and 4:30pm-6pm. The Gateway of Bahrain, located in the Customs Square in Central Manama. The ground floor houses the Tourist information office and a handicraft shop. Sightseeing bus tours depart from here daily at 9:30 am and 3:30pm.
  • Manama Souq (Behind Bab Al Bahrain building). 10am-1pm and 4pm-9pm. The souq is network of small lanes that houses small stores selling everything from souvenirs and gifts to electronic products. The souq is also home to many gold and jewelry shops and tailors.
  • Al-Fateh Mosque. One of the largest mosques in the world, capable of accommodating over 7,000 worshippers at a time and is the largest place of worship in Bahrain. It is also one of the top tourist attractions in Bahrain. The dome is currently the worlds largest fibreglass dome and is over 60,000 kg in weight. Al-Fateh includes the new National Library which opened to the public in 2006.
  • Corniche al-Fateh. On the east coast of the city, this pleasant seaside promenade offers good views of the skyscrapers to the south and planes taking off from the airport nearby. Plenty of fun fair rides for the kids and shisha bars for the older set.
  • Museum of Pearl Diving. Is considered as the most important historic buildings in Bahrain. It derives importance as being the first official center for Bahrain Courts. The building was inaugurated by Late H.H. Sh. Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa, the past Governor of Bahrain, during Calendar year 18th October, 1937. At that time the building comprised of four Supreme Courts, apart from three Directorates. Later on, during 1984 the building was transformed into a Traditional Heritage Center. Currently, the Museum of Pearl Diving is under the control of Directorate of Archaeology and Heritage, one of the major Directorates of Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and Information.
  • Bahrain National Museum, Al Fateh Highway. 8AM-8PM. Natural and cultural history of Bahrain.
  • Tree of Life, 30 km south of Manama. Famous lonesome tree in the middle of a dry desert. Scientists haven't figured out how it survives, since no underground aquifer or spring exists under that area. In fact, all underground water sources are around the tree are contaminated with salt, suggesting the tree may in fact possess a mutation rendering it salt-tolerant.
  • Bahrain Fort. 8am to 8pm. Bahrain Fort, on the island’s North coast, was built in the 14th century but excavations have revealed it was built on the site of Dilmun settlements, dating back to 3,000 BC. Recently renovated, and with new lighting at night, the Fort is an outstanding example of Bahrain’s varied and ancient history. Bahrain Fort, known in Arabic as Qalat Al Bahrain, was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005.
  • Bahrain Fort Museum - opened in February 2008. The first building comprises an exhibition hall and a child learning and training room whereas the second is made up of a conference hall, a cafe overlooking the sea, offices, a technicians suite and a dormitory for archeologists.
  • Bin Matar House: Place of Memory. The Bin Matar House is the latest in a series of projects by the Shaikh Ebrahim Center focusing on the restoration of traditional Bahraini houses associated with historic Bahraini families and leading cultural personalities. The house was designed by the well-known Bahraini architect Mussa Bin Hamad and built in 1905. It was used by Salman bin Hussein Matar as the venue for his permanent "majlis" (a room similar to a salon, used to entertain family and guests). By the 1940s, it was used a clinic by the famous physician Dr. Bandar Kab, and from the 50s to the 80s was used as the centre for the Eslah Club. Until recently, the building lay empty and in uninhibited, ready to be demolished to make way for a new construction. Today, the ceilings of the house are made of a combination of palm leaf and wood beam and the walls and floors have been authentically retouched.
  • Barbar Temple. This is an archaeological site located in the village of Barbar. Three temples have been discovered there, the oldest dating back to 3000BC. The temples were thought to have been constructed to worship gods, as it contains two altars and a natural water spring. During its excavation tools, weapons, pottery, and many small pieces of gold were discovered.

Bab Al Bahrain

Al Fateh Mosque

Bahrain Fort

Bahrain National Museum

Dana Mall

Bahrain Mall

Seef Mall

Bahrain National Theater

Khamis Mosque

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Popular events in Manama in the near future

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About Manama


Manama has emerged as the capital of independent Bahrain after periods of domination by Portugal and Persians earlier in its history. Today, it is a modern capital with an economy based around the sales promotion industry as crude oil takes a less pronounced role in the economy.


Manama is a getaway for Arabs and expats residing in the 'alcohol banned' Arab countries. Tourists, particularly Saudis and residents of Saudi Arabia, come to Bahrain mainly for the nightlife.

  • Dolphin Watching +973 1770 0677. Take a boat trip and you can watch the dolphins and manatees playing in the warm Gulf waters, and see local fisherman head out in traditional wooden dhows to catch the prized local hammour - a type of grouper. Dolphin watch trips take place three times daily. BD6 for adults, BD3 for children under 12 years..
  • Scuba Diving, Bahrain Yacht Club & Al Bandar resort,  +973 17701201, +973 17 700 677.
  • Horse riding, Saar,  +973 17690926, +973 39566809. For anyone wanting riding lessons or an occasional hack, the Twin Palms Riding School and the Dilmun Club are good places to start.
  • Horse racing. Arabia is of course famous for its horses. The national racecourse at Al Sakhir hosts races every Friday from October to March. The grandstand holds up to 3,000 spectators and entry is free, although visitors should be reminded that betting is prohibited.
  • Pearl Diving. Bahrain is also famous for its pearls. Try your hand at pearl diving and maybe take home one of these natural gems of the sea.
  • Bird Watching, Hawar Islands, Boats depart from Ad Dur Jetty,  +973 1729 0377. 10AM daily. The Kingdom and the Hawar Islands in particular, are a haven for native and migratory birds including flamingos, bulbuls, ospreys and sooty falcons. Any twitchers are strongly advised to take the 20 km boat trip to the Islands.
  • Ice Skating The only ring in town is located at the Fun-land centre along the Marina corniche.


Restaurants in Manama run the gamut from cheap shawarma joints to 5 star restaurants.

  •    Bahay Kubo, Bldg 822, Rd 723, Area 307, Gudiyabia, Bahrain (Behind the Middle East Hotel and across from the Indian Club),  +973 17231996. 10AM to 3PM and 5PM to 11PM Tuesday to Sunday and from 5PM to 11PM on Mondays. Traditional style Filipino restaurant offering the finest quality food available for dine in, take out and delivery. Bahay Kubo also offers a private function room with karaoke for birthdays, receptions or for just hanging out with your friends. less than 5BD.


Cheap restaurants abound in the Adliya district.

  • Al-Abraaj, Adliya St, Manama, Bahrain. Perfect introduction for non-Arab folks to become accustomed to the Middle Eastern hospitality charm. Food is generous and tasty, and primarily from Lebanese/Turkish and Persian cuisines. Good value at 2-4BD per head.
  • Al-Siraj. The second-best shwarma in Bahrain for only 300 fils.
  • Burjuman Coffee Shop, Lulu Centre 2F. The main selling point of this Filipino-run joint is its location right next to the SABTCO bus terminal, but the menu covers sandwiches, burgers, rice and noodles and portions are generous. Try the excellent fried hammour (local fish) with the fixings for BD2. Main dishes BD1-2.
  • Habara Snacks & Fish +973 17 715 461. Osama bin Zaid Ave, Adliya. Great diner style cafe that cheerfully serves cheap fish and chips and other assorted snacks.


  • Café Lilou's, Manama, Bahrain,  +973 17 714 440,. 8AM-11PM, Fri is 10AM-10:30PM. Paris style interiors, popular with ex-pats and locals. Excellent French-café fare, including large salads and delicious cakes. Caters for groups, take out, cateringservices, outdoor seating. Breakfast,lunch, dinner, coffee, drinks US$10-30.
  • Lanterns, ☎ +973 17 59 0591, +973 17 591807. An atmospheric Indian restaurant with great food and lovely decor next to Burgerland Roundabout in Budaiya.
  • Nando's (Portuguese), Adliya,  +97 31 771 2445, e-mail:
  • Upstairs Downstairs, a long time classic Bahrain restaurant. Smooth jazz band, music videos and great yet pricey food.
  • Senor Pacos +973 17 725 873. Um Al Hassam, Manama, Bahrain. An atmospheric Mexican restaurant with great ambience and lovely decor on the Road opposite KFC in Um al Hassam. They even have their own guitarist and vocalist singing on most evenings.
  • Trader Vic's, a Polynesian dining/drinking experience, located on the grounds of the Ritz Carlton.
  • Zahle, Gulf Hotel, Al Juffair Street. ☎ +973 17 746 417, +973 17 746 418. Serving impeccable Lebanese food with daily buffets and live entertainment.


Manama has a busy nightlife by Gulf standards. The main districts are Adliya, Hoora, Juffair and Business District.

  • Digger's, Delmont Hotel. Australian-themed sports pub in the CBD. Popular with single male expats.
  • Gold Club. Arabic night club featuring Russian girls doing their interpretation of traditional belly dancing.
  • Hard Rock Cafe.
  • Harvesters, King Faisal Highway (Crowne Plaza). Very popular pseudo-British pub offering cold beer, pub grub and a Filipino band distinguished more by the singers' skimpy outfits than musical talent. Beers from BD2.5.
  • JJ's (Al Bustan Hotel). The largest Irish pub in the city.
  • Queensbury Arms. Another hot spot, great prices on drinks.
  • Sherlock Holmes (Gulf Hotel). Mock-British pub.
  • Warbler's. Expat sports pub. Technically this is a private club, but the bouncers at the door seem more interested in keeping Arabs out than in checking membership cards.
  • Wrangler's, Best Western Juffair Hotel. American-themed bar and dance club. Popular with expats and US sailors.


Manama Souq, should not be missed by any visitor

Shopping Malls in Bahrain

  • Al A'Ali Mall, Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Highway, Seef District,  +973 1758 1000. Sa-F 10AM-10PM. A'ali Mall has the look and feel of a traditional open air souk within its air-conditioned confines. A glass roof, stores with old-fashioned Arabic wooden doors and carts selling souvenirs all add to the atmosphere. Outlets include Top Designer stores.
  • Bahrain City Centre, Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Highway, Seef District,  +973 1717 7771, e-mail: Su-W 10AM-10PM. Bahrain City Centre is the first and biggest mixed-use development in Bahrain offering the best shopping, leisure and entertainment experience to its customers under one roof. Bahrain City Centre has introduced a world-class retail ambience and hundreds of other 'firsts' to the Kingdom including 150 of its over 350 internationally reputed brands making their debut in the country. The Centre’s stunning entertainment offer includes the region’s first indoor/outdoor temperature controlled 15,000 square metre Wahooo! Waterpark, Bahrain’s biggest cinema complex Cineco 20, and a family entertainment centre for children and young adults, Magic Planet. For food and beverage options, over 50 food court outlets have been lined up to offer the most popular as well as exotic choices from all over the world.
  • The Bahrain Mall +973 1755 8100, fax: +973 17555569, e-mail: F-Th 10AM-10PM. The Bahrain Mall is situated in the heart of Bahrain's new retail district. This ideal location is easily accessible from the main highway and all parts of the city. It covers an area of 750,000 square feet and has more than 120 international brands and specialty stores.
  • Dana Mall, Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Highway, Seef District,  +973 17 558500, fax: +973-17 552581, e-mail: F-Th 10AM-10PM. Find an abundance of stores for your wardrobe, pampered lifestyle and unique trends.
  • Marina Mall.
  • Moda Mall, located on the ground floor of the landmark Bahrain World Trade Center (BWTC), Diplomatic Area. Sa-F 10AM-10PM. Moda Mall, the ultra-exclusive shopping complex located on the ground floor of the landmark Bahrain World Trade Center (BWTC), with tenants comprising a veritable who’s-who of the fashion world. The mall is home to some 160 exclusive brand name boutiques a number of which were previously unattainable in the Kingdom of Bahrain, including lots of famous international ones.
  • Riffa Mall.
  • Seef Mall, Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Highway / Seef District,  17 58 11 11, fax: 17581888, e-mail: M-F 10AM-10PM, Sa Su 10AM-midnight. The first authentic mall in Bahrain, Seef Mall continues to dominate the retail sector and is the heart and soul of Seef district with its distinctive architecture and atmosphere for the whole family to enjoy. Magic Island, the largest indoor amusement park in the Middle East is ideally located on the first floor.
  • Sitra Mall.
  • Yateem Centre, Manama Downtown, Diplomatice Area (To get to Yateem Centre, approach the Suq from Government Avenue, under Zamil Tower and follow the road in. Air Arabia on the corner announces that you have arrived at the Yateem Centre.),  +973 1721 5615, fax: +973 1721 2969, e-mail: Mgt Off. Su-Th 9AM-1PM/2PM-5.30PM. Yateem Centre - Bahrain's First... In 1981, it introduced for the first time in Bahrain the concept of a fully climate controlled shopping centre.

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Manama on Wikivoyage.