From burnished desert forts to thrilling watersports, it’s easy to fill three days in Manama. Snorkel for pearls, visit prehistoric archaeological sites, explore wind tower houses, and relax on the sands and sightseeing cruises. Here’s how to plan a perfect 3-day stay in Bahrain’s capital.
Day 1: See the City and Desert Sights
Devote today to Manama’s and Bahrain’s sights, choosing from full- or half-day tours that give you a rounded picture of the country’s past and culture all with a guide’s commentary and convenient return transportation. City tours typically cover landmarks such as the Bahrain World Trade Centre—famous for its exterior wind turbines—Al-Fateh Mosque, and Bahrain National Museum, which charts the region’s 6,000-year-old history.
This afternoon, delve into the desert on a half-day tour or the second leg of a day trip. Most tours whisk you round sights such as the Tree of Life—a centuries-old desert acacia tree—before stopping at Bahrain’s first oil well, a camel farm, and the Bahrain Grand Prix circuit.
Back in Manama later, perhaps finish with a cruise along the coast or browse Manama souk before dining out in the city’s lively Adliya or Seef neighborhoods.
Day 2: Historical Trails and Treasures
The ancient Dilmun civilization thrived in Bahrain in prehistoric times, and some of its relics lie near Manama. Book a door-to-door tour to benefit from a guide’s insight and avoid the hassles of self-drive. Half-day trips usually include Bahrain Fort—built on the old Dilmun capital—Barbar, home to crumbled Dilmun temples; and Saar’s and Riffa’s Dilmun tombs.
For more recent history, take a tour of Muharraq Island, formerly Bahrain’s capital. Discover its wind-tower houses, 15th-century Arad fort, and other highlights, all as a guide details their architecture and past. Alternatively, consider a tour focused on Bahrain’s ancient pearling heritage. See Arabian dhow boats once used for pearl hunting at Muharraq’s dhow-building yard, and explore a pearl merchant’s and pearl diver’s house to learn about their trades.
Day 3: Sailing, Sports, and Sands
Now’s the time to enjoy Manama’s sands and sports. Hit the beach, take a morning horseback ride in the desert, or book a sightseeing cruise around Muharraq to see its dhow yards, Arad Fort, and Manama’s skyline in the distance.
Adventurous types might prefer a snorkel or diving experience with a twist—hunting for Bahrain’s treasured pearls. With instructors at hand, opt to snorkel or scuba dive for oysters from the seabed before learning to open them in the hope of finding pearls.
If you have any energy left this afternoon, fly over the waves on a parasail or try your hand at a variety of ocean-going adventures. Book a watersports package that provides a taster of everything from Jet Ski sessions to flyboarding, underwater boarding, and wake surfing.
If you missed horse-riding earlier today, sign up for a desert sunset ride. Or, end your stay in Bahrain with a motorboat excursion around the Amwaj Islands as night falls and Manama’s lights twinkle on the horizon.