As the capital of the island of golden smiles, Manama has been under the spotlight for the many awards it has received recently. Manama was voted as the Arab culture capital in 2012, the first Arab youth capital in 2015 and, in 2017, it has been voted as both the Arab women capital and best place for expats to live and work in in Expat Insider Survey. There are numerous fun activities and things to do in Manama.
The Bahraini capital spans 30 square kilometers with a population that surpasses 150,000; and the word Manama is derived from the Arabic language, meaning place of rest or dreams.
Manama stayed true to its name over the years; it is indeed a city of dreams and captivating wonders; it is considered a major trade center in the Arabian Gulf due to its location at the heart of some of the most important international trade routes.
Not only did Manama develop a brand for itself being a hub for financial and commercial service, it also maintained an ability to bring together the incandescence of modern life while preserving Bahrain’s long and rich culture.
Whether you are a resident or a visitor, you will be able to explore an array of activities and things to do in Manama and its historical and modern destinations.
Though there is so much more to see and do, we have brought you the 7 top things to do in Manama:
- Bahrain National Museum
Within any similar list of places to visit or things to do in Bahrain, you will almost always find this destination at the top of it.
Situated near King Faisal Highway, the $30 million Bahrain National Museum complex is the largest and one of the oldest in Bahrain that spans more than 27,000 square meters.
Ever since its opening in 1988, Bahrain National Museum has been holding over 5,000 years of the country’s history, with archaeological artefacts from the Dilmun civilisation, rare Qur’anic manuscripts, and astronomical notes.
It also features a Natural History Hall and two halls depicting Bahrain’s pre-industrial lifestyle.
The museum is home to the Durand Stone, a Babylonian era black basalt sculpture.
Wahoo! Water Park
Everyone enjoys a good splash, and there is no better place than Manama’s very own Wahoo! Water Park. Spanning 15,000 square feet inside City Centre Bahrain, the water park allow a full day of fun for the entire family.
Water slides, a slow-moving river, heated pools, and a wave pool are only a few of the numerous attractions that make Wahoo Water Park one of the best entertaining things to do in Manama especially if you are spending a vacation there with your family.
When in the Pearl of Arabia, it would be a shame to miss out on the hidden pearls below.
At Coral Bay, you can engage with the sea through a few different activities such as boat tours, jet skiing, water skiing, renting banana boats, and of course diving.
- Janabiya Royal Camel Farm
This free-range camel farm allows visitors to walk in, free of charge and witness these magnificent beasts in their natural habitat.
Over 600 camels roam this farm that is located on the outskirts of Manama, off of King Fahad Causeway.
The camels on the farm are not bred for racing or for their meat, but rather as a hobby.
- La Fontaine Centre of Contemporary Art
Close to the old Souq, in the heart of Manama, is the 150-year old historical monument that is La Fontaine Centre of Contemporary Art.
It includes contemporary art galleries, an open-air amphitheatre, a fine dining restaurant, a spa, and a Pilates and Dance Studio.
The structure itself is European in appearance, resembling a grand chateau, yet represents the finesse of Gulf Islamic architecture.
- Gold City
While in the area of central Manama, head out to Gold City, where Manama shines its way to your heart.
Shop windows glitter with gold and diamonds inside an air-conditioned complex adorned with soothing marble and glass.
Take your pick of 18K, 21K, 22K, 24K Gold, White Gold, Platinum, Silver, Gem Stones, Diamonds, Natural Pearls, Gift Items, Watches, Crystal Figurines, and the latest leather wear.
- Take a historical tour
There’s a lot of history and architecture in Manama, from its grandiose mosques to its forts and citadels.
Half-day and full day tours will help you navigate your way through the city and make sure you don’t miss a spot.
Most tours will take you to Al Fateh Grand Mosque, Arad Fort, Al Areen Wildlife Park, Bahrain International Circuit, Manama Souq, Bahrain Fort, and much more.
These tours extend outside the capital city but still give you a glimpse into Manama’s historical heart and modern soul.
The Kingdom of Bahrain is rich of cultural places and historical and modern wonders. This list includes some of the best things to do in Manama, but it definitely does not comprise all of the fun activities you would not want to miss if you are visiting the Pearl of Arabia.