How to Spend 1 Day in Manama
The capital of the Arabian Gulf state of Bahrain, Manama has more than enough to keep you entertained for a day. Occupying Bahrain island’s northeastern tip, its attractions span everything from futuristic skyscrapers and traditional souks to desert wonders and extreme water sports. Here’s how to enjoy a memorable day in the city.
Morning: Get to Know the City
Start by discovering Manama on a morning city tour—its sights are widely dispersed, and with public transport limited, a tour is the easiest way to explore without a rental car or long walks in the heat. Tours typically cover the modern Al-Fateh Mosque, 16th-century Bahrain Fort, Bahrain National Museum, the old Muharraq Souk, and other highlights. If you fancy traveling in style and cherry-picking the sights, opt for a half- or full-day private tour with a flexible itinerary that covers the main landmarks in the comfort of a private, deluxe 4WD or minivan.
Afternoon: Delve into the Desert or the Gulf
After lunch, swap the city for the desert. Many desert tours include the Tree of Life—a 400-year-old acacia that sprouts from the arid expanses—Al-Areen Wildlife Park, and the Bahrain Grand Prix circuit, all with handy round-trip transport and a guide for information and context. Alternatively, escape the afternoon heat by hitting the Arabian Gulf. Fly high on a parasail, or try some exhilarating water sports with packages that include flyboarding, wake surfing, towable tubes, and the hot new sport of underwater boarding. For something more relaxing, admire Manama’s skyline on a cruise along the coast, or ride a motorboat around the Amwaj Islands—a cluster of artificial islets just offshore.
Evening: Sea, Sunset, and Sands
As dusk falls, make the most of the cool evening temperatures by enjoying more outdoor pursuits. Experience sunset in the desert on a horseback ride past Bahrain Fort, or opt for an evening motorboat trip to the Amwaj archipelago. Perhaps finish with a spell of souvenir hunting at Manama souk before relaxing over dinner at a hotel restaurant by the water’s edge.