When it comes to culture and history, few destinations in the Middle East can measure up to Bahrain. This island nation known as the Land of the Two Seas might be tiny – sandwiched as it is between Saudi Arabia and Qatar – but you’ll be amazed at the sheer range of its historical things to do.
It’s estimated that the settlement of Bahrain dates back at least 5,000 years, and the country is dotted with museums and archaeological sites that are open to visitors. Perhaps the most impressive attractions are the mysterious Dilmun Burial Mounds, which many historians believe to be the world’s largest prehistoric cemetery. Located just outside Manama, these are thought to be at least 3,000 years old. Then there are the Saar digs, where you’ll find an entire excavated village estimated to date back to the third century BC.
However, Bahrain’s charms are not limited to its past. The capital city of Manama is a thoroughly modern and thriving urban centre, where you’ll find Bahrain’s best hotels, restaurants, lounges and galleries, not to mention the majority of its expat population. You can also learn more about Bahrain’s pearling history, which for many years was the Gulf nation’s main source of wealth, at the Museum of Pearl Diving.
And then of course there’s the biggest modern attraction of all: the Bahrain Formula 1 Grand Prix, a massive annual event that draws racing talent and visitors from across the globe. Bahrain has the honour of being the first Middle Eastern country to host the event (it’s now joined by the city of Abu Dhabi), which takes place at the Bahrain International Circuit.
Sporting events aside, you’ll find something to keep you entertained in Bahrain all year round.