Bahrain Port is located in an archipelago that includes 33 islands. This Gulf nation is known for its attractive Islamic architecture, as well as its modern atmosphere. Most cruise passengers arive at Manama, Bahrain's capitol. Cruise ships arriving at the Bahrain port of call dock in the commercial area. Taxis are normally available for passenger use, and an excursion through your cruise line may be a good value. If you're traveling further from the port by taxi, you'll likely pay an hourly rate. Arabic will be the language used most, but it shouldn't be hard to locate English speakers.
A souk, or open-air market, is found in the old city part of Manama. Some of the favorite buys here include jewelry and souvenir items. Several tailors at the souk can custom-make just about any garment you want. Always be prepared to bargain at souks.
The Seef Mall in Manama is a large, Western-style mall with numerous stores, including American and European chains. A'ali Village Pottery offers authentic local pottery.
Things to See
The House of Al Jasra is likely to be favorite for most visitors. This is the birthplace and home of the emir that rules Bahrain. The House of Al Jasra is one of many historic buildings in the old section of Manama. The Bahrain Fort is a short drive from Manama. It's been restored to where visitors can tour it easily. A museum is next door that houses some artifacts taken from the fort site.
An impressive archway in Manama, Bab al-Bahrain, marks the start of the old city. The streets of the old city give a feeling of having gone back in time. Bahrain is home to the world's largest cemetery, the A'ali Burial Mounds. An unusual sight outside of Manama is the Tree of Life, a tree out in the middle of the desert surrounded by oil-drilling equipment.
Bahrain has some noteworthy houses of worship. Al Fateh Grand Mosque is the largest mosque in the country. Due to the number of foreign workers, there are a good number of churches here, too. Manama is home to Sacred Heart Catholic Church, St. Christopher's Cathedral (Anglican), and National Evangelical Church. A multi-denominational church is found in Awali.
If spending a day swimming or snorkeling is more to your liking, Bahrain won't disappoint you. There are several coral reefs sure to attract snorkelers, and the beaches are top-notch. The most popular beach is Al Jazair.
Restaurants and Bars
Most restaurants serve lamb or poultry in their meat dishes. Lots of spices are used. A favorite alcoholic beverage is arak, which is an aniseed-flavored grape liquor. Alcohol is served only at hotel restaurants and bars.
There are several good places to eat in Bahrain. Al Abraaj, located in Adliya, specializes in falafel, Iranian kebabs, and fresh pomegranate juice. If you're in the mood for pizza, try Ciro's, where they also offer a bar and live music. Jim's offers a good Irish stew and a backyard bar. These are in the Manama port area. Westerners will find that several American fast food chains are represented here.
Some of the most popular bars are located in hotels in the port area. These include Wrangler in the Elite Hotel, Sherlock Holmes in the GULF Hotel, and JJ's Irish Bar in Al Bustan Hotel.