I was in Manama (Bahrain) for three days and two nights—and the whole time I was there, it rained. It did stop a few times during the day but it’s murky cloudy and then rain showers would come back and forth. I didn’t really explore the city much, except visiting the old Bahrain Fort, hiring a taxi to King Fahd Causeway and walking around Old Manama where I was billeted at Delmon International Hotel.
The best way to get to Bahrain Fort is via a taxi. Agree on the fare first before getting on. It’s 10-15 minutes from downtown. There’s no public transport that goes there. In fact, part of the road going there is unpaved. You can explore The Fort on your own. It’s free. Really, it’s free! Just make sure to tell the taxi driver to wait for you because it’s going to be hard to get one when you’re done.
Bahrain Fort is also known as Qal ‘at al-Bahrain in Arabic.
The Portuguese built this fort.
In fact, before its current name, they called Portugal Fort.
Like any other forts around the world, this fort was also built to protect the city from the enemies.
The Fort is facing the Arabian Peninsula.
And from here, you’ll see the sweeping view of Bahrain’s modern skyline.
What makes this fort impressive is that it wasn’t just used as a military post but it has traces of being used for residential, commercial and religious purposes.
And believe it or not, only 25% of this site has been excavated yet—which means that there’s still a lot more to discover under.
If you’re familiar with history, this fort was once the capital of Dilmun civilization, in which, according to the Epic of Gilgamesh, is the “land of immortality.”
It’s here where the ancient Sumerians resided.
Bahrain Fort is the first and one of the two UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the tiny island-nation.
Hotel in Manama
Bahrain is not a pedestrian-friendly city. So, to maximize your time, I would suggest that you stay in the Old Manama area. Delmon International Hotel is right on a busy street full of shops of all sorts, restaurants, and cafes. Bahrain’s most famous gold market is just right across the street. Many of the cultural things you want to do/see in the city are here. The hotel has its own swimming pool, bar, restaurant, and a massage place.