The part of the world that Bahrain calls home is a hotbed of ancient civilization, a piece of the world with a history that dates back so far it is perfectly incomprehensible. It is thought that Bahrain was once a major player in the lost Dilmun Empire, an area that lays claim to being nothing short of paradise. This reign lasted for thousands of years, until around 600 BC, when Dilmun was absorbed into Babylon and gone forever. Fast-forward to 1600 AD, when Bahrain’s illustrious pearls were discovered, which brought with them interest from Europe. The region has been battled over for centuries because of its attractive commodities, most notably with the British who laid claim to this region until it gained independence in 1971. Popular Attractions
The Bahrain National Museum should be your first stop in Bahrain if you’re looking to connect with and understand the city. It documents 6,000 years in Bahrain’s history, including pieces from the ancient civilization of Dilmun. A Natural History Hall was also opened in order to showcase the flora and fauna of Bahrain, perfect if you’re more interested in finding out about the natural earth. A slightly morbid fact about Bahrain is that it is thought to be one of the largest burial grounds in the world. The Dilmun Burial Mounds are a mass of tens of thousands of bumps in the sand, the largest prehistoric cemetery in the world and thousands of years old. It might not be one of the most obviously interesting things to see in Bahrain, but poignant and worth a glance at least. More spectacular Middle Eastern sights include Bahrain Fort, the traditional houses of Muharraq, and Al Fateh mosque – Bahrain’s largest. Food
Bahraini cuisine is close to what you might imagine from Middle Eastern food – flavorful, spicy, and rich. Lamb is the principal meat, but you’ll also find many others, aside from pork. Common staples are things like rice and flatbreads, and dates and nuts also frequently find themselves on many a Bahraini plate. Finding truly authentic food is only really possible if you connect with a local family to have them cook it for you – the food in hotels or resorts won’t hold up in comparison. Transport
Bahrain International Airport is well connected to other cities in the Middle East, as well as having regular connections with London. Consider finding a connection here if you’re flying from elsewhere – it will no doubt be your easiest option. Tips for Travelers
Even though many believe that the Middle East is too turbulent to travel to, Bahrain is a safe city. The worst problem you’re likely to encounter is being ripped off by taxi drivers or vendors – just make sure you agree on prices before you complete transactions and your trip will do doubt be worry free. Bahrain is a largely Muslim country, so you won’t find any or much alcohol being served here, and it is advisable to dress respectfully, which especially applies to women. Even though the official language is Arabic, English is widely understood as there is a large expat community here. Fun Facts
Bahrain is actually made up of a total of 33 islands, and most of the population live on the largest. The British School of Bahrain holds the record for the largest simultaneous coin toss, and over 1,000 teachers and student participated. Bahrain has one of the world’s smallest communities of Jews – last count was at a humble 37.