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A weekend in Bahrain: 11 exciting things to do

Photo from SKAkh

Bahrain is a little country that you can easily see within 48 hours. It is the closest and cheapest respite for those living in Saudi Arabia to spend their weekend away in another “country”. Some go to party while others go to chill out and relax. As for me, I go to indulge in a bit of adventure and eat and eat and eat.  You can reach Bahrain either by flight or simply take a road trip and easily cross the border.

If you’re an expatriate doing a road trip from Saudi Arabia, you’d need a valid iqama, valid exit re-entry (single or multiple), and your passport at the borders. It takes between 30 minutes to an hour to cross the border especially during weekends as there’s a huge line of cars waiting to enter the Kingdom of Bahrain. The one driving the car must have the car registered under his own name; rented cars won’t be permitted to enter. If you’re still adamant to make the road trip with a rented car, you’d need a permission letter from the Rental Agency allowing you to do so. Inform them well in advance.

King Fahd Causeway toll cost: 25 SAR one way

Visa: Free, if your profession is *good* enough on your Iqama. For professions such as “General Labor”, “Technician” etc., a fee of SAR 50 is charged by the Bahraini immigration department.

So, let’s come back to the main topic: what does Bahrain really have to offer? Here are the top 11 exciting things to do:

Photo from SKAlk

  1. Go Karting at the Bahrain International Circuit

Bahrain offers a really nice track for Karting where professional events are conducted at the same venue. Amateurs can let go of the speeding cameras and ride fearlessly for a period of 15 minutes. They have two basic types of karts: 9 HP and 13 HP. First timers are only allowed karts with 9 HP for a price of 13 BD while 13 HP karts session can be rented for 15 BD. Other type of karts are also available but they come with conditions such as completing the track in under 1:15 minutes to be eligible to ride it.

Timings: Sun – Monday 4:00 pm – 12:00 Midnight
                Tuesday – Saturday 10:00 AM – 12:00 Midnight
Note: (The “arrive and drive” option won’t work if an event is held on the same day. You might want to call and check before you arrive to go karting)

Location: Bahrain International Circuit
Gate 255,Gulf of Bahrain Avenue,Umm Jidar 1062, Sakhir, Bahrain
+973 1745 0000,   https://g.co/kgs/Zb5h3q


  1. Experience flying at Bahrain’s Indoor Skydiving, Gravity

Bahrain is not yet home to an outdoor skydiving experience but that doesn’t mean that you cannot get the feel of flying and the sudden rush of wind blowing you away. Gravity, the only indoor skydiving spot in Bahrain allows everyone (yes, even kids!) to try their hand at floating in the air and managing themselves afloat. Instructors are always available to hold and guide should you need assistance. All the elements of the costume are included in the price along with the instructor’s briefing before the flight. The basic experience lasts 2 minutes. You can choose to top it up with the HI FLY experience which consists of the instructor holding you and taking you all the way to the top of the tunnel and back in a spiraling motion.

Cost:        19.5 BD for 2 minutes in the air
Additional 2.5 BD for HiFLY experience
Timings:  Sun 12-9 pm
Mon to Wed 10 am – 10 pm
Thurs to Sat 10 am – 11 pm
+973 13 10 00 00

Photo from SKA000

  1. Visit AlAreen Wildlife Zoo

Traveling with kids? Or, find yourself fascinated by animals? Then, here’s where you need to go. AlAreen Wildlife Park, located 15 kms away from the city center, is pretty affordable and takes around an hour or two to complete the tour. It is home to the famous Arabian Oryx, Persian gazelle, springbok, saluki dogs, and the fallow deer, to name a few. You’ll enjoy the nature reserve gazing at the 80 different species of birds and the multi color flora all around the Park.

Cost: 1 BD per adult; kids go in free
Timings: Daily; 9 am- 4 pm

Photo from SKAk

  1. Chill out at one of Amwaj Lagoon Park’s cafes

Situated in Amwaj Islands, the lagoon park is like an open mall with a water body situated in the middle reflecting lights, from the various restaurants, cafes and shisha places around, into the water making it a pleasant scene to watch in the evenings. Parking space is ample so, you do not have to worry about it. There is also a walkway for those who just want to take a stroll around the area and click their selfies (like me, haha). It is quickly becoming the number one to chill out and relax for GCC mates.

Timings: 6AM- 2AM
Location:  https://goo.gl/maps/jbftpm3DnhP2


  1. Relish slow cooked rib at Cine Café

Claiming a cool ambience, Cine Café is located in both Manama and Riffa, Bahrain. Although its desserts are equally appetizing and worth a try, the winner is their specialty main course- 12 hour slow cooked beef rib. Those who have tried will tell you that it just melts in your mouth.

Timings: 9 AM to 1:30 AM except Sundays (12 AM closing)
Cost: approximately 20 BD for 2 persons
Location: Cine Cafe , Manama, Bahrain

Photo from SKAkk

  1. Watch a movie or two at the cinema

Even though Saudi Arabia has inaugurated cinemas into the country, the ticket price is still really high compared to the alternatives provided in its neighboring countries. Why not watch two movies for the price of one in Bahrain? Al Seef Mall and City Centre are two good options as their cinemas are quite spacious and better than the other malls in Bahrain. Plus, if you feel hungry or wanna shop, the options are plenty in these malls.

Photo from SKAdd

  1. Dine in at Bushido, a renowned Japanese restaurant

Craving for some good quality sushi? Bushido is the answer. The lights are dim making it perfect for a cozy dinner after probably indulging in a lot of activities during the day. It is personal preference, of course, as some may find the ambiance a little too dull. The food options are plenty, especially if you are a lover of Japanese cuisine. They have their own little twist and interpretation to the standard dishes. An “around the world” option is also included in their menu for those who want to try non-Japanese dishes.

Cost: approximately 20 BD for two persons
Location: 52 Avenue 38, Jidhafs, Bahrain
Timings: 12 AM- 2 AM (their last table booking would most likely be at 11:30 pm)


  1. Pamper yourself with a massage at Coral Spa

In the quest of searching for an affordable but a good quality spa in Bahrain, I came across this wonderful spa located in the Coral Bay Resort. Providing a range of massages, nail care and hammam treatment, this is a must try during your visit to Bahrain. I tried their 60 minutes’ aromatherapy massage which was so relaxing and smooth, I could have a good night’s sleep right after it if I didn’t have other plans, lol.

You are provided with a locker to lock your things and disposable underwear to change into. The massage therapist is quite experienced and provides you with a towel, bathrobe and shower cap after the massage. You are then led to the shower room where all toiletries are available and left to enjoy under the hot, steaming water.

I loved the smiles and welcoming attitudes of all the employees. Definitely going back, this time to try their manicure and pedicure!

Cost: Between 20 BD- 60 BD
(You can find deals on other websites though which give up to 50% off or wait for their festive season packages)

Timings: 10AM- 11PM (Advance booking is required)
Location: Coral Bay Resort, Manama, Bahrain
Phone: +973 3977 7701

  1. Hit American Alley to satisfy your late night cravings

American Alley (also known as the Food Street), is located in Juffair which has different restaurants on either sides of the street making it difficult for you to choose from. Mc Donald’s, Burger King, Papa Johns, Chili’s, Nando’s, Starbucks Coffee, Marble Slab Creamery are just a few that come to mind. Although most restaurants close down at their normal times here, yet there are others which remain open till late night. The Pizza Company, would come to your rescue as it is open 24/7!

Location: https://g.co/kgs/9z7X9d

  1. Drive aimlessly along the Bahraini highway past midnight

The roads are pretty much wide and empty, so why not just go on a long drive? It is peaceful and just the feeling of covering a whole country so quickly by road is funny yet amazing. Don’t forget that it is monitored by cameras though! The last thing you want is your weekend fun to turn into a hole-in-the-pocket experience. 😉


  1. Visit Al Dar Islands for a combination of adventure and relaxation

If a beach is what you’re looking for in Bahrain, head to the most popular choice among locals and foreigners- AlDar Islands. It can easily be reached via ferry from Sitra. To know more about the activities that the island offers, check out my detailed blog post dedicated to it here.

Entry fee:  8BD during weekends; 5BD during weekdays
Operating hours:   9am -5pm (you can stay past 5pm but water activities close down by this time)
Location: AlDar Island, Bahrain

So, are you ready to explore Bahrain?


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