Our offers for shore excursions in and around Manama (Bahrain)
Book your shore excursions in Manama (Bahrain) with us. You can choose the suitable excursion for your cruise stay here:
Small groupsExcursions in a family atmosphere
Great servicePick up directly at the harbor
High reliabilityOn-time-back-to-ship warranty
Effective time managementBook your activities in advance
Cheap shore excursionSave money by self organising
High individualityArrange activities and times freely
Useful information for excursions in Manama
We have compiled information about the most beautiful sights, the cruise port, as well as lots of useful information for shore excursions in and around Manama.
The most beautiful sights in Manama
The Kingdom of Bahrain is an archipelago in the middle of the Persian Gulf, comprising 33 islands. With a total area of around 700 square kilometres, the island state is just as large as Hamburg. The capital Manama is located in the northeast of the main island. The exciting history of the island state goes back to prehistoric times. After the empire was under the care of the Portuguese and later the Persians for a long time, the Al-Chalifa dynasty took over from 1783. In recent years Manama has developed into an important economic and tourist centre in the Gulf region. In Manama, impressive skyscrapers meet traditional windmills and show the interaction of modern technology and historical architecture styles.
The Al-Fateh Mosque is located in the heart of Manama and is one of the largest in the world. The house of prayer will impress you with the largest glass fibre dome in the world. The prayer hall is flooded by the sunlight that shines through 12 beautifully painted glass windows. In addition, the imposing chandelier, decorated with Swarovski crystals and surrounded by hand-blown round lamps, gives the main prayer hall its unique flair. The mosque offers space for 7,000 believers to practice their religion. Since 2006 the mosque has been the seat of the National Library of the Kingdom. Like all mosques, however, it is closed to non-Muslims on Fridays.
Bahrain City Center
The Bahrain City Center is the largest shopping center in all of Bahrain. There you will find various shops in different price segments as well as numerous cafés and restaurants that leave nothing to be desired. Those who want to escape the subtropical heat for a few hours will find the Wahoo! waterpark inside the mall. On an area of 15.000 m2 there are numerous water attractions like slides, a wave pool, an interactive rain forest and a cozy Lazy River.
At the oldest bazaar in Manama you can still experience the original flair of the city. Old traditions are kept here so that the souk has not yet become a tourist souvenir market. In the labyrinth of narrow, winding alleys you can buy everything from clothes to electrical appliances to spices. At the entrance to the souk is the Bab al-Bahrain. The historic building impresses with its spectacular entrance gate.
Nationalmuseum von Manama
The National Museum offers a rich insight into the life of the people of the Persian Gulf. In the oldest public museum of the kingdom, scenes from the early history of the Gulf States as well as treasures from the country are presented in several exhibition halls. Particularly impressive is the “Durad stone”, which dates from the Kassite period (1600 BC – 1155 BC). The black basalt sculpture depicts either the bow of a ship or an animal’s tongue – what do you see? You can also marvel at the wedge-shaped inscription on the sculpture.
Pearl Trail in Muharraq
They shimmer, sparkle and seduce – pearls, the treasures of the sea once brought Bahrain its wealth. Jewellery lovers like Queen Elizabeth I adorned themselves with these precious pearls. Today, Bahrain is still the most important trading centre for natural pearls. The sale of cultured pearls is strictly prohibited in the kingdom. The “Pearl Trail” was opened on a 3.5 km long route through the old town of the port city of Muharraq. From the house of the first pearl merchant to a small shipyard where traditional dhow boats are built, one takes part in a journey through the impressive history of pearls.
Beit Al Qur´an
The “House of the Koran”, was opened in 1990 in Hoora, north of Manama. The multi-purpose complex houses one of the most famous Islamic museums in the world. The museum has a comprehensive and valuable collection of the Koran. In addition, you will find a valuable collection of historical Koranic manuscripts from various parts of the Islamic world. According to a regional newspaper, the concept of the Beit Al Qur’an is unique in the Gulf region. The foundation of the Museum Institute was financed entirely by public donations. The contributors are people from all walks of life – from head of state to schoolchild.
Qal’at al-Bahrain Fortress
The Fort of Bahrain is considered one of the most important archaeological sites of Bahrain. The fort, which was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2005, is located on an artificial hill, which was formed over a period of about 4,000 years by numerous layers of human settlement. Archaeologists have already succeeded in uncovering a quarter of the entire historical area. For example, the remains of a Cassitic palace, which was built around 1450 BC, have been brought to light. Archaeological findings have shown that this palace fell victim to a fire, but researchers have nevertheless been able to find unusual and amazing cuneiform tablets in the excavation site.
Formula 1 race track
German history has already been written on the “Bahrain International Circuit”, a race track almost 30 km from Manama. For example, Sebastian Vettel has already won four Formula 1 titles here. In 2004, the approximately 5.4 km long motorsport race track was completed in time for the first edition of the Bahrain Grand Prix. In 2010 the first Formula 1 race was held on this demanding track. The desert terrain and the sand that comes with it put the drivers to a very special test. Motor sport lovers will get their money’s worth during a tour. Those who book a guided tour also get the chance to visit the popular Sakhir Tower. From there, the royal family will experience the thrilling event up close.
King Fahd Dam
The “King Fahd Dam” is a bridge and the transport connection to the neighbouring country Saudi Arabia. With about 25 kilometres it is one of the longest bridges in the world. The technically demanding project was completed in 1986. Halfway along the route, a 66 hectare island was created, half of which belongs to the Gulf States. The only national border of the island state of Bahrain runs along this half of the island. There are a total of seven such elaborate embankments. In addition, an observation tower provides a great view over to Saudi Arabia.
Bahrain World Trade Center
The figurehead of the kingdom, the Bahrain World Trade Center, BWTC for short, is one of the most impressive buildings in the country due to its height of 240 metres. Not only the two main towers, connected by three cross struts, make the building unique. The inspiration for the architectural design came from traditional Arab merchant ships. The two sail-shaped towers rise metres high out of the city. The landmark of Manama is particularly impressive with its integrated wind power plant. This made the BWTC the first skyscraper in the world with such modern technology. On 50 floors, the BWTC performs its function as an exhibition and trade center.
Map of Manama cruise ports
Manama has two moorings for cruise ships: Khalifa Bin Salman and Mina Salman.
The old natural harbour Mina Salman, was already in operation in 1962 and is only a few kilometres away from the city centre. Cruise ships used to dock here, but the Khalifa Bin Salman harbour largely replaces Mina Salman in this task.
The newer Khalifa Bin Salman Harbour is a modern port, which was opened in 2009 on the south side of the Hidd Peninsula. The berth is located about 18 km from the centre of Manama. The artificially filled arena has a quay length of about five kilometres and is the main landing stage for cruise ships in Bahrain. Cruise ships are often warmly welcomed at the harbour by a local bagpipe band. A special feature of the port is that you will not find a usual cruise ship terminal. However, there is a duty free shop where you can enjoy duty free shopping. Please note that it is not permitted to walk freely around the port area. There are free shuttle buses from the port to downtown Manama.
Things to know for shore excursions in Manama
Cruise lines and routes
Reedereien, die in Bahrain festmachen, sind unter anderem AIDA Cruises, TUI Cruises, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line und MSC Kreuzfahrten.
On a classic cruise through the Orient and the Emirates, in addition to Manama, they also call at Dubai, Abu Dhabi und Muscat. Due to the subtropical climate our winter months are the main season in the island state. A shore excursion here is worthwhile, regardless of whether you decide on a guided tour or a shore excursion on your own.
Entry and visa
You need a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after the end of the trip to get a free entry visa for the shore leave after arrival. The fee is 5 Bahraini Dinars (BHD), but can also be purchased with Euro (approx. 13 € – 15 €). The validity of the visa refers to the day of the excursion. Since Bahrain generally requires a visa, you would have to apply for a tourist visa for 14 days if you want to and can visit the city for a longer period of time. In addition, journalists with a tourist visa must ensure that they do not pursue any journalistic activities. In Bahrain this can have consequences, as there are strict censorship regulations.
To be on the safe side, we generally recommend that you find out about all valid entry regulations directly from your cruise line and from the Foreign Office in good time before your cruise.
The currency in Bahrain is the Dinar. Today, the Bahrain Dinar is the second most valuable currency in the world (per currency unit). It is divided into 1,000 fils. One BHD corresponds to approximately 2.42 Euros (as of October 2019). However, there are considerations to replace the Dinar by a common currency of the Gulf States.
If you want to pay by credit card when you go shopping, you should know that your bank or house bank may include a foreign assignment fee depending on the amount of the invoice. In order to avoid the foreign assignment fee, it is advised to use the credit card for the purpose of withdrawing money. Please note that the PIN of your credit card is required for this. It is recommended that you inform yourself about your credit card contract or its terms and conditions before your trip, as well as the usual payment methods of the destination.
Taxi and public transport
If you have not booked a shore excursion and want to discover Manama on your own, free shuttle buses can be used to get from the port area to the Manama souk or to the Bahrain City Centre, for example. Usually cruise ship passengers know that there are numerous taxis waiting for you behind the port exit. This is different in Manama! There are no taxis available within the Khalifa Bin Salman port terminal. You have to take the shuttle bus to Manama first. In general you will find only a few taxis in Manama compared to other Gulf destinations such as Dubai or Abu Dhabi. You should also keep in mind that the travel time always depends on the traffic. In general, Manama has a very chaotic traffic situation, which often leads to traffic jams, blockages at intersections or a complete standstill of traffic. If you decide to use one of the few taxis, please negotiate the price in advance, as this can be very expensive.
The optimal travel time is in winter between November and March. At this time Manama is also mainly visited by cruise ships. Bahrain lies in the subtropical climate zone and in summer temperatures of up to 45 degrees are possible. Although the climate is rather desert-like, there is high humidity all year round. There are no seasons in Bahrain, only a summer or winter half year.
Website of port operator and tourism organisation
- Port operator: Kahlifa Bin Salman Port
- Tourism organisation: Bahrain Tourism Authority
- Tour operator: Wikivoyage Bahrain
Video: Impressions from Bahrain
Make your shore leave in Manama an unforgettable experience with cruise excursions from “My Cruise Excursion” and enjoy your cruise stay in Bahrain in small groups! Book your dream excursion with us now!
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