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The Kingdom of Bahrain might lack the razzle-dazzle of its neighbours Qatar and Dubai but this island state in the Persian Gulf offers and intriguing blend of modern Arabian opulence and traditional culture. It has a rich history, great beaches and plenty to spend your money on.
Most people choose to visit Bahrain between October and March when the weather is cool – by Gulf standards. Temperatures are in the mid-20s and there is little chance of rain, although January is the wettest month of the year – with two days of rain.
Crowds flock in for the F1 Grand Prix and Heritage Festival in April as the temperatures climb.
The summer months from May to September are best avoided as the mercury soars above 40°C. During Ramadan many businesses will be closed and getting around may not be easy.
The only direct flights to Bahrain from the UK are from London, and the country only has one major airport, but are plenty of ways to find a cheap fare when you book with Expedia.
Flexibility and planning ahead are key, especially if your visit coincides with a major event or the peak season.
Using the ‘Nearby airports’ option could open up different routes into Manama, the capital of Bahrain, from alternative starting points in the UK, and the ‘Show flexible dates’ option will unlock different fares on different days of the week.
Filter your results using the ‘Show options’ menu or the buttons on the left of the search result. You can view flights by duration, number of connections, airline, price and other criteria.
Optimal flight times from UK airports to Bahrain include:
Bahrain International Airport is just over four miles north-east of the capital Manama. The airport’s development has been central to the growth of the country, and it now handles around 9 million passengers a year. The expansion of the airport continues with a new terminal and new facilities in the pipeline.
The two airlines that fly direct from London to Bahrain are:
From the airport you can take a bus into Manama, but it takes a lot longer than a taxi.
There are bus routes around the city and to other destinations on the island, but most tourists will travel by taxi or hire car. Driving is straightforward in Bahrain and if you intend to spend more than a day outside Manama hiring a car will be cheaper than using a taxi.
Learn about Bahrain’s rich history and the island’s ancient Dilmun civilisation at the Bahrain National Museum.
The Bahrain museum has a model of an ancient souk as one of its attractions – but why not head to the real thing in Manama. The bazaar is located in the north of the city you can haggle for almost anything – there are areas for gold, perfume, herbs and spices.
The Tree of Life is an ancient mesquite tree 25 miles from Manama. Somehow it finds enough water to remain green all year round and some claim it is a relic from the Garden of Eden.
Bahrain is a Muslim country, but alcohol is widely available in hotels and clubs in Manama, there are even trendy cocktail bars to visit.
Pearls were once big business in Bahrain and can still be bought in the souk, or you can dive for your own.
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