Bahrain National Museum

Lonely Planet review

Deserving its reputation as the most popular tourist attraction in Bahrain, the Bahrain National Museum is the best place to start for an intriguing, well-labelled introduction to the sights of the country. The museum, housed in a postmodern building with landscaping that brings the waterfront location up to the windows, showcases archaeological finds from ancient Dilmun. Among these finds are beautiful agate and carnelian beads and earthenware burial jars – used for the body as well as its chattels.

Don't miss the section on contemporary Bahraini culture – the reproduction souq on the 1st floor is particularly worth the stairs, as the barber could double for Sweeney Todd.

The museum also includes a wildlife hall, several gallery spaces used for contemporary exhibitions of art and sculpture, a shop selling Bahraini crafts, and a chic cafe. There’s plenty to keep the family amused for several hours, but it will reward even a quick 10-minute visit and is particularly worthwhile if you want to gauge the progress of up-and-coming new attractions such as the national theatre, part of the museum complex.