Bahrain National Museum

Museum in Manama

Image by Celia Peterson Getty Images

Deservedly the country's most popular attraction, the National Museum is an outstanding introduction to Bahrain's history. The highlights of the collection, which is housed in a postmodern building with landscaping that brings the waterfront location up to the windows, are the archaeological finds from ancient Dilmun, the reproduction souq covering Traditional Trades and Crafts on the 1st floor (the barber could double for Sweeney Todd), and the vast satellite photo of Bahrain that takes up much of the ground floor.

Other exhibits include a Hall of Graves, Customs and Traditions, the Islamic era and Documents and Manuscripts, and we very much hope that the fine semi-permanent ground-floor exhibit on fables and storytelling continues. The museum shop is excellent, there's a chic cafe, several gallery spaces are used for contemporary exhibitions of art and sculpture, and the labelling (in English and Arabic) is first-rate throughout.


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