Beit Al Quran

Top choice in Manama

The finest collection of ancient Qurans in the region, this wonderful homage to Islam's holiest book displays Qurans from almost every century since the advent of Islam in 610, as well as some of the earliest translations into European languages. This includes the English translation by George Sale, published in London in the 18th century, a copy of which was bought by US founding father and president Thomas Jefferson.

Wrapped in carved Kufic script, the distinctive Beit Al Quran is a fine example of modern Bahraini architecture. As well as Qurans, it also houses manuscripts, woodcarvings and examples of Islamic calligraphy, and boasts a library that is home to works by the likes of ancient Persian poets Rumi and Omar Khayyam. Look out for the miniature Qurans, the smallest of which (from 18th-century Persia) measures only 4.7cm by 3.2cm. The exhibits are well labelled in English and can be superficially perused within an hour. Phone ahead for a guided tour.

The main entrance and car park are at the back, on the southern side of the building. Visitors should dress conservatively.