#8 Bab Al Bahrain
The gateway to Bahrain – Bab Al Bahrain needs no introduction. The 1949 structure once overlooked the sea and was a crucial landmark for trade in the Kingdom. The Bab opens up to the Manama Souq (or Bab Al Bahrain Souq), where every alley and corner takes you to a vibrant shop either selling textiles, spices, incense, perfumes, handicrafts, and souvenirs. In the heart of an ultramodern Bahrain, Bab Al Bahrain is a unique gem that provides a traditional Bahraini market experience. Designed by Charles Belgrave, the British adviser to the Emir and built in 1949, Bab Al Bahrain overlooked the sea and housed government administrative offices.
The souq runs into several alleys and nooks where one can find shops of all kinds. A number of famous coffee shops, ice cream parlours and more dating back to almost 1920 still stand in the souq. Haji’s Cafe is among the oldest, traditional dining spots that serve authentic Arabic food-a haven for those who love breakfast. If you want to indulge in the quintessential Bahraini vibe, a visit to Bab Al Bahrain must be on your list.
This article is part of an ongoing series – 51 Great Things About Bahrain as a tribute to the Kingdom’s 51st National Day. Read more in this special edition.