Bahrain is a kingdom located in the Persian Gulf. It is the third-smallest nation in Asia, with a surface area of just under eight hundred square kilometres. More than one million people live on this island country, whereas around half of the population are emigrated non-nationals. In the Middle Ages, the Portuguese ruled the country for eighty years before they were expelled in the early seventeenth century. In the late eighteenth century, Bahrain became a protectorate of the British. Bahrain finally became independent in the seventies and was declared a Kingdom in the early twenty-first century.
Most international tourists arrive by plane. Bahrain International Airport is around nine kilometres east of Manama. The airport offers countless connections to destinations in Asia, Europe, and America. The public transport to the centre of Manama takes around twenty-five minutes. If you take a taxi from the airport, you can get to the centre in fifteen minutes. If you want to get around in Bahrain, renting a car is a recommendable option, since the high rates for taxis would make the trip extraordinarily expensive.
The kingdom of Bahrain tries to get away from the traditional oil industry and invests a lot of money in the banking and tourism sectors. Especially in Manama, you will find numerous presences of internationally well-known financial institutions. Manama is also the capital of the kingdom and a very important trading centre. Compared to other capitals in the Gulf region, the architecture is a bit less spectacular and pompous. However, the flourishing art and food scene attracts a growing number of expats. Popular sport events such as the Formula One Grand Prix in Bahrain put the small kingdom on the international map.
The summers in Bahrain are very hot; daily maximum temperatures of thirty-eight degrees Celsius are normal. Even at night, the temperatures rarely drop below thirty degrees Celsius. Therefore, air conditioning is essential to provide a comfortable stay. The seas around the kingdom are very shallow and heat up very quickly. Consequently, the humidity is very high in summer. Compared to this, the winter in Bahrain is dry and with maximum temperatures around twenty-one degrees Celsius, it's far more pleasant for most tourists. Over the year, you get only ten days of rain, whereas most precipitation days occur in winter.
The hostel industry is a bit underdeveloped. However, new hostels in Bahrain have been opened recently, providing accommodation of good quality for a fair price. Free Wi-Fi is included in most places, no matter if you book a Bahrain hostel, hotel, or guesthouse. If your budget is a bit bigger, you can check out the numerous hotels in Bahrain. Compared to the Bahrain hostels, you get various offerings for every hotel standard.
Bahrain has very few beaches. The manmade beaches at luxury resorts are beautiful, but only available for people with a big budget. Bahrain is an excellent place for bird lovers. More than three hundred thirty species of birds were recorded in the kingdom; twenty-six different species breed in the Bahrain archipelago. During the autumn and winter months, millions of migratory birds pass through Bahrain and the Persian Gulf region in general. Especially the Hawar Islands Protected Area is an important feeding and breeding ground for many different seabirds.
If you are interested in culture, you should check out the three forts which have been restored in detail and are opened to the public. UNESCO has declared the so-called Bahrain Fort, Qalat Al Bahrain, as a World Heritage Site. The Bahrain National Museum opened in the late eighties and covers an area of almost twenty-eight thousand square metres including two complexes. The museum displays historical artefacts dating back to the island's first human inhabitants around nine thousand years ago.
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