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Bahrain. Day 1


Yes, it happened! About a year before that, I happened to be on a transfer at Manama airport. There was even a separate post about it. Now it's time to explore the country itself.


Russian citizens receive a visa upon arrival. Before passing through passport control, the customs service sent them to a separate office on the right, where they clarified the purpose of the visit and the duration of stay (the cost depended on it).

In Bahrain, it is not possible to pay in cash at public institutions

You can pay with a card immediately on the spot, but if you have cash, you will have to walk 20 meters to the round–the-clock exchanger, and when you return, load the money into the terminal. The whole procedure of crossing the border took about 10 minutes. No tension, everything is very cultured and friendly.

Exchange office at Bahrain Airport

Impressions from the outside

My flight from Istanbul arrived in Bahrain at about 3 a.m. Considering that the original departure point was Casablanca about a day before, then hot coffee after a short nap on the plane was very useful.

McDonald's at Bahrain Airport

At the same time, I purchased a local SIM card with 5G. The speed is pleasant.

5g Internet speed

A bridge separating boarding and disembarkation at different levels of Bahrain Airport


I used the Uber app, and Kia Optima arrived just a minute later. Taxis here, as in Dubai, comfort class cars or similar minivans. Another day I took a picture of taxi fares. Prices here rarely change, so the information will be useful to you.

Bahrain Taxi Fare Schedule

The hotel was in the Al-Hura area. It seemed to me that this is the busiest area of the city. There are many nightclubs, restaurants and cafes. At the entrance to the hotel, an incident happened – one of the nightclubs turned out to be in the hotel I booked, where some "important" person arrived at the afterparty, as I was told at the reception. Security blocked the entrance for 10 minutes.

The area itself does not shine with architecture. Completely standard buildings for the Middle East. The ground floors of most buildings are given over to shops and restaurants.

There are many vacant lots in Bahrain that have been turned into parking lots

Basically, this is what the whole country looks like. It's all about the heat. The white color allows buildings to heat up less, and dense buildings create the necessary shade. Believe me, it is in such areas of the Middle East that it is pleasant to be, and not in glass towers at all. However, Bahrain also has several modern glass districts, which I will tell you about later in this and the following stories. 

Streets in the Al-Khura area

In the morning I go to the coast on foot. One of my rules is to study any places "on your feet". But I want to warn you right away if you decide to do exactly the same: a) even in February, despite the "winter" period, it is very hot b) this is a city for cars (like most of the Persian Gulf countries). Even though there are sidewalks and pedestrian crossings, a large number of interchanges and highways will not make walking comfortable.

View of the bay

Construction sites are under construction, an important interchange is being built in the Juffair area

In fact, Bahrain is an archipelago of islands that are connected by bridges. The entire coastline is fortified with boulders. There are no urban beaches here. And this is also normal for Muslim countries.

A lonely tent. Why is he here?

Because of the heat, locals prefer contemplating the sea from the car in the cool to walking along the embankments. In addition, from a distance, women can remove the hijab from their heads.

The usual type of recreation on the shore

But the beaches we are familiar with are built mainly for tourists. They are here, many in the territories of hotels, but there are also public ones. I will tell you about them in other stories.

And here is a view of the city from the embankment.

View of the city

By the way, if the city may seem specific to you, then I assure you that you get used to wastelands and architecture the very next day. Moreover, such simplicity and naturalness is so pleasant that it has made this country one of my favorites in the Persian Gulf.

Juffair District

After walking along the coast, I reached another area. It is popular among foreigners living with families. There are many shopping malls and European cafes. But by and large, this is an ordinary residential area.

Juffair Mall

You won't see people walking around the city during the day. It is hot, with high humidity. Street life in the country begins in the evenings. But mostly, all leisure takes place in shopping malls, where it is cool and there is a lot of entertainment.

Mini football field at Juffair Mall

By the way, here's a life hack for you. In any large shopping center, which is in almost every district of the city, you can buy very high-quality and delicious food. It is not expensive, many dishes are prepared right in front of you.

Chicken with rice – 2.2bd per kilogram (about $4)

There are a lot of establishments in the city that have pick-up points right in the car. Comfortable.

Starbucks with delivery of an order in a car

This is what the Juffair area looks like

The Avenue Area

And now the contrast. Modern architecture, glass buildings, large promenades. To be honest, Europeans should start their journey around the country right here.

Several hotels on a separate island, followed by another island

The water color is very beautiful here and the architecture is interesting.

View of the embankment and the twin towers

The embankment runs parallel to the Avenue shopping center. In hot weather, you can walk inside, where the architects created an imitation of a European city street, and the transparent roof creates a feeling of open space.

Beautiful glazing on the square in the Avenue shopping center

In the evening, beautiful lighting turns on in the mall.

Avenue Shopping Center

Along the embankment there are cafes that have their own verandas. It is especially pleasant here in the evening.

Cafe overlooking the islands

The territory of the Avenue has not yet been completed, but the facades are covered with advertising of famous bloggers' restaurants.

Advertising for the opening of the second stage of the shopping center

First impressions – a clean and quite pleasant city. With its own specifics. New experiences and immersion in the country in the following stories.

April 17, 2024 06:45 pm



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April 12, 2024 01:31 am
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