Last year, I moved to Al-Khobar city of Saudi Arabia. After settling down to my new location, I decided to explore the surroundings. To my luck, Bahrain was just 50 km away from Al-Khobar. One can easily go there on weekends and come back even on same day.
At first, I searched over web for things to do & sights seeing in Bahrain. I am a huge fan of Nokia maps and rely heavily on navigation to move around new places. So after some web search, I marked all places of my interest in my mobile device so that I could wander around on my own.
Bahrain is an island and its only land connection to other countries is Saudi Arabia by King Fahd Cause Way. Total length of cause way is around 25 km. Depending upon occupation, there is no need of getting advance visa for GCC residents to enter Bahrain via cause way.
Start point of King Fahd Cause Way from Saudi Arabia. The road bridges Saudi Arabia & Bahrain across the sea.
Finally on the planned date I left for Bahrain, early in the Saturday morning, with my family in my own car (Unlike most of other countries, Friday & Saturday are off days in Middle East).
Crossing King Fahd Cause Way
There was a toll plaza at start of cause way where I paid 20 SAR (5.4 USD). I travelled for approximate 10 km when I saw a small Island. Upon reaching there, I came to know that it was the area where all immigration related processes will be done.
The small island in mid length of cause way. U-turn, praying, food and rest room facilities are available here. Also all immigration related processes are done here.
There was no need for me to get out of the car for immigration. There were 6~7 cabins along the road few hundred meters apart. At first, they gave me token indicating my car number plate and persons in car. At next, they stamped Saudi Arabian exit stamp on my passport. Then it was Bahrain’s cabin for entry stamp. They also checked the token which was given to me previously by Saudi Arabian cabin. After my car checking for custom clearance and getting insurance of my car for 3 days @15 SAR (4 USD), It took me further 15 minutes (10 km) to reach Bahrain.
Al Jasra Handicraft Center
My first stop was Al Jasra Handicraft Center. It had several rooms dedicated to different arts & crafts of Bahrain. One can see craftsmen working on wood, weaving baskets, making pottery, textile and cloth-weaving etc.
Entrance of Al Jasra Handicraft Centre.
A man knitting shawl.
Hand made dhows.
Wooden boxes at gift shop of Al Jasra Handicraft Center.
Al Fateh Grand Mosque
Then I headed towards Al Fateh Mosque and offered Dhuhr prayer there. It is one of large mosques in the world and largest in Bahrain. Complying with certain attire requirements, Non-Muslims can also visit this mosque except on Fridays. Guides were also available but I felt no need to hire one.
A view of Al Fateh Grand Mosque.
Main hall of Al Fateh Grand Mosque.
Bahrain Fort Museum
On same day afternoon, I went to Bahrain Fort Museum. Museum entrance fee was 10 SAR (2.75 USD) per head, children were free. It was relatively small museum but ambiance was good.
Inside Bahrain Fort Museum.
It had a small cafe with a play ground for kids. The green color grass was really refreshing.
A small playground for kids on backside of Bahrain Fort Museum.
An artifact inside museum resembling Egyptian relics.
Bahrain Fort (Qal’at Al Bahrain in Arabic)
Basically Bahrain Fort Museum is constructed near Bahrain Fort site. Parking area is same for both. After spending an hour in museum, I headed towards fort. It seemed that people use path around fort as jogging track. I saw many individuals and small groups running around fort.
Moving along fort corridors.
Another view inside fort.
After a full day of excursion, I returned back to base. Coming back to Saudi Arabia usually takes less time than going to Bahrain. I paid 15 SAR (4 USD) at Bahrain toll plaza for cause way. All other immigration steps were same except car insurance was not required as my car was already insured for Saudi Arabia. That day was really well spent.
Location & Coordinates
Coordinates of Al Jasra Handicraft Center: 26.1636535, 50.450639
Coordinates of Al Fateh Grand Mosque: 26.2182989, 50.5983556
Coordinates of Bahrain Fort and Fort Museum : 26.2353895, 50.5227649