A land of date palms and natural resources, Bahrain is all about enjoying the happy moments of life. Believed to be the site of the ancient kingdom of Dilmun, the island nation is gaining serious prominence as far as shopping destinations go. With iconic shopping malls and traditional marketplaces, shopping in Bahrain is a matter of fun and excitement.

So, do you wish to shop for the best of perfumes from the so-called "Kingdom of Perfumes"? Or want to buy the delicious dates from traditional markets? Well, here's what you need to know about shopping in the island nation of Bahrain.

Top Markets For Shopping In Bahrain To Choose From

Bahrain can surprise many when it comes to shopping adventures in the country. Here are some of the top shopping markets in the nation where one can enjoy shopping.

1. Souq Waqif

Souq Waqif
Image is for reference purpose only

One of the best shopping places in Bahrain that takes one back to the old times, Souq Waqif means the standing market in Arabic, and that is exactly what it was in the old ages. This is a market where merchants used to stand on both sides of the road and sell their goods to the people who passed by. From the best of spices, and clothes, to woods, and fresh seafood, the standing market of Souq Waqif has it all. Today, however, the place has emerged as one of the finest shopping places to visit in Bahrain where one can shop for the best of antiques, goods and so much more. In fact, Souq Waqif in Bahrain is one of the most important historical places in the country today.

Location - Southwest of Manama in Hamad Town

Timings - N/A

2. Souq Al Manama

Souq Al Manama

Another souq in Bahrain that doesn't disappoint travelers on a shopping trail in the nation, Souq Al Manama is a marketplace whose history goes back to the year 1949 when it was first designed by Sir Charles Belgrave. Being one of the oldest marketplaces in the country today, this is a market that is nestled in the Northern part of Al Manama between the central business district and the old areas of the city, making its locations extremely unique.

One of the top things to do in Bahrain here is to catch a glimpse of the Synagogue here which is the only one in the whole of the Kingdom.

Interestingly, 2013 was the year when Souq Al Manama underwent massive renovations and refurbishments. Several cafés and restaurants were opened during this time. One can head over to the marketplace and buy a number of garments, souvenirs, gifts, and so much more.

Location - Northern part of Al Manama between the central business district and the old areas of the city

Timings - 9 AM to 9 PM

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3. Muharraq Souq

Muharraq Souq

An old souq in Bahrain that competes well with some of the best malls in Bahrain, Muharraq Souq is widely popular for the shipping experience that it offers to visitors. One can not only shop for the best items here but can also try a variety of desserts that are found at the marketplace here. There are multiple gold shops in Bahrain that one can find here at Muharraq Souq and are widely popular amongst travelers.

With top of the line options in clothing, jewelry, coffee, spices, and so much more. The place is perfect when it comes to your shopping adventures in the heart of Bahrain.

However, afternoons at Muharraq Souq are generally busy and parking spaces during the time are limited here. Hence, travelers planning to visit here are advised to take a cab rather than driving themselves.

Location - Rd 1125, Block 208

Timings -

Saturday to Thursday - 10 AM to 1 PM & 4 PM to 7 PM

Friday - 4 PM to 7 PM

4. Al Qusayrya Market

Al Qusayrya Market

Another market that has gained immense fame over the years, the Al Qusayrya Market is one of the oldest markets in Bahrain and what particularly stands out is its beautiful architecture. Although there are many things to do and shop in Bahrain, one can shop for the best of natural pearls at the Al Qusayrya Market that are radiographically certified.

What is interesting is that the Al Qusayrya Market was listed as the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2012 and has gone through massive renovations since then. Wondering about sitting in a café in Bahrain? Well, the Al Qusayrya Market would offer you that pleasure.

Location - Al Muhurraq Market

Timings - N/A

Suggested Read: Shopping In Qatar: The Top Souvenirs To Buy From Qatar

Top Things To Buy In Bahrain

Familiar with the top markets in Bahrain? Let's now look at the various things that one can buy when on a holiday in Bahrain.

1. Perfumes

Perfumes

There's a reason why Bahrain is known as the Kingdom of Perfumes. There are perfumers in the country that are renowned for their expertise in combining aromatic oils to form soothing perfumes. The oils are combined carefully together to achieve the desired smell. Travelers coming here can shop for the best of perfumes from virtually all top marketplaces in the country. So, if a nice perfume is what you long for in Bahrain, well, you're at the right place then.

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2. Bakhoor

Bakhoor

Amongst the many things that Bahrain offers, Bakhoor is a sweet-smelling incense called Bakhoor. Made from wood chips of fragrant trees, Bakhoor is considered to be a pivotal part of the Arabic culture. In fact, if you're visiting a souq in Bahrain and a distinct smell greets you upon your arrival, well, that's Bakhoor for you. Interestingly, Bakhoor is used on special occasions in the Arab world like a wedding or any sort of religious ceremony. So the next time when you visit Bahrain, make sure to purchase Bakhoor which can be found at any top marketplace.

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3. Dates

Dates

Now here’s a thing, your shopping spree in Bahrain would be incomplete without buying some dates. At times called the elixir of the Middle East, this is a fruit that is not only delicious but is also highly beneficial for your health. Travelers can easily purchase dates from all top marketplaces around the country. However, the best buy is straight through the farmers where one can bargain and get the best possible price for dates. In fact, dates offered in the country are of many types. One can buy dates that are coated with chocolate or dates that are stuffed with lemon, almond, or even oranges.

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4. Abayas

Abayas

Something that virtually goes unnoticed when you head for Bahrain shopping, Abayas are a traditional Bahraini outfit worn by women and are available in multiple shades and sizes. Women can buy Abayas on their travels in Bahrain and look from various designs. There are both modern and traditional choices as far as Abayas are concerned. So, if you’re a woman reading this, don’t forget to pair your newly purchased Abaya with a scarf.  

An island nation that is widely popular amongst travelers today, Bahrain has all the attributes to be one of the finest travel destinations in the world today. While offering its natural wonders to travelers, the country is also widely famous for its shopping experience. In fact, shopping in Bahrain is a matter of fun and excitement as travelers get to buy certain things that are unique to Bahrain or the Middle East. So, what’s the delay? Book your Bahrain plane tickets today and come witness the amazing spectacle of shopping in the island nation.

FAQs

Q1. Which is the best marketplace in Bahrain?

Although there are many top marketplaces in Bahrain today, the Souq Waqif has to be the number one choice. This is a market where merchants used to stand on both sides of the road and sell their goods to the people who passed by. From the best of spices, and clothes, to woods, and fresh seafood, the standing market of Souq Waqif has it all.

Q2. When was Souq Al Manama renovated?

2013 was the year when Souq Al Manama underwent massive renovations and refurbishments. Several cafés and restaurants were opened during this time while the renovation work continues from time to time even today.

Q3. Where is Souq Al Manama located in Bahrain?

The Souq Al Manama is nestled in the Northern part of Al Manama between the central business district and the old areas of the city, making its locations extremely unique.

Q4. Is Bahrain expensive?

Although it clearly depends upon varied expenses of travelers, a one week trip to Bahrain can cost about BHD388 for one person while a two week trip to the country can cost about BHD1,353 for two people.

Q5. Is Bahrain a safe country?

Yes, Bahrain is amongst the safest countries to visit in the Middle East as the crime rate here is relatively low. In fact, violent crimes are extremely rare in the country which speaks volumes about the low crime rate here.

Q6. Which is the best thing to buy in Bahrain?

Amongst the many things that travelers can buy in the country, Bakhoor has to be a top choice. A sweet-smelling incense, Bakhoor is made from wood chips of fragrant trees, Bakhoor is considered to be a pivotal part of the Arabic culture. In fact, if you're visiting a souq in Bahrain and a distinct smell greets you upon your arrival, well, that's Bakhoor for you.

Q7. Should I buy dates from Bahrain?

Yes, Dates are not only delicious but are also highly beneficial for your health. Travelers can easily purchase dates from all top marketplaces around the country. However, the best buy is straight through the farmers where one can bargain and get the best possible price for dates.

Q8. Which are the best hotels in Bahrain?

Bahrain is an island nation that consists of many top locations. Here are some of the top hotels in the country that one needs to know about.

  • InterContinental Bahrain
  • Crowne Plaza Manama (Bahrain)
  • Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay
  • Al Areen Palace & Spa
  • Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa sea & spa
  • Jumeirah Royal Saray Bahrain
  • Ritz Gourmet Lounge