One out of four Bahrainis lives in Manama, and these spend most of their shopping and entertainment time here in the city center, where facilities couldn’t be better. Much of Manama is built on land that has been reclaimed from the Persian Gulf, with the base of city real estate expanding each year.
There are hotels in the city center scattered across the main district, with the densest selection on the eastern coast of the headland that hosts this city. An American naval base is also in this area, with the local nightlife fueled by this foreign contingent. Manama is one of the best places in the Persian Gulf for nightlife – to the extent that there is little going on during the day.
There are still sites to enjoy in the city center. One of these is Bahrain National Museum, with its world-class archeological and cultural displays. The museum is a first stop for tourists who are based in Manama, and it’s well worth setting several hours aside to properly take in the exhibits.
However, the focus for visitors in Bahrain is certainly on dancing and drinking at local nightclubs. Major hotels in the city center each have their own bars and cocktail lounges, and many of them host live jazz. The Bahrain Hotel and Restaurant Guide is widely available in the city center, and it has up-to-date information on the types of shows and music featured by various clubs and hotels in the area.
For a more traditional angle on life in Manama, head to any number of local coffee shops. Local men frequent these establishments for the strong coffee as well as the chance to share a hookah with friends.