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“In need of an update...”

Bahrain National Museum
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Bahrain Historical Private Half Day Tour
Ranked #4 of 59 things to do in Manama
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Okinawa, Japan
Level Contributor
23 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“In need of an update...”
Reviewed March 14, 2013

The Bahrain National Museum was our first "tourist" stop in Bahrain and I have to admit that I was disappointed. The building itself is impressive, but the exhibits and restrooms desperately need an update.

The main lobby has a newer exhibit, showcasing other sites of interest throughout Bahrain, just in case you haven't read your guide book! The huge satellite map on the floor is impressive and it's interesting to note how much the island has "expanded" since the photo was taken about ten years ago - just look outside across the harbor to see construction equipment dumping sand and rock into the sea to make more waterfront property.

The only exhibit of real interest was the three burial mounds, which have been transported to the museum and opened up. My three-year-old daughter was fascinated by the skeletal remains of a baby and small child and asked to see the exhibit three more times before we left. I also liked the section on Arabic culture and traditions associated with birth, weddings, childhood rites of passage, etc., but my husband and daughter were bored. I agree with another reviewer that the "people" (mannequins) are creepy.

Fortunately, the admission price (500 fils) is so reasonable that we didn't feel too cheated. The cafe was being remodeled, but we were told it should reopen in March 2013. We walked over to the Art Centre (or Bahrain National Theatre?) and had coffee there. While the modern cafe was open, it was still under construction and no food was available. Also, we visited on a Saturday morning and encountered dozens and dozens of noisy school children running through the halls on field trips.

I'd highly recommend visiting the Site Museum at Qal'at Al-Bahrain (Bahrain Fort) instead. Also, the historic homes in Muharraq (look for the Shaikh Ebrahim Centre for Culture and Research along the Pearling Path) are just a few minutes-drive from the Bahrain National Museum and so much more interesting!

Visited February 2013
Thank khakola
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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945 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
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  • Thai first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Manama, Bahrain
Level Contributor
66 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“Make This Your First Stop in Bahrain”
Reviewed March 9, 2013

The National Museum gives you all the information you need to further explore Bahrain, particularly if you are a history buff or geologist.
Visit this attraction before any other. Simple.
Unfortunately there's no chance to have a break with a coffee, as the coffee shop is closed unless there is a VIP exhibition showing. Typical of the government.

Visited February 2013
Thank fipty801
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
27 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“The cafe is only open for events”
Reviewed March 9, 2013 via mobile

A great venue with lovely grounds, next door to the National Theatre. A shame about the vandalised exhibits. Also disappointing that the (very nice) cafe isn't open to casual visitors.

Thank Jenanic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Loved it :)”
Reviewed March 3, 2013

I spent just over 3 hours in the place! I love the war stories that involved Alexander the Great, the Persians and the Arabs; Loved and the burial ground section with bones etc. So many interesting stories! Learnt so much and couldn't stop babbling about the place after I left! Two thumbs up!!! :D

Visited March 2013
Thank CandiceKB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Largs, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
62 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed February 28, 2013

A great museum to learn the culture of the Middle East, it tought me to respect more of their origins than I did before.

Visited February 2013
Thank rjbxll
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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