The Kingdom of Bahrain is an archipelago of 33 islands surrounded by the waters of the Persian Gulf. It is one of the best destinations to explore most modern shopping, dining and nightlife spots sandwiched between ancient castles. Bahrain National Museum offers a host of artefacts to admire and retrace the rich history of this Middle Eastern country. One of the top tourist attractions in Bahrain is shopping at a souq where one can witness and experience the spirited culture and lifestyle of the Bahraini.
A souq or souk is a traditional open air market in the Middle East. Souqs usually cater to a large customer base welcoming the locals, expatriates and tourists from all parts of the world. Souqs sell sundry items ranging from spices to dates, carpets to gold, perfumes, fabrics, herbs, fresh produce and handicrafts.
Step into a souq and you will find yourself lost in a world of pleasing aromas, bargaining voices, countless colours mingling with hundreds of bubbly customers. In these souqs, bargaining is a tradition and shopping is a pastime. The best time to visit a souq is early in the morning, to escape the heat and witness the bustle.
Manama is the capital of Bahrain and it houses one of the famous souqs in Bahrain known as the Manama Souq. You enter this souq through the impressive Bab Al-Bahrain, a key landmark known as the Gate of Bahrain. Manama Souq is a modern one yet it houses some of the best traditional shops as well.
At the Manama Souq you can browse a host of items such as silk, cotton and wool fabrics and textiles, spices, nuts, souvenirs, rugs, dates and sweets. The souq also sell Arabic clothes and accessories such as thobe, agal and kaftan. Thobe is an ankle length long sleeved tunic, while agal is a cord worn around a traditional headdress. Kaftan is made from cotton or silk and is a long sleeved ankle length garment accompanied by a sash.
The gold souq here sells the highest quality gold and jewellery, valued higher than 18 carats and hallmarked. The pearls sold here are natural and the rarest in the world. Bahrain is a thriving hub of pearl trade for centuries and even houses the Museum of Pearl Diving to enlighten the masses about their glorious history.
The Central Market in Bahrain is operating since 1978 and it is the best place to find fresh fruits, vegetables, spices, herbs and nuts. Sprawling in the heart of Manama, this market also sells fresh meat and fish apart from other produce. Almost all fruit and vegetables are imported from worldwide and are high in quality and most of all fresh. Central Market’s sea food and fish are either local or imported and suit all tastes and budgets.
The souqs in Bahrain cannot be visited in one day alone, as they are extensive and nestles hidden treasures at every nook and corner. Find your accommodation at Manama apartments and leisurely visit these vivacious souqs of Bahrain. You can reserve one of the serviced apartments in Manama Bahrain like Somerset Al Fateh which sits along the coast of Al Fateh. Take pleasure in their top rate amenities and access the best shopping malls, business firms and even the Gold Souq and the Central Market within minutes.
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