At Bahrain National Museum, you'll get a good introduction to Bahrain's history. One of the highlights is the archaeological finds from the ancient Dilmun civilization that called the island home. Next door at the waterfront is the huge Bahrain National Theatre, a fabulous showpiece of sleek, postmodern architecture.
The phenomenal UNESCO World Heritage-listed Qa'lat al Bahrain, or Bahrain Fort, is a 10-minute drive from central Manama. The fort built by the Portuguese in the 16th century as part of their defenses along the Gulf, but the hill site itself has been occupied from about 2,800 BC. Find out more in the museum next door, which showcases an impressive range of 500 artifacts unearthed here.