The smell of spices, Arabic sweets congeal with other pleasing and less pleasing odours at the Manama Souq Bahrain. It is chaotic, crowded yet enchanting in its own way.
Where is it?
The bazaar is tucked away between the narrow lanes of central Manama behind Bab al-Bahrain. An ancient building, all adorned with an arch mark the entrance. It is located in close vicinity to some serviced apartments in Bahrain. In fact, if you are staying at the Somerset Al Fateh Bahrain, you can get to the market under 15 minutes by taxi.
Manama Souq Bahrain is open from 9 am to 1 pm and then from around 4 pm to 9 pm. Vendors close their shops to avoid the afternoon heat and go off for a well-deserved siesta.
How are the vendors
You can negotiate for prices. Vendors sometimes come after you to offer their wares. But once you indicate your noninterest, they leave you alone. They are by no means pushy. Some of them accept credit cards but there is an ATM at the Citibank.
What to buy
You can buy souvenirs, spices, traditional garments and even tailor-made suits. But Bahrain is well-known for its gold. You can swing by the Gold Souq with lots of jewellery stores.