Riffa, the second-largest city in Bahrain, is a vibrant city known for its rich history, cultural heritage, and modern amenities. For those considering things to do in Riffa, exploring the Riffa Fort, an impressive fortification offering panoramic views of the surrounding area, and visiting the Royal Golf Club, a premier golfing destination, are top activities.
The city’s bustling Riffa Bazaar offers a traditional shopping experience, with numerous vendors selling everything from spices and textiles to handicrafts and souvenirs. Nearby, the Enma Mall provides a modern shopping and entertainment experience, with a variety of stores, restaurants, and a cinema.
Beyond its urban attractions, Riffa is also known for its culinary scene, with numerous restaurants serving traditional Bahraini cuisine, as well as international dishes. For those seeking the best places to visit in Bahrain, Riffa’s blend of historical significance, cultural richness, and contemporary amenities makes it a compelling destination.
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Attractions & Things to Do in Riffa, Bahrain
1. Riffa Fort (Sheikh Salman Bin Ahmed Al Fateh Fort)
Riffa Fort, also known as Sheikh Salman Bin Ahmed Al Fateh Fort, offers a glimpse into Bahrain’s rich history, standing atop a hill with panoramic views of the Hunanaiya Valley. The fort has been beautifully restored, allowing visitors to explore its rooms and courtyards and imagine the lives of its former inhabitants.
Travel Tip: Evening visits are particularly magical due to the cooler air and the lighting around the fort, which creates a dramatic effect.
2. Royal Golf Club
Designed by Colin Montgomerie, the Royal Golf Club is one of Bahrain’s top golfing destinations. It features a world-class course that challenges both novice and expert golfers, with picturesque fairways and well-maintained greens.
Travel Tip: Even if you’re not into golf, the club’s restaurants and facilities are open to visitors, offering a relaxing retreat with great food and views.
3. Riffa Bazaar
The Riffa Bazaar is a local market that offers a traditional shopping experience where you can find everything from fabrics and clothes to spices and local handicrafts. It’s a bustling area that captures the essence of local Bahraini life.
Travel Tip: Be prepared to bargain; it’s part of the experience and expected in markets like this.
4. Clock Tower
Riffa’s Clock Tower is a notable landmark, situated in the heart of the city. While not an attraction with extensive activities, it marks a central point from which to explore the surrounding areas.
Travel Tip: The area around the Clock Tower is perfect for a stroll to take in the daily life and culture of the city.
5. Buhair Valley
A short distance from Riffa, Buhair Valley is known for its beautiful scenery and agricultural landscape, including date palm groves and traditional farms.
Travel Tip: It’s a great spot for a scenic drive or a bike ride, especially during the cooler months of the year.
6. Riffa Views
A plush residential area with a picturesque landscape, Riffa Views is known for its luxury homes and tranquil environment. The area is also home to the Royal Golf Club and offers some upscale dining options.
Travel Tip: Visit Riffa Views for a leisurely walk or a meal at one of the fine dining establishments overlooking the golf course.
7. Al Riffa Mosque
Al Riffa Mosque stands as a symbol of Islamic architecture and cultural heritage in Bahrain. With its grand structure and beautiful design, it is not only a place of worship but also a landmark that reflects the religious devotion of the city.
Travel Tip: Non-Muslim visitors are typically welcome outside of prayer times, and it’s an excellent opportunity to experience Bahraini culture and architecture – just remember to dress conservatively.
8. Riffa Palms
The Riffa Palms area is known for its lush landscapes and rows of towering palm trees. This serene spot offers a pleasant escape from the city’s hustle and bustle, ideal for picnics and leisurely walks.
Travel Tip: Bring along some local snacks and enjoy a traditional Bahraini picnic under the shade of the palms.
9. Hunanaiya Valley
This valley near Riffa offers a picturesque glimpse into Bahrain’s natural beauty and agricultural past. With rolling hills and a more temperate climate, it’s a popular spot for locals and tourists alike.
Travel Tip: Visit during the cooler months for a comfortable exploration of the outdoors and to see the valley at its greenest.
10. Bahrain Military Museum
The Bahrain Military Museum provides insights into the nation’s military history with a collection of artifacts, uniforms, and armaments on display. It’s a place that honors Bahrain’s armed forces and their role in the country’s history.
Travel Tip: Check the opening times before you go, as they can be subject to change, and be mindful of the dress code as a sign of respect.
11. Gravity Village
For those looking for action, Gravity Village offers a range of outdoor activities including go-karting, paintball, and more, providing fun for the whole family.
Travel Tip: It’s best to book in advance, especially for group activities, to ensure availability.
12. Birla Institute of Technology International Centre
Although primarily an educational institution, the Birla Institute of Technology International Centre is noted for its unique architecture and contributes to the city’s cosmopolitan atmosphere.
Travel Tip: The campus is usually open for visitors who wish to stroll through its grounds and admire the contemporary architectural styles.
FAQ About Things to Do in Riffa, Bahrain
What historical sites can I visit in Riffa, Bahrain?
Riffa is home to the Riffa Fort (Sheikh Salman Bin Ahmad Al Fateh Fort), which offers insights into Bahrain’s history and stunning views of the surrounding area. Another historical site is the Riffa Clock Tower, symbolizing the city’s past and development.
Can I play golf in Riffa?
Yes, Riffa offers a world-class golfing experience at the Royal Golf Club, which features an 18-hole championship course designed by Colin Montgomerie.
Are there any shopping destinations in Riffa?
Indeed, Riffa has several shopping areas such as the Riffa Bazaar and the Enma Mall, where you can find a variety of shops, eateries, and entertainment options.
What family activities are available in Riffa?
Families can enjoy the Riffa Views Parks, which provide playgrounds, walking paths, and picnic spots. There is also the Lulu Hypermarket for family-friendly shopping and dining experiences.
Is there a place to learn about the culture of Bahrain in Riffa?
Yes, the Riffa Cultural Hall is a hub for cultural events, showcasing traditional music, dance, and art exhibitions throughout the year.
Can I find good local food in Riffa?
Absolutely! Riffa is known for its delicious local cuisine. You can savor traditional Bahraini dishes at restaurants like Haji Gahwa and other local eateries.
Are there any nature spots in Riffa?
For nature lovers, the Bukowarah Valley Park is a beautiful place to visit, offering a tranquil environment and a chance to observe local flora.
Does Riffa have any sports facilities?
Certainly, Riffa has several sports complexes like the Riffa Sports Club, which caters to various sports activities and hosts regular events.