Bahrain was once an important trading empire and has transformed into a cosmopolitan tourism and trade destination in the Persian Gulf. The sites of the ancient Dilmun civilization, including thousands of Burial Mounds, traditional Arab architecture, such as the Qalat Al Bahrain castle (a UNESCO Heritage site), and the Bahrain National Museum are worth a visit.
Extensive souks and shopping malls offering the best international products and Formula One racing at the Bahrain Grand Prix have made Bahrain a popular tourist destination, among residents of neighboring gulf countries.
Bahrain is well connected with other Arab countries. There are also many flights from Europe, Greece, Italy, India and Bangkok. Direct flights from the U.S. are very expensive. Tourists can arrive by road over the King Fahd Causeway or by ferry from Iran. A Qatar-Bahrain friendship bridge is being planned.