Souqs Beyond Muscat

While Muscat may be home to a number of fantastic souqs, the rest of the country boasts other markets which are well worth a visit.

Located in the fort city of Bahla at around 200 km from Muscat, the Bahla Souq is across the street from the 13th century Bahla fort. Khanjar daggers, large metal platters and copper metal work is what this thriving souq specializes in.

North of the capital is the Batinah Governorate. The coastal area hosts fertile agricultural lands, ancient villages and a number of important castles and forts. Amongst these historical buildings lies the wonderful Sohar Souq. Vendors here are known for their fine gold, silver, fragrant herbs, natural honey and quality pure wool.

At just over two and half hours away from Muscat lies the historic region of Ibri. Ibri boasts a 17th century fort, several UNESCO World Heritage sites and the Ibri Souq. Located in a lush courtyard, the Ibri Souq is a firm favourite with those looking to buy beautiful jewellery in silver and gold typical of fine Omani craftsmanship.

The Badiyah region is well known for its sand dunes, ancient forts such as the Mutarib forts and Wadi Bani Khalid. Local industry includes camel and horse breeding in addition to the famous Khanjar daggers. Against this rich backdrop lies the Al Mintarib Souq. The Souq features hand crafted items by the Badiya villagers and items such as Khanjar daggers, swords and leather goods are also available

Sinaw, located at just under 200 km from the city of Muscat, is a city bustling with commercial enterprise. The Al Mintarib Souq at the heart of the city, is one of the oldest in the country and shoppers can pick up objects made out of silver and gold, daggers, swords, textiles, leather and palm leave goods and various food items including seafood and meat.

At around an hour and a half drive from Muscat Nizwa is one of the oldest cities in country. Once a thriving centre of trade, religion, education and art, the city is also home to country’s most visited monument, the Nizwa Fort built in 1668 AD. A few steps away is the Nizwa Souq a must for all tourists looking to buy unique antiques like taqiya caps or lamps

Salalah is a region which has a bit of everything, fantastic landscapes, diving, lush valleys and wadis and is easily accessible through Salalah International Airport. It is also home to two fantastic souqs. The first is the Al Husn Souq which sells items ranging from clothes to food and souvenirs. Bargaining is encouraged and unique items not sold elsewhere are aplenty. As its name suggests, the Gun Souq sells a variety of antique guns, daggers and other vintage weapons in addition to other rare finds. Both souqs are centrally located in the city itself.

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