Between its history, unique culture, mind-blowing heritage, beautiful architecture and amazing natural beauty, a visit to Oman is an exceptional journey. The best part is that you don’t need to go to lots of places to enjoy all of these things. In fact, a visit to a traditional Omani souk is all you need. So, here are the most spectacular local souks in Oman that you must visit, all while allowing yourself to get lost in their charm.
Nizwa Souk is located within the walls of the famous Nizwa Fort, which makes its design a combination between ancient and contemporary Omani architecture. The souk consists of several small stores that mainly sell traditional and local Omani products and crafts like Omani daggers, traditional clothes, silver crafts and jewellery, pottery and local food. Some of these stores don’t only sell their products, but they also manufacture them, and most have been doing so for many years as a family business. Walking through Nizwa Souk is an unmissable opportunity to buy amazing souvenirs and take splendid pictures.
Sohar Handicrafts Souk
Sohar Handicrafts Souk is located near the Sultan Qaboos Mosque in the Al Batinah North Governorate, in the region of Al Hajra in Sohar. The souk covers an area of 7,000 square metres and is distinguished by its exceptional Arab and Islamic architecture. It was established to encourage Omanis to work in and protect local ancient Omani industries like silver, leather, ceramics and palm leaf handicrafts, making traditional Omani weapons like the Omani Khanjar (dagger), honey and Halwa fabrication (traditional Omani sweets), making wool and cotton textiles and crafting perfumes and herbal medicines.
Muttrah Souk, one of the oldest souks in the Arab world, is also one of the most famous souks in Oman, which makes it one of its top must-visit touristic attractions. Located on the harbour of the old city of Muscat, it stretches within the city of Muttrah. It is built based on the traditional ancient style of Arab architecture, which consists of narrow alleys that feature small shops and kiosks on both sides under a wooden roof. These stores sell all kinds of typical Omani products like traditional clothes, silver and gold jewellery, pottery, silver and wooden crafts, frankincense, Omani Khanjars and Omani Halwa (sweets).
Ibri Souk is the biggest souk in the Ad Dahirah region in western Oman, which makes it an important centre for economy and tourism in the region. It is distinguished by its unique Islamic architecture, in which the souk is designed to have specific stores for gold and silver jewellery, as well as its area made for selling animals.
Al Husn Souk
Al Husn Souk is located in the old neighbourhood of Salalah in the Dhofar region in southern Oman. This souk is famous for selling the precious frankincense. It is also known for selling traditional Omani handicrafts like braziers and silver crafts.
Ar Rustaq Souk
Located in the Governorate of Al Batinah South, Ar Rustaq Souk is one of the most famous souks in Oman. It has a designated area for selling animals, like sheep and goats, and several shops selling local Omani handicrafts and food.
Bahla Souk is located near the famous Bahla Fort in the Ad Dakhiliyah region in the centre of Oman. It is distinguished by its manufacturing of local Omani industries like silver Omani Khanjars, copper handicrafts and traditional Halwa. It is one of the busiest souks in Oman.
Al Mintarib Tuesday Market
Al Mibtarib Market is one of the most famous souks in the Ash Sharqiyah North region in eastern Oman, which opens only on Tuesdays from 6 am to 10 am. The souk sells local products that are made by villagers from the town of Badiya and its surrounding towns. These products include gold and silver jewellery, daggers and swords, leather and palm leaf goods, as well as agriculture and livestock products.