This Living Museum in Oman Is One You Have to Visit

Bayt Al Safah
Bayt Al Safah | © Panoramas / Flickr
Photo of Gehad Medhat
26 March 2018

Oman is an exceptional country with a unique culture and heritage. As well as natural attractions, architectural marvels, and ancient forts and castles, the country is home to wonders including the living Bait Al Safah Museum. Here’s everything you need to know.

What is Bait Al Safah?

Bait Al Safah, Bayt Al Safah or Beit Al Safa is one of the most famous museums in Oman, which is located in the village of Al Hamra in Al Dakhliya Region. The village is 30 minutes away from Nizwa, and is located at the foot of the mountains. The museum is known as a “living museum”, but it has the shape of an old Omani house, which provides an exceptional experience that resembles the ancient Omani lifestyle.

Why Bait Al Safah is special

Beside taking the shape of an old Omani house made of mud bricks, the museum has Omanis who play the roles of an Omani family imitating their routine in the past. The staff of the museum are locals who practise the traditions, norms and roles of the Omani people from days gone by. As you walk through Bait Al Safah, you will see how Omani women used to bake traditional bread, how they made flour, and how they made oils from different nuts. Men also demonstrate how they used to roast coffee beans and grind them.

Bait Al Safah, grinding coffee I | © Mark Fischer

The house is decorated with different traditional handmade crafts, as well as ancient Omani furniture, most of which are made of palm leaves, leather pottery, wood and wool.

Room inside Bait Al Safah I | © Mark Fischer

How to get to Bait Al Safah

Al Hamra village is around two hours away from Muscat. You can get there from the capital city by car or by bus. The museum is located between old abandoned houses. The best way to enjoy this unforgettable experience is to park outside the village, and walk through the old houses and into the museum.

Bait Al Safah I | © Mark Fischer

Where to stay around Bait Al Safah

If you’re planning to visit Bait Al Safah, then it is better to plan to stay there for a few days, because there are lots of amazing attractions and exceptional cultural trips to experience. Here are the best places you can stay in, around the living museum.

Al Hamra Guest House

Guesthouse, Budget Hotel

If you’re looking for a traditional, small and cosy place to stay, then check out Al Hamra Guest House, located in the village of Al Hamra in the Dakhliya region, which is 30 minutes away from Nizwa. With cheap prices, Al Hamra Guest House is the perfect place to stay when you want to enjoy the amazing surrounding nature and nearby attractions.

Al Misfah Hospitality Inn

Inn, Budget Hotel

Would you like to experience living in an Omani house? This is exactly how staying at Al Misfah Hospitality Inn feels like. With the traditional style of Omani architecture, the traditional furniture and the simplicity of interior design and decorations, a stay in this hotel is an unmissable experience.

Attractions near Bait Al Safah

As well as the natural surroundings of the living museum, Bait Al Safah is located in a very cultural and significantly historical area. In other words, don’t worry about driving a fair distance to get to this museum, because there are lots of amazing attractions nearby.

Al Hoota Cave

Archaeological site
Al Hoota Cave | © Helmut Pfau / WikiCommons

Al Hoota Cave is one of the most prominent caves in the country. It is located in Al Hamra village in Al Dakhliya region in Oman, and is around 250 km (155 miles) away from the Capital City of Muscat.

Nizwa Fort

Market, Memorial, Mosque
Nizwa Fort | © Michael Homan / Flickr

Nizwa Fort is one of the most famous forts in Oman. It is located in the city of Nizwa in Al Dakhliya region. It is a touristic landmark, and has heritage and unique history of defending the city and fighting the invaders. Inside the fort, there is a local market that sells souvenirs, traditional clothes, jewelry, frankincense, pottery, Omani food, and other local products. There is also a mosque.

Jebel Al Akhdar

Hiking Trail, Natural Feature
Sunrise of Jebel Akhdar | © Robert Haandrikman / Flickr
Jebel Al Akhdar, the Green Mountain, is one of the marvelous mountains that is part of the Al Hajar range in the Al Dakhliya region. It is named after the green areas and plantations covering its rocky lands. The mountain has several hiking trails, and villages where people raise animals and farm.

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