The historic town of Nizwa in Oman, is about two hours from Muscat along a good highway, lies on a plain surrounded by a thick palm oasis and some of Oman’s highest mountains. Marked by a grand new double-arched gateway, the town forms a natural access point for the historic sites of Bahla and Jabrin, and for excursions up the mountain roads to Jebel Akhdar and Jebel Shams.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Nizwa will be when the average temperatures are at a comfortable level which is during months February to April and from October to December.
Top Places to Visit in Nizwa
1. Nizwa Fort
Built over 12 years in the 17th century by Sultan bin Saif al Yaruba, the first imam of the Ya’aruba dynasty, the fort is famed for its 40m-tall round tower. It’s worth climbing to the top of the tower to gauge the scale of the surrounding date plantations and to admire the view of the Hajar Mountains that dominate the town.
2. Nizwa Souq
The site of one of the oldest souqs (market) in the country, this extensive marketplace is dedicated mostly to fruit and vegetables, meat and fish, all of which are housed in new buildings behind the great, crenulated piece of city wall that overlooks the wadi. If you’re not put off by the smell of heaving bulls and irritable goats, the livestock souq (in full swing between 7am and 9am on Friday) is well worth a look. Part of the souq (nearest the fort) is dedicated to handicrafts and caters specifically to the passing tourist trade. You’ll have to try hard to find a bargain for antiques and silver but local craftsmanship is good.
3. Al Mandi Al Dhahabi
A popular venue with Western expats and visitors, this friendly restaurant serves standard Middle Eastern fare despite its billing as a specialist in Omani and Zanzibari food. That said the mandi (rice and meat) dishes are authentic and all meals are delicious. Comfortable chairs make the best of the Nizwa Fort view and wi-fi is available.