What to do and see in Nizwa, Oman: The Best Places and Tips

December 26, 2017 Janette Largent

Nizwa (Arabic: نزوى‎ Nizwā) is the largest city in the Ad Dakhiliyah Region in Oman and was the capital of Oman proper. Nizwa is about 140 km (1.5 hours) from Muscat. The population is estimated at around 72,000 people including the two areas of Burkat Al Mooz and Al Jabel Al Akhdar.
Restaurants in Nizwa

1. Desert Camels Adventure Tours

Nizwa 616, Oman
Excellent
98%
Good
2%
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5 based on 68 reviews

Desert Camels Adventure Tours

Desert Camels offers day trips, individual and group tours in Oman with tailor-made itineraries. All tours are accompanied by professional guides and drivers, sensitive to the needs of European tourists. We are specialized in archaeological and cultural tours, desert expeditions by 4x4, trekking and camping.

Reviewed By NOUR F - Beirut

The experience of the desert will not let you indifferent... It was something to drive over the dunes and walk without shoes in the smooth white sand, meditate a little in front of the hoziron....

2. Jebel Akhdar

Al Hajar Mountains Range, Nizwa, Oman +968 800 77799
Excellent
67%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
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0%
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4.5 based on 459 reviews

Jebel Akhdar

Reviewed By Mascot1 - Kent, United Kingdom

We took our 4WD from Nizwa upto Jebel Al Akhdar and after the police checkpoint it quickly became apparent why saloon cars are not permitted to ascend the steep road which is full of hairpin bends. The issue is more the severity and extent of braking on the descent than the ascent.That said, the driving is straightforward as the road is wide (3 lanes most of the way, allowing ascending vehicles to pass slower ones) and is really good quality. At no point is it narrow or dangerous. The scenery along the way and at the top is stunning and a real highlight of a trip to Oman. We stopped at the Anantara (built at the so called Diana's viewpoint) to freshen up and booked lunch at the Italian restaurant there and then proceeded to find the start point for a walk through the mountain side villages. It took a couple of missed turns to find the car parking spaces for the start point of our walk (and we were not the only ones with this problem; a simple sign would help); the turn on the right just before the Anantara. The walk along the irrigation terraces and through the villages was superb. It is quite amazing how the villagers have been able to cultivate (roses, pomegranates, walnuts, market garden produce...) in such an inhospitable environment. A good pair of shoes or trainers is recommended. On the walk, in a few places you need to exercise care (it is not all paved or a clear path) and there are a couple of steep short climbs but nothing too difficult. We then proceeded back to the Anantara for lunch. Most of the villages are deserted now as the spring water is diverted for other use and making a living in such an inhospitable environment is tough. I understand there are plans to pipe water up from the coast with a view to reviving the villages. If you are visiting the Nizwa area, this is a must.

3. Nizwa Fort

Nizwa, Oman +968 9926 6868
Excellent
37%
Good
51%
Satisfactory
10%
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1%
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1%
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4 based on 950 reviews

Nizwa Fort

Reviewed By CJW913 - De Pere, Wisconsin

Big rather than aesthetically pleasing, this fort consists of a massive circular tower (130 feet) that dominates the whole complex. Our group of 22 learned that the tower took 12 years to build,and was completed in 1668. It served to protect the strategic position of Nizwa at the crossroads of the caravan routes.
We saw nothing of the older castle, which I have since learned is another structure consisting of prisons, storerooms, kitchens, sleeping rooms, majilis rooms, and a Quranic school to name a few. That would have been an interesting tour!
What our group did do was climb up the tower for a panoramic view of the surrounding date plantations, Nizwa old town and its oasis, and the jagged peak of Jabal Shams in the distance. Also in view is the domed mosque next to the fort. They were nice photo-ops, but I would rather have seen the interior of the fort and castle!!
Jabrin Castle/Fort is by far the best one to visit. So if you have to make a choice, skip this one. Nizwa is definitely not worth it!!!

4. Nizwaa

Nizwa, Nizwa 611, Oman
Excellent
38%
Good
43%
Satisfactory
17%
Poor
1%
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1%
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4 based on 152 reviews

Nizwaa

Reviewed By Icedaddy - Calgary, Canada

We went to Nizwa to attend the weekly goat and cow auction. We were not disapointed as this scene has played out over 100's of years.

5. Bahla Fort

Oasis of Bahla, Nizwa 611, Oman +968 9723 8609
Excellent
32%
Good
47%
Satisfactory
17%
Poor
3%
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1%
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4 based on 358 reviews

Bahla Fort

This site is currently undergoing repairs. Tours are unavailable at this time.

Reviewed By lolabug - Dubai, United Arab Emirates

After a long restoration it was great to be able to visit this fort! While lacking in any written descriptions or displays other than the fort itself, the complex is immense and fun to wander around. You could literally get lost in there!
I recommend going now before they get the idea to raise the entrance fee (it is only 1/2 a riyal or 500 biasa - one tenth the cost of the Nizwa fort!). As many tourist attractions in the region, it can be quite tricky for anyone with mobility issues (lots of stairs, no railings) but, overall it is definitely worth a visit!
There is a big parking lot down below but, not well marked.

6. Nizwa Souk

City Center | Close to the fort, Nizwa 611, Oman +968 9234 4606
Excellent
34%
Good
45%
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17%
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3%
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1%
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4 based on 395 reviews

Nizwa Souk

Reviewed By Dan W - Portland, Oregon

Compared to souks in Marrakesh, Muscat and other Middle East Destinations, I think this souk is just pretty touristy. It would have been more exciting on a Friday as the guidebook states this is the main market day and they have goat, sheep and cattle auctions in the round auction house. Being here on a Thursday meant it was very quiet except for the tourists and their guides.

7. Birkat Al Mouz Ruins

2 Kms From the Base of Jebel Akdhar, Nizwa 611, Oman
Excellent
32%
Good
51%
Satisfactory
15%
Poor
2%
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4 based on 97 reviews

Birkat Al Mouz Ruins

Reviewed By CJW913 - De Pere, Wisconsin

Our group of 22 made a short stop here after touring Nizwa. Birkat al Mawz (Pool of Bananas) is another of the area's traditional oasis villages. Of particular interest here is an ancient falaj, an intricate engineering system of channels that is used to distribute water within a community.
This heritage site was on our way to lunch with an Omani family. But don't go out of your way it you are not close, particularly if you do not have a guide. Without one, it would be difficult to understand and appreciate this water distribution system.

8. Tanuf Ruins

Nizwa, Oman
Excellent
23%
Good
39%
Satisfactory
30%
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6%
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3.5 based on 98 reviews

Tanuf Ruins

Located near Bahla and Nizwa, the Tanuf Ruins are the remains of Oman's Imamate Rebellion of the 1950s.

Reviewed By RickMIusa - Grand Rapids, Michigan

From what our guide told us and what we read, these are not ancient ruins. The city of Tanuf was bombed by the British RAF during the 1957 rebellion because it had become a center of the resistance. So you are not looking at ancient ruins. The wadi nearby is known for it's beautiful Waterfalls in the spring and there is a good underground aquifer that is the source of a water bottling factory.

9. Oman Trekking Guides

Imlil, Nizwa 611, Oman
Excellent
94%
Good
6%
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5 based on 16 reviews

Oman Trekking Guides

Reviewed By Emma D - Swiss Village

Our family had a fantastic week of hiking and canyoning in beautiful Oman thanks to Oman Trekking Guides. Antoine put together a great itinerary and our guide Ibrahim was wonderful. We really appreciated being away from the more visited areas, and also that Ibrahim adapted the walks to our level and interests. Plus everything was perfectly organized, the food was great and all accommodation comfortable. I had hugely high expectations for this holiday and was not disappointed - I cannot recommend Oman Trekking Guides more strongly!!

10. Lulu Hyper Market

Nizwa 611, Oman +968 25 415900
Excellent
27%
Good
51%
Satisfactory
22%
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4 based on 22 reviews

Lulu Hyper Market

Reviewed By Mohannad B - Muscat, Oman

its for sue the biggest Lulu I've been to, located at entrance of Nizwa the city (if you are coming from Muscat), and you will be stunned from the size of this Hyper Market.
the mall also is not bad, many fast food restaurants to eat, but I think its still new mall so many of the shops are not opened yet.

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