Impossible to travel to an Arab country without visiting a souq (market). Located in Muscat, Muttrah souq is the place to go to get a feel of a traditional Arab market atmosphere.
Strategically located on the way to important trading centers like India and China, Muscat is one of the oldest harbor of the Arabian Peninsula, making Muttrah the historical center of commerce in Oman.
Lively, colorful, chaotic with frankincense smells floating around, Muttrah souq is one of a kind. You can find anything and everything in the market. Some traditional Omani items you could look for as souvenirs are Dishdashas (the white Omani dresses), scarfs, Khanjars (curved daggers), frankincense (aromatic resin) and spices.
The souq is opened everyday in the morning from 8:00am to 1:00pm and in the evening from 5:00pm to 9:00pm. Except on Friday : opened only from 5:00pm to 9:00pm
- Prepare to show off your bargaining skills. Note : You shouldn’t expect as big of a discount as in North African markets. The prices are usually quite fair from the start and not tripled as it might be the case in other countries.
- Don’t miss the “gold market area” in the souq.
- For the foodies out-there. There is a delicious juice place at the entrance of the souq called “Fast food ‘n’ Juice Center”. I didn’t try any of their food but the juices are amazing (and cheap compared to European prices). My absolute favorite is the fresh pomegranate juice. Highly recommended!
- Take a walk on the “Corniche” – sea front and enjoy the view. There might even be a Dhow (Omani boat) to see (and take a tour on)
To get there
Depending if your hotel is in Muttrah or not, you could walk there. Otherwise you should take your car but beware parking places are a rarity in the area and driving in Muttrah can be a really chaotic (fun) experience … Last and safest option is to take a taxi.
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