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Barka

3.8 /5

Weather:

Best Time: December - February Read More

Ideal duration: 2-3 Days

Nearest Airport: Muscat International Airport Check Flights

"Beautiful Barka"

Barka Tourism

Situated on the Omani coast, Barka is a vibrant beachside city in the Al-Batinah region, renowned for their age-old tradition of bull-fighting, and their famous halwa. A 50-km drive away from Muscat International Airport, Barka provides the perfect weekend getaway destination, and is a favourite resort destination amongst Omanis. The Barka Fort, standing imperiously over the Omani coastline, and the Barka Souq, the traditional marketplace of the city, are major tourist attractions in the region. 

Sandwiched between the regional hubs of Sohar and Rustaq, Barka is divided into the old town and the newly developed part of town. Barka bursts into life during the annual Muscat Festival as visitors throng to the nearby Naseem Park, where the festival is hosted. Barka is also undergoing rapid development with many industrial projects taking place in the area, and is making Barka more visible as a tourist destination. 

Barka offers experiences to enthrall all types of tourists; the fort and the marketplace, along with an 18th century merchant house, make it wonderful for tourists looking for a cultural trip. The newly industrialized areas along the Muscat-Sohar Highway include many upscale boutiques and restaurants and provide the perfect avenue for the shopaholic in you. 

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Bull-fighting

Barka is also famous for its ancient tradition of bull-fighting. While bull-fighting in Oman is thought to have been introduced to them by the Portuguese, Omani bull-fighting is markedly different from its Iberian variant. It is governed by a strict set of rules influenced by Omani customs, and ensures that the bulls are not allowed to injure or kill each other. Gambling is prohibited as well and the bulls are usually fought for pride and prestige. Barka is home to the Barka Bull Fight Arena where these bull-fights are conducted.

Places to Visit

Barka Factory - Omani Halwa
Oman is popular for its traditional sweet known as Omani Halwa. There is a factory that you can visit to taste is wonderous confection flavored with cardamom and saffron. You can also purchase this delicacy at the many sweet shops that line Highway 1 near Barka Flyover.

Barka Fort
Built in the 18th century, the Bakra fort cuts an imposing figure as it looms over the Sawadi coastline. It is a major tourist attraction within Bakra and is also a site of historical significance. The Persians were exiled from Oman and the Bakra fort witnessed the establishment of the Al Bu Said dynasty, whose descendants form the royal family that rules Oman today. The Bakra fort also served as the site for what has come to be known as the Banquet massacre, where scores of Persian soldiers were killed during a banquet dinner with their Omani counterparts.

Naseem Park
Barka is characterized by the tranquil Sawadi beach and drips cultural influence from the 18th century through the buildings that are scattered throughout the city. Night safari and desert tours take you through the exotic dessert landscape as you zoom past and over undulating sand dunes. Park lovers will relish Naseem Park, where visitors can stroll through manicured lawns and enjoy picnics.

Restaurants and Local Food in Barka

Barka is famous for its seafood and its culinary traditions of grilling meat and flavoured rice. Watch from restaurants sat atop sand dunes, as fishermen on the shore reel in their catch of the day, amidst a gorgeous dessert sunset. 

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How To Reach Barka

Barka is located a 45 minute drive from the city centre of Muscat, and is easily accessible by road through hired taxis that will take you the whole way, or by renting a car and making the drive yourself. The Omani public bus transport system, Mwasalat, runs regular buses from the capital city to Barka. 

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