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3.8 /5


Best Time: December - February Read More

Ideal duration: 1 Day

Nearest Airport: Muscat International Airport Check Flights

"Emerald Beaches and Golden Brown Cityscapes"

Barka Tourism

Situated on the Omani coast, Barka is a vibrant beachside city in the Al-Batinah region. What makes this town unique is their age-old tradition of bull-fighting and their famous Omani Halwa. A 40-minute drive from Muscat, Barka provides the perfect day trip 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.

Barka bursts into life during the annual Muscat Festival as visitors throng to the nearby Naseem Park, where the festival is hosted. The city is also undergoing rapid development with many industrial projects taking place in the area and is making Barka more visible as a tourist destination. The newly industrialized areas along the Muscat-Sohar Highway include many upscale boutiques and restaurants and provide the perfect avenue for shoppers.

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Barka Bull Fighting Arena Source
Barka is 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

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

2. Barka Fort


Built in the 18th century, the Barka fort cuts an imposing figure as it looms over the Sawadi coastline. It is a major tourist attraction within Barka and is also a site of historical significance. The Persians were exiled from Oman and the Barka fort witnessed the establishment of the Al Bu Said dynasty, whose descendants form the royal family that rules Oman today. The Barka 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.

3. 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 desert landscape as you zoom past and over undulating sand dunes. 

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 desert 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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