Exploring the Charms of Nizwa: From Souqs to Museums

By: Erin Coyle

Traveling with friends, solo and in group tours, Erin Coyle has explored Southeast and South Asia, Oceania, Europe, the Middle East, East and South Africa. She is currently a freelance travel writer and ESL teacher living in Sur, Oman. Prior to this, she taught English at a university in Nanchang, China for five years.
Exploring the Charms of Nizwa: From Souqs to Museums

Exploring the Charms of Nizwa: From Souqs to Museums

The old town of Nizwa is always a fun place to visit. It’s easy to get lost inside the maze of alleys, and it never gets old to take a picture of the mud homes and Omani traditional doors. This time, I noticed a striking emerald door with embossed flowers that stopped me. After a few clicks, I continued my wandering.

Nizwa’s souq is famous, especially the Friday morning goat market, where locals auction goats. There is a lot of excitement and enthusiasm as it is the place to be.

Every time I visit the old part of Nizwa, there seems to be a new restaurant, hotel, or coffee shop. Since these shops were once traditional mud homes, expect to find Omani decor, such as hanging clay pottery water pitchers.

On my latest visit to Nizwa, I had no plan except to get cumin-flavored dates at the date souq. While walking down one of the alleys, I saw a sign for the Nizwa Museum and decided to walk inside.

Upon entering, I noticed my favorite traditional wooden doors perched against the walls. After looking around, I learned that the museum had been open for almost six months.

The two-floor museum has various galleries, including copper, women’s, and pottery. The pottery gallery has various bowls from different regions. One that stuck out was a red clay jar used for cooking. It was found broken into roughly 67 pieces and pieced back together. Some enclosed glass on the wall featured plates pieced together from broken pottery pieces, almost fixed to look like a puzzle.

The women’s gallery features traditional clothing, jewelry, and wooden storage chests. I also liked the silver and copper circular-shaped dishes hanging on the wall in the copper gallery.

The museum’s owner, Mohammed Ambusaidi, said he spent a few years collecting the pieces. Anytime he searched for an item and learned where it was from, he went to that location to meet with the owner or the family to learn more about the item’s history.

He is passionate about sharing Omani culture and history, visible in the displays and layout. The museum is worth a visit, and it is always nice to see a traditional mud home repurposed.

The cost is 1 rial for Omanis and 2 rials for foreigners. The museum is open Saturday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. On Friday, it is open from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Author

  • Erin Coyle

    Traveling with friends, solo and in group tours, Erin Coyle has explored Southeast and South Asia, Oceania, Europe, the Middle East, East and South Africa. She is currently a freelance travel writer and ESL teacher living in Sur, Oman. Prior to this, she taught English at a university in Nanchang, China for five years.

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