One of five aflaj, gravity-fed irrigation systems which are collectively listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, this falaj has been in operation since at least 500 CE, although it is believed a similar irrigation system has been used in the area since 2500 BCE. A pleasant park has been created around one section of the falaj, and makes an ideal spot for a picnic.
Built in 1668 by Imam Sultan bin Saif al Ya'rubi, this imposing fort is one of Oman's most-visited national monuments. In the early 1950s the large round tower of the fort was bombed by the British Royal Air Force during the revolt. It houses a museum, and from the tower there are good views of Nizwa and the surrounding date plantations.
Be there at around 07:30 and you can enjoy the last hour of the goat market. Business is brisk with a lot of shouting, haggling and handslaps. Truly Arabian and wonderful.
This lively souq has separate sections for vegetables, meat, and pottery. The eastern sections are the most atmospheric as they have not yet been renovated.
Has a full hot and cold deli. This is a good place to stock up if you're heading into the mountains for a couple of days.
3 star hotel with fitness centre, massage, billiards, Turkish/steam bath, outdoor swimming pool and restaurant.
Has onsite restaurant, two pools, and gym. This hotel is popular with Omanis and tourists.
Runs buses to and from Muscat twice daily, with a travel time of 2 hrs 20 min.
Good, inexpensive international menu. Unlicensed.
Nizwa was the capital of Oman in the 6th and 7th century, and is known as one of the first cities in Oman to convert to Islam. For centuries it was a seat of conservative Islamic scholarship, and was considered to be so hostile to outsiders that even in the mid-20th century the explorer Wilfred Thesiger was forced to abandon his attempts to visit the city.
In the 1950s Nizwa revolted against the Sultan of Muscat; this was eventually suppressed with the aid of British forces. Since the 1970s it has quickly modernized, yet managed to retain its traditional character in its newer architecture. Today the city is known for date cultivation, the most highly prized varieties of which are khalas and khumaizi.
Nizwa is located at the base of the Hajar Mountains, and can be a good base for day trips into the mountains or nearby wadis. It is now after Muscat the second city most visited by foreigners.