Bahla was the first city in Oman to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. This old town lies in the Dakhliya region of Oman as a small Oasis town. It is a well preserved ancient town with adobe houses, a fortification wall, a market, a falaj system and a beautiful mosque.
The main tourist attraction in town is the Bahla fort. It is one of the oldest forts in Oman dating back to the 13th century and probably one of the best you can visit in all the Middle East.
What to expect from Bahla
Bahla is a good example of a fortified oasis settlement of the medieval Islamic world. It’s a defensive architectural ensemble that managed to achieve prosperity in the desert during medieval times. The small town is also popular for its pottery and silver artifacts sold in the old souq. From Bahla is possible to visit some other cultural assets such Jabreen Castle or the beautiful ancient town of Nizwa.
Bahla Fort is a big and great complex which includes the fortress, a citadel oasis and an ancient city wall that spreads over 13 kilometers. Banu Nebhan tribe built it between the 12th and 15th centuries, when they occupied this region of Oman and made Bahla the capital of the country.
Bahla Fort is a maze of rooms and buildings. The visitor may have a strange feeling of being lost in history. There are plenty of towers and terraces with views to the oasis and the ancient walls and adobe houses. The fort also has two mosques and two guest houses.
You can visit the fort freely and no guide or tour is mandatory. The entrance is cheap, only 1 rial per person. Compared with other restored castles and forts in the country, it is very much worth it.
Bahla Pottery factory
Bahla has been very famous because of its high quality clay. The local government built the Bahla Pottery Factory in the late 1980s to house the skilled potters and artisans in the area. You can see these artisans working in the Bahla Pottery Factory located next to Bahla Souq and buy pottery for practical or decorative purposes.
Where to stay in Bahla, Oman
Since the town is one of the tourist assets of the country, it has some good accommodation options. Check here the best accommodations for all the budgets in Bahla in Oman.
- Bait Bahla Hospitality Inn: Probably the best option in town. Excellent and very well rated hotel in an old house, serving a nice breakfast buffet. You can catch the vibe of sleeping in an old medieval castle.
How to get to Bahla, Oman
Bahla is 40 km away from Nizwa, and about 200 km from Muscat. The best option is to drive your own car or rent one. There does exist the chance of catching a bus in Azaibah Bus Station to Adam and from there to take a taxi from Adam to Bahla. Nevertheless, this adventure would take longer and may be even more expensive than renting a car in Muscat.
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