Souks in the Middle East are ideal places in which to discover the customs, colours and the way in which the local people go about their daily chores. Commonly referred to as a marketplace, such a centre is a constant hub of activity which witnesses many a bargain being made for products which are quite simply priceless and hard to find at your favourite mall back home.

The Old Muttrah Souk of Oman is no different! Decorated with dimly-lit alleyways which open out into well laden shops, this marketplace is by far Muscat’s most magical setting which draws in crowds in their numbers. If you are planning on heading over to Muscat anytime soon, then a trip to this fascinating souk is indeed a must.

Offering the ardent traveller a good dose of history and traditional practices, the souk paves the way for a delightful journey through ancient artefacts and contemporary privileges. The souk is a colossal complex and begins at a gate which faces the Muttrah Corniche and the Sea of Oman respectively. The line of shops runs its course before ending at another gate deep within the old quarters of the city.

In turn its maze-like setting which would seem tricky to navigate upon entering will turn into one of the more enjoyable escapades that you will go on in Muscat. The friendly gestures of the Omanis will escort you to every nook and corner of this historic place. With a history of over 200 years which has seen many a trade take place, a tour of the complex is sure to leave you in awe of the Omani culture.

The narrow and winding alleys will not only lead you to shops selling ‘everything and anything’ but the pungent aromas of Arabian perfumes and Frankincense will be your constant companions throughout your tour. If you are into gold, the marketplace is then the perfect location while Bedu jewellery, silver ‘khanjars’ and an assortment of other goods are always available for purchase.

Known as the ‘Market of Darkness’ for its setting successfully blocks out the rays of the sun, the Old Muttrah Souk should definitely be checked out if you want to parade around in any local dress that is sold here. Halwa which is a popular sweet in Oman can be purchased at the souk and a variety of spices would make for pleasant memories of this enthralling locale.

When in Muscat, hotel accommodation is one of the most favoured options of lodging. Millennium Resort Mussanah which is found in close proximity to the souk will offer good accommodation and all the contemporary comforts that tourists desire. This Oman Muscat hotel must be given some thought before planning a trip, either with your closest friends or family.

Nigel Walters is a travel writer, who writes under the pen name, Fritzjames Stephen. His content is based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travelers across all walks of life.