Barka is a thriving coastal town that has become something of a crossroads between the regional centres of Sohar and Rustaq and Muscat. It has to be said that the old part of town, near the sea, is looking a bit sad as the old quarters are being torn down to make way for a new coast road. In compensation, New Bahla has sprung up along the Muscat–Sohar Hwy with big shops and new restaurants transforming life in this once sleepy town.
Barka is famous for its halwa, a unique, laboriously made Omani confection. A pot from dedicated halwa shops in town costs from OR8.
If visiting just for the day, then nearby Naseem Gardens, off the main Muscat–Sohar Hwy, makes a pleasant place for a picnic. It hosts part of the annual Muscat Festival with shopping stands, fun fairs and live entertainment.