The Sultan's Palace. Muscat, Oman

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Scenically wedged between mountains and ocean, with old forts and excellent museums, an opera house and flower-filled parks, the gentle city of Muscat is a delight to visit. Its name means ‘safe anchorage’, and the sea plays an important role in city life to this day, sustaining the fishing industry and providing opportunities for visitors to swim from sandy beaches or dive with turtles in nearby lagoons.

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Attractions

Must-see attractions.

Interior of the Mutrah souk in Muscat, the capital of the sultanate of Oman.

Mutrah Souq

Many people come to Mutrah Corniche just to visit the souq, which retains the chaotic interest of a traditional Arab market albeit housed under modern…

Grand Mosque

Grand Mosque

Quietly imposing from the outside, this glorious piece of modern Islamic architecture was a gift to the nation from Sultan Qaboos to mark his 30th year of…

The Sultan's Palace. Muscat, Oman

Sultan’s Palace

If you stand by the harbour wall on Mirani St, the building to the right with the delightful mushroom pillars in blue and gold is the Sultan’s Palace. On…

Sunset in Muscat

Mutrah Corniche

Mutrah stretches along an attractive corniche of latticed buildings and mosques; it looks spectacular at sunset when the light casts shadows across the…

Bait Al Zubair

Bait Al Zubair

In a beautifully restored house, this much-loved privately owned museum exhibits Omani heritage in thematic displays of traditional handicrafts, furniture…

National Museum

National Museum

Housed in an imposing new building in the heart of Old Muscat, the National Museum makes a fitting consort for the Sultan's Palace opposite. The emphasis…

Sohar

Just outside Al Bustan Palace Hotel, opposite the imposing parliament buildings, a small roundabout is home to Sohar, a boat named after the hometown of…

Marina Bandar Al Rowdha

Marina Bandar Al Rowdha

Apart from offering a full range of boating amenities, Marina Bandar Al Rowdha is a popular launching point for a range of water sports, including fishing…

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With a dazzling bounty of underwater attractions to explore and improved access to key diving hubs, there has arguably never been a better time to strap…

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Sep 30, 2016 • 5 min read

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Your Muscat Vacation

There's tons to love about Muscat, from its historical landmarks to its coastal scenery and beyond. When you're ready to spend a bit of time in this captivating city, our Muscat vacation packages will be just the thing. A trip to Muscat is a terrific opportunity to see the sights. Make sure you visit popular attractions like Muscat Grand Mall , Royal Opera House Muscat and Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque . Stop daydreaming and start adventuring. Browse the range of options on Expedia today and put your Muscat vacation plans into action!

Where to stay in Muscat

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Visitors highly recommend Al Khuwair for its abundant dining options, and you can make a stop by Oman Natural History Museum while you're in town.

Muscat featuring a coastal town

Azaiba is well-liked for its restaurants. You can also take some time to explore sights in the surrounding area like Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque and Oman Avenues Mall.

Muttrah Souq showing signage

Unique features of Muttrah include the shopping and restaurants. Make a stop by Muttrah Souq or Muttrah Corniche while you're exploring the area.

Shatti Al Qurum which includes general coastal views, a coastal town and a sandy beach

Shati Al Qurum

Spend some time in a wealthy Muscat seaside neighborhood that is known for its elegant homes, picturesque beach and independent boutiques.

Shopping and restaurants are notable features of Ruwi. You might consider a stop by Sultan's Armed Forces Museum while you're exploring the neighborhood.

Muscat Beach Vacation

Chill out on the shore and feel the salty sea air on your skin during your Muscat vacation. If you're visiting for the first time, why not hunt for some colorful seashells as a memento of your trip to Muscat? Base yourself near Qantab Beach, a popular strip of coast only 16 miles (25 km) from the town center. We also have value-for-money Muscat vacation deals closer to Qurum Beach, another excellent nearby option.

Things You Should Know About Muscat

  • If your idea of a perfect vacation is fresh sea air and sparking water views, check out our Muscat beach hotels . You're sure to forget the hassles of daily life at these perfectly located retreats.
  • Alternatively, browse our range of hotels. They're popular with travelers planning a vacation in Muscat. Start your search with Grand Millennium Muscat and Kempinski Hotel Muscat .
  • Don't forget to visit our Muscat things to do page for some trip planning inspiration. With a population of roughly 797,000 in Muscat, we're sure there'll be one or two locals who'll be pleased to offer you some extra advice!
  • If you're looking for things to do while you're in town, add Qantab Beach, Port Sultan Qaboos and Muttrah Souq to your travel schedule. Also, be sure to look into our Muscat vacation deals to get great deals on your hotels and experiences.

Muscat Essential Information

Muscat hotel deals.

Platinum Hotel

Reviewed on Apr 5, 2024

Crowne Plaza Muscat, an IHG Hotel

Reviewed on Mar 31, 2024

The Chedi Muscat

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Where to go when

Frequently asked questions, discover the most popular places to visit in muscat, muttrah souq.

This ancient marketplace today features winding alleys of stalls selling antiques, traditional fabrics, aromatic spices and fresh produce.

Muttrah Corniche

Explore the great outdoors at Muttrah Corniche, a lovely green space in Muscat. Stroll along the beautiful beaches or attend a sporting event in this culturally rich area.

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

Muscat’s main mosque is lavishly decorated with elaborate carvings, one of the world’s largest Persian carpets and colorful hibiscus flowers.

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Never Ending Footsteps

How to Spend Three Days in Muscat: An In-Depth Itinerary

muscat holiday trip

Muscat is a city with a very long history. In fact, archeologists have discovered evidence that people have been living in the area since 6000 BC, though it wasn’t till later that the area grew in prominence, in large part thanks to its coastal location. 

It was its maritime promise that first attracted the attention of the Portuguese, who held sway over the city for two centuries, building a couple of notable forts that can still be seen today, perched atop cliffs, guarding the old harbor. 

In contrast to these very noticeable symbols of Oman’s past are the modern monuments built to emphasize its future. These draw on traditional Muslim design but utilize the most up-to-date structural innovations. 

Largely, these bold steps are the work of the late sultan, Qaboos bin Said, who was a beacon of forward-thinking light in an often depressingly conservative part of the world. Indeed, Muscat’s foremost architectural marvels, the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque and the Royal Opera House, were both commissioned by him and given as a gift from this benevolent leader to the nation.

Compared to other Middle Eastern countries, most locals and expats living in Oman will tell you, quite rightly, that the sultanate is one of the more progressive places you can visit. 

Certainly, there are still restrictions regarding consumption of alcohol and proper attire (more on that at the bottom of the page), but on the whole, women are afforded a great deal more freedom. The country has a lax view of Islamic prohibitions on things like the cohabitation of unmarried men and women.

Oman is also unlike neighbors, such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia, in that it has consciously attempted to curb the unfettered growth of skyscrapers to preserve the country’s native aesthetic. In fact, there is a law banning buildings over a certain height, which is why Muscat’s tallest structure is the modestly tall 90-meter-high minaret of the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. 

For visitors, this creates the strange impression of a city that has at once modernized and yet seems not to have grown up, literally. Of course, there are flashy malls with all the most desirable fashion brands – no one could deny that Muscat has its haute couture and mod cons – but these are held in check by a desire to preserve a certain respect for the nation’s heritage.

Perhaps this is why we can’t recommend Oman enough as a place to visit. The truth is it is woefully underexplored, but hopefully this Muscat itinerary will help open your eyes to the wonderful mixture of history, modernity and natural splendor that awaits.

Coming in to land in Muscat, Oman

How Many Days to Spend in Muscat

Muscat can probably be explored in a day, possibly a day and a half – though of course, if you want to spend some downtime relaxing on the beach, three days could fly by in an instant! However, the Omani capital is a great base to make day trips into the less-developed interior of the country, where some of the most interesting historical sights lie.

Bearing that in mind, we would suggest spending three days in Muscat, with the first day devoted to exploring the city itself; ranging from the old town center in the east to the modern hub in the west.

The second day can be used to travel inland, towards the impressive forts of Nizwa, which will give you a glimpse into the conflicts and culture that have defined Oman. As part of this excursion, you can also check out some of the country’s most impressive natural monuments, such as the mountain of Jebel Shams and Oman’s answer to the Grand Canyon.

Finally, finish up your trip with a day devoted purely to getting a taste of the wild beauty of the country with some hiking and swimming in the nearby Wadi Shab and Bimmah Sinkhole. 

muscat holiday trip

Day One: From Mosque to Mutrah

Rather than delay pleasure like a child hoarding sweets, we often prefer to start city visits with a trip to the most impressive attraction. In the case of Muscat, this is the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, which rises out of the landscape like a frosting-covered cake. 

Approximately 300,000 tons of sandstone were used to construct this beauty, which is not only the largest mosque in the country, but also has the tallest structure in Oman. The 90-meter-high central minaret is flanked by four further minarets at each corner of the building. This quintet is meant to represent the five pillars of Islam: faith, prayer, almsgiving, fasting (particularly during Ramadan) and pilgrimage (notably to Mecca).

This is not a centuries-old mosque of historical importance like you can find elsewhere in the world, but it is an apt symbol for today’s Oman. The building was opened in 2001 to coincide with the 30th year of Qaboos bin Said’s reign and was given as a gift to the people from the sultan. Its design draws on traditional Islamic concepts, nodding to the nation’s age-old culture, while at the same time showing off all the grandeur and modernity that the architects could muster.

Entrance is completely free, as is normal for most mosques. Make sure you dress appropriately before leaving your hotel, as visitors are expected to wear loose-fitting clothes that cover the arms and legs, while women must cover their hair.

Surrounding the mosque are some well-kept, if rather staid gardens. You can wander through these for a quiet moment of contemplation or hurry on towards the giant latticed dome. As you stroll about the exterior, keep an eye out for the numerous examples of Arabic script carved into the geometric patterns that adorn the walls and elegant arches. 

There are also many nods to the different Islamic aesthetic traditions that have flourished throughout history, from Egypt to Persia. Realistically, these are going to be hard for you to spot on your own, but we found the volunteers on-site very friendly, helpful and happy to answer a whole heap of questions while also highlighting some of the subtleties that we would definitely have missed on our own.

We have to confess to only sparing a brief moment for the women and children’s prayer hall, preferring instead to focus our attention on the piece de resistance: the main prayer hall, which can accommodate 6,500 worshippers. 

You’ll have to remove your shoes and store them on one of the shoe racks before entering – which only seems respectful, not just because the building is a mosque, but because you’ll be stepping across a carpet that allegedly took 600 Khorasan weavers four years to complete. That incredible amount of time is perhaps not surprising considering the carpet is composed of 1.7 billion knots and weighs a total of 21 tons. 

muscat holiday trip

Those are some impressive figures, but the truth is you probably won’t be looking down but up, at what is the world’s second-largest chandelier. This dazzling light fixture, masterminded by Italian company Faustig, is made up of 600,000 gold-trimmed Swarovski crystals. 

These glitter off the turquoise geometric designs and stained-glass windows that line the dome. Worthy of the ballroom from Beauty and the Beast, this fairytale chandelier is mirrored by 34 miniature versions that are dotted throughout the hall.

Immediately facing the main doors to the prayer hall is an elaborate mihrab (a niche indicating the direction of Mecca), featuring honeycomb vaulting and brilliant blue ceramic tiles.

muscat holiday trip

The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is located in the modern part of Muscat where some of the city’s trendiest shopping malls have their addresses. Also situated in the new area, slightly further east, is the Royal Opera House. 

Even if you’re not a fan of this form of musical drama, the building itself is a grandiose stunner. Like the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, it’s a vision in white on the outside, while the inside features gleaming creamy marble accented with elaborately carved wood – we were particularly impressed by the fabulous high ceiling.

You can explore the opera house on one of the daily tours, but if you are an opera fan, book a ticket for an evening performance. The dress code is strictly business suits, dinner jackets or dishdashas for men, while women are expected to wear evening dress, lending a wonderful sense of occasion to the visit.

muscat holiday trip

Now you’ve seen some of the highlights of modern Muscat, it’s time to head over to the older parts of town. Oman was famous in the olden days for its frankincense. Today, this can still be purchased in Muttrah’s souk, a market filled with tourist souvenirs as well as numerous herbs and spices. 

Even if you have no intention of buying a thing, it’s still worth venturing through the maze of stalls to experience the Middle Eastern tradition of the bazaar.

The waterfront in Muttrah

Much more relaxing, however, is a stroll along the Mutrah Corniche. This promenade provides pleasant walks beside the sea – somewhat disrupted by the busy main road that lies beside it. 

If you head to the western end of the corniche in the mornings, you can watch locals haggle over freshly caught seafood at the Muttrah Fish Market. Though there’s been a fish market here for many years, it has recently been relocated into a thoroughly modern structure, designed by a Norwegian architectural firm.

Keep traveling east and you’ll come to the area that’s known as Old Muscat. This is where the city first began to germinate, but today it feels much sleepier than the more modern Muscat where the grand mosque and opera house are located.

muscat holiday trip

This area contains some of the country’s best museums, a couple of 16th-century forts from the Portuguese occupation (Al Mirani and Al Jalali) and the quirky Al Alam Palace. Take a quick pic of the bizarre yellow-and-blue royal structure with its pavilion-esque façade through the railings (it’s closed to the public), before heading to Bait Al Zubair. 

This privately owned museum offers glimpses of Omani culture, with displays of traditional handicrafts, household items, clothing, jewelry and other assorted pieces of history, as well as an exhibit that illustrates a traditional Omani dwelling.

For almost two decades, the Bait Al Zubair was Muscat’s best window into the past. It is admittedly a bit of a hodgepodge, which we found charming, but others might describe it as chaotic. 

muscat holiday trip

In 2016, however, the government unveiled a new, shiny white building to act as the official storyteller of the nation. The National Museum is a much grander, arguably more sterile affair, which has been very carefully curated along different themes, such as Omani seafaring and weaponry through the ages.

Don’t forget to eat! Many Omani dishes center on rice and meat or fish, such as makbous (mixed rice with your choice of meat/chicken/fish) and shuwa (meat marinated in local spices). 

We enjoyed munching on some great examples of these dishes at Ubhar, a slightly ugly but undeniably delicious restaurant. You won’t want to miss out on the excellent date cake, especially as dates are something of a national treasure in Oman.

muscat holiday trip

Day Two: Heading Inland

Now you’ve seen some of the highlights of the capital, it’s time to explore other parts of the country. Not so long ago, the city of Nizwa was seen as a kind of counterweight to Muscat. Where one was on the coast and more liberal, the other was inland and staunchly conservative. While some remnants of that dichotomy still exist, Nizwa today has thrown open its arms to international tourists, letting the outside world see more of a traditional way of Omani life.

Nizwa was at one time the capital of Oman. It has always been an important place because of its location between the country’s coast and its interior. Coming upon the city, we were enchanted by views of its sandy-colored structures, which seem to whisper of a different age – though on closer inspection, you’ll see plenty of newer buildings mixed in, too.

The city is presided over by a 17th-century fort, built by Sultan bin Saif, the man who drove out the Portuguese invaders from Oman. The castle’s battlements provide panoramic views of the surrounding area, though its most impressive feature is the huge round tower, which was (and still is) amply furnished with cannons for defense. 

Nizwa Fort is one of several military constructions that dot this region, a testament to how important former rulers thought it was to keep a tight grip on the gateway between the different parts of Oman. 

muscat holiday trip

Half an hour’s drive from Nizwa, you can also find the forts of Bahla and Jabreen, each with their own points of interest. In fact, some tours will combine all three into a single day trip for you, if you don’t want to drive yourself.

Bahla is the only one of the region’s castles that has been included on UNESCO’s World Heritage Site list, perhaps because it is the oldest. Frankly, it’s pretty incredible that its mud-brick walls, easily damaged by rainfall, have survived this long. 

Over the centuries, the various people in possession of the building have had to rebuild sections as they collapsed, leading to a mishmash of styles from different eras, spread across different levels.

muscat holiday trip

Jabreen is another beast yet again. Dating from the late 17th century, it has been carefully restored to provide a pretty good idea of how livable these types of fortifications must have been in the past. The rooms have been furnished with cushions and carpets, while the windows display intricate geometric patterns. From the battlements, appreciate the commanding position the castle commands, ruling over the surrounding plans.

muscat holiday trip

As an add-on to your day, you can also visit Jebel Shams, Oman’s highest mountain, which looks out on the nation’s answer to the Grand Canyon. It’s hard to capture how impressive this enormous chasm is – though we did see a fair few people trying to do so by getting precariously close to the cliff edge. 

It’s possible to walk along the top or descend into the canyon and hike along the wadi (valley) floor. Just bear in mind this is a fair few hours’ drive from Nizwa and Muscat along winding roads, so should probably only be attempted if you have ample time and aren’t prone to car sickness.

muscat holiday trip

Day Three: Swimming the Wadis

Day three is all about communing with nature while doing a little physical activity. Just over an hour and a half from Muscat, further along the coast, is the famous Wadi Shab, a natural gorge filled with crystalline water. Oman has many wadis, but this is one of the most popular due to its particular beauty and easy-to-reach location. 

It’s perfectly possible to drive out here yourself, and there’s on-site parking to make your journey as easy as pie. However, there are also tour companies that will combine a trip to Wadi Shab with a visit to Bimmah Sinkhole into a full-day tour for you, if you don’t fancy making the excursion yourself.

After you arrive at the parking lot, you will need to take a short, quaint boat ride on a little skiff to get to the start of the hike to Wadi Shab. Make sure you have a couple of rials to give to the boatmen to pay for your passage. These guys are here for most of the day to ferry visitors back and forth, but make sure you check when they clock off so you don’t get stranded!

Once you’ve made it to the other side of the lake, you’ll then set off on a hike through palm groves, sandy plains and boulder-strewn streams. If you have a backpack you don’t mind carting about, it’s a good idea to bring along a couple of different kinds of shoes: some sturdier footwear for the more challenging parts of the hike and a pair of flip flops or water shoes for when you have to traverse the streams. 

Don’t worry about getting lost, as there are red and black arrows painted onto the rocks that indicate the way to go. In any case, it’s all fairly straightforward and you probably won’t be the only one making the trek.

The wadi consists of several different pools, but you are only allowed to swim in three. They aren’t connected, so you’ll have to stroll over scree to get between them. Once you get to the last pool, make sure you look out for a small crack at its end. You can swim through this to reach a little cave with a modest waterfall, which is definitely worth doing if you want some proper Indiana Jones cred.

If you’re like us and find yourself bewitched by the beautiful setting, you can easily spend a few hours just floating for hours, taking a well-earned break after the past two days of tramping through city streets and desert forts. You can even pack a picnic so you don’t have to worry about leaving to grab some grub. Just make sure you set aside enough time for one final stop.

muscat holiday trip

Between Wadi Shab and Muscat is the Bimmah Sinkhole. This geological quirk is a turquoise pool of water that was created after the earth suddenly collapsed. A staircase has been built into the rock so that you can now more easily walk into the crater for a swim.

If you haven’t already eaten, the area around the pool has been set up with picnic tables, shaded by palm trees. While not as impressive as Wadi Shab, it’s worthwhile making a small detour for a quick peek.

Speaking of swimming, we haven’t managed to squeeze any beach time into this Muscat itinerary. However, if you do want to catch some rays, Oman’s capital has kilometers and kilometers of long sandy stretches. Qurum Beach is particularly popular with locals and tourists. While it certainly isn’t as beautiful as some beaches you’ll find around the world, it also doesn’t feel as heavily commercialized – though you can still find plenty of cafes along the coast if you want to grab a bite.

What to Know Before You Go

Local Laws in Oman

We’ve already sung the praises of how progressive Oman is relative to the rest of the Middle East. However, ‘relative’ is the key word here. Oman is still a Muslim country and does have strict laws regarding behavior, though many of these are relaxed for visitors. Generally, the attitude of the locals is one of ‘live and let live’. 

For instance, alcohol is largely prohibited, though it can be purchased and consumed within certain licensed hotels and restaurants. You are expected to dress modestly, covering your arms and legs, but wearing a swimsuit on a public beach (providing it isn’t overly skimpy) would be fine. 

The law states unmarried couples cannot cohabit in a hotel room, but everybody turns a blind eye when people actually do it, to the extent that many Omanis don’t even realize it’s actually illegal and not just socially frowned upon.

Having said all this, it’s always best to play it safe when visiting a foreign country, even if – as in the case of Oman – some of the overtly Islamic laws are almost never enforced. It is also advisable not to overdo the public displays of affection, as a courtesy to local customs.

Where to Stay

Most of the available accommodation for short-term stays is located in the new town, though you can find a couple of rustic places in Mutrah and Old Muscat, as well as some four-star and five-star hotels beside the beaches.

For modern comfort at a reasonable price, the Citadines Al Ghubrah is an excellent option. Each room comes equipped with a little kitchenette if you want to do your own cooking, but we just relied on the morning buffet for most of our in-hotel eating. 

One of the highlights is the outdoor rooftop pool, which is great for cooling off in the summer. Plus, the location is right next to tons of downtown restaurants, as well as the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque and all the modern malls.

If you want something with a little more ambiance to it, we can also heartily recommend the Fort Guesthouse in the Mutrah district. The rooms are perhaps a little on the cozy side, but the decoration is much more unique and emblematic of Oman than some of the more mod-con options in town. 

The staff are super engaging, which adds to the whole ‘staying with locals’ kind of vibe. Essentially, it’s what the name suggests: a friendly guesthouse rather than a more formal kind of hotel.

The Best Time of Year to Visit Muscat

Try to avoid traveling to Muscat (and Oman generally) during the month of Ramadan. Not only are local laws more strictly observed and policed during this time, but it can also be a massive inconvenience going anywhere, since normal opening hours go out the window and everything is less reliable. Bear in mind that the dates of Ramadan change every year, so make sure you check before you book your holiday.

Even in the winter, temperatures in Oman are usually over 70 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius). There are also very few rainy days, even during the wettest season. In the summer, however, it can get a little too swelteringly hot for comfort. 

This makes mid-autumn through to early spring the best time to drop in on Muscat. From October to March, you’ll still get plenty of sun and time to bathe on the beach, but without any of the discomfort associated with doing tourist activities in temperatures exceeding 90 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius).

How to Get Around Muscat

Muscat stretches out along the coast, clinging to the sea. Imagine that instead of a circular donut of a city, you have one that’s pulled out like a spaghetti noodle. In essence, this means it’s hugely impracticable to walk between areas because the distance is pretty far – and the city is not designed for pedestrians. 

At the same time, public transport is a bit of a headache for tourists, not because it’s especially hard to navigate, but because the bus routes between the main places you’ll want to visit can take up to four times as long to travel as if you were in a taxi – and if you only have three days, you don’t want to waste a significant chunk of them on a bus. 

OK, you might be thinking, I’ll splurge for a taxi – and indeed, these aren’t super expensive in the grand scheme of things. However, they are not metered, so you kind of just have to negotiate your fare beforehand and hope you’re getting a reasonable deal. 

The government has talked about introducing metered taxis, but so far, no concrete action has been taken. However, if you’re staying at a hotel, you can always inquire at the front desk about what’s reasonable, or even ask them to order a taxi for you with a pre-agreed price.

Really, though, the easiest thing to do is rent a car! Preferably, you’ll want a 4×4, as you’ll need a reasonably heavy-duty vehicle once you head out of the city on your day trips. This option comes with its own problems, because from our experience, Omani drivers are pretty aggressive when it comes to getting where they want to go as fast as possible. 

That’s not to say you’re taking your life in your hands by taking to the road, just be aware that people aren’t so much interested in observing social niceties as they are interested in being time efficient.

If you want to hop between the forts around Nizwa or stop off at Bimmah Sinkhole on the way back from Wadi Shab, a rental just makes everything so much easier. And anyway, isn’t there something romantic about driving out into the dune? 

Plus, if you need to stop at any point, every side of the road is essentially a pull-off, since everyone seems to just take off into the desert whenever they want a break.

Safety Advice

Oman is renowned as one of the safest places to visit in the Middle East. It’s also one of the most progressive when it comes to women’s rights, though female visitors should still be cautious during the evening and ensure they dress appropriately. Petty crime is not unheard of, but certainly rare.

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Lauren Juliff

Lauren Juliff is a published author and travel expert who founded Never Ending Footsteps in 2011. She has spent over 12 years travelling the world, sharing in-depth advice from more than 100 countries across six continents. Lauren's travel advice has been featured in publications like the BBC, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Cosmopolitan, and her work is read by 200,000 readers each month. Her travel memoir can be found in bookstores across the planet.

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21 best things to do in Muscat (Oman) + Map

Last updated on November 1, 2023 by Claire Robinson - this article contains affiliate links. If you purchase through them, I get a small commission ( more )

Discover the 21+ best things to do in Muscat,  Oman to help you plan your itinerary!  All the amazing  places to visit in Muscat to choose from, depending on what you like: architecture, history, water, nature… A complete guide to plan your visit to Muscat with map, tips, photos and day trips. 

Before my tips + photos, here are my favorites for Oman:

muscat holiday trip

My favorite platform to rent a car in Oman: DiscoverCars

My favorite adventure from Muscat: Dolphin and Snorkeling

My favorite excursion from Muscat: Wadi Shab and Bimmah Sinkhole

My favorite places to stay:

  • Muscat , the capital – see the best rated hotels or my favorite hotel: The Chedi
  • Sur , for the turtles – see the best rated hotels
  • Khasab , Musandam peninsula – see the best rated hotels
  • Wahiba Sands , in the desert – see the best rated hotels or my favorite camp: Desert Nights Resort

Things to do in Muscat Oman Travel - Places to visit in Muscat sightseeing

Best things to do in Muscat – Short answer

In the article below, I am describing all my favorite things to do in Muscat in terms of Architecture, Nature, culture…

But if you want a short answer, I think the top 3 Must-do in Muscat Oman are:

  • Touring the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
  • Exploring the old town in the Muttrah area with the Souq and fish market
  • Hiking in the hills to see the unique city from a higher viewpoint

Best things to do in Muscat - attractions

VIDEO: one day in Muscat

And before I develop, you can watch this short video to give you a feel of what you could see in Muscat in just one day:

Some of those places to see in Muscat even made my list of top things to do in Oman !

More ideas and photos after the planning tips.

Where to stay in Muscat & Where to go – Map & Tips

Tourism map of muscat, oman.

It is not so easy to get oriented in the Capital City and find all the places to see in Muscat. The city is spread and separated by hills. To help you, I have drawn a map and collected information about transport options.

Below is a map I draw with the various touristic areas of Muscat and the main things to do in each.

Muscat Tourist Map

Find all my favorite places (with GPS coordinates, tips and maps) in my travel guide eBook that helps you easily plan your Oman road trip :

Plan your dream trip in Oman thanks to my guide

eBook Slovenia

  • 8 maps to easily plan your itinerary
  • 190+ pre-selected locations
  • Tips to make the most of your time
  • GPS coordinates direct to the carparks
  • 100+ original photos to help you choose

How long to visit Muscat

Here are a few points to keep in mind when planning your trip to Muscat Oman.

  • Several attractions in Muscat are only open in the morning
  • The city is scattered
  • I recommend staying at least 2 days to explore the city (hotel recommendation later in the article)

Best areas to stay in Muscat

You can stay near:

  • Al Qurum beach to enjoy evening walks on the sands,
  • or in Muttrah for more traditional restaurant and experience 
  • The cheaper options are in the Ruwi area.

Where to stay in Muscat - Muscat Airbnb

Muscat Hotel suggestions

  • PRACTICAL  – The  Coral Muscat Hotel and Apartments  is a great location for a base with spacious facilities and with an apartment you can have more freedom –  Check out photos and book
  • MODERN & GOOD VALUE  – The  Centara MuscatHotel is not near the beach so has good value deals with really good accommodations –  Check out photos and prices
  • LUXURY  and CHARM – Located by the beach,  The Chedi Muscat  is displays Sumptuous decor and a unique atmosphere – it brings the local architecture styles with modern concept –  Check out photos and prices
  • The WELL KNOWN BRAND  – The  Grand Hyatt Muscat  has a great location by the beach and all the facilities you could need –  Check out photos and prices
  • CHEAPER OPTION BY THE BEACH  – The  Al Ferdous apartments  offer a great price alternative for those you still want to stay very close to the beach –  Check out photos and prices
  • or  Check out the best rated accommodations in Muscat

Where to stay in Oman?

My favorites on a road trip:

  • Muscat –  capital city –   see best rated accommodations
  • Nizwa  – to explore the forts and hinterlands –  see best rated accommodations
  • Sur –  for the turtles, beaches, wadis… –  see best rated accommodations
  • Wahiba Sands  – for the experience of sleeping in the desert –  see best rated accommodations
  • Salalah  – to explore the Southern lands –  see best rated accommodations
  • Khasab  – to explore the Musandam Peninsula –  see best rated accommodations

muscat holiday trip

ARCHITECTURAL TOP 3 – What to see in Muscat

#1 – sultan qaboos grand mosque.

Thing to do in Muscat, Oman: Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

If there is one place to visit in Muscat, it is the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. It is an architectural masterpiece both from the outside and from the inside. It is the absolute top thing to do in Muscat.

Discover many more photos and Information to plan your visit in the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque  article.

#2 – Royal Opera House Muscat

Thing to do in Muscat, Oman: Royal Opera House

Another recent building in Muscat is the Royal Opera House. With handcrafted decors all around, you might not even notice how technical the building is, but is it also a masterpiece in that sense. This is why the Opera is one of the main places to visit in Muscat either as a tourist or for a performance.

Discover many more photos and Information to plan your visit in the Royal Opera House article .

#3 – Forts and Palace

Thing to do in Muscat, Oman: Forts and Palace

The heart of Muscat is around the Sultan’s Qasr Al Alam palace and the two 16th century Portuguese forts of Al Jilali and Al Mirani. They are not open to the public, but you can admire them from outside.

Discover many more photos and information to plan your visit in the Forts and Palace article.

Other Mosques

There are many more mosques in Muscat. Most of them are not opened to the non-muslims. However, you can go to Mohammed Al Ameen Mosque, well rated in trip advisor. 

BEACHES – 3 Muscat Beaches and water attractions

#4 – qurum beach.

Qurum beach (or by its full name Shatti al-Qurum) is the main beach in Muscat. It is a long stretch of Golden sand where locals come relax during the weekend. 

Water Activities in Muscat Oman: Qurum Beach

Inside Muscat, you can also find a small beach at Kalbuh, East of the old town corniche.

To find other Muscat beaches, you have to go a little out of town. You can enjoy: Qantab beach, Sifah beach, Bandar Jissah, Yiti beach…

#5 – Boat excursion to the Bandar Khayran Reserve or the coast

Water Activities in Muscat Oman: Boat Tour

Another great thing to do in Muscat is to discover the shores of the South by boat. From the Al Rowdha Marina, you can take 2 or 3-hour tours including dolphin watch, snorkeling, or just enjoying the work of erosion during daytime or at sunset.

Discover many more photos and information to plan your visit in the Muscat Boat tours  article.

Or you can already book – see all boat tour options

#6 – Boat excursion to the Daymaniyat islands

And if you love snorkeling or diving, book a boat tour to the Daymaniyat islands. The rocky islets have turquoise waters and white sand beaches. Learn more in my article .

Or see Daymaniyat island tour options

Water Activities in Muscat Oman: Boat Tour

Need to rent a car in Oman?

  • Compare prices on my favorite platform:   Discovercars.com – one of the best rated comparison sites!
  • Choose a car with enough power for the mountain roads
  • Consider their full coverage option – for peace of mind! 
  • Book early to have a large choice of vehicles!

See all my tips

muscat holiday trip

CULTURAL – 2 Muscat Attractions

There are many other attractions in Muscat you should consider. Some are touristic, others are less, but here there are:

#7 – Fish Market

Thing to do in Muscat, Oman: Fish market

If you want to glimpse at the life of Omani people, the Fish market is a must place to visit. Active early morning, you can see the boats arriving, the fish being sold and then prepared. It is one of my favorite activities in Muscat but wearing closed shoes!!!

Discover many more photos and information to plan your visit in the Muscat Fish Market article.

#8 – Muscat old city and Souq

Thing to do in Muscat, Oman: Souq

Not far from the Fish Market, you can walk through the old city and the Souq, especially the gold section.

Discover many more photos and information to plan your visit in the Muscat Corniche and Souq article .

I don’t drink coffee

But I also like other drinks and sweets! Do you like the free content you find on my blog? All my tips and practical information, without intrusive advertising…

muscat holiday trip

NATURE – 4 highlights of Muscat Tourism

#9 – corniche.

Not far from the fish market, you can walk through the old town and the souk, especially the gold section. Next to the souk there is a long walking path along the water called The Corniche.

Thing to do in Muscat, Oman: Hiking view city

#10 – Muttrah – Riyam Hike – Unique thing to do in Muscat

Thing to do in Muscat, Oman: Hiking view city

If you want to move a little and capture some great views of the city, you can hike above Riyam. It is an original activity in Muscat to get away from the crowds. Discover many more photos and information to plan your hike in Muscat .

I think it is one of the most unique things to do in Muscat with the most scenic places.

#11 – Riyam Park

Thing to do in Muscat: Riyam Park

The Riyam park is great for a stroll. It includes 2 hills giving scenic views of mountains and the corniche. There are also a great playground for children.

In the photo, it is the green area under the Incense Burner Tower.

#12 – Qurum natural park & beach

Qurum Park & Beach Muscat Oman

Another classic is the Qurum Natural Park located in the Qurum residential area. A well-maintained park in the heart of the city. You can also drive in the hills behind the park for more views of Muscat.

MUSEUMS – 11 Places to visit in Muscat

When in Muscat and was not in the mood for museums, having just lost my brother . However, I have researched them intensively and collected a list of you. First some notes:

  • Raters on Tripadvisor have placed Bait Az-Zubair and the Armed Forces Museums in the list of top things to see in Muscat.
  • The National museum has now opened in its new building (since december 2015). Apparently it is really modern so it might make soon the top list.
  • As those museums do not have official websites, it is difficult to make sure you have the proper opening hours. I did my best, but cannot ensure those are correct.

And here is the list.

#13 – Armed Forces Museum

  • In Ruwi – Al Mujamma St
  • Weapons, clothing, instruments and defence systems
  • 8AM-1PM / 3PM-6PM

#14 – Bait Al Barandah Museum

  • In Mutrah – Al-Mina St
  • History of Muscat since its geological formation to the present
  • Sat-Thur: 9AM-1PM / 4PM-6PM

#15 – Bait Az-Zubair Museum

  • In Mutrah – Al Saidiya Street
  • Omani artefacts and collectables: weapons, jewellery, clothing, household item…
  • Sat-Thur: 9:30AM-6PM

#16 – Muscat Gate

  • In Mutrah – On Al Bahri Road
  • Oman’s history from the Neolithic times to the present + view of the Corniche
  • Sat-Thur: 9:30AM-11:30AM / 4:30PM-7PM

Gate Muscat Oman

#17 – Natural History Museum

  • In Al Khuwayr
  • In the Ministry of Heritage and Culture building – Oman’s geography and geology, flora and fauna
  • Sat-Thur: 8AM-1PM

#18 – National Museum

  • In the Center – Al Saidiya St
  • Oman culture – jewellery, crafts and Omani ships

#19 – Oil & Gas Exhibition Centre

  • In Al Qurum – Sayh Al Malih St
  • Processes of formation, exploitation and processing of how crude oil and natural gas
  • 7AM-12PM / 1PM – 4PM / Thur: 7AM-12PM

#20 – Omani Heritage Museum

  • In Al Alam Street
  • Relics of ancient civilizations: stone tombs, rock carvings, agricultural tools, stone necklaces…
  • 9:30AM-1:30PM / 5PM-7PM

#21 – Omani-French Museum

  • In Center – Qasr al-Alam St
  • History and documents related to the relationship between France and Oman 
  • 9AM-1PM most of the year + 4-7PM Oct to Mar

#22 – Planetarium

  • Planetarium
  • Sun – Thu: 8AM – 3PM

#23 – Currency Museum

  • In Ruwi – In the Central Bank of Oman
  • Succession of currencies circulated in the Sultanate of Oman, both paper and metal
  • Sat- Wed: 8:30AM -12:30PM

Muscat sightseeing – how to get around (transport options)

My experience of taxis in Oman was not really good. Mostly because they only knew the major sights, but not the streets. Apparently, they do that part time, so their knowledge of the city is limited. But if you drive only between major sights, airports and main hotels it should be ok.

You have to agree on the price beforehand. There is a plan to introduce meters, but it is not yet implemented… Between the various areas of the city it should not be more than 5 to 10 OR.

Driving in Muscat

Not really buses, the baisa buses are minivans not clearly marked. If you want to attempt it I recommend asking locals.

Tourist bus

Hop on Hop off Bus by BigBus – considering the spread of the city, it is quite practical. The first bus departs Mutrah Souq at 9am and buses depart every 30 minutes until 5pm (last return at Mutrah Souq at 6:45pm). Timings are subject to change, especially during Ramadan (and with Covid)

Driving in Muscat

I was really surprised how easy it is to drive in Muscat. The roads are in excellent conditions, people are courteous and calm. The old town is where sometimes there are traffic jams, but otherwise, I think it is a good solution. For more information, check out my article dedicating to Driving in Oman .

Organized tours / private guide

You can also join organized half day or day tours or book with a private guide . In that case, you just have to sit back, relax and follow the guide. For a full day private tour of the city, count 200 to 300 USD.

5 Day trips from Muscat

If you have some more days in Muscat but don’t want to go on a round trip one of the things to do in join a day trip. Many are possible and below is a selection of the best ones.

For guided day trips from Muscat, I wrote a dedicated article to help chose with my selection of the best destinations.

Sink Hole and Wadi Shab

Day trip from Muscat: Sinkhole and Wadi Shab

Wadi Shab is one of my favorite locations in Oman. You can hike one hour through the canyon and finish by swimming. Absolutely stunning! If you have time this is a must do!

On the way back you can stop at the Sink hole; which is very easily accessed from the main road down to Sur. It is a hole in the ground filled with beautiful water and bordered by the sea on one side and mountains on the other.

Discover many more photos and information to plan your trip with dedicated articles to the Bimmah Sink Hole and Wadi Shab

See options & book

Jebel Shams

Day tour from Muscat - Jebel Shams

A classic among tourists stopping one day in Muscat on their cruise, is to get up to Jebel Shams, also known as the grand canyon of Oman.Discover many more photos and info to plan your trip in the Jebel Shams article.

See options and book

Day trip from Muscat: Nizwa

Nizwa is another large city in Oman. The drive will be 1h30min. In the center of the city, you can discover a beautiful Souq, the castle with many cultural displays and climb to the top of the fort for breathtaking views of the oasis. Discover many more photos and information to plan your trip in the Nizwa fort and Nizwa Souq articles

See options

Wadi Bani Khalid and Wahiba sands

Day trip from Muscat: Wadi Bani Khalid and Wahiba Sands

If you don’t mind a longer day tour with a lot of driving, you can reach Wadi Bani Khalid and the sand dunes of Wahiba Sands. Plan 2h30 drive in each direction. Long, but it gives you 3 unique landscapes of Oman in one day: city, wadi and desert!

Discover many more photos and information to plan your trip in the Wahiba Sands  and Wadi Bani Khalid articles

Book a day trip from Muscat or an overnight stay – see options

Rustaq Loop

Day trip from Muscat: Rustaq fort

For those who love forts and castles, it is a 1h30 min drive to reach Rustaq from Muscat. Do some better planning than me and don’t go on a Friday. I was there at prayer time, all the local men were going inside but I could not…

You can also do many day trips to the surrounding beaches along the North and South coast of the many but less known wadis everywhere. The list would be too long.

Off road / Off the beaten path

And if you are adventurous, there are also other places to discover in a 4WD: the plateau of Salmah and its tombs, the village of Wakan…

Holidays in Muscat – Itinerary (2, 4 days or more)

2 days in muscat.

If you have only 2 days in Muscat, I recommend staying in the city rather and going on day trips. There is much to experience:

  • Morning 1 –  explore the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
  • Afternoon 1 – Hike between Riyam and Mutrah – if you can’t head by car to the forts and palace and visit a museum
  • Morning 2 – explore the Mutrah Souq & Fish market
  • Afternoon 2 – enjoy a boat tour to see the town from the distance of relax at the beach

Oman itinerary 4 days – based in Muscat

If you are lucky enough to have a little more time, I recommend alternating days in the city and day trips

  • Day 1 – Grand Mosque and Hike
  • Day 2 – day trip to Wadi Shab
  • Day 3 – Mutrah Souq and boat tour
  • Day 4  day trip Wahiba Sands or to some forts depending on your interests

Oman itinerary – road trip

However, I think the best way to experience Oman is to go on a road trip and stay in different cities. If you are looking for a practical travel guide to help you plan your trip in Oman, check out my Travel Guide eBook:

Muscat FAQs

Is muscat worth visiting.

Absolutely. It is nothing like other capital cities. The white houses between the bare hilly landscapes are mesmerizing.

What is famous in Muscat?

The most famous buildings are the Sultan Qaboos Mosque and the Royal Opera.

Is it safe to travel to Muscat?

Muscat is overall, a safe city. It is a capital city, so always use common sense and typical protection behavior. Omani people are welcoming and open. As long as you are respectful, there is no issue.

What to wear in Muscat

Like everywhere in Oman, you should cover at least your shoulders and knees (women and men). Muscat is more relaxed, but I think it is always better to show respect for customs.

Is Muscat better than Dubai?

Both cities are so different, there is no way to compare. I prefer Muscat, but it is because I prefer Nature to shopping, and quiet places.

Want to see more of Oman?

  • Best Things to do in Oman – read article
  • Best of photos from Oman – Landscapes – read article
  • Where to stay in Oman –  read article
  • Best days trips from Muscat – read article
  • Planning a road trip in Oman – read article
  • Driving in Oman – read article
  • The impressive Wadi Shab – read article
  • The Bimmah Sinkhole – read article
  • The Ras Al Jinz turtle reserve – read article

Planning a trip to Oman?

Check out my travel guide to help you plan:

And keep track of your own trip!

Oman road trip journal

Want to see more of Oman’s beauty?

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Reader Interactions

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January 14, 2016 at 4:25 AM

This is amazing! My friend is on her honeymoon at the moment in Oman and I was curious as to why – after reading this now I know!

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January 14, 2016 at 12:59 PM

Ahah. When I was telling people where I was going, I had those who said ‘this is a country?’ and the others who were ‘what is there to see, desert?’. Yes Oman is beautiful and has a lot of variety. I hope your friend is having a great time. Thanks for your comment Laura.

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Two For The World

What To Do In Muscat Oman: A 3-Day Muscat Itinerary

12 feb 2024 06 nov 2018 | dan.

Whether you’re on a city break, a stopover, or setting out on a longer adventure, find out what to do in Oman’s capital with our 3-Day Muscat itinerary.

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque Arches Muscat Places To Visit

Muscat, the sweeping, mountain-backed capital of Oman, is the unassuming gateway to one of the most beautiful and diverse countries in the Middle East.

Wedged along a 50-kilometre strip of coast between the sparkling Gulf of Oman and the stark brown rises of the Al Hajar mountain range, Muscat is a striking blend of ancient and modern, with a low-key vibe and an authenticity all its own.

In this post, we explore some of the top places to go in Muscat, with a suggested 3-Day Muscat itinerary that takes in the historic old city, the bustling port town of Mutrah, the beautiful Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, and sunset aboard a traditional dhow boat.

Understated though it might be, Muscat is a great place to ‘meet’ Oman, and get a feel for the country’s past, its culture and its people, whether you’re touching down for a brief visit, or setting out on a longer Oman adventure.

Day 1 – Explore Historic Old Muscat

Old Muscat is the city’s historic heartland: the original Muscat. Fortified by mountains, sea and 400-year-old walls and watchtowers, Old Muscat’s low-rise white buildings offset the jagged, mustard-coloured hills surrounding it.

There’s accommodation right across Muscat, but we opted to stay in the buzzing port town of Mutrah, which is centrally located between the major destinations on our travel playlist.

It’s around 3-kilometres from Mutrah to the starting point of our first day’s itinerary: the  Muscat Gate Museum . Our plan involves walking back to Mutrah this afternoon, so grab a cab (we negotiated a OMR2 ride) to the museum.

Muscat Itinerary Walls Of Muscat Gate Museum

Muscat Gate Museum is a tiny gallery exploring Oman’s history. As Muscat attractions go, this one won’t rock your world, although there are some interesting exhibits on the country’s clever systems for managing water in a parched environment.

But the unusual building straddling Al Bahri Road marks the original, 17th-century city gateway and walls, so it’s a fitting spot to start our tour of Old Muscat.

From the museum, wander down to  Bait Al Zubair Museum . This oasis is one of the best things to do in Muscat: a beautiful traditional Omani home, restored and reopened as a private collection of Omani culture and artefacts, from weaponry to furnishings and costumes.

Traditional Boats At Bait Al Zubair Museum Muscat

There’s also a contemporary art gallery and a café on site. It’s easy to while away the time here. When we finally sat down to a steaming cup of Omani coffee and dates, we realised we’d lingered much longer than anticipated.

Top Tip:  Look out for the wind tower in the café space, a traditional means of cooling homes in this scorching landscape. If you’re road tripping Oman, you’ll notice these rectangular wind towers on top of homes right around the country.

As a result, we decided to leave our next planned stop, the  National Museum , for another visit. Depending on how you’re travelling though, this sweeping, modern gallery is by all accounts an excellent and engaging introduction to Oman’s long and epic history and culture.

Alternatively, you could check out the nearby  Omani-French Museum , a niche option that explores the historical relationship between Oman and France.

A 10-minute stroll from Bait Al Zubair brings you to the gates of  Al Alam , the ceremonial palace of Oman’s king, Sultan Qaboos.

While the Sultan’s palace isn’t open to the public, you can take pics of the elegant blue and gold facade from the front gate. If you have time, head back here at night to see the palace lit up.

To the left of the front gate, a side street goes to the harbour, passing between the palace and the 16th-century Portuguese  Al Mirani Fort .

View Of Sultan's Palace Places To Visit Muscat

Make your way down here and spend some time taking in the columned palace from this angle, as well as  Al Jalali   Fort  across the water (neither Al Mirani nor Al Jalali forts are generally accessible to the public, although with some planning, you can apply for a permit to visit Al Jalali).

Muscat Itinerary Al Jalali Fortress View Old Muscat

As the afternoon rolls on, it’s time to start making the slow walk back to Mutrah, along the famous  Mutrah   Corniche .

More and more locals will start emerging as the temps cool, making the Corniche a lively place to wander in the late afternoon and early evening.

En route, you’ll come to  Kalbuh Park , a pretty waterside spot that’s popular with young families and couples. We hung out here until the lights of the Corniche came on and the sky over the mountains behind Muscat turned orange.

You can continue your Corniche amble all the way back to Mutrah as we did, or flag a cab for the final leg.

There are lots of options for dinner in Mutrah. We were keen for some authentic Omani fare, so we made our way to popular  Bait Al Luban .

There, we feasted on barbecued skewers called Mishkaks, a flavour-filled firepit-cooked meat dish called Shuwa, and a delicious Omani chicken curry called Saloonat Dijaj.

Restaurants In Muscat Traditional Omani Food At Bait Al Luban

Day 2 – Wander Through Buzzing Mutrah

For our second day in Muscat, we’re staying local and exploring the traditional trading hub of  Mutrah .

The busy town is famous for its market, as well as twilight wanders along the Corniche. But there are also a handful of other attractions worth checking out among the traditional merchant homes.

Start your day at the  Mutrah Fish Market , at the western end of the Corniche. If you’re early enough, you’ll find Muscat’s fisherman offloading the day’s catch from their colourful dhows.

Busy Mutrah Fish Market What To Do In Muscat

Inside the spanking new fish market building, locals haggle over rows of ice-packed stainless steel trays piled high with fresh seafood, as wiley cats watch on hopefully.

We’re told all that gleaming new chrome doesn’t have quite the same character as the fishy old market, but it’s still interesting to watch the action.

Just down the road, the vendors of  Mutrah Souq  are rolling up their shutters for the morning market.

We visited the souq both in the morning and in the evening, and found it to be much livelier at night, so we’d recommend leaving the labyrinthine passageways until tonight.

Circular Wooden Roof Mutrah Souq Muscat Places To Visit

Take the opportunity though, to have a gander at the glittering treasures of the  Gold Souq  while it’s still relatively quiet, before continuing on along the Corniche and past the imposing 16th-century  Mutrah Fort  (it’s not open to the public unfortunately).

Just past the fort, you’ll come across the  Ghalya Museum of Modern Art . This charming and quirky little traditional home weaves a maze through the rooms and memorabilia of one family’s personal story. The wander winds up in a small gallery of contemporary artworks.

By now the heat will have well and truly settled, so take the opportunity to lunch indoors or head to one of Mutrah’s museums, like the impressive  Sultan’s Armed Forces Museum  or the folksy  Bait Al Baranda .

When the temps start to cool, it’s time to get back out on the Corniche and wander down to  Reyani Park  with the locals.

Climb up the  Riyam Park Monument , affectionately known as the ‘incense burner’, for sunset views over Mutrah, the mountains and the seafront.

Riyam Park Monument What To Do In Muscat Oman

Grab dinner at one of the open air restaurants on Mutrah Corniche tonight. We opted for simple but tasty plates of shwarma and glasses of spicy lime juice.

Juice Nation:  While a cold beer might feel like just the ticket at the end of a hot day exploring Muscat, you won’t find booze on most menus: it’s against the law to drink or be drunk in public in Oman (check your country’s travel advice for more detail on this). The silver lining is that, in addition to amazing Omani coffee and delicious tea, fresh fruit juices are king here. Our absolute favourite bevvie in Muscat was a fresh lime juice spiced with blended jalapeños. We stopped to sip it and people watch pretty much every day at the Fast Food N’ Juice Centre next to Mutrah Souq.

muscat holiday trip

Day 3 – Visit Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque and Enjoy A Sunset Dhow Cruise

An absolute must-see on any Muscat itinerary is the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque.

Located around 25-kilometres to the west of Mutrah, this is Oman’s principal mosque: a vast and exquisitely decorated sandstone building set within lush gardens and surrounded by tiled arcades.

Muscat Oman Tourist Attractions Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

Commissioned by Sultan Qaboos in the 1990s, the mosque’s various spaces can accommodate up to 20,000 worshippers at a time (you’ll notice hundreds and hundreds of shelves in the arcades all over the grounds, where shoes are deposited before entering the mosque).

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque  is an active house of worship, so it’s only open for visitors between 8am and 11am each morning, and it’s closed on Fridays.

Take a cab from Mutrah to the mosque in time for opening, and aim to spend a couple of hours here.

Culture Spotting:  As you travel to Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque from Mutrah or Old Muscat, keep an eye out for the beautiful Islamic-Italianate-style  Royal Opera House  on your right. The Opera House has a  calendar of events  year-round, so if you have an evening free while you’re visiting Muscat, maybe check out what’s on.

The highlight of Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is hands down the ornate interior of the main musalla (prayer hall), and its delicately tiled mihrab (a wall niche indicating the direction of Mecca).

The magnificent Persian carpet here was once the world’s largest. Likewise, the 8.5-tonne crystal chandelier suspended from the beautiful dome above.

Both titles were recently conceded to the Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi; a fact that takes nothing away from these extraordinary handcrafted creations.

Decorated Ceiling Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque Places To Go In Muscat

Back outside, take the opportunity to wander the beautiful courtyards of the mosque.

The arcades surrounding the main building are decorated with tiled niches showcasing the evolution and diversity of zellij – mosaic tilework – from across the Middle East (there are small plaques in English explaining the origins and history of the tilework in each arcade).

Dressing for the mosque: Oman is a conservative country and while tourists are given a bit of leeway when it comes to what we wear, it’s respectful to take a cue from the locals and dress appropriately. For women, this means not wearing tight or revealing clothing generally, but especially when it comes to visiting mosques. Wear loose, airy clothing (it’s better in the heat anyway), and bring a scarf, as you will also be required to cover your hair. Guys should cover their knees and shoulders. Everyone must remove their shoes before entering the mosque. We’ve written in more detail about what to wear in our  post on planning a trip to Oman .

muscat holiday trip

With the sun approaching its zenith, it’s time to head indoors for a couple of hours. If you’d like to stay local, the  Natural History Museum  is a short cab ride away. Or maybe find a good spot for lunch.

We had already organised through our hotel to join a  sunset dhow cruise  in the late afternoon on Day 3, including transfers from our hotel. So we made our way back to Mutrah to chill out until the sun started to drop.

History spotting:  If your sunset dhow cruise departs from Marina Bandar Al Rowdha south-east of Old Muscat, you may pass the historic dhow boat – the  Sohar  – en route. The Sohar is a replica of a dhow that was built and sailed 6,000 nautical miles from Oman to China, by a sailor named Abdullah Bin Gasm, more than 1,200 years ago! This version, which is permanently dry-docked in the middle of the Al Bustan Palace roundabout, was commissioned for a reenactment of the epic sea voyage in 1980.

Sohar Traditional Dhow Boat In Muscat

It was still scorching hot when our beautiful dhow boat set off in the late afternoon from Marina Banda Al Rowdha, to cruise along the coastline along Old Muscat and Mutrah.

But with the sun dropping behind the Al Hajar mountains, and the sky turning molten gold, we reckon this is the perfect way to wind up an awesome 3-day Muscat itinerary.

Highlights Of Oman Sunset Over Muscat

Finish up your Muscat sightseeing tonight with a final Omani meal. We cheated and returned to Bait Al Luban, but for alternatives, check out this post over at Migrationology on  recommended eats in Muscat  for food lovers.

Got More Time To Explore Muscat & Surrounds?

With an extra day or two in Muscat, we recommend getting out on the water again for some scuba diving and/or dolphin watching (whale watching is also possible in season).

Oman is home to a handful of outstanding dive locations, including the World Heritage Daminiyat Islands, and the reefs and wrecks of Bandar Kharyan just south of Old Muscat, where we spent a day beneath the waves with  Extra Divers Qantab .

Want to know what its like to go scuba diving in Oman?  Read about our experience here .

With even more time, you could hire a car and explore some of the nearby highlights of Oman’s northeast on day trips from Muscat, like stunning Wadi Shab or historic Nizwa.

Check out our  2-week self-guided road trip itinerary for Oman  for our suggestions on where to visit and what to do with a fortnight in this amazing country.

Lights On Mutrah Corniche Things To Do In Muscat At Night

Good To Know

Getting there and away:  Muscat International Airport (which used to be called Seeb International Airport) is located around 30km from the Old City. We arranged a transfer from the airport to our hotel in Mutrah for around OMR12.

It’s also a fairly straightforward journey to get to Muscat overland from Dubai in the neighbouring United Arab Emirates, but this will take the better part of a day and bus tickets can only be bought on the ground.

Getting around:  Muscat edges the Gulf of Oman for some 50km. With limited public transport, that means the easiest way to get around is to hire a car, or hire a car and driver, or flag cabs for rides around the city.

If you’re keen on doing day trips from Muscat, you can also arrange for a car and driver in most hotels, and taxi drivers will also offer private trips and tours just about anywhere.

Where to stay in Muscat:  There are plenty of accommodation options across Muscat, from simple hotels in Mutrah to high-end beach resorts in the city’s west. We tried both, with our costs ranging from around US$50 to US$150 for double rooms with ensuite. Accommodation in Muscat is easily booked online through the mainstream booking engines.

For tips and advice on prepping for and travelling in Oman, including more detail on getting around and accommodation, check out our  planning post .

We hope you found our Muscat itinerary helpful! If you want to know more about visiting this beautiful corner of the Middle East, head over to our Oman page for all of our  Oman travel blog posts .

And if you’ve got any questions or comments about this post, we’d love to hear from you, just pop your thoughts in the comments box below!

2 thoughts on “What To Do In Muscat Oman: A 3-Day Muscat Itinerary”

I’m looking forward to visit Muscat soon , one of the smost beautiful cities in the Middle East, I’m told !

Hi han mu kang, it most definitely is a beautiful place to visit – we hope you have a wonderful time! Thanks for checking out our post!

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Muscat Holidays

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Easing you into the Middle East

Muscat, the capital of Oman, is a gentle, conservative and welcoming city renowned for its intricate architecture, ancient souqs and spectacular seafood. Little over half a century ago, it was at the heart of a mostly tribal and turbulent country with few paved roads and a largely illiterate, nomadic population. However, unlike some of its brasher neighbours, Muscat’s regeneration into today’s thriving, cosmopolitan city has been handled tastefully, with scant high-rises and many traditional Arabic touches applied to buildings.

Get up to speed on the country’s swift growth, while learning about its tribal and seafaring heritage, with a visit to the National Museum of Oman. Stroll along the Corniche at sunset where you might spy the Sultan’s private yacht moored among the traditional dhows and watch the sea glitter in shades of magenta and orange.

The African island of Zanzibar was once the Omani capital and it’s bestowed a rich culinary heritage upon the city. Sample the best at Bait Al Luban, whose Shuwa (lamb slow roasted in an underground firepit) and kingfish curry are legendary. Catch a show at the state-of-the-art Royal Opera House; resplendent in Italian marble and Burmese teak, it’s home to the world-renowned Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra. Book your flights to Muscat today and be charmed by this effortless introduction to the Middle East.

Muscat holiday FAQs

Make the most of your muscat holiday.

Muscat is wedged between ocean and mountains, offering some excellent trekking in the Hajar Mountains. Try the C38 trail from Riyam Park to step back in time or explore endless expanses of desert in the Empty Quarter (Rub’ al Khali), the world’s largest uninterrupted sand desert.

What are the best things to do in Muscat?

  • Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is perhaps the most extravagant building in the Sultan’s name. This awe-inspiring structure features five minarets, Italian white marble flooring and a 50-metre-high golden dome. Inside you’ll find an 8-tonne Swarovski chandelier and a massive Iranian prayer carpet which took a team of 400 weavers four years to finish. Arrive before 09:00 to beat the crowds, and dress appropriately.
  • The Muttrah Souq is one of the Arab world’s oldest marketplaces and is the perfect place to shop for an eclectic range of items, from rare vintage curios and khanjars (ceremonial daggers) to stalls piled high with frankincense, pashminas, leatherware, gold and jewellery. Haggling is practically mandatory, often sweetened by the offer of coffee and dates, though discounts tend to be modest. Bring cash to strike the best deals.
  • You can spot turtles surfacing at the coastal resort of Ras Al Jinz, just under four hours’ drive from Muscat, during their annual nesting season between April and August. One of the most important turtle reserves in the Indian Ocean, it’s home to five out of the world’s seven species of sea turtle, with some 20,000 creatures burying their eggs in the sand here.
  • The Bait Al Zubair Museum is a treasure trove of Omani national identity. The private museum features a wealth of items accumulated by the Zubair family including silver coffee pots, battle-worn swords, blades inscribed with Qur’anic verses, paintings, old coins, model dhow boats and plenty more.
  • Take a peek at the Sultan’s palace. Al Alam Palace is one of the city’s most striking modern buildings. Although access is prohibited to this largely ceremonial residence you can still take in its splendour from the outside. Gawp at its gold and turquoise pillars and magnificent facade, stroll along the avenue of palm trees and snap a selfie at the gates.

Oman - Muttrah Beach.

Where are the best places to visit in Muscat?

Separated from the rest of Muscat by mountains, Old Muscat is a tiny, historic walled city dominated by government buildings – many of which, with their serene, symmetrical architecture and gorgeous horseshoe arches, are worth seeing from the outside even if you can’t go in. Two imposing forts, Al Mirani and Al Jalaili, stand guard above the grandiose ceremonial home of the Sultan – the Qasr Al Alam Royal Palace. The National Museum, which opened to the public in 2016, tells a comprehensive history of Oman. Check in at Al Bustan Palace – a Ritz-Carlton Hotel, with its impressive lobby fountain and chandelier set in a former palace.

Muttrah, Muscat’s old commercial neighbourhood, is an enticing place to go shopping. Heaps of silver, mounds of frankincense and the odd ceremonial dagger (khangar) glint among clutches of lamps and braces of pottery in Muttrah Souq, while the fish and fruit markets are just along the Corniche, ensuring local restaurants have access to the freshest ingredients – look out for freshly grilled fish on the menus. After a bite to eat, take a sunset stroll along the Corniche to enjoy the area in its best light.

Inland from Muttrah, Ruwi is the modern side of Muscat, and primarily the city’s business district. There are cafes, shops and restaurants, and sizeable Indian and Pakistani expat populations mean you can often find good curry there. The Sheraton Oman is a 5-star hotel that’s convenient for business travellers. Its smart indoor and outdoor pools and fancy restaurants are all top-notch.

With its line-up of nice hotels, a sandy beach and an elegant park, the upmarket seafront neighbourhood of Qurum is a great place to stay. Qurum Beach is a popular spot with locals in the evenings – in the day it’s quiet and well serviced by beach bars. The city’s magnificent Royal Opera House is just around the corner – it’s worth touring even if you don’t fancy its performance programme – and 20 minutes’ drive takes you to the magnificent Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. If you want to stick around for the night, the Crowne Plaza Muscat is a hilltop hotel with a great infinity pool – or stay on the beach, at the Intercontinental Muscat with views of the sea and the Hajar Mountains.

Drive 150 kilometres out of Muscat, into the foothills, and you’ll find the city of Nizwa. Once Oman’s capital, it holds a traditional livestock market and has a historic fort. From there it’s a short drive up to Jebal Akhdar (Green Mountain). The cooler temperatures – in the low teens in winter – aren’t the only reason to stay: the luxury Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar is an amazing resort that lures plenty of visitors from the city. Twin it with somewhere on the coast, like the excellent Shangri-La Al Husn Resort & Spa, for two ways to experience luxurious Omani hospitality.

Muscat.

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Muscat Holidays

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Dine on fire pit-lined beaches overlooking the Arabian Sea, hunt for sandalwood and myrrh and cruise over dolphin-filled waters in Muscat.

Muscat – where you can wander the chaotic dusky and dark bakhoor and frankincense-filled souks, walk the glossy Carrera marble floors of the Grand Mosque and watch the last rays of sun dip into the Gulf of Oman from glorious stretches of sand. Muscat is an intriguing city that puts you waterfront on the beach but also right in the heart of a riveting culture that has a surprisingly modern twist. 

Holidays to Muscat are vibrant in culture and heritage, but they’re also clean, crisp and modern. You’ll find luxury car dealerships and bright white malls alongside marble crescent-topped, white-washed mosques sounding the call of prayer from minarets just a ride away from somersaulting spinner dolphins. Early mornings on the Muttrah Corniche feel like you’ve just stepped into an old fishing village as dhows drop off catch-of-the-day and pomegranate-peppered mountains offer silent moments and extraordinary views. In the late afternoon, locals come out to haggle at souks, dine beachfront on seafood platters and take late evening dips in the sea as the city comes alive with classic Arabian charm.

Call one of our Personal Experts and we’ll start crafting your next Muscat holiday.

Muscat Hotels

Our recommendations for the best places to stay in Muscat

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Kempinski Hotel Muscat

A shiny newcomer shaking up the Muscat hotel scene with its striking design.

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Al Bandar at Shangri-La's Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa

The most central of the Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa’s hotels and home to CHI, The Spa.

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Al Bustan Palace, A Ritz-Carlton Hotel

One of Muscat’s most distinguished hotels with a reputation for exceptional personalised service.

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Al Waha at Shangri-La's Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa

Featuring a treasure trove of facilities, this hotel has a fun and informal atmosphere — perfect...

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Shangri-La Al Husn Resort & Spa

Beautifully designed with elegance and style, Al Husn is one of the finest hotels on the Arabian...

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The Chedi Muscat

A chic and contemporary oceanside retreat set on the edge of Oman’s capital.

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Desert Nights Resort

Located in the heart of the Omani desert, Desert Nights Camp is a boutique experience that offers...

Holidays in Muscat

The most central of the Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa’s hotels and home to CHI, The Spa.

One of Muscat’s most distinguished hotels with a reputation for exceptional personalised service.

Featuring a treasure trove of facilities, this hotel has a fun and informal atmosphere — perfect for families.

Beautifully designed with elegance and style, Al Husn is one of the finest hotels on the Arabian Peninsula.

A chic and contemporary oceanside retreat set on the edge of Oman’s capital.

Located in the heart of the Omani desert, Desert Nights Camp is a boutique experience that offers an unforgettable Arabian adventure.

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Get to know Muscat and those important practicalities when planning your perfect holiday.

GMT +4 hours

Where is Muscat? Muscat, capital of the Sultanate of Oman, is situated in the north of the mainland on the coast of the Gulf of Oman. From Muscat, it’s a 4¼ hours’ drive north-west to Dubai, or an hour’s flight. 

Muscat Mosques Muscat’s mosques provide some of the most ornate buildings in the capital and give a beautiful insight into Islamic architecture and religion. Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is impressive and home to Swarovski chandeliers and one of the largest Persian carpets in the world. Located on the Corniche of Muttrah you will find the Mosque of the Great Prophet with its impressive blue dome and scripture-inlayed minarets. Non-Muslims should always check before entering any mosque.

Cultural highlights Gain a greater insight into Oman’s cultural heritage with a visit to The National Museum where you will find archaeological findings, samples from ancient craft industries and models of some of the trading boats that stopped here on their Spice Route journeys. The historic weaponry on display at the Bait Al Zubair Museum is also worth a visit and, although closed to the public, you can still get a close-up peek of the Al Jalali and Al Mirani Forts that protect the walled city. One of Muscat’s newer treasures is the Royal Opera House, where illustrious stars like Plácido Domingo have performed and concerts usually sell out months in advance.

City souks Like many countries in Arabia, the souks is where you can gain a real insight into local life. The Muttrah Souk is Oman’s most famous – a labyrinth of tiny stalls and shops on the Corniche where you can haggle for spices and perfumes, gold and silver, handicrafts and textiles. If you are visiting the Sultan Qaboos Mosque, then it’s worth exploring Sohar Souk where many cottage industries sell their handicrafts.

Getting around If your holiday involves making the most of your luxury hotel and solely exploring the city, taxis are the most convenient way to get around. If you fancy venturing further afield to mountain villages and desert, a hire car is recommended. Taxis are orange and white and unmetered, so we advise securing the fare before getting in. 4x4s are needed for the Omani terrain, roads are well signposted in both English and Arabic with brown signs pointing to the major attractions.

Food and drink You’ll find an enticing blend of Arabic, European and Indian cuisine, and plenty of fresh seafood. Luxury hotels deliver fine dining experiences with everything from pan-Asian to international and beach dining to spice market-style eateries. Dates are renowned here and for a traditional Omani meal order the shuwa, a traditional dish of lamb or goat marinated and wrapped in palm leaves and then slowly cooked in a pit. 

Our experts have curated a wide range of handpicked Muscat offers to make your next holiday extra special. Make the most of great-value savings, exclusive upgrades and bespoke touches. 

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Your Muscat Holiday

Experience the buzz and excitement of Muscat with a tailor-made Muscat holiday package. From its historical landmarks to its coastal scenery and beyond, you'll never have a boring moment in this city. You'll want to take in some sights during your trip to Muscat. Drop by leading attractions such as Muscat Grand Mall , Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque and Royal Opera House Muscat . Whatever your travel plans or the size of your budget, putting together a tailored Muscat holiday is a piece of cake with Expedia.

The Latest Muscat Holiday Deals

Mandarin Oriental, Muscat

Mandarin Oriental, Muscat

Levatio Suites Muscat, a member of Radisson Individuals

Levatio Suites Muscat, a member of Radisson Individuals

Reviewed on 6 Aug 2023

Kempinski Hotel Muscat

Kempinski Hotel Muscat

Reviewed on 12 Mar 2024

City Seasons Hotel Muscat

City Seasons Hotel Muscat

Reviewed on 16 Oct 2023

Aerotel - Airport Transit Hotel

Aerotel - Airport Transit Hotel

Reviewed on 9 Dec 2023

GLOBALSTAY. New Apartments in Muscat Bay

GLOBALSTAY. New Apartments in Muscat Bay

Muscat beach holiday.

Chill out on the shore and feel the salty sea air on your skin during your Muscat holiday. If you're visiting for the first time, why not hunt for some colourful seashells as a memento of your trip to Muscat? Base yourself near Qantab Beach, a popular strip of coast only 16 miles from the town centre. We also have value-for-money Muscat holiday deals closer to Qurum Beach, another excellent nearby option.

Things You Should Know About Muscat

  • If your idea of a perfect holiday is fresh sea air and sparking water views, check out our Muscat beach hotels . You're sure to forget the hassles of daily life at these perfectly located retreats.
  • Alternatively, browse our range of hotels. They're popular with travellers planning a holiday in Muscat. Start your search with Grand Millennium Muscat and Kempinski Hotel Muscat .
  • Don't forget to visit our Muscat things to do page for some trip planning inspiration. With a population of roughly 797,000 in Muscat, we're sure there'll be one or two locals who'll be pleased to offer you some extra advice!
  • If you're looking for things to do while you're in town, add Qantab Beach, Port Sultan Qaboos and Muttrah Souq to your travel schedule. Also, be sure to look into our Muscat holiday deals to get great deals on your hotels and experiences.

Muscat Essential Information

Our guide on where to stay in muscat.

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Al Khuwair is popular for its ample dining options, and you might make a stop by Oman Natural History Museum, a top place to visit in the area.

Muscat which includes a coastal town

Azaiba is well liked for its restaurants, and you can visit sights like Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque and Oman Avenues Mall if you have time to explore the area.

Muttrah Souq showing signage

Unique features of Muttrah include the shopping and restaurants. Make a stop by Muttrah Souq or Muttrah Corniche while you're exploring the area.

Shatti Al Qurum featuring general coastal views, a coastal town and a beach

Shati Al Qurum

Spend some time in a wealthy Muscat seaside neighborhood that is known for its elegant homes, picturesque beach and independent boutiques.

Shopping and restaurants are notable features of Ruwi. You might consider stopping by Sultan's Armed Forces Museum while you're exploring the neighbourhood.

Our pick of the best Muscat Hotel Deals

Platinum Hotel

Reviewed on 5 Apr 2024

Crowne Plaza Muscat, an IHG Hotel

Reviewed on 31 Mar 2024

The Chedi Muscat

Reviewed on 15 Feb 2024

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Discover the most popular places to visit in Muscat

Muttrah souq.

This ancient marketplace today features winding alleys of stalls selling antiques, traditional fabrics, aromatic spices and fresh produce.

Muttrah Corniche

Explore the great outdoors at Muttrah Corniche, a lovely green space in Muscat. Stroll along the beautiful beaches or attend a sporting event in this culturally rich area.

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

Muscat’s main mosque is lavishly decorated with elaborate carvings, one of the world’s largest Persian carpets and colorful hibiscus flowers.

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Holidays in Muscat

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  • There are loads of types of holidays in Muscat and the cost will depend on what type of trip you’re taking and for how long you’d like to stay. Here are the latest prices for a 3 night trip for 2 travellers: Top holiday £396; Family holiday £343; Romantic holiday £594; Luxury holiday £552; Budget holiday £227.

Planning Muscat holidays

Reaching Muscat is simple and can take as little as 9 hours on a direct flight from London Heathrow to Muscat. The best time to plan Muscat holidays would be between October and March, when the temperatures are relatively mild (between 15°C and 30°C). Maxi taxis and rent-a-car services are easily available to tour the city.

Must-sees in Muscat

Muscat holidays have something for everyone, from art to adventure. History lovers can visit the Al Jalali Fort and the Al Mirani Fort, which were built in 1580 to serve as prisons. While visitors are not allowed to enter these forts, one can take pictures from the outside. While at Muscat one must visit the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, the world’s third largest mosque, which houses the world renowned Swarovski crystal chandelier and a large hand-made Persian carpet. In the region visitors can also watch camel racing at specially built racetracks.

Muscat's nature

The large coastline of Muscat makes for a perfect escape. Here travellers can go scuba diving, snorkelling or swimming. One can also watch turtles on the protected beaches from Ras Al Hadd to Masirah Island. Qurum National Park, with its waterfall, rose gardens and amusement park is a popular attraction among families. For an impressive day trip, the Wadi Shab, with its emerald green pools and mystic caves, are sure to leave travellers spellbound.

Where to stay in Muscat

Muscat holiday information.

THE 10 BEST Hotels in Muscat

muscat holiday trip

Muscat Hotels

Property types, distance from, traveller rating, hotel class, popular hotels in muscat right now.

muscat holiday trip

  • Best Value Properties ranked using exclusive Tripadvisor data, including traveller ratings, confirmed availability from our partners, prices, booking popularity and location, as well as personal user preferences and recently viewed hotels.
  • Traveller Ranked Highest rated hotels on Tripadvisor, based on traveller reviews.
  • Distance to city centre See properties located closest to the centre first with confirmed availability for your dates from our partners

 Pool

1. Kempinski Hotel Muscat

Director Q

2. The Chedi Muscat

Pearl P

3. Royal Tulip Muscat

Adam

4. JW Marriott Hotel Muscat

Abeer M

5. InterContinental Muscat, an IHG Hotel

TAREQ A

6. Hormuz Grand Muscat, A Radisson Collection Hotel

Amira A

7. Mysk Al Mouj Muscat

Tariq A

8. Ramada Encore by Wyndham Muscat Al-Ghubra

rabah

9. Swiss-Belinn Muscat

Iqbal Hossain

10. W Muscat

El M

11. Crowne Plaza Muscat, an IHG Hotel

smkhanmd

12. Al Bustan Palace A Ritz-Carlton Hotel

Table for 4

13. ibis Muscat Hotel

John R

14. Sheraton Oman Hotel

Memob511

15. Crowne Plaza Muscat Ocec, an IHG Hotel

Auspac Em A

16. Fraser Suites Muscat

Koushik D

17. Grand Millennium Muscat

Saud A

18. Hilton Garden Inn Muscat Al Khuwair

Dories E

19. Centara Muscat Hotel Oman

Hira A

20. Grand Hyatt Muscat

876colin

21. Aerotel Muscat

Paul B

22. Novotel Muscat Airport

Fatemeh F

23. The Platinum

mezaco

24. Radisson Blu Hotel Muscat

Shaza

25. Al Falaj Hotel

DR MOHAMMED ABOLMAGD

26. Al Hail Waves Hotel Managed by Centara

pitdro

27. City Seasons Hotel Muscat

charansaai

28. Citadines Al Ghubrah Muscat

Alaa K

29. Lana Villa

gill h

30. Golden Tulip Headington Ruwi

Krupa C

Muscat Hotels Information

Hotels near the sights.

muscat holiday trip

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muscat holiday trip

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Fusion Europe

11 Days / 10 Night

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14 Days Sensational Europe

14 days / 13 nights.

Guided city tour of Paris – Disneyland ® Paris (Up to 5 Hours) – Eiffel Tower (2nd level)

muscat holiday trip

Grand Bargain Tour with Orlando and Bahamas Cruise

18 Days / 17 Nights

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Absolute North

12 Days / 11 Night

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Turkey Tour

9 Days / 8 Nights

Feature packages.

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From Marrakesh to Tangier

07 Days / 06 Nights

Marrakesh is the fourth largest city in the Kingdom of Morocco. It is the capital of the mid-southwestern region of Marrakesh-Safi. <

Start From: 489 OMR

muscat holiday trip

France Mon Amour

France, in Western Europe, encompasses medieval cities, alpine villages and Mediterranean beaches.<

Start From: 385 OMR

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Amsterdam, Berlin and Prague

Visit the world-famous 17th century capital of Holland<

Start From: 322 OMR

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Roaming the United Kingdom

06 Days / 05 Nights

London is the capital and largest city of England and of the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England,<

Start From: 415 OMR

muscat holiday trip

Scandinavian Secrets

Oslo, the capital of Norway, sits on the country’s southern coast at the head of the Oslofjord.<

Start From: 295 OMR

Choose your holiday package.

muscat holiday trip

09 Days / 08 Nights

Welcome to Iceland! Iceland is a land of vivid contrasts of climate, geography, and culture

Starts From: OMR 1125

muscat holiday trip

05 Days / 04 Nights

Welcome to Reykjavik. Private transfers from Keflavik airport – hotel. Explore the vibrant city centre at you own pace - Walk through the main downtown area that offers a variety of shops, museums and galleries. Walk on to the Laugavegur the main street of Reykjavik offering excellent restaurants and cafés, bars and clubs for nightlife. Overnight Reykjavik.

Starts From: OMR 325

muscat holiday trip

Best of Croatia (From Zagreb to Dubrovnik) Self Drive

11 Days / 10 Nights

Choose this self-drive tour and spend eleven days exploring the breathtaking beauty of Croatian landscape. Start in Zagreb, the charming capital of Croatia, then continue to Opatija, and admire the glamour of fragrant botanical gardens, parks and coloured villas of this sea side resort of Austro-Hungarian period. Plitvice Lakes National Park is a must-see natural phenomenon with astonishing waterfalls and 16 connected lakes, and Zadar and Split will capture your interest by the unique culinary and laid back atmosphere. End the journey with a remarkable visit of Dubrovnik, another Croatian treasure characterized by spectacular architecture, intense art, and cultural opulence.

Starts From: OMR 460

muscat holiday trip

Morocco Route of 1000 Kasbahs Self Drive

Cross the majestic High Atlas and explore Morocco’s great south on this fascinating 9-day adventure. Spend a night in a tent camp at the foot of the Merzouga dunes and see the sun rise and set over the desert landscape. On this journey you will also visit some of Morocco’s most iconic cities, like Marrakech, Erfoud or Ouarzazate. Come discover the true essence of Morocco.

Starts From: OMR 295

muscat holiday trip

SPAIN Down South Self Drive

08 Days / 07 Nights

The passion, romance, mystique, beauty and history of Spain are nowhere more evident than in ancient Andalusia, the vast southern region whose name has become a byword for Spanish culture. Over eight fascinating days you will discover the cultural riches of Andalusia, from Phoenician times through the Roman, Muslim, Jewish and Christian periods. Visit spellbinding world heritage sights such as the Alcazar and cathedral in Seville, the Great Mosque of Cordoba and contemplate great views of the Alhambra in Granada.

Starts From: OMR 305

Group packages, starts from: omr 489, starts from: omr 385, starts from: omr 322, starts from: omr 415.

With the rise of International leisure travel in Oman and recognizing the growing need for a dedicated entity for International Holidays, Zahara Holidays was launched in 2000. Having tied ups with industry leader such as Cox and Kings, Trafalgar, Globus and Cosmos the company now offer a vast range of international holiday options for every type of traveller. Now the company has expanded to make its presence known in all aspects of holiday planning from visa facilitation to travel insurance and car hires.

muscat holiday trip

Holiday Inn Muscat al Seeb, an IHG Hotel

Hotel Exterior

View prices for your travel dates

muscat holiday trip

  • Excellent 779
  • Very Good 337
  • All languages ( 1,200 )
  • English ( 1,063 )
  • Arabic ( 66 )
  • Italian ( 23 )

muscat holiday trip

" the pool and kids club "

muscat holiday trip

" Nice breakfast "

muscat holiday trip

" This is a perfect business hotel for everyone "

muscat holiday trip

" Nice peaceful bar "

muscat holiday trip

" Perfect "

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HOLIDAY INN MUSCAT AL SEEB, AN IHG HOTEL $54 ($̶6̶4̶) - Updated 2024 Prices & Reviews - Oman

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Muscat Tour Packages

Muscat Tour Packages

Are you planning a holiday in Muscat? Get the best Muscat tour package and discover every highlight of the city. With an abundance of adventure and natural wonder, the city is surely one of the most famous holiday destinations. Muscat has a diverse beauty and is called the multipoint of culture as people from all walks of life visit the city to discover its enticing beauty and heritage. There are beaches, old markets, malls, and heritage sites, you can explore while spending the best holiday in Oman.

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Showing 37 Muscat Holidays Packages

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Salalah 4 Nights 5 Days Muscat Oman Family Tour Package

Salalah 4 Nights 5 Days Muscat Oman Family Tour Package

Explore the captivating beauty of Oman with our Salalah 4 nights 5 days Muscat Oman family tour package. Immerse yourself in the rich culture and pristine landscapes of this Arabian gem. From the serene beaches of Salalah to the historical treasures of Muscat, create unforgettable memories with your loved ones. Join us on this extraordinary journey through Oman's wonders. 

Best Oman 6 Nights 7 Days Salalah Muscat Tour Packages

Best Oman 6 Nights 7 Days Salalah Muscat Tour Package

Enjoy a voyage that mixes Salalah's scenic beauty with Muscat's cultural diversity as you immerse yourself in Oman's treasures. This travel package is made up of beautiful forts, big mosques, and idyllic beaches that will leave you with lifelong memories.

Enchanting 5 Days 4 Nights Wahiba Oman Budget Tour Package

Enchanting 5 Days 4 Nights Wahiba Oman Budget Tour Package

Discover the allure of the breathtaking Wahiba Sands in Oman with our enchanting 5 days 4 nights Wahiba Oman budget tour package . Immerse yourself in the mesmerizing dunes and ancient culture, where adventure and relaxation coexist in perfect harmony. Let us take you on a journey through this enchanting desert and experience the magic of Wahiba like never before.

6 Days MUSCAT- KHASAB Tour Package

6 Days MUSCAT - KHASAB Tour Package

The Arabian gem, filled with the beaten track like adventure, Muscat is home to some of the most breathtaking palaces, bazaars and white sandy beaches. Speaking of some of the stunning places, people should discover Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Mutrah Corniche, The Royal Opera House, Wadi Bani Khalid, Mutrah Fort, Yeti Beach, Qurum Beach, Bait Al-Zubair, Mutrah Souq, Al Alam Palace, Qurum Natural Park, Al Mirani Fort and Muscat Gate Museum.

2 Nights 3 Days Salalah Muscat Oman Family Tour Package

2 Nights 3 Days Salalah Muscat Oman Family Tour Package

Discover the breathtaking beauty of Oman's hidden gems on our 2 nights 3 days Salalah Muscat Oman family tour package . Immerse your family in a journey of cultural exploration and natural wonder, as you traverse the landscapes of Salalah and Muscat. From serene beaches to historic forts, this adventure promises unforgettable moments for your loved ones. 

5 Nights 6 Days Salalah Muscat Tour Package

5 Nights 6 Days Salalah Muscat Tour Package

Go through Salalah and Muscat on an exquisite journey! Take time to explore Oman's fascinating history, stunning vistas, and dynamic culture. See the best of both worlds in this alluring travel package, from Salalah's beautiful beaches to Muscat's architectural masterpieces.

4 Nights 5 Days Muscat Tour Package

4 Nights 5 Days Muscat Tour Package

Muscat is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and is becoming a famous tourist hotspot. This charming city in Oman is brimmed with alluring mosques, fascinating souks, attractive Wadis, and much more. It's also famous for magnificent mountains, traditional culture and heritage making this one of the most attractive places to experience. Avail yourself of the 4 nights 5 days Muscat tour package  to explore all the mesmerizing destinations and spend a quality time with your family and friends. Delve into the historical museums, scenic beauties, and traditional Omani hospitality for an amazing holiday retreat.

Excerpt of Muscat 1 Night 2 Days Oman Family Tour Package

Excerpt of Muscat 1 Night 2 Days Oman Family Tour Package

Welcome to the enchanting city of Muscat, Oman! Embark on an excerpt of Muscat 1 night 2 days Oman family tour package that will take you on a memorable journey through this captivating destination. From exploring historical landmarks to immersing yourself in the rich culture, Muscat has something to offer for everyone. Get ready to create unforgettable memories with your loved ones as you discover the hidden gems of this vibrant city.

5 Nights 6 Days Muscat Tour Package

5 Nights 6 Days Muscat Tour Package

Nestled on the Gulf of Oman, Muscat is a hub for cruise ships and starting point for desert drives and much more.  Tourists thinking of availing the 5- night 6 days Muscat tour package will be in for a complete surprise. Tourists can go on desert safaris and mountain adventures. Muscat offers tourists a glimpse of the Omani heritage, culture and lifestyle.

3 Days Muscat Weekend Getaway Package

3 Days Muscat Weekend Getaway Package

Served as an important trading link between the east and west, Muscat is still a major stop for cruises and trade vessels. Retaining its old charm with new structures having Arabian details, Muscat is without a doubt a one stop tourist destination. Home to some of the stunning blue beaches and watersports, tourists should take advantage of the 3 days Muscat weekend getaway.

Best Selling 3 Nights 4 Days Salalah and Muscat Tour Package

Best Selling 3 Nights 4 Days Salalah and Muscat Tour Package

Unveil the treasures of Salalah and Muscat with our best-selling 3 nights 4 days Salalah and Muscat tour package. Immerse yourself in the alluring beauty of Salalah's lush landscapes, pristine beaches, and historical wonders. Experience the vibrant culture, rich heritage, and warm hospitality of Muscat, Oman's capital city. Get ready for an unforgettable journey filled with captivating sights, authentic experiences, and cherished memories. 

Fascinating 6 Days 5 Nights Muscat Tour Package

Fascinating 6 Days 5 Nights Muscat Tour Package

Discover the captivating charm of Muscat as you take this fascinating 6 days 5 nights Muscat tour package through Oman's cultural gem. Delve into the heart of this ancient city and immerse yourself in its rich history, vibrant souks, and breathtaking landscapes. With carefully curated experiences and luxurious accommodations, this tour promises to be an extraordinary adventure that will leave you enchanted and inspired. 

2 Night 3 Days Muscat City Tour Package

2 Night 3 Days Muscat City Tour Package

Are you planning to visit Muscat? Are you wondering how to spend a couple of days in the country? The country has a lot in store for its tourists. Tourists can tuck into some of the finest Omani cuisines or be blown away by the beauty of the Grand Mosque. Hence, when planning a vacation, people should make use of the 2 night 3 days Muscat city tour package.  

3 days Muscat Short Tour Package

3 days Muscat Short Tour Package

The popular tourist destination, Muscat, is home to several adventures and natural wonders. Some of the stunning attractions tourists should explore on their 3 days Muscat short Tour Package include beaches, hills and handpicked heritage sites. Tourists will be awe struck by the sandy shores and lush green beauty and the warm Omani hospitality and beauty.

Fascinating 5 Nights 6 Days Muscat and Salalah Tour Package

Fascinating 5 Nights 6 Days Muscat and Salalah Tour Package

Experience the Enchanting Muscat and Salalah Unveil the captivating wonders of Oman on our fascinating 5 nights 6 days Muscat and Salalah tour package . Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage, breathtaking landscapes, and warm hospitality that this extraordinary country has to offer. From the bustling streets of Muscat, with its grand mosques and vibrant souks, to the tranquil coastal charm of Salalah, where lush greenery meets pristine beaches, prepare to be captivated at every turn. 

Majestic Oman 4 Days 3 Nights Tour Package

Majestic Oman 4 Days 3 Nights Tour Package

Be ready to witness the stunning desert landscapes, glorious mountain ranges, historic forts, and pleasant beaches, then Oman should be added to your next getaway list with a majestic Oman 4 days 3 nights tour package ! At the edge of the Arabian Peninsula lies the Sultanate of Oman, an exciting destination full of impressive cities and top tourist destinations that await adventure seekers from around the world. 

Wonderful Muscat Wahiba Jabal Akhdar 6 Days 5 Nights Oman Budget Tour Package

Wonderful Muscat Wahiba Jabal Akhdar 6 Days 5 Nights Oman Budget Tour Package

Unveil the allure of Muscat, Wahiba Sands, and Jabal Akhdar with our wonderful Muscat Wahiba Jabal Akhdar 6 days 5 nights Oman budget tour package . Immerse yourself in Oman's rich culture and stunning landscapes as you embark on an unforgettable journey through the heart of the Arabian Peninsula. Join us to experience the magic of Oman's natural beauty and heritage like never before.

6 Nights 7 Days Oman Highlights Tour Package

6 Nights 7 Days Oman Highlights Tour Package

The Arab country nestled on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, Oman is home to some of the most stunning landscapes and scenery. Unlike any other country on the Gulf coast, tourists are awestruck by the beauty of the emerald beaches, the rich Arab history in the ancient forts, the lush green mountains, unique wildlife and endless deserts. The 6 night 7 days highlights of Oman has much more in store for its tourists.

Best Selling 6 Days 5 Nights Muscat and Salalah Tour Package

Best Selling 6 Days 5 Nights Muscat and Salalah Tour Package

Embark on an unforgettable journey through Oman's breathtaking landscapes with our best-selling 6 days 5 nights Muscat and Salalah tour package. Immerse yourself in the rich culture and heritage of these enchanting cities as you discover hidden gems and experience the true essence of Oman. Get ready to witness the majestic beauty of Muscat and Salalah as we take you on a remarkable adventure that will leave you with lifelong memories. 

Affordable 4 Nights 5 Days Muscat and Salalah Tour Package

Affordable 4 Nights 5 Days Muscat and Salalah Tour Package

Experience the Best of affordable 4 nights 5 days Muscat and Salalah tour package ! Discover the wonders of Oman with our affordable tour package, designed to showcase the enchanting cities of Muscat and Salalah. Immerse yourself in the rich culture, breathtaking landscapes, and warm hospitality of this Arabian gem. From historic landmarks to pristine beaches, this journey promises an unforgettable adventure. Join us for a remarkable trip that combines affordability with exceptional experiences. 

Plan your Muscat tour and discover the rich beauty of this capital city in Oman. Muscat holiday packages include the best sightseeing and activities one can enjoy. The city is blessed with the most dramatic and artistic landscape, making the city a living paradise. Muscat is known for the diversity of culture and myriad of attractions where one can admire nature, man-made marvels, and some ancient sites. The valleys, beaches, galleries and museums, old souks, and malls are the top places you can visit on your holiday in Muscat.

Best Time To Visit Muscat: November to February       

Major Airports In Muscat: Muscat International Airport  

Things to Do and See on Muscat (Oman) Tour

1. yitti beach.

One of the best places for your Oman tour packages , Yitti beach is famous for its secluded beauty. The beach Is blessed with the untouched beauty of nature and the soft sands and the clear waters make it the perfect spot to spend a leisurely evening. You can try activities like swimming or an overnight camp stay with the best Muscat packages .

2. City Center Muscat

Do not miss out shopping on your Muscat tour package. City Center Muscat is the best place to shop and is home to more than 142 global brands. There are fashion shops and trending accessories outlets to match your style statement. Apart from shopping, there are cafes and entertainment centers offering you a perfect day at leisure.   

3. Mutrah Souq

Mutrah Souq is a must-visit attraction for Muscat holidays packages . This is the oldest Souq in Muscat, Mutrah Souq where you can find Arabian art and handicrafts, pieces of jewelry, pottery, textiles, and more. As you will Stroll through the market you will find a myriad of elements defining the rich art of Oman. This marketplace was once used by the Omanis in the 60s to trade and get a regular supply of required goods.  

4. Grand Mosque Muscat

Grand Mosque Muscat is the biggest mosque spreading to an area of 4,16,000 square meters. To discover the beauty of Islamic art and culture; this is the best place to add to your Muscat tour packages. The contemporary architecture exhibits the rich traditional Omani designs and the interiors boast chandeliers and carpet, white marble with fine mosaic patterns, and more.  

5. Mutrah Corniche

Mutrah Corniche is famed for its picturesque landscape and Muscat Skyline and is a must-see place for your Muscat tour. The Corniche is a three-kilometer-long stretch of waterfront with a lot of cafes and restaurants. Enjoy the delectable flavors of the cuisines while admiring the tranquil vista of the beachfront. You can go on a ferry ride or have a family supper at one of the eateries located near the corniche.  

How to Travel in Muscat?

Via Air: Muscat international airport is the only international getaway to reach Oman and Muscat.  

Via Land: There is a land connectivity from UAE and Yemen, making it easier to drive and reach the city within a limited time. 

Muscat Holiday Travel Tips:

  • Plan your holiday between December to March for the best experience  
  • Public transport is largely non-existent.  
  • One Must dress modestly  
  • Muscat has the best malls in Oman  
  • You will find diversity in food  

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Discovering an Omani Paradise

Muscat, the capital, offers opulent culture, but it is the mountains and the sea that bedazzle.

A view from the dry, brown hills down to the deep blue sea in Oman.

By David Belcher

Reporting from Muscat, Oman

High in the mountains of Oman and along its pounding shoreline, I stumbled onto an unexpected slice of heaven thanks to a friend’s recommendation. I even sprang for a few extra amenities for a mash-up of pauper meets paradise.

I first visited Oman in 2018 after regularly making one- or -two-day stopovers in Abu Dhabi, Dubai or Qatar to break up long flights between Europe and Asia. And although it is about a one-hour flight from those bustling and scorching cities, Oman can feel almost removed from time, whether you are in the Hajar Mountains that cut a swath across the country’s northern edge or dipping into the roiling waves of the Arabian Sea farther south.

I had read about the country’s wild and often empty coastline that stretches nearly 2,000 miles, but mountain hiking in the Gulf region was a new experience for me. What I discovered was a cinematic, “Dune”-like landscape of deserts, mountains and rugged canyons punctuated by centuries-old terrace farming. The scenery then plunged into the vast wasteland of the Rub’ al-Khali desert (“the empty quarter” in Arabic) and rivaled anything I’d ever seen.

Bordered by Yemen, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, this country of nearly 4.7 million was transformed over the decades by Sultan Qaboos bin Said , who died in 2020. He had ousted his father in a bloodless coup, backed by the British, to embrace modernism — and scads of oil and natural gas deposits — in 1970.

The country has a fascinating maritime history — the Omani empire once stretched as far south as Zanzibar in the late 17th century — and a relaxed and accepting vibe rooted in Ibadism , which is often seen as a more moderate branch of Islam.

It has seemingly maintained political neutrality for decades , despite being situated in an at-times-volatile region. The northeastern tip of Oman is about 1,500 miles from Sana, the capital of Yemen. Salalah, nearer to Yemen in the south, is about 900 miles from the mouth of the Red Sea, a body of water in which attacks on cargo ships have been reported. (The U.S. State Department currently advises “increased caution” for travelers and Britain says “ travel advice for Oman could change at short notice .”)

And old-world charm lingers across Oman, especially high on Jabal Akhdar (loosely translated as “green mountain” in Arabic), one of the highest peaks in the Hajar range, 70 miles southwest of the capital, Muscat. Although these mostly limestone mountains are typically barren and beige, lush green farms inspired the name. (Imagine the rice terraces of Bali on the sides of bone-dry rocky canyons.) Snowfall in winter and the mist from clouds captured in the high peaks create precipitation, and the country’s intricate “aflaj” irrigation systems, thought to date to antiquity , maximize the impact of water in this forbidding landscape.

Local growers sell their garden bounty to residents as well as to resorts, including the Alila Jabal Akhdar , which says most of the food on its menu is grown on the property or purchased from terrace farmers.

At the Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar , perched atop a plateau at 6,500 feet above sea level, hikes or bike rides in the mountains and valleys are offered on organized tours. At an overlook called Diana’s Point, where Diana, Princess of Wales, once stood to stargaze, you can hear the Muslim call to prayer echoing from two villages several times a day.

Both resorts, with rooms starting around $500 to $600, offer guided walks to 400-year-old abandoned villages with breathtaking views across the emptiness of the rolling canyons.

Although I flew on a commercial airline to Oman, visitors on a bigger budget than mine have the option of paragliding in. The Six Senses Zighy Bay offers the option of a birdlike arrival from a nearby mountaintop on the last leg of a two-hour drive from Dubai International Airport.

Nestled among the canyons flanked by the turquoise waters that define Oman’s narrow, northernmost tip off the Strait of Hormuz, this resort has come to define Omani isolation in the most exclusive way, with rooms starting at about $1,500. (It’s known as a celebrity honeymoon getaway spot, including for Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra in 2018, and Lindsay Lohan spent part of her pregnancy there last year.)

Farther south, the virtually undeveloped Arabian Sea coastline attracts a big European crowd in winter, and in the summer Gulf residents flee the searing heat for the monsoons that drape this coastline in mist. The climate allows for miles of coconut palm trees and banana trees that serve as a sort of tropical backdrop to the never-crowded beaches.

Salalah, the main city on the southeastern tip of Oman, is home to several resorts, but its crown jewel is the Anantara Al Baleed with its sprawling beach and private villas with plunge pools, which will set you back about $650 a night. Regular rooms start at about $350 to $375. (About an hour’s drive east of Salalah, the Alila hotel group, a Hyatt luxury brand, has opened its second property in Oman , on the isolated Hinu Bay).

A visit to the Anantara Al Baleed in December offered a study in tourism meets local color. Four camels frolicked in the surf one day to the delight of a few of us splashing about in the water. Two days later, dozens of fishermen casting handmade nets caught thousands of sardines, hauling them on their backs from the unforgiving waves and onto trucks. The resort is adjacent to the Museum of the Frankincense Land, which offers a fascinating peek into the history of this coveted aromatic resin that was once as prized as gold.

Most trips to Oman, including mine, start in Muscat, which has its charms despite Dubai-like traffic and urban sprawl. My two-day stop included attending a performance at the Royal Opera House Muscat, which was a complete revelation to this lifelong opera fan. Tours of the venue are also available for about $7.50. Built in 2011, its layers of white stone and marble arabesque arches evoke a grand Middle Eastern citadel. In my black jeans, blazer and tie, I felt a bit frumpy rubbing elbows with perfectly coiffed men in traditional dishdashas (the white gownlike formal attire) and massars (the colorful embroidered cloth headdresses).

Even more opulent is the city’s lavish Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque with its 8.5-ton crystal chandelier and expansive carpet said to have taken four years to weave by hand. The mosque opened to all in 2001 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the sultan’s reign.

But I wanted to get out of the city and into the nature I had heard so much about. I booked a car and driver (for about $120) to take me three hours into the wild landscape the next day. It was like being transported to mountains on the moon, but in a luxurious four-wheel-drive vehicle on smoothly paved roads. My driver, Saud, navigated the meandering coastal highway past azure shorelines with massive rock formations jutting like islands out of the sea, eventually turning right for the steep road into the rugged Jabal Akhdar.

Saud told me that in his youth, he and his grandfather had traveled on camelback from their terrace gardens to Muscat twice a year to sell fruit, vegetables, garlic and roses. Theirs was a two-day journey, and along the way they snacked on pomegranate seeds. Now, some 50 years later, Saud drives tourists who want to hike across the empty canyons of his youth and enjoy the foods from these gardens in the sky.

That evening at dinner, my salad was sprinkled with pomegranate seeds. In the warmth of the cozy dining room of the Alila Jabal Akhdar, I thought of Saud and our drive to a slice of paradise. I’ll probably never paraglide into Oman, but I did feel like I had arrived on the wings of something fine.

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Muscat holidays

Muscat holiday packages.

With so much to see and do in this microcosm of Oman make sure you browse the selection of luxury hotels, holiday packages, activities and culinary tours Qatar Airways Holidays have to offer. The luxurious resorts that line the city’s sandy beaches are waiting to welcome you for a holiday of a lifetime.

Good to know

  • Time Zone GMT+4 hours
  • Languages Arabic, English
  • Dialing Code +968
  • Electricity 240V 50 Hz
  • Currency Omani riyal

Muscat holiday experiences

  • Many people come to Muscat to visit the Mutrah Corniche souq. Now under a roof, the souq still retains a lot of its old world Arab charm. Bargaining and haggling are expected, but don’t expect to save huge amounts. Cards are accepted at most shops, but cash is better for deals. Getting lost in the souq is part of the fun. If you can, try and find the Aladdin’s cave of beads and the Al Ahli coffee shop, which is famous for its fresh juices.
  • The Grand Mosque was a gift to Oman from the Sultan Qaboos to mark his 30th anniversary. The resplendent building is a brilliant example of modern Islamic architecture. The main prayer hall is home to the second-largest hand-loomed Iranian carpet in the world. The carpet measures 70m by 60m and took 600 women four years to make it. You can visit the mosque and see the exquisite decorations and the complex carpet, but visitors are asked to dress appropriately, with women respectfully requested to cover their hair.
  • A dolphin watching tour is a great way to see these creatures in their natural habitat, but also gives you a chance to admire the rugged coastline of Muscat. Dolphin species found off the coast of Muscat include Spinner, Common and Bottle Nose. The rich sea attracts many shoals of fish, making it the perfect hunting ground for Sperm Whales.
  • The Royal Opera House opened in 2011 to international acclaim. It was built by the same architects who completed the Grand Mosque and the understated marble exterior protects the glorious interior. Even if you are not intending to see a show, it is worth taking in the beauty of this building.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Property Description

  • Opened: 1998
  • Renovated: 2008
  • Number of Rooms: 73

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Oman announces Eid Al Fitr 2024 holiday for public and private sectors

Oman sets work resumption for April 14 following celebrations

Stock Oman Muscat skyline

Dubai: Oman has officially announced the Eid Al Fitr holiday dates for both the public and private sectors. Celebrations are set to begin on Tuesday, Ramadan 29, 1445 AH, falling on April 9, 2024, and will extend until Saturday, April 13, 2024.

Work will resume on Sunday, April 14, 2024, adhering to Oman’s Sunday to Thursday workweek.

According to the Ministry of Labour, employers could arrange for employees to work during this holiday period if necessary, provided that they offer suitable compensation for the holiday work.

Astronomical data suggest a high probability that Eid Al Fitr will be observed on Wednesday, April 10, 2024, according to Abdulwahab al Busaidy, Head of the Observatory at the Oman Astronomical Society.

This prediction, based on the expected visibility of the crescent moon shortly after sunset on April 9, is consistent with observations and expectations in neighbouring and other Islamic countries. Al Busaidy expected that most Muslim countries would mark Eid Al Fitr on April 10.

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COMMENTS

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    Oman itinerary 4 days - based in Muscat. If you are lucky enough to have a little more time, I recommend alternating days in the city and day trips. Day 1 - Grand Mosque and Hike. Day 2 - day trip to Wadi Shab. Day 3 - Mutrah Souq and boat tour. Day 4 day trip Wahiba Sands or to some forts depending on your interests.

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    In this post, we explore some of the top places to go in Muscat, with a suggested 3-Day Muscat itinerary that takes in the historic old city, the bustling port town of Mutrah, the beautiful Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, and sunset aboard a traditional dhow boat. Understated though it might be, Muscat is a great place to 'meet' Oman, and get a ...

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  21. In Muscat and Beyond, an Omani Paradise

    April 3, 2024. High in the mountains of Oman and along its pounding shoreline, I stumbled onto an unexpected slice of heaven thanks to a friend's recommendation. I even sprang for a few extra ...

  22. Oman Holidays 2024 / 2025

    Best time to go to Oman. The best time to visit Oman is between October and April, when the mercury flutters between 20°C and 30°C. From May to July, meanwhile, you might see the temperature max out in the mid-30s. In the south of Oman - around the port city of Salalah - the region's only monsoon season is known to last from June to ...

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  24. Hotel Muscat Holiday,Muscat

    With a stay at Hotel Muscat Holiday, you'll be centrally located in Muscat, within a 15-minute drive of Muttrah Souq and Oman Avenues Mall. This family-friendly hotel is 0.9 mi (1.5 km) from Muscat Grand Mall and 1.7 mi (2.7 km) from Panorama Mall.

  25. Oman announces Eid Al Fitr 2024 holiday for public and private sectors

    The Eid Al Fitr holidays in Oman will begin on Tuesday, April 9, 2024. Image Credit: Shutterstock. Dubai: Oman has officially announced the Eid Al Fitr holiday dates for both the public and ...