Read about the Best things to do in Muscat city tour or best places to visit in Muscat, Oman.
Muscat is the largest and the capital city of the Sultanate of Oman and is blessed by a beautiful rugged brown mountainscape surrounding one side and the deep blue Gulf of Oman on the other side. This famous port city is associated with fascinating historical and cultural pasts.
List of Excellent Hotel stays in Muscat, Oman
- Chedi Muscat
- Ramada Qurum Beach Hotel
- Somerset Panorama
- Holiday INN Al Seeb
- Levatio Hotel and Fraser Suites
You will find 16th-century Portuguese hilltop forts, cliffs, fjords, and whitewashed houses clustered between the rugged mountains, arches, and deep blue sea as the prominent features of this city. These stunning sights form a beautiful skyline in Muscat. Experience Oman while reading about what to do in Muscat. In this post, I will list the best things to do on Muscat City Tour or read about the most important places to visit in Muscat.
Best Things To Do In Muscat City Tour | What to do in Muscat
SULTAN QABOOS GRAND MOSQUE
A modern Islamic-styled architecture, a marble-clad mosque with 50m domes is the most beautiful attraction of Muscat. The significant features of this mosque are stunning and rich interiors with a famous prayer carpet that used to be the largest single carpet but is now second in the world after the Grand Mosque of Abu Dhabi. The beautiful chandelier in the central dome is also the world’s second-largest chandelier, and this mosque can hold 20,000 worshippers.
ROYAL OPERA HOUSE MUSCAT
Muscat’s elegant, stunning and premier venue for music, arts & culture. Built-in Omani-styled contemporary architecture, this Opera can hold approximately 1100 people. It is one of the best things to do in Muscat city tour.
AL ALAM PALACE
A ceremonial residential palace of the Sultan of Oman located in old Muscat has rich exteriors of golden and greenish-blue. With a rich history of 200 years, this palace is surrounded by two Portuguese forts from the 16th century. This palace is not open for visitors for an inside tour, but you can enjoy the exteriors, and palatial gardens from the outside.
AL JALALI FORT
A Portuguese fort in Old Muscat harbor was built in 1580 to protect Oman from Ottoman forces. During the 20th century, this fort was used as a prison but is now transformed into a private museum. This fort is located less than a kilometer from Al Alam Palace.
The views from the fort are stunning and hence very popular on the Muscat city tour.
It is the most historical part of this city, with an ancient commercial center running to date. One of the most important ports of Oman, where you find the houses, buildings, and shops of traders/merchants from the 19th century. Evenings at Mutrah corniche are lovely with the backdrop of mountains, an ancient style of Arabic buildings with special lighting, lanterns styled street lights all along the blue sea.
Mutrah Corniche walk is one of the best things to do in Muscat with family.
The local name of this souq is Al Dhalam(which means darkness in Arabic), and is one of the oldest souqs in the Middle East or the Persian Gulf. The strategic location of Oman port between India and China plays a vital role in developing trade in this region. From ancient times, mostly all trades were made here; therefore, this area is a merchant or trader area.
Narrow streets with colorful shops are spread like a maze. So get lost in this fascinating maze and shop for beautiful Arabic-style items like Arabic oil-based perfumes known at Attar, readymade embroidered garments, spices, Omani silver articles and jewelry, Omani dagger known as Khanjar, embroidered traditional caps, clay pots, paintings, small wooden arches/doors, at very affordable prices.
AL MIRANI FORT
Overlooking the Sea of Oman, this fort forms a beautiful skyline of Muscat city. Built-in the 16th century by the Portuguese is located on a rocky hilltop. This fort played an important role in ending the Portuguese empire from Muscat in the 17th century. Not open for visitors for internal tours but can be admired externally.
BAIT AL BARANDA
Baranda means Veranda(balcony) is located beside Mutrah Souq in an old city area. It was the house of a famous merchant from the 19th century but now transformed into a private museum which depicts the geological information to the present day with the display of tectonic plate movement past 750 million years ago. It also includes the history of the Sultanate of Oman where you can the glimpse of rich Omani heritage and cultural items.
ENTRANCE FEE – Adults 1 OMR
Children – 0.5 OMR
THE CITY GATES
From the 16th century till the 1970s the gates of the walled city of Muscat were locked after sunset. Now the doors/gates are removed and preserved in the National Museum of Muscat, but arches are still at the threshold of old Muscat city and new Muscat city. These gates stand at the border of the old and new city, and through these arches, you pass from old to new or new to old.
OLD MUSCAT CITY
Located at the eastern tip of Muscat, you can see white houses in clusters on rugged brown mountainscapes. This exciting area forms a distinct Old Quarter of Muscat. This old quarter is bubbling with Arabian charm, 500 years old city walls, arches, forts, a maze of colorful streets, Arabic-styled houses & shops. Old Muscat city is one of the best places to visit in Muscat Oman.
It is one of the oldest Hindu temples in the Persian Gulf region. The Bhatia-Gujarati merchant community from Kutch settled in Oman many years back and built this temple. This temple was supposed to be made approximately 100 years ago with a well inside that never dries in the city.
AL QURUM BEACH
4 kilometers of the upscale beach in Oman is famous among water sports lovers. The tides are not very high, and the waves are small, so it is recommended to swim or bathe here. This white sandy beach with palm trees is one of the centers of attraction in modern Muscat. Here you will find many famous beach resorts and many international dine-in options.
AL QURUM NATIONAL PARK
The public garden and nature reserve of Muscat is liked by locals and tourists for picnicking.
There are also many exciting museums in Muscat – The National Museum, Bait Al Zubair Museum, Children’s Museum, National History Museum, Omani Museum, Sultan Armed Forced Museum, and many more.
As you may know, the OMAN is also called NORWAY OF GULF as there are many fjords in between the cliffs; there are many exciting day trips from Muscat which are recommended.
FIRST DAY TRIP FROM MUSCAT
Muscat – Nearby beaches – Fjords – Wadi (prominent in Oman) – Bimmah Sinkhole – Muscat. 4WD is preferred for this trip as there are many rough patches while going to Wadis(dry riverbed with an oasis of water). You can also book your full day coastal tour by 4 X 4 vehicle by clicking here.
Oman also has many sandstone castles, forts, and historical cities so go for the second-day trip to tour all these attractions.
SECOND DAY TRIP FROM MUSCAT
Muscat – Nizwa Fort with souq – Al Hoota Caves – Hajar mountains (Great Canyon of Oman) – Al Bahla Fort – Jibreen Castle – Muscat. You can drive on your own, and Google maps are always there to guide to reach these historic forts and castles. Or you can book full-day Nizwa tour with castles and forts by clicking here.
TIP – For these day trips, start early as they the roads are on mountainous slopes and for some attractions you have to go by rough patch so preferably go by 4 X 4 vehicle.
GENERAL INFORMATION – BEST THINGS TO DO IN MUSCAT CITY TOUR
- CURRENCY – Omani Rial (OMR)
- LANGUAGES – Arabic, Hindi, Urdu, and English (There is no language problem as English is widely accepted)
WHEN TO VISIT
OCTOBER TO APRIL
HOW TO TOUR IN MUSCAT CITY
HOW TO REACH
1.) Through International Airport at MUSCAT. Oman is very flexible for a Tourist Visa. Many nationalities get visas upon Arrival at International Airport, or you can get Omani Visa online by clicking this. OMAN AIR is the official air carrier of this region. Read my review of Oman Air Business Class Fly with Style.
2.) If you are self-driving from Dubai, then
- take UAE – HATTA border to reach Muscat. At the border, you will have to cross two checkpoints.
- First, you will exit the UAE checkpoint, and then after a few meters drive you will have to pass OMAN entry point.
- Here you have to get down from your vehicle and proceed to a small Immigration office where you get Omani Visa (for UAE Residents only). If you have already done with your online Omani visa, this process becomes simpler and a time saver.
- Keep your Car Insurance policy papers valid in Oman ready with you.
WHERE TO STAY – Best things to do in Muscat City tour
There are many luxury hotels or beach resorts where you can opt to stay. Also, far away from the city, there are many hilltop resorts too. This time I stayed in city center at Levatio Hotel and Fraser Suites.
There are more options like
Watch out 4 Day 3 Nights Oman road trip from Dubai
What to look out for special in this city – Watch the lantern-styled street lights of this city. The special lighting effect on mountains, forts, and street lights makes this city more beautiful. Also, arched passages or arches everywhere in the city makes it very unique.
General Guidelines –
- Do not offend the social customs of Oman and dress decently with not too much of skin showing.
- Protect flora and fauna. Don’t pollute the Falaj system, a major irrigation system of Oman.
- During monsoon, it can be misty, so carefully drive on sloppy hilly roads.
- Oman is very safe for solo travel and family travel. You can hire local guides, and tours, book taxis to tour around the Muscat.
I hope you loved reading about the best things to do in Muscat city tour, and now you all know some of the best places in Muscat, Oman.
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So, till then KEEP TRAVELING……………… KEEP EXPLORING……………………………………………………
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