Planning a Middle East vacation? Not sure where to visit? It is time to travel to Salalah, a beautiful city in Oman. Being the capital city of Dhofar province, Salalah is also the birthplace of Qaboos bin Said, the current Sultan of the country. In the past, the city was one of the main maritime hubs. There are various historical museums, mosques, old cities and beaches in Salalah. Read on to learn more about the best things to do in Salalah!
No visit to Salalah is complete without checking out its famous beach. If you like swimming, enjoying the sunset or taking in some fresh air, Al Mughsail Beach is the number one place you should go. It is popular among tourists and locals likewise. You can either book a tour or go to the beach by yourself. If you decide to book the tour, choose the Al Mughsail Beach and West Salalah Tour.
Enjoy what the city has to offer by visiting the majestic beach. From the beach, you will have a bird’s eye view of Salalah coastline, mountains nearby as well as the sea. Your tour guide will fetch you either from the port or your hotel. On the way, you will get to see the frankincense trees. They are of pleasant smell and worth taking pictures of too. Apart from the Al Mughsail Beach, your professional guide will also bring you to Fazayah Beach.
Al Mughsail Beach
Price: from 204.62 USD
Duration: Around 6 hours
2. Sultan Qaboos Mosque
This is another unique mosque in Oman. It is quite similar in name to that in Muscat but the one in Salalah is known as Sultan Qaboos Mosque, while the one in Muscat is Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. Always adhere to the dress code while visiting any mosques in Oman. You can either see the mosque from the outside or inside. Non-Muslims tourists and visitors can only visit Sultan Qaboos Mosque during non-prayer time.
Look at the picture above and the mosque’s amazing architecture will definitely attract you to come here. Bring along your camera. A picture is worth a thousand words and you can take one back home as a memento.
Sultan Qaboos Mosque
Address: An Nahdah St, Salalah, Oman
Visiting Hours: Monday-Thursday, Saturday-Sunday (8.30am-11am only), Friday (no visit is allowed)
Duration: About 4 hours
3. Museum of the Frankincense Land
This particular museum is rather strange by name. It is called Museum of the Frankincense Land. It sounds like Frankenstein but you will not see the creature here. Frankincense is aromatic resin mostly used in perfumes and incense. It is commonly found in the Middle East. If you are in Oman, you can actually buy frankincense from the markets.
Visit the museum to learn more about the history and uniqueness of frankincense. It is located in the center of a UNESCO World Heritage site. The entire museum is huge and if you decide to tour around the building, kindly plan your time wisely. There are two main halls in the museum. They are the Marine Hall and the Hall of History. Remember to take some snapshots of the museum from the outside. You can only see such building in this part of Oman.
Museum of the Frankincense Land
Address: As Sultan Qaboos Street, Salalah 211, Oman
Opening Hours: Sunday-Thursday (9am-9pm), Friday-Saturday (3pm-9pm)
Website: Museum of the Frankincense Land
4. Taqah Castle
If Nizwa is famous for its fort, Taqah also has its own castle. Although not as big as the one in Nizwa, you must visit this historical castle. Learn more about Taqah town and its history while you are here. Get ready to see various exhibits while walking around the castle. There is a craft shop as well as various historical paintings and kitchenware in Taqah Castle.
The castle has been fully restored with interactive video display and exhibits, so you need to visit this castle to understand more about the history and culture of the different eras.
Address: Taqah, Salalah 211, Oman
Opening Hours: Monday-Thursday, Saturday-Sunday (9am-4pm), Friday (8am-11am)
5. Salalah Gardens Mall
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
There are plenty of places to get your souvenirs apart from the flea markets and souvenir shops. You can also check out the items at a shopping mall. Salalah Gardens Mall is not only a large mall but it has everything under one roof. The architecture of the building is also superb so you need to snap a picture.
As the city’s only shopping mall, it is normally crowded with locals and tourists. You can also get Omani perfumes, antiques as well as jewelry from this mall. They are indeed items that are worth buying as souvenirs. Kids will like to go to the mall too as there is various entertainment at this place. Choose from a wide range of local, international and regional brands while you shop. If you are hungry or thirsty, there are many restaurants and cafes available at Salalah Gardens Mall. The fountain outside the mall is so beautiful especially at night so you should not miss it.
Salalah Gardens Mall
Address: Al Wadi street | à coté de Hypermarché Carrefour, Salalah 211, Oman
Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday (10am-1pm, 5pm-10pm)
Website: Salalah Gardens Mall
6. Teeq Cave and Tawi Ateer Sinkhole
Time to see the world’s largest sinkhole in Oman. You will not believe it until you see the extraordinary sinkhole. Tawi Ateer Sinkhole was not known to locals and tourists until 1997. During that year, a group of Slovenian explorers found this rare but unique sinkhole. It is not the only natural wonders in the city, as the Teeq Cave is also located near the top of the sinkhole.
There are a few entrances to the sinkhole and it is wise not to explore the cave or sinkhole by yourself due to its dangerous and rough terrain. You need to follow a professional guide if you plan to visit both the sinkhole and cave. Adventurers and nature lovers get ready for an exciting trip. The waterfalls nearby will also attract you to come to this place. The cave and sinkhole is not for everyone especially if you are afraid of heights.
Teeq Cave and Tawi Ateer Sinkhole
Address: Tawi Attair, Salalah 211, Oman
Duration: Around 1 hour
Website: Teeq Cave and Tawi Ateer Sinkhole
Another important landmark to visit is the old city of Sumhuram. The ruins are of major importance to Salalah and you need to see it for yourself. There is one particular tour you can book if you are keen to explore more of Salalah. You can visit both Mirbat and East Salalah by booking this tour. A local tour guide will fetch your from your hotel and you will head straight to Khowr Rawri to visit the ancient old city.
Apart from that, you will get to see the remains of the ancient port on your way. Stay alert and enjoy the exciting trip while on the move. Imagine what it was like during the ancient times, it will be a great experience for everyone while at the old city.
Sumhuram Old City
Address: 49 Sumhuram Street, Salalah 211, Oman
Price: from 270.98 USD
Duration: Around 8 hours
8. Sultan's Palace
Look at the picture above and you will want to be at the huge palace. The palace is a major attraction among locals and tourists due to its magnificent architecture. While in the city, drop by the Sultan’s Palace and walk around as well as take some memorable photos of yourself standing in front of the palace. Do take note that you can only see the palace from the outside as tourists and visitors are not allowed to enter the building.
Admire its minarets while you are here. Sultan’s Palace is strategically located in Salalah; it is just next to a marketplace.
Address: As Sultan Qaboos St., Salalah 211, Oman
Duration: About 2 hours
9. Al Forsan Horse Riding (Dhofar Waves Equestrian Club)
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
Salalah is definitely a great place for horse riding. Forget the camel rides for a moment. Head over to Dhofar Waves Equestrian Club and you can choose the horse that you want. There are different horses and ponies for all age groups be it kids, families, first-timers and professional horse riders. The good thing is you can enjoy the beautiful beach while riding the horse.
You will be surprised to see donkeys, goats, sheep and camels while at the farm. Do not be afraid with the horses as they are indeed tame and you just need to relax and have fun. Kindly refer to the website for the horse riding rates and how to book them. The rates differ according to the type of horse and level.
Al Forsan Horse Riding (Dhofar Waves Equestrian Club)
Address: Salalah 214, Oman
Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday (9am-7pm)
Duration: About 2 hours
Website: Al Forsan Horse Riding
10. Wadi Darbat
Before heading back to your hotel or accommodation, visit Wadi Darbat. It is more than just a river as the scenery in the surrounding areas is totally breathtaking. Look at the picture above as even the camels are also attracted to the river. The best way to enjoy the spectacular views is by boat ride. If you happen to be here during the monsoon season then you can see the beautiful waterfalls as well as the majestic highlands and hills in the surrounding area. Go get some fresh air while admiring the nature while you are here.
Website: Wadi Darbat
A city rich in history, culture and natural wonders
As popular as Muscat, Salalah is not just another alternative destination for tourists. Its natural wonders, history and culture are totally unique and ideal for all travelers be it locals or foreign tourists. This subtropical city is where you get to enjoy the charm of its river, mosque, castle, ancient city and many others. If you are looking for an off the beaten track destination, Salalah is the one for you.
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