Muscat is Oman’s capital and largest city, rich in history and culture. Museums and mosques are part of the landscape and one may choose to go this route while on tour. There’s more to this city than this, though. Geographically, Muscat is an active traveller’s paradise, with mountains on one side and the ocean on the other. Pack your climbing boots and swimwear and take a look at what Muscat can offer you with this list of the 8 best things to do in the city.
Prior to immersing yourself in the natural wonders of Muscat, take some time to explore the richness of the city’s culture by joining this half-day city tour. Together with an expert city guide, marvel at the Islamic architecture at the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, which is the Sultanate of Oman’s main mosque. Don’t miss the chandelier above the praying hall.
Continue on a walking tour of Muscat’s Old Town and explore the Portuguese forts, as well as the palace of HM Sultan Qaboos. Delve into Muscat’s history and culture in the Bait Al Zubair Museum, which houses one of the largest collections of heritage art in the country. Please note that ladies should wear loose long trousers or long skirts, long sleeves and a headscarf. Gentlemen should avoid wearing shorts.
Muscat: Half-Day City Sightseeing Tour & Grand Mosque Visit
Duration: 4 hour
Soak up the sun and get close to some of nature’s most wonderful creatures, as you go on this dolphin watching tour in the Gulf of Oman. Board a boat with your group and sail to dolphin viewing locations. Sightings are not guaranteed but possibilities are high that you will encounter wild pods of bottlenose dolphins, common dolphins and spinner dolphins. Humpback whales and false killer whales also visit these waters, though rarely.
If this isn’t enough for you, the boat will steer you to a bay where you can enjoy underwater majesty via snorkelling. Don’t forget to listen to the safety guidelines and use the equipment properly. Explore the coral reefs, swim with the colourful tropical fish, and frolic with the occasional passing sea turtle.
Gulf of Oman dolphin watching tour
Price: from 114.29 USD
If you happen to be a history and architecture buff, as well as an outdoor person, a trip to Nizwa Fort will be right up your alley. From Muscat, take a private 4x4 safari tour to Nizwa to visit the famous 17th-century fort. The imposing structure is an astounding example of Omani architecture in ancient times. The oldest part of the fort can be dated as far back as the 9th century.
Exhibits and artefacts are on display in the rooms within the fort. Visitors can also purchase souvenirs in the gift shop. After that, continue to the nearby souk for some Bedouin jewellery and goods. Then, head over to Al Hamra, a 400-year-old town and one of the last loam villages in Oman. From here, climb the highest mountain in Oman, Mount Shams, which is dubbed “the Grand Canyon of Oman.”
Private 4x4 Safari - The Mountain of the Sun
Duration: 9 hours
A wadi traditionally refers to a valley, usually dry but one that fills up with water during times of heavy rain. The Wadi Dayqah Dam was built in such a wadi and it is special in that it is full of water, year round. About 120 wadis converge here and it is considered a top destination as it is one of the easiest wadis to reach.
The dam itself is an architectural wonder and is the highest in the country. Go on a tour to this dam and the surrounding local wadis and witness firsthand the splendour of a natural oasis.
Wadi Dayqah Dam
Price: 395 USD per group of up to 4
The natural grandeur of Oman doesn’t stop here. Hop on a 4x4 and head to the Nakhl Fortress and Nakhl oasis. Nakhl Fort is the most noteworthy of Oman’s fortresses as it stands on top of a slope. Inside, you will find a museum which has an exhibit on historic guns. The fort also hosts a weekly goat market. Enjoy a picnic in the shade of the numerous date palms that surround the Nakhl Oasis.
A few kilometres from the fort, you can find the Al Thowarah Hot Springs. Don’t be alarmed, as the pools are not boiling hot but are actually pleasantly warm. Should you wish to take a dip, a t-shirt for the ladies to cover up with is recommended.
Private 4x4 Wadi Safari - An Encounter with Nature
Duration: 9 hours
Jabal Akhdar (or “the Green Mountains”) is part of the Al Hajar Mountain Range and one of Oman’s most spectacular tourist destinations. Jabal Akhdar forms the central part of the mountain range and is the highest point in Oman. A day trip here will let you discover the richness of the land as terraced orchards of pomegranates, walnuts, apricots, black grapes and peaches dot the landscape.
9-Hour Jabal Akhdar Green Mountains Tour
Duration: 9 hours
You’re not quite done with Muscat yet if you haven’t gone on a guided night tour of the city. Enjoy a serene night tour of the city with an experienced guide and prepare to see Muscat in a different way. If you thought the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is breathtaking, wait until you see it at night, fully illuminated, along with the forts of Mirani and Jalali and Al Alam Palace. Wind the evening down, enjoy dinner and admire the city drenched in ethereal light.
Muscat Guided Night Tour
Duration: 4 hours
Don't miss out on Muscat
Muscat is considered a beautiful jewel in Oman and rightfully so. Adorned with both natural and manmade wonders, you will not regret ever visiting. Whether you are an active traveller or prefer a slower pace, Muscat has everything covered for you.
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