Here Are The Best Things To Do In Muscat, Oman!
Muscat is one of the Middle East’s most under rated cities.
The United Arab Emirates- Dubai and Abu Dhabi – they get the hype, the news and the tourists in the region. Oman – just across the border – gets little attention, fewer tourists and less of the action, but that doesn’t mean it should be ignored; on the contrary, it’s fast becoming the alternative Arabian city to visit.
Much more laid back than its glitzy neighbours in the UAE, Muscat has beaches, miles of scenic coastline and a history and culture that is still being preserved. There’s an authentic Arabian feel to the Omani capital, from locals walking around in their national outfits to the traditional Dhow boats fishing on the ocean.
The time to visit Muscat is now, before the rest of the world wakes up and realises that this city is the next big destination in the Middle East, and to help you plan your travels to Oman, I’ve put together this list of the best things to do in Muscat!
The Best Things To Do In Muscat, Oman!
Take A Traditional Dhow Ship Cruise Along The Spectacular Muscat Coastline
One of the best things to do in Muscat is to take a traditional Dhow ship cruise along the capital’s long and spectacular coastline.
Muscat is a coastal city, a city where history and culture have been defined by the sea. The capital sprawls along miles and miles of coastline by the Arabian Sea, and traders and fishermen have for centuries called into port in Muscat.
The best place to begin to learn about Muscat is from the sea, where travellers would traditionally arrive into the city from.
Traditional Dhow Ships, fast wooden vessels which in days past would sail as far as Africa and India, today ply the coast, showing tourists the best view of the city, and a unique insight into the city’s history and sea faring culture.
Watch The Sunset Over Al Qurum Beach
Once you’ve admired the city’s grand coastline, Muscat’s coastal culture is best experienced in person at the Al Qurum Beach.
This long stretch of beach is the foreshore of the entire city, where extravagant, expensive hotels sit alongside poor kebab sellers on the white sands.
The best time to visit is sunset as the locals crowd the beaches, bathing in the surf, playing football on the beach and barbecuing in the car parks. At times it feels like the entire city of Muscat is out enjoying the sands and life at Al Qurum, and perhaps they are, for it is certainly the best place in the city to experience life on the coast.
Stroll Along The Muttrah Corniche
Muttrah is the heart of Muscat. It’s one of the city’s oldest areas, where old forts tower above the skyline and ships call in to port.
The Muttrah Corniche is a boulevard that stretches from the harbour to the mountains. In the cooler hours of the day the Corniche is alive with city goers enjoying the sea breeze, fishing, walking and enjoying the views.
Take a stroll along the length of the Muttrah Corniche, observing city life and Omani culture on the sea front while experiencing the real epicentre of the old, and modern city.
Get Lost In The Muscat Souq
Along the Muttrah Corniche is the busy and bustling Muscat Souq, a vibrant market place where traders have been haggling and bartering for centuries. The old market is a maze of alleys and walkways, and it’s easy to get lost and perhaps even encouraged to get lost in this labyrinth of local shops.
The real fun is haggling with the local shop keepers, securing those souvenirs and trying on traditional clothes before sitting down for refreshments at the outdoor restaurants along the corniche.
Experience The Grandeur Of The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is an extravagant and ambitious display of Oman’s religious beliefs alongside the Sultan’s wealth and legacy.
It’s the largest and most expensive mosque in the country, commissioned by the country’s long standing ruler Sultan Qaboos for the capital city of Muscat. It took years to design, and even longer to build. It’s a lavish place of worship, a mosque of grandeur that showcases Omani design and architecture.
Non-Muslims are permitted to visit at certain hours each week, and it is very much worth a trip to experience the opulence of this grand building first hand.
The National Museum Of Oman
Oman’s National Museum only opened in Muscat in 2016, but it’s packed full of cultural and historic relics from across the nation. It’s the place to learn about the country’s history, both ancient and modern, with beautiful relics and artefacts stored and displayed here for travellers to see.
It’s easy to spend hours strolling around the air conditioned corridors, enjoying the detailed exhibits and exhibitions that showcase Oman’s past, and their ambitious intentions for the future.
The Bait Al Zhubair Museum
The Bait Al Zhubair Museum is Muscat’s cultural icon. This is the city’s original museum, built and curated by a philanthropic local family, and maintaining a vast display of the country’s cultural treasures. While the newer National Museum focuses on the history of Oman, The Bait Al Zhubair really focuses on the culture, the people and the traditions of the country, in a unique and informative display that is constantly changing and improving.
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