Muscat is the capital of Oman, and is located on the Gulf of Oman surrounded by beautiful mountains and desert. With a mix of intriguing history, upmarket shopping and stunning scenery, it’s a great place to explore. Read our insider’s advice on the best places to take in on your visit.
The Royal Opera House
This majestic architectural masterpiece is one of the Sultanate’s prized jewels. Being the first of its kind in the region, the Opera House is a beautiful landmark to tour and with its busy yearly schedule one is sure to catch a great show while visiting the capital. Coming up this year there will be a show put on by the American Ballet Theatre titled Giselle as well as a performance by Dee Dee Bridgewater, amongst other classical musical and cultural displays from all over the world.
See the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
A modern Islamic architecture masterpiece, the mosque holds the second largest Persian carpet in the world and once it held the record for the largest in the world. The intricate handmade carpet took around 4 years to complete. The mosque also houses one of the most beautiful and largest chandeliers in the world, and the interiors are basically commissioned works of art. The grand prayer hall can accommodate up to 20,000 people all at once.
Have a long delicious Omani meal at Orient Restaurant & Café
Omani Shuwa is considered one of the main nation dishes. It consists of tender, spiced, delicately cooked meat and at Orient one can try some really good, home style Shuwa amongst other traditional Omani dishes. They also have a delicious dessert selection such as Omani lugaymat which is crispy fried dough dumplings soaked with date syrup (just the right softness on the inside)
Orient Restaurant and Café, Azaiba, Muscat, +96894109404
The National Museum
The National museum is the newest addition to Oman’s cultural scene. The modern architecture of the building is the perfect contrast to what is held inside. Oman’s rich story since prehistoric times to modern times is on display for people to enjoy and learn from. There are many interesting discoveries in there that are sure to pique your curiosity.
Muscat, Oman T: +968 22 081500
Al Alam Palace
One of the most beautiful palaces in the world, the rich colour and architecture of Al Alam Palace is one of people’s favourite places to pose!
It has a rich history of over 200 years and is one of the residing palaces of the current Sultan Qaboos. With a façade of blue and gold the palace was rebuilt in 1972 and is surrounded by the Mirani and Jalali forts built by the Portuguese at around the 16th century. Although visitors cannot get very near the palace, they are allowed to take pictures from the front gates and get a good view. The palace is especially beautiful during the night as the lighting is spectacular.
Oman is famous for its pristine beaches that are perfect for any water-related activity. So when in Muscat, one must indulge in all kinds of water sports! Check out Coral Ocean Tours, where visitors can choose from a range of activities such as boat tours, snorkelling, dolphin watching and fishing. For the more adventurous, most hotels provide visitors with more information for water sport activities and there are a number of dive centres everywhere. For more information check out coraloceantours.com, +96894110088
Eat at Al Angham Restaurant
Enjoy a hearty meal at one of Oman’s finest restaurants. It features Omani cuisine, with a contemporary twist at a spectacular location – the Royal Opera House. Al Anghams interiors tell a story as each room portrays something different (you can ask for a tour of the premises to learn more about the charming place).
Al Angham Restaurant, Opera House Muscat, +96822077777, alanghamoman.com
Check out ‘The Wave’
Or in other words Al Mouj in Arabic which offers some outstanding leisure and lifestyle options stretched across a huge coastline. It is filled with many shops, dinning options, inland waterways, a 400-berth marina and green spaces. The wave also holds Oman’s signature PGA Standard 18 hole gold course designed by Greg Norman.
The Wave, New Muscat, almouj.com
Relax at some of Muscat’s secluded secret beaches
Unspoilt secre beaches surround the city of Muscat, and Qurum beach is the most popular, filled with restaurants and cafes. Visitors can also go off-road and discover other beaches on their own or go to the many tour companies that will gladly take them on a boat ride. Our recommendation is to check out Yiti beach which is a 40 minute drive out of Muscat city centre, Khalouf Beach south of Muscat, and Ras Al Hamra beach which is close to Qurum beach. These spots are secluded and are great for some swimming downtime with your significant other and picnics. For a boat tour check out Marina Bandar Al Rowdha which is great for dolphin watching!
Marina Bandar Al Rowdha, Muscat City, +96824737286