Known For : Mutrah Corniche Grand Mosque Muscat Royal Opera House, Muscat
Muscat, the capital of Oman, has served as an integral trading link between the east and the west and still remains a major stop for cruises and trade vessels. The city has maintained its old charm with even the newer structures having Arabian details. Not to mention the emerald blue beaches and exciting watersports that attract adventure enthusiasts. A city among the hills and beaches, this one is a must-visit for culture fanatics as well. In fact, it is the largest city and also happens to be the seat of the government.
Best Time: October to March
Known For : Mughsail Beach Wadi Darbat Sultan Qaboos Mosque
Home to the king of Oman, Salalah is a beautiful city in Oman with rich culture, history and magnificent beaches! Famous for its Arabian Peninsula and unique climate, Salalah is a beautiful city with lush mountains and greenery that comes alive during the monsoon season. Its stunning beaches offer many snorkelling and diving opportunities. Located on the coast of the Arabian Sea, its cuisine is delicious and savoury, with wonderful seafood choices.
Best Time: Late June to September
Known For : Sohar Corniche Sohar Fort Sohar Handicraft Souq
Rumoured to be the home of the famous sailers Ahmed bin Majid and mythical character Sinbad, Sohar is the perfect blend of culture and contemporary societies. The city has huge malls and skyscrapers, some of the most gorgeous beaches in Oman and souqs and monuments that are full of the country's history. A small drive into the outskirts of the city leads you to beautiful deserts. Sohar is full of things to do, whether it be watching a camel race, shopping for traditional handicrafts or simply exploring the splendid beaches.
Best Time: October to February
Known For : Jebel Akhdar Nizwa Fort Jabreen Castle
Among the highest and most majestic mountains of Oman, lies the historic city of Nizwa. Known as "The Pearl of Islam", the conservative yet open nature of Nizwa makes it the second-largest tourist destination in Oman! The ancient city was once the hub for trade, education, religion and art. Surrounded by date palms and banana plantations, Nizwa is a diverse city with many historical and agricultural attractions. It is full of attractions like the Nizwa Fort, the Souq, Jebel Akhdar and much more.
Best Time: December to March
Rustaq is a city in Oman that has maintained its old-world charm. Located on the western side of the Hajjar Mountains, it is a city filled with farms that grows a variety of fruits. This city is known for its palm trees, dates and the highest quality of honey. It became the first capital of Oman and now is full of historically significant structures, each one worth exploring. It is the best place to witness the combination of the old and the new form of architecture. This historic city houses some of the sites listed under the UNESCO Tentative list.
Located at a height of 80 metres above the sea level, Bawshar offers magnificent views of the city and a feeling of calmness as well. Commonly known as Boshar or Baushar, this wilayat is popular among the picnickers and thrill-seekers. The dunes of Bawshar are a popular site for offroading and quad biking.
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Known For : Bilad Sur Castle Dhow Factory Al Ayjah Fort
Sur is a city that is best known for the craftsmanship associated with boats or traditional 'Dhows'. Shipbuilding, particularly building wooden ships is a trade that is a part of Sur’s rich heritage. Sur is the second wealthiest city in Oman, with a population of around 120,000 residents. Sur is the perfect place to sunbathe on the exotic beaches and indulge in some local delicacies. It has a lot of attractions where one can go to experience the rich Omani culture. Sur is the base for many day trip destinations like Ras-Al-Hadd, Wadi Shab, Wahiba Sands and many more.
Known For : Khasab Fort Jebel Al Harim Dolphin Watching and Snorkelling
Home to Jebel Harim or the 'Mountain of Women', sandy beaches, beautiful corals and a Portuguese fortress, the city of Khasab is a quiet town oozing with history. Tourists can enjoy a cruise through the 'Fjords of Musandam' and swim in the turquoise seas. Or, if they prefer, snorkel and explore the stunning corals and sealife. History buffs will enjoy trekking the mountains of Musandam and visiting the abandoned houses in the deserted towns close to Khasab. The city is old but cared for by its residents. A city like no other in Oman, Khasab is a humble city which has retained its charm for centuries.
Best Time: November to March
The first-ever city in Oman to be declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site, Bahla is a small Oasis settlement situated in the Dakhliya region of Oman. Although the settlement is constituted of traditional vernacular houses (harats), the fortification wall, a small old market (souq), the Falaj system (irrigation) and a mosque, Bahla is most popular for its defensive complex, the Bahla fort. It is one of the oldest forts in Oman tracing back to the 13th century. The small town is also popular for its pottery and silver artefacts sold in the old souq. The Oasis settlement is found to be situated 40 kms from Nizwa and 200 kms from the country’s capital Muscat.
Now that you briefly know about the cities in Oman, visit and explore your favourite and let us know about your experiences in the comments below!
This post was published by Joysurjya Hagjer