3 kms from Muscat
The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is Oman's biggest mosque with an area of 416,000 m2 and a capacity of over 20,000 worshippers; 8,000 can fit inside and the courtyard can easily hold up to 12,000. This mosque is one of the few mosques in Arabia which allows entry for non-Muslim visitors. The mosque is a wonder of modern architecture and is a fusion of Omani, Islamic, and Middle-Eastern architectural styles.
20 kms from Muscat
Mutrah Corniche is a promenade stretching for 3 kilometres along the waterfront and is lined with restaurants, cafes, and markets. Relax at the corniche and watch the sun go down the sea and watch the mountains meet the water or take in all the natural sights and sounds by walking along the promenade. You can see the views of the Oman Port and harbour and the beautiful rock formations of the Hajar Mountains and the Portuguese watchtowers on the other.
19 kms from Muscat
The Muttrah Souq is one of the oldest markets in the Arab world. This antiquity has perhaps increased its beauty, magic and allure. Mutrah Souk or Al Alam Souk has been named after darkness because the crowded stalls and lanes do not allow the sun rays to infiltrate through during the day and the shoppers need lamplights to see where they were going. The market used to be a source of supply for Omanis where they could buy their needs in the 1960s for simpler life requirements.
22 kms from Muscat
Al Mirani Fort is a fort in Muscat which was built by the Portugese in the sixteenth century. It, along with neighbouring Al Jalali Fort, looks out to the Gulf of Oman and would guard the port of Muscat in the past. Although closed to the public visitors can view this fort from outside. This fort was extremely instrumental in the downfall of the Portuguese.
156 kms from Muscat
Known as the Green Mountain, Jebel Akhdar is a mountain range located in the most spectacular part of Oman! Comprising of mostly desert and limestone, the mountain range of Jebel Akhdar stands tall in Oman, and receives 300 mm of precipitation annually, resulting in the growth of shrubs and trees on the top of its mountains.
Known For : Dune Bashing Camel Safari Sand boarding
Whether its going on a camel safari, dune bashing, desert trekking or simply just sitting around a camp fire, they have it all! Spending a night under the starlit sky at the Sharqiya Sands is an experience you will never forget! Considered among the most beautiful camping areas in Oman, the Sharqiya Sands extends over an area of up to ten thousand square kilometres! Tourists get the chance to indulge in the true Arabian experience which is a rarity due to the amount of globalisation that has occured over the past years.
Best Time: November to March
23 kms from Muscat
The Al Jalali Fort, also known as Ash Sharqiya Fort, built by the Portuguese in the 16th century is a massive structure in Muscat, Oman. Interestingly it once used to be a prison which has been converted to a heritage private museum. Being located on the harbor, the Al Jalali Fort offers a beautiful to the entire city of Muscat. The only entrance to this place is through a steep flight of stairs in the front.
Bearing a slice of history, rich architecture, and seaside view; the Muttrah Fort is one of the top locations for all Muscat travellers to experience. Just a 20-minute cab ride from Muscat city, this fort is amongst one of the oldest and overlooks the town and coastline. Its intriguing history tells of the Portuguese domination in the 16th century, and today the fort has been converted into a watchtower which a stunning panoramic skyline. After being reopened for public use in June 2018, it has become a prime attraction for visitors, and a must-see for history buffs!
The rich marine diversity of Oman’s seas is a blessing for the region. Tourists make it a point to travel to the Muttrah Fish Market and treat themselves to the irresistible seafood. The local culture is reflected in the busy market area, and travellers can gaze at the boats and ships surrounding the coastline. Sale of fish is done only in certain areas, whereas visitors can also explore the vegetable market. A 20-minute cab ride from Muscat city, and you’ll find yourself amidst a cultural haven.
Popularly known as the Wahiba Sands, the Golden Sand Dunes are celebrated for their deep golden hues. Give yourself a desert adventure and explore the sand dunes with several oases. Interestingly enough, you may find flora and fauna in this region, along with the perfect spot of camping out. What’s more? The epic sunset and sunrise which will leave you in awe. Travellers love to stargaze during the night, take a swim in the oasis, and even hop on for a camel ride. It’s a 3hour drive from Muscat, and many camping options are available.
Established in the year 1993, Qurum National Park has remained a favourite picnic spot for kids and adults as well. Qurum Natural Park is a vast public garden and nature reserve, recognised for its landscaping views. It is the largest park in Oman covering nearly 1716000 square metres. It also has a vast lake that also has boating facilities and a fountain that works only during the evenings.
Well, now that you have a brief idea about the places Muscat offers, pick your favourites and let us know about your valuable experiences in the comments below!