April 10, 2018

Places to See in Muscat, Oman

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

Not yet taken with the flashiness of Dubai but curious in the Arabian Peninsula? Oman, a small country, is a wonderfully progressive and open country with stunning landscapes and fascinating culture. Muscat, in particular, is known for breathtaking architecture, superb beaches, hiking trails, watersports, shopping, arts, and history. You can hike the Hajar Mountains in the morning then return to Muscat for a delicious seafood dinner, all in one day.


I was looking for flights from New Delhi to Nairobi and saw some great deals on Oman Air, and stopped in Muscat for 3 days. Taxi From the airport to My hotel, I paid 15 Omani Rial, about 40 U$D.

I have been several times to the Middle East, between Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha Qatar, and Muscat, I liked muscat the most. Muscat is a place more like something out of the Arabian nights story, where as the other 3 are concrete jungles.

Safety: Oman is one of the safest countries in the world.

Weather: I was there in March, days can get hot, evenings and nights are pleasent.

Oman is expensive, plan and budget accordingly. I stayed in Tulip Inn, Downtown Muscat. Nice Pool area and amazing Breakfast. 5 Minute walk from the Muscat Big bus, hop on hop off bus. Check hotel Prices on Booking.com


My list of places to see and things to do in Muscat



1. Muttrah Souq


Within Muscat, Oman, you will find the city known as Muttrah, a place where the best barterers of the world seem to gather. That’s right, if you’re looking to brush up on your haggling skills, you should definitely head to Muttrah Souq. The traditional market on the Muttrah Corniche (an attraction in and of itself) has several small shops selling authentic Omani goods, such as dyed fabrics, traditional garments, gold and silver jewelry, and souvenirs to bring home.


2. Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque


Years ago, the Sultan that built this stunning mosque had a mission to make the building accessible to non-Muslim visitors to help them understand the beauty of Islam. Not only is this openness a rarity, it is a wonderful chance to see and experience more about Islam than you would in other places on the Arabian Peninsula. The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque has exquisite mosaics, a carpet that took 4 years to complete, one of the largest and most intricate chandeliers in the word, and mystery, so bring the camera!


3. Bait Al Zubair Museum


Opened to the public in 1998, the Bait AlZubair Museum is located in beautiful Old Muscat and was once the private collection of the wealthy Zubair family. Still, this museum is one of the largest permanent art collections in the country and offers a window into the past. There are six separate buildings to spread out all the exhibitions, including temporary displays. Aside from the exhibits, there is a garden with a miniature Omani village, a selection of indigenous plants and trees, and an aflaj system. The perfect place to go for a calming moment.


4. The Royal Opera House Muscat


Ever dream of seeing Arabian performing arts? Now you have the chance at the Royal Opera House of Muscat, built in 2011. There are not many Omani performing groups, sadly, but you can see international drama, theater, and dance groups quite often. Also, it is highly recommended that you sign up for a morning tour to learn about the traditional architecture of the building as well as some of its history. Be sure to catch a performance if you can.


5. Al Alam Palace

 



Many who visit the Al Alam Palace are quick to call it one of the most beautiful palaces in the entire world. The architecture and dazzling colors are what make the Al Alam Palace a favorite attraction of Oman. The palace has over 200 years of history, and it presently houses Sultan Qaboos. During the 16th century, the palace was surrounded by Mirani and Jalali forts, and some of those buildings still stand. Though you cannot actually get very close to the palace, you can stand by the gates. The recommended visiting time is in the evening, when the edifice gets lit up.


6. The National Museum of Oman


Established in 2016 in Muscat, the NationalMuseum is where Omani heritage is put on display and is best when paired with a visit to the aforementioned Bait Al Zubair Museum. As for the National Museum, it covers over 13,700 square meters (147,000 square feet), consists of several galleries and exhibits, and is rather high-tech. Some of the galleries are Oman and the World, the Land and the People, Ancient History, Splendours of Islam, and Renaissance, amongst others.


7. Bimmah Sinkhole


Though slightly on the outskirts of Muscat, you cannot visit Oman without seeing this remarkable natural wonder. Also known as the Dabab sinkhole, this gorgeous pool of water was created when the limestone layers beneath the desert started dissolving. Now, you can see the turquoise waters and awesome rock formations. It’s surreal.



Picture below of The Frankincense Burner, if you take the tour on the Big Bus, it's on the way from the Royal Palace to the Muttrah Souq.



Let me know if I Missed anything in the comments below.


3 comments :

  1. I've had friends visit Oman since but I haven't heard of them about the sinkhole, I was hoping to see a photo here of the sinkhole (just because I'm such a curious person haha!) I google-d it and you are right, Arvin! Such a beauty. I'll have to tell my friends about this. By the way Arvin, how many countries have you visited so far, I'm curious! Seems like you are a very well traveled person. :)

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    1. I dont have an exact count, I'd say been to around 100 countries.

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  2. Even though I'll probably never get the chance to go to a country like Oman, in many ways I feel like I can travel through your blog. Something I really appreciate is how respectful you seem to be of other cultures when you are traveling, as I think this is something that tourists, especially American tourists are bad at.

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