Muscat – Oasis of Arabia

Muscat old and new

Muscat – Oasis of Arabia

Welcome to Muscat

Muscat, considered an Oasis of Arabia, is Oman’s capital city, positioned on the Arabian Peninsula’s southeastern coast. It is a vibrant and bustling city that offers a blend of old-world charm and modern amenities, making it a popular destination for travellers.  The city is known for its stunning natural beauty, with the backdrop of the rugged Al Hajar Mountains and the sparkling waters of the Gulf of Oman on the other. The city is also rich in history and culture, with several historic sites, museums, and cultural events that showcase Oman’s rich heritage. 

Visitors to Muscat can explore traditional souks, visit historic forts and palaces, relax on beautiful beaches, and enjoy various outdoor activities, from hiking and trekking to snorkelling and diving. With its warm hospitality, stunning natural landscapes, and rich cultural heritage, Muscat is a must-visit destination in the Middle East.

How To Get There

By Air: The easiest and most common way to reach the destination is by air. Muscat International Airport is well-connected to major cities worldwide, where many airlines operate direct flights to the city, including Oman Air, Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways.

By Road: If you are already in the region, you can travel by bus or car to the city. The destination has a well-developed road network connecting it to other cities and neighbouring countries like the United Arab Emirates. You can take a bus or rent a car to travel to the town.

By Sea: This is a port city, so you can also reach the city by sea. The city has an important port, Port Sultan Qaboos, a popular cruise ship stop. However, this is a less common way to reach the location and is primarily suitable for those who are already in the region and want to take a leisurely sea journey to the city.

Getting Around

Taxis: These are widely available and can be called on the street or booked through a mobile app. The most popular taxi app is OTaxi.  Taxis are metered, and the rates depend on the distance travelled. Bargain the fare in advance if you take a taxi without a meter.

Car Rental: Renting a car is a popular option for tourists, giving you more flexibility and freedom to explore the city at your own pace. Several car rental companies operate here, and you can easily book a car online or at the airport. Try Economy Bookings for the best rates.

Public Transport: The destination has a limited public transport system, with buses operated by the Oman National Transport Company (Mwasalat). While the buses are cheap, they can be infrequent and unreliable, so make sure you have some flexibility with this option. Bus A1 has regular services from Muscat airport to downtown, costing approx .50OMR.

Private Car with Driver: if you prefer a more comfortable and hassle-free option, opt to hire a private car with a driver, which is usually more expensive than taxis but does give you the convenience of freedom of going where you want to go to your time. Many taxis on the street offer this service or book here.

Walking & Cycling: Some areas in the city, particularly the older parts, are best explored on foot or by cycle. Walking & cycling are healthy and eco-friendly and can help you discover hidden gems in the city that you might miss while travelling by car or taxi.

Places Of Interest

Muscat is a beautiful destination with a rich cultural heritage and several natural and historical attractions. Here are some of the top places to visit.

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

A stunning landmark in the city’s heart, the grand mosque is a magnificent piece of Islamic architecture, portraying intricacy and grandeur. Ladies need to be dressed conservatively and you will be able to hire Abayas and scarves for OMR 2.5.

royal opera house muscat

Royal Opera House

Home to the Oman Symphony Orchestra, which hosts a range of classical and contemporary music is a world-class facility that celebrates the rich cultural heritage of Oman and serves as a vibrant hub for the performing arts in the region. Click here to see whats going on.

Al Alam Palace

Al Alam Palace

This official palace of the city is the ceremonial palace and residence of the Sultan of Oman. It is a stunning example of traditional Omani architecture, featuring gold and blue pillars, ornate gates, and a large central dome. The Al Alam Palace symbolises Oman’s rich cultural heritage and is an important centre of state affairs and royal traditions. Book tickets here,

bait al zubair museum muscat

Bait Al Zubair Museum

A museum dedicated to showcasing Omani culture and heritage, the Bait Al Zubair Museum features a collection of artefacts, traditional dress, weapons, and other items that provide a glimpse into Omani history and culture.

qurum beach

Qurum Beach

A popular destination for tourists and locals alike, Qurum Beach is a beautiful stretch of white sand and turquoise waters. The beach is perfect for swimming, sunbathing and enjoying water sports like kayaking and paddle boarding.

AI Jalali Fort

AI Jalali Fort

A popular destination for tourists and locals alike, Qurum Beach is a beautiful stretch of white sand and turquoise waters. The beach is perfect for swimming, sunbathing and enjoying water sports like kayaking and paddle boarding.

Muttrah Souq

Muttrah Souq

A traditional Arab market in the heart of Muscat, the Muttrah Souq provides authentic local products, souvenirs, and traditional Omani crafts at very reasonable rates.

Where To Stay

Luxury Hotels

Kempinski Hotel Muscat: A luxurious 5-star hotel in the scenic Al Mouj area with stylish and spacious accommodations, a wide range of dining options and facilities. Whether you’re seeking a relaxing beach getaway, a business trip, or a combination of both, the Kempinski Hotel is an excellent choice for your stay.

Sheraton Oman Hotel: With its sleek minimalist design, stunning architecture, and exceptional amenities, the hotel is a top choice for luxury and business travellers. The hotel has been an iconic landmark in Muscat since 1985 and is located in the heart of the city, near major tourist attractions.

Mid-Range Hotels

Avani Muscat Hotel & Suites: This is a stylish and contemporary 4-star hotel in the heart of the destination. The hotel features spacious and well-appointed rooms and suites, a variety of dining options, a fitness centre, and a rooftop infinity pool with stunning city views. 



Ramada Encore by Wyndham Muscat Al-Ghubra: The hotel features well-equipped rooms, a 24-hour fitness centre, and a rooftop pool with city views. With its convenient location and excellent value for money, this hotel is a great choice for travellers seeking comfortable and affordable accommodation.

Budget Hotels 

Samara Hotel: This budget-friendly hotel offers well-appointed rooms, a variety of dining options, a fitness centre, and a rooftop pool with beautiful city views. With its convenient location, modern amenities, and excellent value for money, Samara Hotel is a great choice for travellers seeking affordable accommodations.

Ramee Guestline Hotel, Qurum: A stylish and affordable 4-star hotel featuring 90 spacious and well-appointed rooms and suites, various dining options, a fitness centre, and a rooftop pool with city views. With its convenient location and excellent value for money, this is a great choice for travellers seeking affordable accommodation.

Where To Eat

The Pavilion: This restaurant boasts breathtaking views of the Sea of Oman and offers a unique outdoor dining experience with fresh seafood as its speciality. 

Ba Ban: Inspired by the bustling energy of Shanghai’s iconic area, the Bund, Ba Ban exudes a lively atmosphere, located at the W Hotel in Muscat. The restaurant’s skilled Chinese culinary team is hard at work, masterfully wielding their work to create an authentic menu that draws inspiration from the diverse kitchens of China.

Al Khiran Kitchen: For those seeking a refined buffet experience with an extensive selection of beverages, Al Khiran Kitchen is the dream eatery found at the Ritz Carlton Muscat. The restaurant’s open kitchen concept lets guests witness the chef’s culinary mastery firsthand, elevating their appreciation for the delicious fare. 

Final Thoughts

Muscat is a beautiful destination that combines modern and traditional, making it a unique and fascinating place to visit, from exploring the historic forts and souks to enjoying the beautiful beaches and local cuisines.

On this trip we spent two days in Muscat and covered the main tourist spots. But as we found there is much more to see amongst the Hajar Mountains and Wadi’s, we will surely be back. With its warm hospitality and friendly locals, this city is a great place to immerse in Oman’s unique culture and natural beauty.

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