If you planning holidays in Oman you most likely start or finish your journey in Muscat. And once you are there here is top 10 things to do and see in Muscat. After you spend a few days in the capital rent 4×4 and go to see the desert. Have a swim in Wadi Shab, go and see the turtles in Ras al Jinz and visit Jebel Akhdar.

1. Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

10 things to do and see in Muscat -where is muscat ?
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is the biggest Mosque in Muscat and in Oman. It is modern intricate and set in beautiful gardens  It has the second largest carpet in the world and the biggest chandelier in the world – a truly amazing big structure.  Visiting times Saturday – Thursday from 8am till 11 am . For visit you should dress approprately (covered shoulders, hair and knees) or buy an abaya from the giftshop. Entry to the mosque is free of charge.

2. Royal Opera House Muscat

10 things to do and see in Muscat - ROHM
Royal Opera
ROHM officially opened in 2011 was built by order of Sultan Qaboos. The Opera is impressive outside and inside. You can go and see a performance or book a  free daytime tour of the building. It links to a small posh shopping mall (now being extended across the road towards Shatti Beach) where you can eat or spend time and money like a real cuture vulture.

3. Mutrah and The Souq

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Girls checking “stuff” in Mutrah souq

Before oil was discovered in Oman, Mutrah was the commercial centre of Muscat. It is still a working port with a fresh early-morning fish market. To tourists and locals alike it is also a picturesque part of the city where you can go for a walk along the seafront or visit Mutrah Souq. Here you can try on an abaya and buy a lovely scarf or dressing-up things for the kids. Don’t forget to haggle – it’s expected. Later you can explore the narrow alleys in the connected gold souq. They are full of golden light reflected from rich window displays. Muttrah market is open every day in the morning from till 1pm and then later from 4pm till late evening. On Friday is open only in the afternoon from 4pm onwards.

4. Al Alam Palace

10 things to do and see in Muscat - places to visit in oman muscat Sultan Qabus Palace
Al Alam Palace

Al Alam Place in the old walled city of Muscat is one of six Royal residences in Oman. Word Al Alam in Arabic means flag. Unfortunately, you can only see Al Alam palace from behind the gate, but still its worth it. The Palace was built 200 years ago and the current blue and gold facade was made in 1972 when Sultan Qaboos became ruler of Oman. Next to the Palace are small beautiful manicured public gardens.   It’s just opposite the new National Museum of Oman

5. The National Museum of Oman

places to see in muscat The National Museum of Oman located close al bustan palace hotel
The National Museum of Oman

Located opposite Al Alam Palace, The new National Museum of Oman is a beautiful new building opened in 2016 and aims to show the history of Oman from the earliest settlement up to present. Open Everyday from 10-17pm. On Fridays from 14 till 18 pm. Entrance fee – tourist 5 OMR ($13), residents 2 OMR. Kids and young adults free. 

6. Al Shatti Beach

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Al Shatti Beach
The big public beach extends with few interruptions for kilometer after kilometer along of the new City waterfront.  Shatti is the closest point to the Royal Opera House, and is home to restaurants shops and coffee houses – both Arabic and International. Depending on the time of the day, Shatti displays different characters. In the early morning you will find exercise boot camps or runners, later in the morning people are out enjoying their cafe latte or strolling sunbathing and swimming. By late afternoon the sand becomes a line of end-to-end end football pitches for sweet-natured Omani youths and in the evening families emerge as the grassy margins become the setting for hundreds of family picnics, and the evening air becomes filled with the delicious aroma of numerous little barbecues. 

7. Dolphin Watching – Marina Bandar al Rowdha

10 things to do and see in Muscat Dophines
Dolphins we saw on our trip

If you want to see something else than museums and mosques, book a Dolphins Watching tour. It’s an amazing experience – we have been three times and every time we saw dolphins which were almost a heartsstopping expierience. Depending on the time of the year you can book a trip with snorkelling or without. While snorkelling or scuba diving you can see the native turtles in their ocean habitat and sometimes small sharks.After the trip, you can stay in the Marina and have a delicious lunch at the Blue Marlin restaurant and have a free dip in the swimming pool.

8. Armed Forces Museum

10 things to do and see in Muscat Armed Forced museumNot a well known museum but very interesting.  It shows Omani history from a military conflict point of view.  You can see and touch weapons used at different times.  In the outdoor part of the museum beside various war-related vehicles and old vehicles used by Sultan you can see examples of aflaj  – the ancient irrigation system of the country, so old and mysterious in their engineering that they are said to have been created by King Soloman’s djinns

9. Amouage Perfume Factory 

 Amouage 10 things to do and see in Muscat - close to Airport you can fly with oman air review

If you are a fan of strong Arabic perfume then for sure you have heard about Amouage perfume. Their factory is in Muscat and if you want to learn more about them or see how they are produced, you should visit. The factory is located in Al Seeb (close to the airport) and it is open daily from 8:30 am till 4:30 pm

10. Al Mouj – (Formerly the Wave)

10 Things To Do And See In Muscat Al Mouj best hotels in muscat oman luxury hotels
Al Mouj is the place with modern architecture and one of the best restaurants in muscat

If you want to see how and where the modern Middle East is going you should visit Al Mouj – It is now mature and home to thriving shops, cafes a marina and a golf course, as well as new hotels, and still being extended.  Al Mouj centre has lovely pedestiran streets and a new waterside plaza with local markets during Weekends and a a relaxed evening walkabout-and-dine culture. Al Mouj has family events and even an annual marathon

Other links to exploring Oman

Read our latest blog post if you are planing to spend more time in Oman with or without kids

Read our piece about Turtles in Oman if you planning to a visit them.

Muscat things to do – Pin it for later

Oman Muscat 10 things to do and see in Muscat Sultan 1 Qaboos Grand Mosque 2 Opera house 3 The Mutrah and Mutrah Souq 4 Al Ilam Palace 5 The 6 National Museum of Oman Al Shatti beach 7. Dolphins watching - Marina Bandar al Rowdha 8. Armed Forces Museum 9. Amouage Perfumer Factory 10. Al Mouj (The Wave)

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