Things to do in Muscat Muttrah Corniche, Muscat, Oman

The best things to do in Muscat: Cat’s Guide

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I love Muscat. There’s something about this sprawling city that just draws you in. It’s modern yet charming, and it doesn’t feel as shiny as other big Middle Eastern cities (I’m looking at you, Dubai!) There are so many great things to do in Muscat, you could easily pack two to three days here.

Here’s a roundup of my favourite things to do and see in Muscat. I don’t doubt that this Omani capital will woo you just like it did me. 

When to go to Muscat

Muscat has a beautiful climate year-round, but it is best to avoid the summer season when temperatures can reach into the 40’s (degrees Celsius). Otherwise, we advise light long sleeve tops and long shorts, skirt or trousers. And don’t forget your sunglasses and hat!

Learn the lingo

If you’re going to try and memorise some local language before you visit (we think it’s always worthwhile!), the greetings: As-salám aláykum (peace be with you) AND the reply: Aaláykum as-salám (and to you peace) are worth remembering!


Things to do in Muscat

Marvel at the Grand Mosque

The Grand Mosque is a must visit when in Muscat. This stunning example of Islamic architecture and modern design was gifted to Oman by Sultan Qaboos to celebrate his 30th year of reign and really is a sight to behold.

What to do in Muscat Grand Mosque

Open between 8 and 11am from Saturday to Thursday for those not visiting to pray, be prepared to be wowed by the huge, spectacular prayer hall. You’ll find the second-largest hand made Iranian carpet in the world here. It’s an incredible 70x60m in size and took more than 600 women (that’s 1,800 hands!) an incredible four years to weave. And don’t forget to look up! Floating elegantly above your head is the most beautiful chandelier. An incredible 45 feet tall and 26 feet wide and bejewelled with 600,000 crystals – this 8.5 tonne beast will put your lampshades to shame.

Things to do in Muscat Oman Chandelier Mosque

Don’t forget to cover up before entering the Mosque, too – you need to be fully covered and avoid anything too tight! Everyone must have their shoulders, arms and legs covered and, if you’re female, don’t forget to take a headscarf to cover your luscious locks. (Girls over seven need to do this also!) You can hire headscarfs and abayas (full-length dresses) once there for a small fee if needed.


Learn about Omani history at the Beit Al Zubair Museum, Old Muscat

After ambling around the Grand Mosque, head to the Beit Al Zubar Museum in beautiful Old Muscat for a fantastic insight into Oman’s rich history. Behind the impressive carved, wooden doors you’ll find an incredible collection of Omani artifacts, traditional clothing, jewellery and weapons – including two magnificent old canons gifted by Sultan Qaboos for the museum opening.


Get lost in the Muttrah Souk: Muscat’s most characterful quarter

Once you’ve soaked up a good dose of culture at Beit Al Zubair, take a walk along the charming Corniche, the coastal road that links Old Muscat with the fishing district of Muttrah.

Muscat Corniche things to do in Muscat

Spend some time getting lost (on purpose!) in the maze of shaded alleyways that make up Muttrah Souk. There are different sections to help you get your bearings though: The gold and silver souk will satisfy your magpie eyes with glistening jewels, the household goods section and the shoes and clothes section are great for a mooch, before treating your senses to the perfumes and spices quarter. It’s the perfect place to pick up a unique and authentic souvenir of your travels.


Muttrah Souk things to do in Muscat


Lunch at Muttrah Souq and Fish Market

Muttrah is the perfect place to find a great local eatery for a lunch stop. If you’re touring Muscat with a guide, he is sure to have some great recommendations. It’s always a good idea to listen to the locals!

things to do in Muscat - Muttrah Souk

One of my favourite things to eat in Oman is Shuwa (grilled meat). It’s a favourite dish of the Omani people, often prepared for special occasions like Eid. Cooking the Shiwa dish takes a long time – the grilled meat is often prepared on the first day of Eid before being marinated in fragrant Omani spices, wrapped in banana or palm leaves and then slowly cooked in a sand oven for one to two days. My stomach just rumbled!


Tour the Royal Opera House

After re-fuelling on some delicious Omani cuisine, make your way to the Royal Opera House for a tour. This gleaming structure was built in 2011 and is the leading arts organization in Oman. This venue, with its rows of bright red plush seats really is spectacular and they have frequent evening performances on, I’d always recommend trying to catch a show if it’s something that might interest you!

Things to do in Muscat - The Royal Opera House


A spot of education at the National Museum

Your last cultural stop of the day is Oman’s National Museum. You’ll be shown a backdrop of Oman’s rich history, spanning from the very first human settlements in the country, all the way to present day. If you’re anything like me, really learning about what makes a country unique is one of the most enriching things you can do on your travels.

Things to do in Muscat Oman National Museum

The museum has 14 permanent and interactive exhibitions on things like currency, artillery and Oman’s Maritime history. There’s also a little cafe here if you feel in need of a refreshment before you browse!


End your day with rooftop drinks or a sunset Dhow Cruise

After a jam-packed day of culture and exploring, treat yourself to a refreshing sunset drink on the rooftop of your hotel (the Crowne Plaza is great for this!) and take in the sweeping views across the coast.

Things to do in Muscat Sunset Dhow Cruise

Or, if you’re looking for a magical experience to round of your Muscat adventure – and why wouldn’t you! – take a two-hour sunset dhow cruise off the shores of the city. Dhows are beautifully sleek, wooden crafts which are still to this day built just down the coast from Muscat by hand! These traditional workhorses of the Arabian seas are the perfect vessel from which to take in the beauty of the setting Omani sun. Your small-group cruise will take you south of Muscat where you’ll pass jagged cliffs, rock arches and hidden coves. Omani Kahwa (coffee) and dates will be served as you cruise along the water and take in the beautiful colours of the Omani sunset. As night falls, the setting in front of the twinkling lights of Muscat really is something quite special.

Things to do in Muscat Muttrah Corniche, Muscat, Oman



Have a little longer to explore in Muscat?

Diving off the Daymaniyat Islands

Things to do in Muscat Oman

It might surprise you that there are some amazing opportunities for snorkelling and diving off the coast of Oman. Head around 20km off the coast of Muscat to the secluded beauty of the Daymaniyat Islands. Leaving the busyness of the city behind, you’ll be greeted by crystal clear waters and white sand beaches – it’s paradise! The visibility can be fantastic here, as good as 20-30 meters, so it’s not unlikely that you’ll spot turtles, colourful species of fish and even the occasional ray!


Swimming with dolphins

Things to do in Muscat Oman

Dolphins can be seen all year-round in the waters off Muscat. Head out on a motor-yacht for a few hours to search for the playful pods and enjoy watching them frolic in the waters. This is a great trip for families or couples and you can even get in and snorkel with them if you like!


Kayaking from Muscat

Things to do in Muscat Oman

The coastline that surrounds the Omani capital is dotted with inlets that make it perfect for kayaking. If you’ve got the time and love getting out on the water, this half-day excursion is a great way to spend a few hours. You’ll head about 45 minutes east of Muscat to Bandar al Khayran – it’s got some of the bluest water you will ever see! Your guide will lead you past mangroves and to secluded beaches that are only accessible from the sea. A highlight is stopping on these stunning shores for snacks and some snorkelling, before hopping back into your kayak for the return paddle. Don’t worry if you’re not an experienced kayaker. You’ll love this adventure regardless of ability levels – the kayaks are wide and stable, so easy to balance on!


So, there we have it, a roundup of some of my favourite things to do in Muscat. This really is a fantastic city that should feature on any Oman itinerary. If Oman is on your travel Wishlist, do drop me an email at [email protected] or give me a call on 01242 253 073 – I’d love to help design the perfect escape for you! 


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