Top Places to Visit in Muscat

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Muscat, the capital city of Oman, presents a modern blend of bustling city life and ancient Arabian culture. It is home to some of the region's most beautiful beaches, historical sites, palaces, forts, museums, and more.

From lively souqs filled with delicious street food to top-notch spas, world-class resorts, vibrant nightlife, and water sports activities along its pristine shores, you can find plenty of attractions in and around Oman's incredible capital city.

For those searching for a short holiday or an extended trip away, we've compiled a list of the best places to visit in Muscat.

Top Places to Visit in Muscat - An Overview

As mentioned earlier, Muscat offers a fascinating mix of sights and experiences. Here is an overview of the best places to visit in Muscat.

Top Places to Visit in Muscat Things to Do
Mutrah Corniche
  • Take a Dhow Cruise
  • Shop at Muttrah Souq
  • Visit Mutrah Fort
  • Explore Omani Heritage
Wadi Bani Khalid 
  • Trekking
  • Explore the Wadi Bani Khalid region
  • Enjoy Scenic Picnic
  • Take a Refreshing Dip
Qurum beach
  • Sunset Views
  • Food and Drinks
  • Photography
  • Beach Events
Qurum Natural Park 
  • Picnic at the Gardens
  • Boating at the Lake
  • Explore the Amusement Park
  • Birdwatching and Photography
The Royal Opera House
  • Attend a Workshop or Event
  • Guided Tours
  • Shopping
  • Dining
Al Alam Palace
  • Admire the Palace Architecture
  • Stroll Around the Palace Gardens
  • Explore the Surrounding Area
  • Go on a Guided Tour
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
  • Admire the Architecture
  • Visit Prayer Hall
  • Visit the Library
  • Learn about Islamic Culture
Al Jalali Fort
  • Visit the Museum
  • Take a Self-Guided Hike
  • Explore Historical Architecture
  • Attend Military Occasions
City Center Muscat
  • Shopping
  • Enjoy Magic Planet
  • Experience Vox Cinema
  • Dining
Burj Al Sahwa Clock Tower
  • Learn about History
  • Photography
  • Discover the Beauty of Art
  • Enjoy a Guided Tour

Let’s take a closer look at each entry in our list of the best places to visit in Muscat -

1. Mutrah Corniche

For a unique glimpse into Oman’s culture and history, Muttrah Corniche is among the best places to visit in Muscat. Its long coastline has stunning views of the Arabian Sea, palm trees, beautiful architecture and bustling markets.

Why not stroll along the Corniche and soak up the sights and sounds of the city? You can also stop at one of the many cafes or restaurants for refreshing beverages or delicious meals. This is undoubtedly among the top places to visit in Muscat, whether you’re a first-time visitor to Oman or have been there many times.

  • Experience the Dhow Cruise: You can take a Dhow Cruise along the Muttrah Corniche to explore the stunning coastline of Oman. Experience the beauty of the Arabian Sea and enjoy a relaxing cruise on a traditional Omani boat.
  • Visit Muttrah Souq: This is a bustling marketplace offering various goods (traditional Omani handicrafts, souvenirs, spices, and more) that make it perfect for gifts and souvenirs.
  • Relive the Days of Yore at Muttrah Fort: Explore the history of Oman with a visit to the Mutrah Fort, which is a historical landmark dating back to the 16th century and offering a fascinating glimpse into the past.
  • Explore Omani Heritage: The Bait Al Zubair Museum is a cultural centre showcasing rich history and heritage. An important place to visit in Muscat for history buffs, you can learn about Omani art, culture, and history here through exhibits and artefacts.

2. Wadi Bani Khalid

Wadi Bani Khalid is a must-see site and one of the best places to visit in Muscat. The greens and emeralds of its large pool, nestled within the tall palm fringes, make for a spectacular natural view. The rocky cliffs and canyons surrounding the area further add to the paradise-like feel of the location.

For adventure enthusiasts, Wadi Bani Khalid is the perfect spot to explore - you can put on your hiking shoes and discover each corner on your feet.

  • Trek Through Rocky Cliffs and Canyons: Hiking through the rocky cliffs and canyons at Wadi Bani Khalid is an unforgettable experience for adventurous souls. With scenic views, fresh air, and different sorts of trails, hikers of all levels can enjoy the terrains.
  • Explore Wadi Bani Khalid Region: Explore the vast landscapes of Wadi Bani Khalid and take in the beauty of the natural surroundings. With the right equipment and a guide, trekking at Wadi Bani Khalid can be a fantastic experience.
  • Relax and Unwind with a Scenic Picnic: A picnic is an excellent option for those who prefer a more laid-back activity. With seating benches and shaded areas provided for public use, you can enjoy a meal while taking in the breathtaking views of the pool and surrounding landscapes. 
  • Take a Refreshing Dip: The emerald-coloured pool at Wadi Bani Khalid is the perfect spot for a refreshing swim. Surrounded by tall palm fringes and rocky cliffs, the collection offers a unique swimming experience.

3. Qurum Beach

Located in the beautiful Qurum area, this beach is one of Oman's most beloved destinations, boasting endless stretches of golden white sands and crystal-clear water. It is a popular spot for both leisurely activities and adventurous water sports - you can jog, stroll, or indulge in thrilling activities such as jet skiing and parasailing.

Notably, this beach is among the best places to visit in Muscat for its stunning sunset views, making it an ideal location for evening walks as well. On top of that, there are several food shacks and restaurants that provide various dining options.

  • Sunset Views: Qurum Beach is famous for its spectacular sunset views. You can take a leisurely walk along the beach to catch the stunning view of the sun setting over the horizon.
  • Food and Drinks: As mentioned before, Qurum Beach has food shacks and restaurants offering various dining options. You can enjoy both traditional Omani food and international cuisine while savouring the beach’s scenic views.
  • Photography: Qurum Beach is a popular spot for photography enthusiasts, with the picturesque coastline, crystal-clear water, and stunning sunsets providing an ideal backdrop for capturing memorable moments.
  • Beach Events: Qurum Beach hosts various events like concerts and cultural festivals throughout the year. You can enjoy live music and entertainment while soaking up the beach atmosphere.

4. Qurum Natural Park

Qurum Natural Park is a haven for visitors to get away from the hustle and bustle of the urban area and admire its natural beauty. This park features lush gardens, artificial waterfalls and a peaceful lake, making it one of the top places to visit in Muscat, Oman for picnics and recreational activities.

Boating on the lake is a popular activity among people visiting the park, and there is even an amusement park with rides for children. The park's abundant mangroves also attract various birds, making it a perfect location for birdwatchers and photographers.

  • Picnic at the Gardens: This park is ideal for hosting a family picnic. Its expansive gardens are immaculately kept, giving you plenty of room to admire the lovely green surroundings. Several picnic spots are distributed throughout the park, where you spend a peaceful afternoon with your family and friends.
  • Boating at the Lake: The park's beautiful lake is popular amongst boating enthusiasts. You can rent a boat and ride on the waters in the middle of the park. With this lake remaining full throughout the year, you can enjoy beautiful surroundings from the water at any time of the year.
  • Explore the Amusement Park: Children can enjoy a variety of fun interactive rides and games at the park's amusement park, which includes a variety of rides for children that makes it an ideal spot for a family day out.
  • Birdwatching and Photography: Qurum Natural Park, home to birds like herons, kingfishers, cormorants, and more, provides a vibrant environment for bird watchers and photographers alike.

5. The Royal Opera House

This grand cultural destination, having over 50 high-end stores, hosts musical performances based on traditional Omani music. The Opera House is located in the heart of Muscat on Al Kharjiya Street - you can take guided tours from Saturday to Thursday from 9:00 am to 11:00 pm and from 4:00 pm to 11:00 pm on Fridays. This is one of the top places to visit in Muscat for those who want to experience Oman's vibrant culture.

  • Attend a Workshop or Event:  Besides attending live events, this is a great place to visit in Muscat to gain a profound knowledge and admiration of Omani customs. A vast array of workshops and events, related to music, arts, and more are held here that you can attend to immerse yourself in the Omani culture.
  • Guided Tours: Explore the luxurious interiors of the Opera House with a guided tour. Led by knowledgeable guides, the tour takes you through the magnificent theatre halls, dressing rooms and backstage areas. You'll get an up-close look at the intricate designs and artwork that adorn the walls and ceilings of the Opera House.
  • Shopping: The Opera Galleria, located within the Royal Opera House, is a high-end shopping destination with multiple stores. You can find luxury brands, jewellery, perfumes, and other unique souvenirs here, all of which make it the perfect place to indulge in retail therapy after a cultural evening!
  • Dining: The Royal Opera House features a range of dining options, from casual cafes to fine dining restaurants. You can choose from traditional Omani cuisine, international dishes, or a fusion of both.

6. Al Alam Palace

The Al Alam Palace is an iconic landmark and among the unique places to visit in Muscat, Oman. Owned by the monarch Sultan Qaboos, it is renowned for its gilded facade and grand history.

While you cannot go inside the palace, the lawns outside the palace are open to the public. If you plan to check out this palace, you should plan your visit during the late evening when the exterior is illuminated and provides a stunning view. Such exterior attractions and views, combined with their representation of Oman's culture and architecture, make it one of the best places to visit in Muscat, Oman.

  • Admire the Palace Architecture: The Al Alam Palace is famous for its blue and golden facade as well as unique Islamic architecture. You can enjoy the stunning exterior of the palace and take photographs.
  • Stroll Around the Palace Gardens: The gardens are beautifully landscaped and well-maintained, making them great for a stroll or picnic. You can relax and enjoy the serene surroundings and the palace's grandeur.
  • Explore the Surrounding Area: This palace is in the heart of Old Muscat, surrounded by other historical landmarks, such as the Mirani and Jalali forts, the Sultan's Armed Forces Museum, and the Bait Al Zubair Museum. You can explore these nearby attractions to dive into Oman's incredible history.
  • Go on a Guided Tour: While you cannot enter the Al Alam Palace, you can participate in a guided tour of its surroundings. These tours are led by knowledgeable guides who offer insights and informational tidbits into the history and significance of the palace.

7. Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

A journey to Muscat would not be complete without visiting the magnificent Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. Famed for its intricate designs and structures, this architectural wonder is a perfect example of a seamless fusion between Islamic, Middle Eastern, and traditional Omani styles of architecture.

This mosque, opened in 2001, has five minarets that encompass the mosque and stand as symbols of the five pillars of the Islamic faith, with the tallest minaret reaching 90 metres in height. Additionally, within this mosque lies the world's most enormous chandelier which consists of 600,000 crystals.

  • Admire the Architecture: As mentioned earlier, this mosque is an architectural marvel where you can spend hours admiring the intricate designs and details of the white marble structure. The blend of Islamic, Middle Eastern, and Omani architectural styles creates a stunning visual experience.
  • Visit the Prayer Hall: The mosque's main prayer hall is an incredible one, with a massive chandelier made of Swarovski crystals and a carpet covering an area of 4,200 square metres. Visitors are welcome to enter the prayer hall and observe the peaceful atmosphere.
  • Visit the Library: The mosque also houses a vast library that is open to the public. It has an extensive collection of books on Islamic studies, Omani history, and more, where you can learn about Islam and Omani culture and heritage.

8. Al Jalali Fort

Al Jalali Fort, constructed during the Portuguese occupation in the late 16th century, stands prominently at the entrance of Muscat's harbour in Oman. The fort offers breathtaking sights of the adjacent areas with a steep pathway leading to its entrance.

Once utilised as a prison, it now houses a Museum of Omani Heritage, displaying various artefacts, including guns, maps, and other memorabilia. However, only dignitaries are allowed to enter. On the battlements of the fort, bagpipe players entertain guests during military celebrations. From 8:30 am to 4:00 pm, visitors can tour the fort.

  • Visit the Museum of Omani Heritage: The Al Jalali Fort now serves as a museum of Omani heritage, accessible only to dignitaries. It offers a glimpse into Oman's rich heritage through its exhibits, which include cannons, muskets, maps, and much more. Visitors can learn about the country's history and culture through interactive displays, artefacts, and informative panels.
  • Take a Self-Guided Hike: Accessible only via a steep flight of steps, the fort is perfect for a quiet self-guided hike. You can stroll up the steps and enjoy the stunning views of the harbour and the surrounding areas. Although the walk is manageable, it is advisable to wear comfortable shoes and carry plenty of water.
  • Explore the Historical Architecture: Built during the Portuguese occupation of the 1580s, the Al Jalali Fort is among the best places to visit in Muscat to discover the architectural style of the time. You can explore the intricate details of the fort's design - from the battlements and towers to the arches and domes - that also offer a glimpse into Oman's rich history of trade and conquest.
  • Attend Military Occasions: During military occasions, you can witness unique cultural performances when bagpipers perform at the fort battlements. Note that these performances occur on special occasions like the National Day of Oman or during official military parades.

9. City Center Muscat

City Center Mall in Muscat provides an exciting shopping experience for shopaholics, with more than 142 global brands! You can enjoy high-end fashion accessories, delicious meals at fancy cafés, and various entertainment options like VOX cinema and Magic Planet.

Located close to the Muscat International Airport, this mall is one of the best places to visit in Muscat for shopping lovers. Open between Saturday and Wednesday (10 am to 10 pm) and Thursdays and Fridays (10 am - 12 am), it is a nice place to explore and shop around from globally-renowned brands!

  • Shop at the Global Brands: City Center Muscat is a shopper's paradise with over 142 global brands. From high-end fashion to electronics and cosmetics, there's something for everyone. Thus, besides visiting your favourite stores here, make sure to explore the new ones as well.
  • Enjoy Magic Planet: Magic Planet at City Center Muscat offers a variety of fun activities for all ages and is an ideal place to visit with family and friends. You'll find plenty of ways to enjoy yourself, from video games and arcade machines to bumper cars, bowling, and more.
  • Experience VOX Cinema: For the cinephiles! If you are one, you can catch the latest blockbusters at the VOX cinema in City Center Muscat. With comfortable seating and state-of-the-art technology, you can have a truly immersive movie experience here!
  • Dine at Fancy Cafes and Restaurants: City Center Muscat has a variety of cafes and restaurants to choose from, serving different cuisines to suit all tastes. You'll find something to satisfy your hunger, from quick bites to sit-down meals in places to visit in Muscat city. After you’re done shopping, don’t forget to try some fancy cafes and enjoy their ambience and delicious food!

10. Burj Al Sahwa Clock Tower

One of the top places to visit in Muscat, the Burj Al Sahwa Clock Tower is an iconic national monument in the heart of the city. This tower was built in 1985 to celebrate the 25th year of the Omani Renaissance and is a testament to the country's commitment to modernisation and development.

Standing at a height of 50 metres, it boasts four large clocks having fascinating designs, beautiful mosaic art and motifs, and Arabic numerals. You can admire Arabic art, discover the country's history, and capture some great photographs here. Note that you can visit this site from 8 am to 8 pm.

  • Explore the History: As discussed earlier, this Clock Tower has a rich history and significance. It was made to commemorate the 25th year of the Omani Renaissance and symbolises Oman's dedication to modernisation and development. You can learn about the tower's design, construction, and cultural significance through various exhibitions.
  • Photography: The Burj Al Sahwa Clock Tower offers a stunning view of Muscat. You can photograph the tower and its surroundings from different angles - the exquisite designs, mosaic art, and Arabic numerals on the clocks make for great photo opportunities.
  • Discover the Beauty of Art: The Burj Al Sahwa Clock Tower is a visual delight with intricate Arabic art and motifs. You can explore the beauty of the murals and designs on the tower's exterior and interior walls. The building also houses a collection of Omani art and handicrafts, which can help you understand Omani culture and art better.
  • Enjoy a Guided Tour: To learn more about the Burj Al Sahwa Clock Tower and explore it thoroughly, you can consider taking a guided tour. Knowledgeable guides can provide insights into the tower's history, design, and cultural significance. With tours generally available in multiple languages, visitors from around the world can have an enjoyable experience.

How to Secure Your Muscat Trip with Policybazaar UAE?

Before planning your trip, you can make a checklist of your top places to visit in Muscat. A great point of reference for this would be our list of the best places to visit in Muscat above, which covers the major places for travellers of varied interests!

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