Last Updated on 27/08/2021
With sunny beaches across the east and west coasts, Oman is an extraordinary destination in the Arabian world with a wide array of experiences to offer its tourists. Things to do in Oman varies through tantalising your taste buds with their unique cuisine, shopping at the bazaars, snorkelling in the deep blue sea and unforgettable tours to some of its stunning cultural and architectural attractions in the city. Very warm and friendly to its tourists, this beautiful country is well known for its adventure, culture and diversity. If you are ready to explore this captivating Middle Eastern country, let’s stroll through a list of things to do in Oman during your visit!
Experience culture and music at the Royal Opera House – Top pick from our list of things to do in Oman
This is one of the most breathtaking locations in Muscat that would reflect luxury living and contemporary architecture of the Omani culture, making it the perfect start to the Omani tour! This monument is said to be the passion project of the Sultan of Oman back in 2001. Beautifully designed and constructed with marble floors and wooden interiors, the Royal Opera House is a giant complex that has an art centre, auditorium, concert theatre and a shopping centre with a range of restaurants to dine from and hosts many musical and arts & culture events to its guests. Be sure to dress up and wind down to have yourself an immersive experience at the Royal Opera House.
Visit the sacred Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
If you are in the capital city of Muscat, don’t forget to pay a visit to the Grand Mosque that is the main mosque in the Sultanate of Oman. It is one of the very few mosques that allow non-muslims to visit the prayer room and to explore the depths of the religion. If you stop by the library, you will be taken through the history of Islamic religion, culture and lifestyle that will truly widen your horizons. This beautiful and grand structure is a great example of modern Islamic architecture and symbolises the believers’ willingness to allow others to explore in order to understand, however be aware of the rules when visiting. Once through the entrance, you will witness beautiful landscapes, well-maintained gardens, grand Islamic art, magnificent interiors and walls covered with vibrant mosaic patterns that will take your breath away. The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque has a majestic exterior and stunning interiors that will be a great addition to your list of things to do in Oman.
Explore years of history at the National Museum
Located in the capital city of Muscat, this is a tour for all history enthusiasts and curious minds. Among many things to do in Oman, the National Museum is a favourite stop for all tourists and guests. It specialises in focusing on artefacts and innovations that have a significant connection to the cultural heritage of Oman and consists of over 5,500 objects from over two million years ago. All historically important objects from documents, manuscripts, numismatics and armour can be found here and the educational centre of the National Museum also provides opportunities for cultural expression, innovation and appreciation for the grand history of Oman over many centuries. Within a quick span of two to three hours, you can explore the depths of this museum and be more informed about the history of this great Arabian land.
Witness teal blue water at the Bimmah Sinkhole
Moving on to the sunny side of things in Oman, this is a popular destination amongst the tourists and among the top-rated things to do in Oman. With only 30 minutes away from the main city of Muscat, this is locally known as ‘Hawiyyat Najm’, a depression filled with water that is also known to be one of the most stunning natural phenomena of Oman. Guests are allowed to take a swim in this incredible body of water but be warned, it is said to be approximately 20 metres deep. Many tourists love to have their photographs taken here with stunning views and hues of teal in the water. Who wouldn’t like an instagrammable #lovefromOman moment? If this would be a good photo on your IG feed, this one’s for you!
Long, scenic walks in the Qurum Beach
If you are looking to escape the city buzz, the Qurum beach is the best place to relax and wind down. Located in Muscat, this is a city beach where you can enjoy the sun and the oceanview right under a palm tree, or dive straight into the beautiful blue water of the Gulf of Oman to take a swim. This is top-ranked among tourists’ favorite things to do in Oman and you will also find a line of restaurants offering international cuisine and a variety of beverages and refreshments. Excursions such as snorkelling, scuba diving and jet skiing are available here for its guests, and no surprise, this is one of the most popular destinations to visit in the city of Muscat. Be sure to pay a visit in the evening to enjoy the cooling sunset hours or in the morning to have breakfast with a view for an experience to fall in love with.
Be at the heart of trade at Mutrah Souq
It is officially time to brush up on your bargaining skills if you are planning to visit the Mutrah Souq. Traders love to play hardball and a decent amount of haggling is always welcome here. Mutrah Souq is a traditional Arab market in Muscat where you can find a variety of items such as jewellery, frankincense, gems, textiles, ancient spices and many more. If you are a first-timer here, it is said that you will get lost in this market inevitably and that it is all part of the fun of being at one of the oldest Arabian markets in Oman! If you keep taking right turns you will end up exactly where you started, and if you do get lost, walk downhill where you will end up at the beach where the entrances will be. You can spend five to seven hours at this bazaar that can be very tiring and lengthy, so make sure you do this at the beginning or the end of a day. After your shopping experience, don’t forget to drop by ‘Bait Al Luban’, the famous Arabian restaurant for a hearty meal.
Set foot and explore the Old Muscat city
With only one and a half-hour drive away from Muscat, this is a great location for sightseeing to explore and walk through the Omani history that existed nearly five hundred years ago. Located at the east point of the city (right near the Muscat National Museum), you will be fascinated by this city that consists of many old structures that richly speaks of Arabian history and tell tales of their early lifestyle and culture. This area is safely guarded geographically by a range of coastal mountains, separating the old city from the modern Muscat city. Don’t miss the opportunity to see the view of the Gulf of Oman from the top of these mountains – a truly breathtaking view that you can’t get from anywhere else. Visiting the old Muscat city is one of the well-known destinations for Omani tourists and this certainly deserves a place in your list of things to do in Oman.
Watch sea turtles at Ras Al Jinz
If you are travelling with kids, this is one of the best things to do in Oman that will give them an unforgettable experience like never before. Oman has 5 out of 7 types of sea turtles visit annually to nest eggs in their coastal areas, and Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve gives you the opportunity to witness this. Visitors have the chance to be in-house guests at their eco-lodge along with the excursions or to take the excursion tour separately. The lodging experience will be filled with comfort and luxury and your taste buds will be satisfied with the most amazing food that they serve their guests here. The location of this reserve is absolutely perfect that you will be accompanied by serenity and tranquillity surrounded by stars and ocean waves. To get a better experience, be sure to visit when a full moon is nearby. Ras Al Jinz has two guided excursions at sunrise and sunset for its guests. If you are an early riser, don’t miss the chance to take the sunrise tour where you will see dozens of sea turtles returning to sea in the morning after laying eggs at night. Imagine that with a stunning view of the Arabian sunrise!
A quick stop for a photograph at the Al Alam Palace
Located in one of the oldest and picturesque cities in the world, Al Alam Palace adds beauty and elegance to the vibrant city of Muscat. This striking blue and gold structure is known as a great example of contemporary Islamic architecture that is visited by many guests and diplomats from across the world. The palace is one of six official palaces of the Omani Sultan and is one of many incredible attractions in the city that must be added to your list of things to do in Oman. Although this isn’t open for public visits, guests are welcome to explore the Royal Garden where you will witness its grandeur structure representing the luxury and vibrancy of the Omani culture.
To hike, to swim and to explore in Wadi Bani Khalid
Here is a sweet spot that has beautiful greenery and serene water that is only three hours away from the city of Muscat. The Wadi Bani Khalid is a perfect place to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Oman. With stunning views, this destination will allow you to hike, to explore and to swim in the crystal clear water. It would also be a wonderful place to travel with kids given that you will be surrounded by natural beauty, so don’t forget to take lots of photographs while you are here. You will start with a small hike to reach the main pool, a larger pond area where swimming is allowed (a tip: is that you will need to wear appropriate clothing, swimwear is not allowed) and you can travel further upriver to reach the upper pond to get into calmer water with a better view. If you’d fancy a hike and a swim in one go, this is the perfect spot to be added to your list of things to do in Oman.
Explore amazing landscapes spring water at Ain Razat
We are taking you to an area in Oman called Salalah that is rich in natural water springs. After a stunning 20km drive away from Salalah filled with scenic views is one of the most popularly visited locations in this area, Ain Razat is the main water source for cattle and farms in the vicinity that uses traditional irrigation systems. This area is surrounded by a beautiful landscape that flourishes with nature all around you and guests can explore the waterfalls, a reservoir filled with little fish, migratory birds, stunning greenery and hidden caves in the area. If you visit in monsoon season, during June and September, you can bring your outdoor mats for a picnic and explore amazing sceneries. There is an enclosed garden area with a “leaning tree” which is a top-favourite spot to have a nice picnic with your friends and family.
Experience the tale of two cities at Corniche
To end this splendid tour of Oman, what can be more perfect than a long walk between the old city and new city of Muscat? Corniche is the best place to wind down, to relax and indulge in the natural and cultural beauty that this country has to offer. This place has nice and clean pavements with a view of the Gulf and their port. If you travel in the evening, the sea breeze will be a lot cooler and you will see seagulls eagerly waiting for their bird-feeders. This will be a fun experience to have with your family and will definitely be loved by kids. If you have already fallen in love with this country, here is another opportunity to explore their culture and lifestyle. Don’t forget to add this last destination, the Corniche, to the list of things to do in Oman and for one last impressive experience before you go.
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