The Royal City of Muscat is the capital of Sultanate of Oman. Oman is one of the most famous Arab Countries located on the Southeastern Coast of the Arabian Peninsula in the western part of Asia. The city has a lot of places to offer tourists. Muscat never fails to disappoint the tourists. The main attractions of the city can be covered in three and a half days.
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
According to the beliefs of the locals, it is believed that any journey should begin with worships Allah. Therefore, the first tourist spot is always the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. The timings of the mosque are from 9 am to 11 am. It has various attractions which include different praying halls for men and women, chandeliers, wood carvings, etc. The main thing to be considered is the strict dress code for both men and women. Men should be dressed in pants below their knees, and women should cover their hands, legs, and head. So, it’s better to carry a scarf along! The main attraction amongst all are the beautiful chandeliers.
The Royal Opera House
The Royal Opera House Is one of the most attractive and magnificent tourist spots in Muscat. The entry fee for the Royal Opera house is R.O. 5 per person. It is a setup for various cultural theatrical activities like drama and dance from all around the globe. It can accommodate around 1,100 people. The stage for performances is mobile and consists of 8 levels for the professional level of performances. Even the seats for audiences are of 3 levels where the second level is for the Sultan of Oman and his family members. Each seat has a display screen for the translation of the dialogues and narrative of the performances in various mainstream languages inclusive of English and Arabic. Apart from this theatre, there is also a museum of musical instruments presented to the museum from his majesty and rulers from all across the 7 seas. Alongside these musical instruments, there are also some elements and personal belongings of the people who contributed to the early dawn of musical development. The house also has a very intriguing real-life story of a beautiful young woman, Lakmè, daughter of an indian pandit who fell in love with a British officer.
The Royal Opera house has a marvelous infrastructure with influences from Rome, Morocco, and Islamic designs. Also, the wood and marbles used in its construction are from various countries like Italy, etc. The tour of the Royal Opera house also includes friendly and interactive guides who describe the location with minute details.
Qurum Beach is a beach situated towards the outskirts of the city. It has a very picturesque coastline perfect for those looking forward to clicking pictures on the shores. It also has a few food trucks set up nearby for the visitors to have some light snacks which opens up during the evening.
Muttrah Market as commonly known amongst the tourists is a market located along the beautiful coastline and has a very attractive view all around. It has a large network of streets having small shops vending local procures, Antiques and Artifacts which attracts the tourists. Also, tourists have a wide array of souvenirs to choose from. It plays a major role in the enhancement and continuation of culture and heritage. Entire Souq has shade coverage over it to prevent and protect the visitors from the scorching heat and sunlight. A little away from the Souq is a gold market with a variety of products to choose from. At furthermore distance from the Muttrah Souq is the school where the Sultan of Oman had completed his education. Across the streets are a port and a large-scale fish market retailing fresh seafood. From the pathway, The Royal Yacht can be witnessed along with numerous other sea transport vehicles.
Al Alam Palace (Sultan’s Palace)
The Sultan’s Palace is the most adorable and marvelous piece of art. It is the current location of stay of the Sultan of Oman. The natural beauty of mountains all around the Palace enhances its beauty enormously. Its beauty can be witnessed in its best form only by visiting it in person and is truly a recommendable place to stopover.
The National Museum
A few meters from the Sultan’s Palace is the National Museum. It can rightly be called the best place to visit in Muscat. For the history and antique enthusiasts, it is a paradise. Consisting of all-around history of Oman including subjects like currency, weapons, representative models of the ships and boats used during the medieval times and of major forts in the Sultanate and many more artifacts. It is recommended to take out a substantial amount of time to visit the National Museum as it has a wide array of products and can be tiring for some tourists. The entry fee per person for students and senior citizens is free, R.O. 1 for Omani and CC Nationals, R.O. 2 for residents in Oman and R.O. 5 for foreign tourists.
View Points around the city
There are numerous viewpoints setup in and around the city for a mesmerizing view and adoring the nature as well as the marvelous infrastructures of the city.
Wadi Dayqah Dam
Wadi Dayqah Dam has one of the most picturesque locations around the city. It is built extremely magnificent and also the view from the location is considerably adorable. It also has an observatory built near the start of the dam from which the view can be best observed and adored. It is bliss for the people who like landscape photography and also for those who like their pictures to be clicked. The location also has a garden with short date trees and places and chairs placed for short resting and shade along with a small restaurant to grab some snacks from.
Bimmah sinkhole is one of the most attractive and appealing naturally formed body in Muscat. It is really visited worthy locations with various provisions to the tourists like playgrounds for kids and shades for the tourists to tackle the heat and scorching sun. There are steps built to proceed down the sinkhole to experience a whole new experience. The visitors can also swim in the cold and refreshing natural water down the sinkhole. It is suggested to carry headwear like caps and sunglasses to block the blazing sunlight.
Tiwi Beach is another beach that comes in the path from the city center to Bimmah Sinkhole. It is yet another picture-perfect location with mountains and sea for the people looking for nature landscape photography. One may actually enjoy the presence of oneself on such beach shore.
Wadi Al Shams
Wadi Al Shams is meant for the trekking enthusiast but can also be enjoyed the people who can walk long distances. People who cannot walk long distances are not recommended to visit the location. There are boating services available to cross the river with R.O. 1 per person. From across the river, there is a footpath that leads to a rocky trail which can be followed to reach the caves and main water body. It takes around 45 minutes to 1.5 hours to reach the water body. The location is yet another beautiful spot for photography as well as refreshing oneself. It is recommended to carry swimwear, glasses, and caps along for swimming as well as protection from the sun.
Nizwa Fort is a fort located in Nizwa city about 160 km away from the Muscat city centre. Nizwa Fort along with having historical importance has a museum containing various artifacts from the ancient times such as weapons, currency, ancient cameras, passports etc.
It also has a stall providing Argagh which is a traditional dish served in the middle east. The fort also has various rooms and halls having a proper description of the place like coffee preparation room, meeting halls, soldier’s room, etc. The tower and steps leading to the top of the fort also have a mind-blowing description and depictions of the defence mechanisms of the fort to prevent intervention. On the top of the fort, there are various cannons which represent how the fort protected the rulers. Also, there is an amazing viewpoint from the top. The entry fee is R.O. 5 for non-Omanis, R.O. 2 for Omanis and R.O. 1 for children aged between 6-12 per person.
Al Hoota Cave
Al Hoota Caves are the caves that were discovered several years ago by the locals residing in the location. The entry fee is slightly high for the location but is totally worth it. The fee for Omani adults is R.O. 3.5 and R.O. 1 for whereas R.O. 7 for non-Omani adults and R.O. 3.5 for non-Omani children. The location is completely filled with mind-boggling experience. The journey from the main office to the cave takes about 5 minutes and is covered by train. The total tour in the cave is assisted by a friendly and interactive guide who explains every aspect of the cave in English and Arabic. The tour takes around 45 minutes to complete by walk and is inclusive of numerous steps and also may be humid at several spots. The people having health conditions [problems] are not recommended to visit the caves. Apart from the caves, there is also a museum in the compound displaying various naturally occurring rocks and insects and small animals found in and around the caves with a visual representation of world evolution and many more things.
Jabel Akhtar is another major spot for people who enjoy high mountain views and adore natural beauty. The people who aspire to visit Jabel Akhtar by personal or rented cars must make sure that they drive there in an SUV as the smaller vehicles like sedans are not allowed to go to the mountain top. Its scenic beauty cannot be explained in words. There is almost negligible walk required to reach the spots. There are natural rocks occurring in layers with unusual teal and wine coloured rocks. Also, it is a recommended location to visit.
Dolphin Watching can be called the most memorable visit of a lifetime. The visiting fee is slightly high but is definitely worthy of a visit. It is R.O. 10 per person inclusive of boating charges. The presence of dolphins depend upon the season of visit but they are mostly seen all around the year in large schools. The experience is very earth-shattering and even if the dolphins are not seen around but the trip inculcates and covers various places like Al-Bustan Hotel and Portuguese cemetery along with various natural metaphorical of various elements like the rock shaped like an Omani man with the traditional cap and moustache viewings from the boat itself.