Sandwiched between the Gulf of Oman and balconied houses, Muttrah Corniche was Oman’s principal port in the country’s medieval maritime spice trade. Where spice-laden dhow boats once set sail, there are now souks, shops, restaurants and walkways where visitors and locals stroll, shop, and soak in the old-time Arabian atmosphere.
Muttrah Corniche is a popular inclusion on all Muscat sightseeing tours. Experience it on private or group tours that provide round-trip transport and also spotlight other attractions such as the Grand Mosque. Other ways to visit are on Muscat hop-on hop-off buses or multi-day trips that cover Oman’s wider highlights. Other activities include sunset dhow cruises that showcase Muttrah at sundown, when the setting sun bathes the corniche in gold.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Bring a sunhat, comfy shoes, and bottled water: the corniche runs for 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) from Muttrah Fish Market to Riyam, with only pockets of shade on route.
- Visit on a city tour that combines time in Muttrah Souk with a scenic corniche drive.
- Restrooms are limited: find them at Muttrah Souk’s entrance and in Riyam Park.
How to Get There
Muttrah Corniche sits in eastern Muscat, just north of Old Muscat. Although public buses run here from the Ruwi commercial district, most visitors arrive via self-drive, cabs, city tours, or hop-on hop-off buses. Drivers reach the corniche by following Muscat’s Route 1 highway eastward. Parking is available, but spots can be difficult to find.
When to Get There
You can visit Muttrah Corniche any time, but expect it to be busy in the mornings and evenings especially. To explore the fish market and souk at their quietest, arrive when they open at around 8am. For the best views and buzziest atmosphere, come at sundown when Muttrah’s lights flicker on and the souks and shops are in full swing.
Must-Do Activities on Muttrah Corniche
Most visitors explore Muttrah’s Fish Market before walking along the corniche to admire its 18th-century merchant’s houses and scout out Omani handicrafts in maze-like Muttrah Souk. Afterward, walk eastward to Muttrah Fort. Sitting high on a rocky outcrop, this 16th-century Portuguese-built fort commands is reached by steep steps and commands spectacular views over the bay.
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