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Things to do in Oman

Things to do in  Oman

Welcome to Oman

The Arabian Peninsula nation of Oman combines an ancient Middle Eastern spirit with a modern appearance. Port capital Muscat is home to landmarks such as the Muttrah Corniche and the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, as well as plentiful people watching opportunities in Old Muscat's cafés. The Al Hajar Mountains culminate in Jebel Shams, the country's highest peak, which rewards visitors with panoramic views. Meanwhile, history-steeped Nizwa, once Oman's capital, features an ancient souk and a 17th-century fortress begging to be explored. And no trip to Oman is complete without a foray into the Wahiba Sand Desert, best seen from atop a camel or in a 4x4 vehicle.

Top 15 attractions in Oman

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

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Situated in western Muscat, the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is one of the city’s treasures. Built in 2001 on the orders of the late Sultan Qaboos, and the only Omani mosque open to non-Muslims, it’s impressive for its cream-marble courtyards, minarets, and prayer hall topped by a golden dome.More

Wadi Bani Khalid

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The most-visited of Oman’s wadi, or river beds, Wadi Bani Khalid also is one of its easiest to access. Join locals at this picturesque oasis to swim in a string of natural aquamarine pools flanked by boulders and palms, and picnic along the rocky trails.More

Wahiba Sands (Sharqiyah Sands)

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Stretching over 125 miles (200 kilometers) from the Eastern Hajar Mountains to the Arabian Sea, the Wahiba Sands (also known as Sharqiyah or Sharqiya Sands) are Oman’s adventure playground. Named after the nomadic Wahiba Bedouin tribes, this desert region is known for its amber-colored sands and towering sand dunes, some standing up to 330 feet (100 meters) high.More

Royal Opera House

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Opened in 2011, the Royal Opera House Muscat is Oman’s premier cultural institution and one of its signature sights. Visitors come to attend operas, concerts, and shows; enjoy its upscale shopping and dining mall; and marvel at its stunning Arabesque and Italianate design.More

Al Alam Palace (Sultan's Palace)

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Occupying a waterfront spot on the harbor of Old Muscat, Al Alam Palace is the official ceremonial palace of the Sultan of Oman. Mushroom-shaped columns and a vivid gold-and-blue facade make it one of Muscat’s most arresting sights.More

Bait Al Zubair Museum

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Tucked into Old Muscat just east of the modern city, the Bait Al Zubair shines the spotlight on Oman’s history and heritage. The privately owned museum occupies three beautifully restored Omani houses and attracts visitors with displays of photos, weaponry, jewelry, and artifacts that provide insight into Omani life and history.More

Muttrah Souq (Mutrah Souk)

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Thought to be one of Arabia’s oldest marketplaces, Muttrah Souk is a maze of shop-crammed lanes and squares hidden off Muscat’s Muttrah waterfront. Open day and night, the souk lures travelers with its Arabian Nights atmosphere and outlets piled with Omani handicrafts, household goods, clothes, and spices.More

Qurum Beach

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The most popular beach lining the coast of Oman, Qurum Beach is known for its soft golden sands, water activities, and restaurant scene. It is popular with families and active visitors with its long, flat paths for walking and jogging. Walking in the sand is also possible at low tide. Several beachside hotels are located on the beach, so many facilities as well as coffee shops, snack bars, shops, and cafes are available here. Many restaurants face the water and enjoy scenic views of the ocean.The long stretch of sand sits next to the Qurum nature reserve, so the area keeps its natural feel. In addition to relaxing in the sun and sand, water sports such as beach volleyball, kite surfing, and swimming are popular here. Locals often come to this beach to make BBQ dinners, play soccer, and enjoy the evening ocean breezes.More

Al Mirani Fort

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Perched high above the western walls of Old Muscat harbor, Al Mirani Fort gazes across the Gulf of Oman and its sister fort—Al Jalali—rising from the opposite side. Constructed by the Portuguese in 1550, its crenelated towers and walls make it one of Muscat’s most photogenic sights.More

Wadi Shab (Shab Valley)

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Carving through high sandstone cliffs on the Gulf of Oman coast, Wadi Shab is one of the country’s most picturesque dry river gorges. The wadi’s palm-lined hiking trail and aquamarine waters make it a must for outdoors enthusiasts.More

Nizwa

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One of the oldest cities in Oman, Nizwa sits on a plain in the Al-Hajar Mountain range. Once a stop on ancient caravan routes—and a center for trade, religion, education, and art—today’s Nizwa is a diverse place with agricultural, historic, and cultural points of interest.More

Al Jalali Fort

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One of the two forts framing Old Muscat’s harbor—along with its sister, Al Mirani—Al Jalali is a defining sight of Oman’s capital. Built by the Portuguese in 1587, it served as a prison during the 20th century before being restored and becoming one of Muscat’s must-see landmarks.More

Amouage Factory and Visitors’ Centre

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In 2012, the Amouage perfumery opened its Muscat factory to celebrate three decades of this niche luxury brand of fragrance. At the Amouage Factory and Visitors' Centre, discover the most expensive perfume in the world, which draws inspiration from the rich and colorful heritage of the Sultanate of Oman.For shopping fanatics, the Amouage Factory is best enjoyed as part of an Arabian shopping trip and souq experience. Once at the perfume factory, a guide will explain how the perfumes are made by hand and you can watch as the bottles are filled and packaged by the small team who work here, perhaps even purchasing a bottle to take home for yourself. If visiting as part of a shopping and souq tour, you’ll then get to visit two modern shopping centers, before finishing up at the most popular and largest bazaar in Oman, the Muttrah Souq.More

Muttrah

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Muttrah (also written Mutrah) is a district and former fishing village in the Muscat province of Oman with a long history as a center of commerce in the region. Muttrah Souq, a traditional bazaar still operating today, is one of the oldest marketplaces in the world. Its history dates back to the age of sail, when Muttrah was an important trade location between India and China. Set against the backdrop of the Muttrah harbor, it is still a center for trading and shopping today both for locals and visitors. It is named “Al Dhalam” (‘darkness’ in Arabic) for its many crowded stalls and lanes where little sun hits. Housed under a timber roof, it maintains its traditional Arabic feel. A labyrinth of alleyways, spices, perfumes and stands, it is one of the most popular attractions to visit in Oman.Stroll alongside the Port Sultan Qaboos (Port Muttrah), one of the main commercial ports of Oman. Barter for silks, precious metals, antiques, spices, incense or jewelry in the souk, stop for an Arabic coffee or a fresh fruit juice, explore the local fish market and be transported to both the past and present of the country’s culture.More

Jebel Shams

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The highest peak in the Al-Hajar mountain range and in all of Oman, Jebel Shams (Mountain of the Sun) towers above the northern town of Al Hamra. Rising to about 10,000 feet (3,000 meters), Jebel Shams is a sharp contrast to the cool coastal towns along the Gulf of Oman.More

Trip ideas

Must-See Museums in Muscat

Must-See Museums in Muscat

Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

Recent reviews from experiences in Oman

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Beautiful special experience
Susan_V, Dec 2022
Khasab Musandam Mountain Safari To Khor Najd and Jebel Al Harim
The friendly, experienced driver with whom we could have a good conversation in English and who could answer all our questions made us feel absolutely welcome and safe.
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Highly recommended tour
Catherine_B, Nov 2022
Enjoy the beauty of Fanja, Samail، Izki and Nizwa on a special trip
You get to see beautiful interior scenery and villages.
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Really great trip with...
Caleb_G, Oct 2022
Desert experience - Private Wahiba sands full day tour
We got to see extensive areas of Oman.
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Snorkeling in Oman
Jordan_P, Oct 2022
Daymaniyat Islands Snorkeling Sharing Trip
While I didn't get to see the black tip sharks, the trip still was absolutely worth doing.
star-5
Professional and knowledgeable guide and fabulous unique location
Tracey_M, Jul 2022
Wadi Shab and Bimmah Sinkhole Private Full Day Tour
I was a bit nervous with the hike - in high summer it can be exhausting with temperatures in the high 30's and the swimming spots are deep in parts.
star-5
Awesome time even though it rained
Eric_C, Jul 2022
2-Day Private Overnight Desert Experience - by Salalah4Tourist
Unfortunately, we had some rain spoil some of our planned activities, but we ended up going to an amazing camp site away from the empty quarter and had a great bbq there.
star-5
Solid 1.5 hours (45 min + 45 min) of hiking (it'll get hot so prepare accordingly)
Michael_D, Apr 2022
Wadi Shab and Bimmah Sinkhole Group Full Day Tour
With the heat, that can take a toll on people but overall a very nice excursion to see what Oman has to offer.
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Great trip to Nizwa and Grand Canyon
Phillip_C, Feb 2020
Nizwa and Jebal Shams Grand canyon
Oman is a great place to visit: friendly, beautiful, and totally safe.
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From desert to ocean
Nancy_P, Jan 2020
3 Day Package TOUR JASMIN
Also the trip provided many outdoor activities which I enjoyed.
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Great Muscat Experience!
Resort10559825765, Apr 2019
Full-Day Grand Canyon and Nizwa Tour by 4x4
When I told him I wanted to visit Muttrah souq, out of good will he drove me there and assisted me in some deal bargaining for my souvenirs.
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Saif was our tour guide...
Dhruv_V, Mar 2022
Wadishab and Bhima Sink Hole (Sharing Tours
The place itself is beautiful and the waterfall inside the cave is quite incredible.
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Worth it!
Nisha_M, Feb 2022
Private Day Trip to Nizwa & Jabal Shams (The Grand Canyon of Oman)
The next day we sorted a tour to al ayn to see the famous beehive tombs as well as balha fort.
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Good tour.
Jean_B, Nov 2021
Muscat Half Day City Tour with visit to Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
His English was good.
star-5
An amazing day tour
andrewmclifford, Nov 2021
Desert experience - Private Wahiba sands full day tour
A knowledgeable driver and tour guide whose first language is not English but was excellent.
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Beautiful Nature. Minimal Guide Interaction
Anne_F, Feb 2020
Discover the South and Wadi Shab from Muscat
It’s a nice way to see a different side of Oman though.
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Hassle-free way to explore eastern Oman for a day
DerekJames_W, Feb 2020
Jebel Shams Day Trip: The Grand Canyon of Oman
This is a convenient way to visit Nizwa and Jebel Shams for a day as a solo traveler.
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Amazing Omani experience
cruisediariesblog, Feb 2020
Jebel Shams Day Trip: The Grand Canyon of Oman
On the way back we stopped to see a plantation and the fascinating irrigation system.
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Our tour guide.
repsaw, Jan 2020
Private Half-Day Muscat City Tour
She has a masters degree speak multiple languages in her English is perfect.
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Nizwa, worth the effort
Anthony_L, Dec 2019
Nizwa Full Day Tour from Muscat with JABREEN fort
No time to see the Fort (5 rials), yet there is always too much time for coffee, food-tasting and the set lunch !
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Loved it. So glad we did this
Finicky_one, Dec 2019
Authentic Omani Home Dining
The family spoke English very well, was very well educated and well traveled.
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All about Oman

When to visit

Oman is at its best in winter, when summer’s heat has receded and the wadis (dried river gorges) are lush with palms and natural pools. The peak season, which runs from November through February, brings warm, rain-free days and temperatures that get up to around 85°F (30°C). That said, the period of April through May is when the rose gardens in Oman’s mountain villages bloom, and fall brings cooler, hiking-perfect weather. Watch for Ramadan, when alcohol sales and other activities are restricted.

Getting around

Oman’s public transportation is limited; most travelers opt for cabs or rent cars. While there are public buses linking some cities, it’s hard to find schedules. You can take shared minibuses around Muscat, but most tourists opt for private tours, hop-on hop-off buses, or the city’s white-and-orange taxis. The only realistic options for out-of-town adventures are to take a private tour or rent a car or four-wheel-drive vehicle; choose the latter if you’re confident enough to go off-road in Oman’s gorges and mountains.

Traveler tips

While most visitors to Oman stick to hotel restaurants, it’s worth your while to seek out a good local eatery. If you go shopping at the Mutrah Souq (which is tucked behind an archway on Mutrah Corniche), head to the Corniche Café, which has an open-arched terrace perched above the souk entrance. Order specialties like almond hummus and fresh guava juice, and let the gentle sea breezes offer a respite from the heat of the souk.

Frequently Asked Questions
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