Things to Do in Muscat

Activities in Muscat

See the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Watch a show at the Royal Opera House, Explore Bait Al Zubair, Swim at Qurum Beach, Take a day trip to Nizwa, Explore Mutrah Corniche and many more.

There are heaps of things to do in Muscat as it is a hive of adventurous and fun activities that people come to enjoy from different parts of the world. Some people come to indulge in a wide variety of water sport activities like snorkeling, fishing, boat touring, etc. At the same time, others come to relax in the secret and secluded beaches of Muscat.

One of the best activities in Muscat that you must try is attending the show at the royal opera house. It plays world-famous cultural shows and classical musicals admired by many. In addition to this, if you want to witness Muscat's culture and religion, the best place you can visit is Bait Al Zubair. It has a mesmerizing collection of traditional furniture, coins, stamps, and Omani handicraft work visiting. Apart from this, you can shop until you drop in the famous Mutrah Souq. Here you can find a great maze of adorable shops offering khanjars, Omani silver, traditional jewelry, carved doors, etc.

Now, if you are looking for adventurous activities, you can try hiking through Muscat's shady gorges and steep mountains. You can also go on a desert safari at Wadi Shab, where you can also try camel riding. In addition, some people also enjoy coastal trekking through shallow pools and mango trees.

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Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
Dominating the clear blue skies of Muscat, the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is the main mosque in the Sultanate of Oman. Among the most renowned historical places in Muscat, the Mosque is an architectural wonder. Presenting a seamless blend of Islamic, Middle eastern and traditional Omani styles of architecture, the white marbled mosque is known for its intricate designs and structures.

The 5 minarets that surround the mosque stand for the 5 pillars of Islamic faith, with the tallest one reaching over 90 meters in height. The Mosque is also home to the world’s largest chandelier, made out of over six hundred thousand crystals.

Location: Sultan Qaboos Street, Muscat, Oman

Timings: 04.00AM-09.30PM on all days of the week
Mutrah Corniche
Snaking its way along the coast, Mutrah Corniche is one of the most loved places in Muscat among locals and tourists alike. Offering splendid views of the sea, the seaside promenade, the Corniche appears especially resplendent during the sunset as the waning light hits the shimmering waters at low angles.

The Corniche crosses a few pristine gardens and sculpture parks along the way. The northern end of the Corniche has a little local Souq, that visitors can enjoy at their own leisure.

Location: Muttrah Corniche, Muttrah.

Timings: Open 24 hours
The Royal Opera House
A cultural goldmine, the Royal Opera House in Muscat invites all to a luxurious evening out. Clad in white marble exteriors and lavishly decorated theatres, the Opera House exudes opulence. The Opera House conducts musical performances on a regular basis, with a special emphasis on traditional Omani music.

Several guided tours are offered here as well. The Opera House, home to over 50 high end stores, is also among the most popular shopping places in Muscat.

Location: Al Kharjiya Street, Muscat Oman 103

Timings: Friday: 04.00PM-11.00PM, Saturday- Thursday: 09.00AM-11.00PM
Wadi Bani Khalid
The most visited of Oman’s Wadi, Wadi Bani Khalid is as renowned for its serenity as it is for its beauty. The desert oasis is fringed with swaying palms on all sides, while the clear green lakes here remain filled throughout the year.

Apart from the main pool, the Wadi has a number of smaller, seasonal pools which can be accessed for swimming. The ravines around the oasis are scattered with occasional caves, promising a fun time for the explorer in you.

Location: Al Hajar Mountains, Muscat region

Timings: Open 24 hours
Mutrah Fort
Built by the Portugese in the mid 16th century, the Mutrah Fort dominates the eastern end of the Muscat harbor. Initially built as a military fortification, the Fort still preserves some of its original war structures and weapons, making it one of the most interesting places to visit in Muscat for military biffs.

The trek to the Fort is an extremely scenic one, making it a popular spot for casual hikers as well.

Location: AL Bahri Road, Muscat, Oman

Timings: 09.00AM – 04.00PM
Yiti Beach
Located a short drive away from Muscat, Yitti is among the lesser known beaches on the Omani Coast. Surrounded by cliffs and coves on all sides, the serenity of this little beach makes it one of the best places to visit in Muscat among those looking to get away from the busy city.

The clear blue waters off the coast here offers a perfect spot for swimming or fishing, while the glittering clean sands invite sunbathers throughout the year. The beach is a popular camping spot as well, with several campers pitching tents overnight by the shores.

Location: East of Muscat
Qurum Beach
One of Oman’s most popular beaches, Qurum is a regular haunt among watersport lovers and leisure swimmers alike. The endless stretches of golden white sands are nearly always busy with joggers and strollers. The beach is also well known to command some of the best sunset views, making it a popular destination for evening walks.

A number of food shacks and restaurants line the sands here, catering to the tired guests after a happening day outdoors.

Location: Al Qurum Area
Bait Al Zubair
Initially opened to house the private possessions of Sultani Chief Bait AL Zubair Ali, the Bait Al Zubair Museum has now grown into one of the most popular museums in Oman. Initially housed within Al Zubair’s private residence, the Museum has expanded into three separate sections- the main Museum, an art gallery, and a model Omani style village, full with houses, a falaj and a Souq.

The principal focus of the Museum is traditional Omani crafts, and includes a number of items from ancient furniture to traditional daggers. A number of photographs of the Old City are also kept on display here.

Location: 100 Muscat, Muscat, Oman

Timings: 09:30 AM - 06:00 PM
Mutrah Souq
A popular sideway trip for those at the Mutrah Corniche, the Mutrah Souq still retains the charm of a traditional Arab Market. Rows after rows of timber stalls at the Souq sell a variety of Indian and Omani artefacts, with a selection range of antique goods at the jewelry and textile stores.

Special items at the market include the antique mandoo, or wedding chests, fitted with thumbtacks brought down from the Al Hajar mountains; the traditional Omani suit for men; and rope twined muskets that were used in the Dhofar wars of 1970. Although some stalls here sell a variety of snacks, the coffee served at the gate is an ancient traditional relic.

Location: Mutrah Corniche, Muscat

Timings: 05.00PM- 09.00PM
Al Alam Palace
The ruling monarch of Oman, Sultan Qaboos, has six palaces located across the kingdom, but none of these are as important as the Al Alam Palace. One of the most popular historical places to visit in Muscat, the historical landmark is known for its characteristic blue and gold facade.

Although the palace does not welcome guests, the beautiful lawns immediately outside it are always kept open to the public. The Palace is best visited during the late evening hours, when the entire premises is beautifully lit up from the outside.

Location: Muscat, Oman
Qurum Natural Park
Brimming with lush, flowering gardens, Qurum Natural Park is among the top  tourist places in Muscat to enjoy a day picnic at. The expansive green park, dotted with artificial waterfalls and pools, is interrupted only by a beautiful lake in the centre.

Boating is a popular activity in the lake here, which remains full throughout the year. The Natural Park features a small amusement park for very little children, with a variety of fun interactive rides. The mangroves here remain brimming with birds during season, making it a must visit for birdwatchers and photographers alike.

Location: Al Qurm Street, Muscat, Oman

Timings: 08.00AM-11.00PM on all days of the week
Al Mirani Fort
Looming large by the Muscat Harbour, the AL Mirani Fort is an iconic 16th century Fort built by the Portugese. Although closed to the public, the dominating figure of Al Mirani is near synonymous with the city itself, and has appeared in several 19th century lithographs of the city.

Location: Old Muscat, Oman
Muscat Gate Museum
Straddling the road between the Old Town walls and the Mutrah Corniche, the Muscat Gate Museum stands testament to the country’s glory. Although the Museum houses a number of fantastic exhibits, it is best known for the panoramic views it commands of the Corniche.

This also makes the Museum one of the most photographed places in Muscat. Galleries and exhibits at the Museum shed light on some of Muscat’s oldest landmarks, including souqs, houses, harbours and more.

Location: Al Qurm Street, Muscat, Oman

Timings: 08:00 AM - 02:00 PM
Al Jalali Fort
Built during the Portugese occupation of the 1580’s, the AL Jalali Fort guards the harbour entrance towards the east. Accessible only via a steep flight of steps, the fort is a perfect place to enjoy a quite self guided hike.

Although once serving as a prison, the Al Jalali Fort now serves as a Museum of Omani Heritage that is accessible only to dignitaries visiting the country. Exhibits at the Museum include those of cannons, muskets, maps and much more. During military occasions, bagpipers perform at the fort battlements.

Location: Al Bahri Rd, Muscat, Oman

Timings: 08.30AM- 04.00PM
Omani And French Museum
Honoring the close relationship between the Omani and the French, the erstwhile Sultan Qaboos of Oman established the Omani And French Museum in 1992. The Museum is housed within the former residence of the French Consul, Bait Faransa, in the Old Quarters of the city.

The collection at the Museum includes several historic photographs, along with some French ships, furniture, costumes and much more.

Location: Old Muscat, Oman

Timings: 08.00Am- 01.00PM
Marine Science & Fisheries Centre
Being Oman’s only aquacultural museum, the Marine Science and Fisheries Centre is one of the most popular tourist places in Muscat.  With tanks after tanks filled with colorful fishes swimming in all directions, the Museum is also one of the best places to visit in Muscat with children.

The special feature of the Fisheries Centre is its turtle tanks, brimming with all the local species found around the city. The Museum also offers guided tours.

Location: 7, Sohar, Oman

Timings: 08.00AM- 02.00PM
Al Fahal Island
A natural haven in the Arabian Sea, Al Fahal island is a popular destination for day trips around Muscat.  The little island was made through years of erosion of the sea floor, with the limestone from the sea beds drying up to form the mammoth rock that is now AL Fahal.

The water off the coast here is rich with colorful reefs and can be found teeming with a variety of fishes at all times. Although there is not much to explore at the island, guests can spend a happening day swimming or snorkeling through its clear blue waters.
Al Bustan Beach
Located only a short drive outside Muscat, Al Bustan is a deserted bay beach by the Omani coast. The quiet beach is known for its fishing village atmosphere, and is an ideal visit for couples and solo travellers looking for a little peace and quiet.

The clean waters here are good for swimming. There are some shades lined up by the shore where guests can sunbathe.

Location: Al Bustan Street, Muscat, Oman
Bimmah Sinkhole
Brimming with dazzling turquoise water, the Bimmah Sinkhole is one of the most beautiful places in Muscat. Although the sinkhole was formed through years of rock erosion, local legends still hold that the swimming hole replaced a cavern that was created when a meteorite hit the spot.

As a result, the Bimmah Sinkhole was named Haweat Najm, or The Falling Star, by the Omani locals. A large concrete staircase leads all the way from the rock precipice to the pool. Although most people travel to the Sinkhole just to admire its beauty, the swimming hole is perfect for a quick dip. If you’re daring enough, you can also try your hand at cliff diving from the surrounding clifftops.

Location: Bimmah, Muscat

Timings: 08.00AM- 08.00PM on all days of the week
City Centre Qurum
Those who wish to experience an ultimate shopping session can visit the City Centre Qurum. From a food court to a gaming arena and from high end brands to flea shops, this place has it all. With so many options around, the explorer in you will surely find something to explore and enjoy.

Considered as one of the top shopping destinations, this place attracts both locals as well as tourists equally. Apart from this, City Centre Qurum also houses “Magic Planet” which will surely keep you entertained for a while.

Location: Muscat Expressway, Al Ilam St, Muscat, Oman

Timing: 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM

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Muscat Things To Do FAQs

What are the best things to do in Muscat?

1. See the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque: Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is the most incredible mosque of Muscat that people come to visit from different parts of the world. It is the only mosque in Oman that does not restrict the type of people that can visit the mosque; anyone can visit irrespective of their religion and beliefs.

It is a breath-taking structure with five high brown color minarets surrounding the mosque, beautiful gardens, and huge verandas. According to travelers, exploring the main hall with fourteen massive chandeliers is the most favorite thing to do in Muscat. Here, you will get the authentic taste of Islamic Arab culture.

2. Watch a show at the Royal Opera House: Watching a show at the Royal House is one of the best activities in Muscat that you must not miss for anything. It is a grand structure which is unarguably the best one you will find in Muscat. This charming opera house has a beautiful front façade with stunning symmetrical towers and innumerable pointed arches.

It is made up of white marble and stone that looks even more beautiful in the sunset. The place features gardens, auditoriums, concert theatres, luxury restaurants, and retail stores. Moreover, when visiting the place, make sure to keep your evening free to book the most fantastic performance held in this place.

3. Explore Bait Al Zubair: When pointing out what to do in Muscat, how can we miss exploring Bait Al Zubair Museum? The place has an extensive collection of unique ancient artifacts from all around the world. You will surely get awe-struck by the notable things kept in the museum.

It includes a full-scale reconstructed Omani Souq and Village, and a fantastic display of traditional Khanjar, gold-plated ceremonial daggers. Moreover, while exploring the place, you will also find a gift shop to buy souvenirs for home and a typical Arabian-style café for refreshments.

4. Swim at Qurum Beach: One of the most incredible things to do in Muscat is swim in the blue and shallow waters of Qurum Beach. Its high tide stays for a comparatively longer time than most beaches, making it the perfect holiday spot for families.

It is a natural wonder of Muscat, containing pristine water of the Gulf of Oman where people like to swim. It is a perfect spot away from the hustle and bustle of working life and helps people relax and rejuvenate themselves. It is one of the prime locations with miles of golden sand lined up with cafes and quality cuisine worth exploring.

5. Take a day trip to Nizwa: When thinking of what to do in Muscat, you can plan a trip to Nizwa. It is a beautiful historic town located just a few hours away from the capital city. The place is rich in culture and history and has a deep connection between the regions of coastal plains and its rugged interiors.

As you take a stroll around the fortress and climb your way top to the circular tower, you will get the most spectacular view of your life. The fort has a clear view of the sea of green palms, rugged mountains, and white-washed houses.

6. Explore Mutrah Corniche: Exploring Mutrah Corniche is another excellent activity in Muscat that you must try. It is just 15 minutes east to the capital city and is a charming coastal town that attracts a considerable amount of travelers.

The place has a well-developed seafront where you can walk by and gaze at the Gulf of Oman's beautiful scenery. There is also a beautiful rock formation of the Mountain Hajar and an astonishing Portuguese watchtower on the other side. This part of the city has a laid-back atmosphere for a lazy weekend and some quality dining options.

7. See the sperm whale at Muscat Natural History Museum: 
While there are many museums you can explore in Muscat, this one is the only museum that features wildlife, geology, and landscape. So when wondering what activities in Muscat you can try, don't forget to include this.

It has an exquisite collection of taxidermy and fossils. People from different parts of the world also come to witness the magnificent whale that houses a massive skeleton of a sperm whale, which in the year 1980s was completely washed up on the coastline.

8. See the Muscat Gate: Seeing Muscat Gate is an incredible thing to do in Muscat as it is a combination of stunning structures and beautiful history. It is an informative exhibition that people come to explore from different parts of the world. The architecture spans the quad carriageway that directs into Muscat and highlights immense stone archways.

As you move inside the museum, you will find an exciting collection regaling Muscat's past development. The place basically depicts the Neolithic times and has a special exhibition of various areas. So make sure to explore the ancient wells, water springs, souks, harbors, underground channels, houses, mosques, and forts.

9. Shop for Souvenirs at Muttrah Souq: One of the exciting things to do in Muscat that everyone would love to do is shop for souvenirs at Muttrah Souq. It is the oldest market in the Arab world and is extremely rich in antiquity.

People come here to witness its increased beauty, magic, and allure. You will find several lovely small stalls from which you can buy souvenirs, bags, headscarves, home décor, Arab-style chandeliers, and possibly any other thing you think of. However, don't forget to bargain for the cheapest deal you can get.

10. Enjoy Water Activities in Muscat: Muscat has a large variety of water sport activities to offer to its visitors. As the place has an extensive coastline on the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman, you can try activities like wake-boarding, kitesurfing, windsurfing, and jet-skiing.

There are many more activities to do in Muscat, irrespective if you are a beginner or a pro. So if you are a beginner, you can take kitesurfing lessons at Az Zaibah Beach, and if you are a pro, you can directly hire a jet ski from the Al Sawadi Beach resort and start your fun.

What are the best adventure activities to do in Muscat?

1. Coastal Trekking at Wadi Shab: This place is a few hours away from Muscat but is worth exploring. In this adventure, you get to hike through fresh mango trees and shallow pools.

There is also a beautiful site of waterfalls which people admire extensively and a cave where you can swim. Also, make sure to stop at every notable spot, including a fort.

2. Desert Safari at Wadi Shab: For a delightful and thrilling experience, make sure to go on a desert safari in the Wahiba Sands. In this adventurous activity, you get to ogle the shady canyons, rock pools, and tiny villages. Moreover, if you wish, you can also take a camel ride afterward.

3. Cruise to Daymaniyat: To witness every inch of the Gulf of Oman, soak in the virgin nature and admire the fascinating beauty of the island, make sure to try this activity. It is the best activity in Muscat that allows you to explore different species of vividly coloured reef and provides a gorgeous site for swimming.

4. Hike through the mountain: In Muscat, you get to venture the mountain trail that contains shady gorges, palm groves, and a rock pool. After the tiresome hiking, you can relax over a picnic lunch beside natural pools.

What are the best things to do in Muscat at night?

1. Join the Muscat Festival: This festival is held in January and February every year. It is a beautifully artistic and cultural event worth attending. Moreover, you also get to shop various local and international products from the exhibition held afterward.

2. Take a night walk at Muttrah Corniche: One of the most soothing things to do in Muscat is to take a midnight stroll at the Muttrah Corniche. You get a beautiful view of the vibrant city, the beautiful mosque, and the authentic local souks at night.

3. Attend program in the Royal Opera House: The place is the central location for culture and arts in the Sultanate of Oman. The program contains shows from Oman, the whole world, and the Arab regions. It varies between orchestra performance, stage presentation, traditional dances, and musical concerts.

4. Dinner in a high-end cuisine: One of the most fun things to do in Muscat is eat at high-end restaurants, dessert places, cafes, or even watch a late-night movie. Muscat's most famous malls include Oman Avenues Mall, Muscat City Centre, and Muscat Grand Mall.

What are the best water sports one can experience in Muscat?

1. Qurum Kayaking: It is one of the most popular activities in Muscat. It is a trip of 2 to 3 hours where people get to enjoy the crystal clear azure water, small islands, and scenic beauty of ancient rocks. Plus, you also explore big crabs and hidden dark caves.

2. Snake canyon 2.0: This is a good adrenaline rush activity where you have to transverse through dark pools, face multiple slides, swim, take big jumps and trek through boulder valley to complete the activity.

3. Scuba Diving: Scuba diving in Muscat gives you an opportunity to encounter the huge collection of colorful coral reefs and fishes. By diving into the water, you discover green turtles, white tip reef sharks, and bottlenose dolphins. If lucky enough, you may also witness whales.

4. Snorkelling at Daymaniyat Islands: Muscat offers you a chance to absorb the underwater beauty of the Gulf of Oman. In this 35-40-minute experience, you get to witness rays, turtles, clownfish, moral fish, and other variety of marine life.

You also get the sight of white sandy beaches, crystal clear water, and mesmerizing coral reefs, making it one of the top activities to do in Muscat.

How to reach Muscat from India?

You can reach the city by landing at the Muscat International Airport, the largest airport in Oman. The airport serves flights from various cities, including Mumbai. Moreover, the major airline that you can board includes Air India, British Airways, and many more.

What is the best time to visit Muscat?

The best time when you should plan to visit Muscat is from November to Mid-march. During these months, the place experiences winter when the temperature is cool and pleasant. However, in summer, the weather is scorching, with an average temperature of 40-degrees.

Is Muscat safe?

Muscat is the safest city than most of the cities around the globe. You will face no issue regarding the kindness and hospitality you get here. You could take the help of locals if you lost your way. Moreover, there is no threat of being mugged as such.

What is Muscat known for?

Muscat is famous for a lot of things. However, people mainly come here to try seafood and dazzling souks. The city also has a mesmerizing Hajar mountain, exciting desert trails for trekking, and a spot for dolphin watching.

What to buy in Muscat?

The top things you can buy as souvenirs in Muscat include cooking pots, jewelry, and authentic handmade crafts reflecting Oman's heritage and culture.

How many days do you need in Muscat?

If you are planning a short trip to Muscat, 2 to 3 days will be ideal for you to explore the city's famous places. It will allow you to soak the culture and the real feeling of the city. However, if you want to stay for a longer time, you can plan as many days as you want; you will not get enough of this place.

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