We’ve compiled the best of the best in Oman - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Al Bustan Beach

    Tucked behind the small village of Al Bustan, this beach shares the same stretch of sand as the opulent Ritz-Carlton Al Bustan Palace Hotel. After a short stroll through the cobblestone alleys of the village past groups of old Oman women sitting and chatting together in the shade, steps will lead you directly onto the beach, where fishermen will look up from their nets to eye you, and children will likely be playing football. Move beyond the makeshift football field towards the hotel grounds. Just before the private section beach, at the base of towering rock formations, you can lay out your towels and coolers and spend the day swimming and taking in the happy sounds of the buzzing strand. In the village is a small barbecue restaurant and tea shop, but there are no formal facilities at this lovely beach. Amenities: parking (free). Best for: sunrise; sunset.

    Masqat, Oman
  • 2. Bait al Safah

    Nestled in the mountain village of Al Hamra, about 30 minutes from Nizwa, you will find a fantastic living museum built in a 400-year-old restored Omani mud house, where local men and women spend the day performing daily tasks as they would have been done in ancient times, from squeezing dates into date syrup and refreshing lime-date juice, to using stones to crack wheat, mixing perfume oils, and stitching traditional fabrics. As in any good Omani home, coffee and dates are always available and offered to visitors. Open hours can be somewhat erratic, so it's important to call the director and confirm before heading to the village.

    Ad Dakhiliyah, Oman
    9901–0373-Sulaiman Al Abri

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: 3 rials, Daily 9–5
  • 3. Bait Al Zubair

    One of the best museums in Oman, Bait al Zubair was formerly the home of the Zubair family, as the name would suggest. It houses a fascinating collection of traditional Omani weaponry, jewelry, and costumes, as well as contemporary Omani artwork. There is a hall for special collections, which change regularly, and outside there is a tiny replica of Muscat, complete with a falaj (irrigation system) and wadi (dry riverbed). The gift shop has a nice coffee shop and a seating area to relax in after strolling through the museum halls.

    Al Saidiyah St., Muscat, Masqat, 100, Oman
    2208 4700

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: 2 rials, Closed Fri., Sat.–Thurs. 9:30–6:30
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  • 4. Capital Area Yacht Club Beach

    For a small price you are granted access to the quiet, clean beach at the Capital Yacht Club in Sidab, about 25 minutes from most hotels in Muscat. You'll find picnic tables, lounge chairs, and umbrellas already set up, and you are welcome to bring your own food and drinks. There is often a snack shop set up on the beach offering fresh juices, water, and light snacks. The beach itself is tucked between towering rock mountains, with crystal clear, warm water that is perfect for swimming and snorkling. This is one of the best options in Oman, and it comes totally stress-free. Just remember to bring a towel, as they are not provided. Amenities: food and drink; parking (included with entrance fee); showers; toilets. Best for: swimming.

    Al Saidiya St., Muscat, Masqat, Oman

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: 2 rials weekdays, 3 rials weekends
  • 5. Jabal Akhdar

    Jabal Akhdar, the Green Mountain, is part of the rocky Al Hajar mountain range, and despite its name, at first it appears to be as martian as the surrounding jagged peaks. The mountains are an hour from Nizwa, and the steep ascent up the winding mountain roads to the summit, which sits at nearly 10,000 feet (2,980 meters), requires a 4x4 vehicle and experience. Near the village of Saiq the spectacular rock landscape is suddenly interrupted by shocks of green from the orchards that grow on the stepped sides of the cliffs. Omani villagers grow apricots, plums, grapes, and other fruits but are most famous for their excellent pomegranates, which come into season each September and sell out quickly. The landscape is unlike anything found elsewhere in the world, and a drive through the spectacular peaks is a must for anyone visiting Oman.

    Izki-Faraq Rd., Ad Dakhiliyah, Oman
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  • 6. Jibreen (Jabrin) Castle

    Built on a flat plain 30 minutes from Nizwa, the 300-year-old castle has 55 rooms spread over five floors. It's considered the most beautiful historic castle in Oman thanks to intact details, which include elaborately painted ceilings, a burial chamber with intricately carved walls, a wooden latticed-windowed courtyard, an elaborate stairwell, Islamic inscriptions and frescoes decorating the rooms, and traditional hand-carved doors. Two particularly interesting spaces are the two ancient meeting rooms of the Imam. The light-filled Sun Room has 14 windows—seven set high near the ceiling and seven lower near the floor—a clever architectural detail that ensured the room was cool year round, as the cold air enters from the lower windows and pushes the warm air from the top windows. The Moon room, on the other hand, was designed for meetings with new or untrustworthy guests, built with four interconnecting secret hideouts under the floor where the Imam's soldiers would wait to ensure his safety.

    Rte. 21, Ad Dakhiliyah, Oman

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: 500 baisas, Sat.–Thurs. 9–4, Fri. 8–11 am
  • 7. Misfat Al Abriyeen

    Just under an hour from Nizwa, the ancient—but still inhabited—mountain village of Misfat al Abriyeen is an amazing place for a short hike. A map of the historical section of Misfat al Abriyeen, along with information on points of interests and rules of courtesy for visiting tourists, is posted. The old houses, which are still in use, are traditional mud houses with palm roofs and are unique in that they are built on solid rock foundations. The inhabitants are mostly farmers, who grow bananas, pomegranates, papayas, mangoes, citrus, and most of all, the famous Omani dates. Walking paths are marked with yellow, green, and red flags, and visitors are expected to stick to the official paths to avoid trespassing on a resident's property. There are amazing vantage points for photography, but as in the rest of the country, you should ask before photographing people.

    Rte. 21, Ad Dakhiliyah, Oman
    9934 8440
  • 8. Mutrah Corniche


    One of the few places to walk in Muscat, the beautiful corniche runs along the sea from the top of the hill overlooking old Muscat, across from the incense burner monument at Al Riyam Park, to the fish market and shipping port just past the famous Mutrah Souq. Along the route, there are plenty of photo ops of the iconic waterfront buildings of Old Muscat, including the beautiful old blue-domed Shia mosque. Each evening, as the weather cools, the sidewalk fills with locals and expats enjoying a stroll. It is a great place to head to around sunset.

    Al Bahri St., Muscat, Masqat, Oman
  • 9. Mutrah Souq


    The main corridor of the Mutrah souq, the oldest marketplace in Muscat, is lined with shops selling mussars (the local turban wraps), pashmina shawls, "I Love Oman" T-shirts, frankincense, and other souvenirs. Turning up the first alleyways off of the souk takes you to the more subdued gold souk, wonderful small perfumeries, and the tailoring shops and spice grinders beyond that. The covered souq opens up onto the labyrinth of shop-lined streets that make up the old Mutrah neighborhood, an especially good place to find cooking gadgets, spices, and custom-tailored clothing. Walking down the main hall, you will be pestered with offers to look and try and buy, so feel free to negotiate hard, especially considering that a few shops down, you are likely to find the same goods. In the evening the souq is full of local Omani customers who still patronize the old market for everything from traditional clothing to incense and jewelry. Thursday nights are an especially interesting time to go.

    Al Bahri St., Muscat, Masqat, Oman

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Sat.–Thurs. 8–12 and 4:30–10; Fri. 5–9
  • 10. Nizwa Livestock Market

    Every Friday the Nizwa souq becomes a hive of activity as the livestock market gets underway. Every type of livestock, from camels to cows to goats, is auctioned off, and both sellers and buyers flood the market from surrounding Dakhiliyah towns. It is a one-of-a-kind spectacle. This style of buying and selling livestock hasn't changed much over the centuries, so it's a weekly step back in time. The market also offers great opportunities for photography, but be sure to ask women before taking their picture. Go early as the main action wraps up well before noon.

    Rte. 21, Ad Dakhiliyah, Oman

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Fri., dawn–10 or 11 am
  • 11. Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

    Completed in 2001, Muscat's Grand Mosque took six years to build, not to mention 300,000 tons of Indian sandstone and an army of Persian weavers to assemble the 1.7 million–knot Persian rug that adorns the main prayer hall, the second-largest Persian rug in the world behind the one at the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. Covering more than 430,000 square feet, the complex can welcome up to 20,000 worshipers under its central dome and in adjacent chambers and courtyards. Though the exterior is subdued, with sandstone arches and no more sparkle than the subtle gold beneath the latticed stone of the dome, once inside, the spotlessly buffed white marble, intricate, colorful tilework, and eight-ton, gold-plated Swarovski crystal chandelier, provide immense drama. The manicured gardens surrounding the prayer halls are a wonderful, serene place to spend a few reflective hours. Non-Muslims can visit every morning but Friday. All visitors are asked to dress modestly, covered to ankles and wrists, and women must cover their hair with a scarf. There are abayas available to rent at the visitor center for those who forget the dress code.

    3781 Way, Muscat, Masqat, Oman

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free, Sat.–Thurs. 8:30–11 am
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  • 12. Sur Corniche

    The Sur corniche is a 4-km (2½-mile) oceanfront walkway around the oldest part of the city. Along the main stretch that runs along the sea, you can take in views of the beautiful wooden dhow in the harbor and the ancient watchtower across the bay in the village of Al Ayjah, while the inlet side offers views of the mosque-dominated skyline of the newer part of the city across the water. Along the route is a stretch of sandy beach, the dhow factory, and the maritime museum. It is the perfect place to walk in the evening, just before sunset when the weather is cool and the light is starting to wane. At night, it is a favorite hangout of local residents, who set up their folding chairs, little barbecue grills, and sheesha pipes along the road.

    Rte. 23, Ash Sharqiyah South, Oman
  • 13. Wahiba Sands Desert

    About 3½ hours from Muscat, the Wahiba Sands is a gorgeous sea of sand dunes whose only inhabitants are Bedouin tribes, who still maintain a semi-nomadic lifestyle. It is one of the most popular destinations for domestic tourism. Dune-bashing—driving over the mountains of sand in modified four-wheel-drive vehicles—is a favorite activity for locals, who happily queue to race up the hills, a tricky task that takes practice so as to not get stuck in the drifts. Desert crossings are done in convoys of 4x4s that crawl through miles of dunes over a period a days, camping along the way; it's another popular pastime in the winter, when the weather is mild. The Bedouin who live there are friendly and open to sharing their culture. Women set up tents near the beginning of the dunes, where they sell their traditional woven handicrafts. Their vibrantly colored dresses and curvaceous black face-masks are beautiful. The men will often visit camps in the deep desert to share a meal or a drink, or simply to meet visitors camping in their desert. From mid-October through April there are camel races as well. In season, numerous desert camps are set up to enable visitors to get a taste of desert life. If you haven't already arranged a tour from Muscat, many of the desert camps will pick up day-trippers without their own 4x4s from the town of Bidiyah for a fee.

    Ash Sharqiyah South, Oman
  • 14. Ain Hamran

    Next to the Bin Ali Mosque is the purportedly miraculous Ain Hamran. Legend has it that this is the tomb of a magician who some claim was an uncle of the Virgin Mary (others say he was her father). Locals also believe that the tomb has been growing in length over the years.

    180 Al Romelah St, Salalah, Zufar, Oman
    9771 0486
  • 15. Al Alam Royal Palace

    The ceremonial palace of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos was built in 1972, just after his ascension to the throne in 1971. The iconic structure, with its vibrant gold and blue pillars, is right in center of Old Muscat, in the shadows of the 16th-century Portuguese forts Al Mirani and Al Jalali. Entrance is forbidden, but you can take photographs from the sprawling pedestrian boulevard out front.

    Way 8621, Muscat, Masqat, Oman
  • 16. Al Hoota Cave

    Near the town of Hamria, the Al Hoota Cave extends over about 5 km (3 miles) underground. Visitors can explore about a half-mile of the underground ecosystem, following a the footpath, which ends at a 65-foot-deep underground lake. There are several facinating varieties of blind fish living in the lake, including some with no eyes at all that rely on sensitive papillae to sense their surroundings, and small pink fish whose bones are visible through their translucent flesh. Cave tours last just under an hour are are led by guides who are fluent in both Arabic and English. There is a nominal entrance fee, and only a limited number of guests are allowed to enter the cave at one time, so it is best to book ahead.

    Ar Rawdah–Al Hamra Rd., Ad Dakhiliyah, Oman

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: 7 rials, Sat.–Thurs. 9–1 and 2–5:15; Fri. 9–noon and 2–5:15
  • 17. Al Qurum Natural Park


    The largest park in Oman, Qurum Natural Park is a lush, green oasis that provides a cool refuge even from the summer heat thanks to its tall shade trees and large lake. The park's 400 acres offer ample space to wander, with rose gardens, dancing fountains, a boating lake, playgrounds, picnic areas, and even a small amusement park that opens daily after 4:30 pm. Small coffee shops and restaurants are open all day, and there are restroom facilities throughout the park, making it a great place to spend an afternoon and evening. It is most popular in the late afternoons and into the night, when the weather is cool and the fountains are lit. In addition to families and children playing, as the night falls many couples, strolling hand-in-hand, join the lively scene.

    Al Qurm St., Muscat, Masqat, Oman

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free
  • 18. Amouage Factory and Visitor Center

    Al Mawaleh

    Oman is rich with luxurious scents, from frankincense smoke to the woodsy aroma of bakhoor incense to spicy, exotic perfumes. In the early 1980s, Amouage perfume, the most costly perfume in the world, was added to the Sultanate's roster of signature smells. The headquarters and factory are outside Muscat, just past the airport going towards Barka. Producing 25,000 bottles per week, the two-story facility doubles as a museum where guests can see demonstrations of the various stages of perfume production, from macerating the raw ingredients to final packaging. Naturally, you can purchase your own bottle directly from the source here as well.

    Muscat, Masqat, Oman

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Sun.–Thurs. 8:30–4:30
  • 19. Atheiba Beach

    This large public beach is a great place to take a jog, have a picnic or swim and is popular with families during the day. There are Jet Ski rentals and kite-surfing lessons available from small shops at either end of the beach as well. At night, it is a favorite spot for young Omanis and expats to barbecue. Locals either park in the large lot and lug their gear onto a prime patch of sand, or those with SUVs drive directly onto the beach, where woven plastic mats (available at any of the hypermarkets) and grills are set up. On the weekends the night air is filled with the smell of grilling and the sounds of music and people laughing. It is an especially nice place for a midnight swim. There are sometimes grillers serving barbecue called mishkak from the main parking lot, but it is best to bring your own provisions. Amenities: parking (free); toilets. Best for: swimming; walking.

    36 Way, Muscat, Masqat, Oman
  • 20. Bahla City Walls

    Just over a half hour from Nizwa, the ancient city of Bahla has several interesting historic sites to see and folklore to explore, beginning with the 13-km-long (8-mile), 132-watchtower-lined wall surrounding the town. The wall's murky history has given rise to many legends, including one that states the wall was built in one night by jinn (ghosts) and another other purporting that it was built entirely by women of the town. A more likely explanation is that the Banu Nebhan built the walls to protect the oasis, which served as their capital for more than 300 years, from the 12th through 15th centuries.

    Rte. 21, Ad Dakhiliyah, Oman
    No phone

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free

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