First step outside the Muscat International airport says it all…. Muscat is undoubtedly a very modern capital of Sultanate of Oman! Perfectly maintained green grass, flowers and parks show us, that even though Oman has severe problems with water, Muscat is boosting with it! Wide three and four lane roads are clean and decorated with rich city lights. Muscat shows us the modern side of the Sultanate of Oman. In fact, the city is so different that you will find totally different things to do in Muscat than in other parts of the country. It would be a shame to miss Muscat on your Oman travel.
My TOP things to do in Muscat, which you should not miss:
- Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque – amazing building, which is hard to miss if you are traveling from Muscat International Airport to the coastal region of Muttrah or Old Muscat. The Grand Mosque was build from more than 300.000 tones of Indian sandstone. The Grand Mosque can hold up to 20.000 worshipers and is the only mosque in the whole Oman, which non Muslims can visit (be careful for the opening hours – only two hours per day, Friday closed). The Grand Mosque has 4 minarets and a central dome, which is 50 meters high. Inside of the mosque we can see the world’s second largest prayer carpet. It was made in Iran and weight 21 tons! Amazing architecture and design are definitely worth your time! Definitely one of the things to do in Muscat.
- Al Alam palace – The so called Sultan palace is a modern design, which is world known for its unique colors – blue and gold! The palace stands on the same spot for more than 200 years. One of the most recognized Muscat tourist attractions, so don’t miss it when you are making your list of things to do in Muscat.
- Shopping centers – Muscat has many trendy shopping centers, but don’t miss the biggest and the most modern one Muscat city center. Visiting it gives you a unique insight in the modern lifestyle of a wealthy Omani people, where different world cultures meet. One of the must things to do in Muscat if you want to get the whole picture of this bustling Oman capital.
- Muttrah market / bazar – Locals name this market Al Dhalam, meaning darkness. The name comes from the fact, that the narrow market streets never get any sunshine and that is why the market looks pretty dark without lights turned on. This market is the oldest market in the Arab world and offers everything people in Muscat and whole Oman needs for their daily life. Great place to buy some souvenirs and try your bargain skills – one of the must things to do in Muscat for sure.
- Fish market –Muttrah has one of the biggest fish market in Muscat. Fresh fish are caught and sold daily and there is much to choose from! Just walk through the market and see, how rich the Omani seawater is. You will be immediately sorry, you cannot buy something and prepare it at home, as the prices are nothing compared to ours in Europe. Exploring markets was one of our best things to do in Muscat.
- Pedestrian-friendly area in Corniche, old Muttrah – this is probably the most touristy place in Muscat. The pedestrian is wide enough and very nicely maintained. Locals come here in the afternoons or over the weekends to enjoy their walk by the seaside and hang out with friends. You can also find some low budget hotels there. If you ran out of ideas and things to do in Muscat, take a walk and just observe the locals.
To really feel the energy and atmosphere of the Muscat city, I would recommend you to stay here at least two to three days. Muscat is truly very different from the rest of the country, so do not miss it on your Oman travel! After all, there are many things to do in Muscat for all tastes!
What were your favorite things to do in Muscat? Have you visited any other Muscat tourist attractions? We would love to get some new ideas of things to do in Muscat, as we are returning to Oman and with that to Muscat for sure.