Muscat translates to 'safe anchorage', which generally encapsulates the delight that is Muscat Oman, all to be experienced with these 5 things to do in Muscat Oman.
With scenic mountains on one side and picturesque oceans on the other, you are bound to be mesmerised by the breathtaking landscapes of this place.
In addition to the natural wonders of Muscat Oman, are the man-made attractions, such as the stunning architecture and enchanting local parks.
While it may not be a well known destination for travellers, this is indeed a hidden gem, find below the 5 best things to see and do in Muscat Oman.
5. Hiking in Muttrah
Who would have thought Muscat to be a hiking site as well! Well, it turns out it's true, at least on a small scale, pun intended.
Your hike will lead to a breathtaking view of Muttrah corniche in the Arabian sea. The hike begins in Muttrah from Riyam Park; you can easily spot the steps etched in the mountain from the parking area in the park, and that will be the starting point.
The hike is about 10 km and can be completed without any guidance. Ensure that you are wearing shoes that can withstand water, as there will be some water ponds along the way.
The ideal time to start the hike would be a couple of hours before sunrise or dusk. The hike will conclude along the Muttrah fort on a precipice, and you can enjoy a stunning view of the Muttrah corniche from here. It is also a great vantage point to regale in the rising or setting sun.
4. Majlis Al Jinn
For the fantasy and adventure-hungry, Muscat offers Majlis Al Jinn meaning a place where spirits meet. Spooky enough?
Wait till you hear more. It is one of the largest subterranean cave chambers in the world. Located at the foot of the Al Hajar mountains, the cave is 300 m in length and 220 m wide. It is equivalent to the area covered by eleven football arenas.
The cave can be entered only from a little opening at the top, which has been made by the eroding effects of rainwater seeping through it over time. You will need a lot of stamina to reach the cave as a distance of 1,300 m needs to be traversed.
Also, once you reach the opening, you will have to enter the cave from the top using ropes. It is a spectacle to behold as light enters the cave from the top and brightens the area.
3. Bait-Al-Baranda (Museum)
The Bait-Al-Baranda (house with a verandah) museum showcases the history of Oman over millions of years.
The museum was converted from a dwelling in 1930 and covers the history of the region, including its geology and political as well as defense chronology. The geography of Oman is illustrated using maps, which is a novelty.
The museum has several interactive points that satiate your curiosity while answering your queries. There are several spots in the museum which also display the traditional arts and apparel belonging to Oman.
2. Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
This mosque is the only mosque in Oman that tourists can visit. The architecture is exemplary with amazing interiors.
It features a beautiful and intricate carpet woven by hand and a spectacular chandelier composed of Swarovski gems in the hall of prayer.
You can easily identify hints of Persian and Egyptian design as well as architectural glimpses of Oman in the overall structure and premises. While visiting the mosque, you are required to cover your limbs as well as heads.
1. Royal Opera House Muscat
Muscat's Royal Opera House lies in the district of Shati Al Qurum in Muscat. It caters to shows and events featuring Arabic music and operas as well as other popular music.
While it would be a delight to watch a performance there, it is equally enthralling to take a tour as well.
The opera house is made of marble, wood, and stone; while the portico exhibits sharp arches and tall towers, there is a grand auditorium within with a staging area as well as displays of memorabilia accumulated from the performance world over.
A private and guided tour of the opera house is also available.
How To Get To Muscat?
Getting to Muscat is a one stop journey from most Australian cities. While Oman Airlines don't fly direct to Australia, they do fly to Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and you can take a codeshare flight to link up with their service, which is only 6-7 hours from each.
Another option is a direct flight to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha and then connect to Oman Airlines or even one of the numerous Emirates, Qatar Airways or Etihad flights to Muscat.
Once you arrive in Muscat International Airport, you'll need to take a taxi to the city as the airport is quite far out along a long motorway.