Quickly gaining popularity for its stunning attractions, fun-filled sports and natural beauty, Oman has become an exotic destination for those visiting the Arabian Peninsula. If you want a vacation with beautiful desert, remote mountain ranges, golden beaches and stunning castles, Oman is not going to disappoint you! Read on to know the best places to visit in Oman below.
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Thanks to its superb infrastructure and very friendly people, you can easily explore Oman without any difficulty. In terms of safety too it is an extremely safe country with very low crime rates. However, it is always recommended to do your homework before going ahead with your trip; be it your travel itinerary or backup such as an international travel insurance plan to navigate through emergencies.
Among various things to do in Oman, here are some must-visit places for you to have a perfect time here:
These places are not only popular among tourists but also offer a significant number of options to plan your trip, so that you can explore different points of interest. Be it casual sightseeing, a fun-filled adventure, a trip to the museum, shopping in Omani souks and bazaars, you can do anything that suits you. Just don’t forget to carry your travel insurance for Oman before you leave home!
The capital of the Sultanate of Oman, Muscat is a perfect blend of the East and the best and serves as a major stop for several cruises, long haul flights and trade vessels. The city boasts old Arabian charm and stunning monuments, both old and new. Situated amidst hills and beaches, Oman offers a perfect retreat to its visitors through a number of activities and places. You can simply relax on the coast or indulge in their delicious cuisine or visit some of their most popular attractions.
The city also offers a great snorkelling experience on the Oman coast, which happens to be a turtle nesting spot. If visiting during April to August, then you may be able to spot a Loggerhead or Hawksbill Turtle nesting here! Shopping enthusiasts may drop by the Mutrah Souk to experience a traditional Arabian market full of traditional Omani perfumes, clothing and jewellery.
Don't forget to visit the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, one of the most beautiful and opulent mosques situated right in the centre of the country. One of the largest mosques in the world, this is surely one of the places to visit in Oman thanks to its stunning Islamic architecture. Other must-visit places include the Royal Opera House Muscat, Al Bustan Palace, and parts of Old Muscat: Fort Al-Mirani, Al Alam Palace, Bait Al Zubair.
Famous for its Khareef festival, Salalah attracts tourists from everywhere because of its natural beauty and wonderful architecture. Surrounded by a mountain in the north, its spectacular waterfall during the monsoon makes it one of the brilliant places to visit in Oman. The southern part of Salalah is coastal, with Al Mughsail Beach being one of the most beautiful beaches here. Nearby is the charming Al Marneef Cave, giving a perfect view of the Al Mughsail Beach and the Al Mughsail Blowholes.
In the city centre is the famous Sultan Qaboos mosque famous for its beautiful interiors and minarets. The Dhofar region of Salalah boasts Taqah Castle, which also serves as a museum exhibiting old Omani tools and weapons. History buffs can also visit the Al Balid open archaeological site, also a UNESCO World Heritage site. Another important archaeological site includes the Khor Rori and Sumhuram dating back centuries. If planning to visit between July and September, don't miss the Salalah Festival and Salalah's famous coconut drink.
Probably the most popular among the places to visit in Oman, Wahiba Sands is located in the centre of Oman and is the home of the Bedouins people. Part of the Oman Desert, Wahiba Sands is just a tip of the enormous Empty Quarter which covers parts of UAE, Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
Also known as The Sharqiya Sands, a tour operator can take you here for exciting sand sports, dune bashing or overnight camping to experience a truly Omani way of nomadic life in the desert. Other popular activities here include desert trekking and camel safari. If travelling with children, you can go for sand boarding as well as horse safaris. With endless sand dunes and local food, don't forget to stay for some stargazing.
Today most popularly known for its brilliant fort, Nizwa used to be the capital of Oman until the seventh century. The fort is also among Oman's most beautiful and oldest castles, making it one of the best places to visit in Oman. However, the city is equally famous for the Jebel Akhdar Mountain offering some of the best scenic views of the city. It is famous for its fruit orchards and distinct smelling roses. Make sure to book a day tour for the Green Mountain before you head back to explore other parts.
If you're fascinated with ruins, visit the Tanuf Ruins that once used to be a village. Check out the Birkat Al Mouz Ruins as well, with several historical buildings nearby worth a visit. Other notable places include the Nizwa Souq for some unique souvenirs and the Wadi Ghul, Oman's very own canyon known for its beautiful and remote hiking trails. If you want to cool down a bit away from the heat, head to the Nizwa Grand Mall for some serious shopping and gifts to take back home.
The unique coastal city of Sohar is popular among tourists looking for a quiet time and diverse nature. This doesn't mean it is a small place; Sohar is a great mix of history and modernity and offers picturesque beaches, stunning mountains and wonderful valleys. This port city's most popular spot is the Sohar Corniche thanks to its stunning view of the sea and wonderful garden nearby. The place is also rich in archaeological sites and boasts of popular markets selling some of the best and most authentic Omani items.
Most popular tourist attractions in Sohar include the Sohar Fortm significant for its location and role for centuries. Many archaeological artefacts can be seen in the fort's museum as well. The Old Sohar Market is another tourist attraction not just in Sohar but among the best places to visit in Oman. Situated near the Corniche, you can buy plenty of handcrafts and even some Omani perfumes. You can also head to the Traditional handicraft market to learn more about the city's history and culture, along with some unique handicrafts.
Located near the Arabian Peninsula, Khasab offers some of the most beautiful attractions in the Musandam Governorate. Also called the Norway of the East, Khasab offers splendid activities making it an important stop among the places to visit in Oman. You can choose from several outdoor activities, restaurants and other interests while exploring this place. Khasab is most popular for its dolphin tours, Oman Fjords, and breathtaking mountains. Oman Fjords are among the first attractions for tourists.
You can go for a kayak tour or a dhow boat cruise if you're in a group. Another landmark is the Khasab Castle, along with a museum. Constructed in the 17th century by the Portuguese, this structure offers some stunning views from its circular tower. Dolphin watching tours are also very common here; the dhow boat being the best way to spot some playful dolphins. The place is also great for divers and marine life enthusiasts. You can opt for scuba diving underneath the ocean when in Khasab and can easily spot tiger fish, jackfish, reef sharks and more. Finally, you can also visit Bassa Beach with your family to have a fun time.
One of the newer attractions, Wadi Dayqah Dam is the largest and most famous Omani dam. It is built on one of the largest wadis of the Arabian Peninsula and is among the must-see new places to visit in Oman. Situated in the mountains, the dam can be easily reached through the Queyrat motorway.
The place is serene and beautiful and has become a popular picnic area. With a storage capacity of 100 million cubic meters, it is an engineering marvel and a great place to get views of the spectacular nature of Oman. The best part about this place is that it is not overly crowded and you can have a fun time here without worrying about crowds.
Being one of the best tourist destinations in the Middle East, a trip to Oman can be pretty costly. Depending on the places to visit in Oman, the major expenses include accommodation and touring/transportation as the public commute is limited. Even cheap accommodation can cost you significantly so a luxury getaway must be planned beforehand. If you don't want to risk any additional expenses, don't forget to buy international travel insurance for Oman to avoid any unexpected expenses.
Oman is famous for a lot of things; its beautiful fortresses, the Jebel Akhdar, ancient mosques, traditional Arabian sailing ships, their beautiful streams, its ancient irrigation system.
Oman boasts of numerous forts, mosques, markets and natural attractions making it a great place for tourists. Some of the popular places that you should visit include Ras al Jinz, Wahiba Sands, Bahla, Masirah Island, Salalah, Jebel Akhdar and more. Other than these, there are several malls and shopping venues if you wish to splurge a bit.
While the official language in Oman is Arabic, English is a common language in Oman especially in major cities and even some parts of major traditional bazaars. The language spoken may also depend on the places to visit in Oman; if it's away from the capital then the English-speaking population may reduce significantly.
When in Oman, make sure to try their traditional Omani dishes such as Kabsa, also known as Majboos. If visiting during Eid then try Shuwa, a celebratory Omani dish prepared on special occasions. Other popular dishes include Shawarma, Halwa, Mishkak and Omani Kahwa.
If going with your family, there are several places to visit in Oman with your loved ones. The country has several places perfect for a good family outing such as exploring Misfah Oasis, dune bashing, going on a hike to get a view of the canyon, visiting the Jabrin Fort, or simply visiting the beautiful date palms lined Wadi Bani Khalid pools.
It's important to avoid doing the following: