Oman’s capital city is fast becoming a top tourist spot. Whether you’re enjoying a minibreak to the Middle Eastern marvel or stopping over in the city – there are plenty of ways you can make the most of your time.
Here’s how to do all your Muscat sightseeing in just 2 days…
Start exploring the city as soon as you arrive by joining a guided hop-on, hop-off bus tour which will take you to all the main sights. Unlike its showy emirate neighbours, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, Muscat blends traditional souks and 16th century sights with modern architecture, so you’ll get a real mix of attractions here.
Begin your trip by exploring the Mutrah Fort, which was built by the Portuguese in the 16th century. The sandcastle-shaped fort is perched on the edge of a cliff and overlooks one of Oman’s largest sea ports. Make sure you climb the steps right up to the top to get amazing views of the surrounding area.
You’ll then be taken to the Royal Opera House, the colourful blue and gold Al Alam Palace, the National Museum and many more. Stop off by the bustling Ruwi district to dine on delicious Indian food, and the modern and elegant Parliament building, which is an example of contemporary Omani architecture. And don’t miss the Old Quarter – Muscat’s oldest neighbourhood which is home to two 16th-century forts and packed full of Arabian charm. Stroll around the 500-year-old city walls and pop into the Bait Al Zubair Museum to learn more about the local culture.
City Tour – Red Route
Head to the vibrant Mutrah Corniche to enjoy a spectacular sunset across the 3km promenade. It’s lined with fountains and manicured gardens to wander around, and there are loads of international restaurants and traditional cafes to take your pick from.
Now that you’ve seen Muscat’s best landmarks and attractions, it’s time to hit the beach. Head to Qurum Beach to relax on the 4km stretch of golden sand. Take a dip in the crystal clear water and try your hand at the water sports on offer which include jet skiing, para sailing and canoeing. There are also restaurants and snack bars surrounding the beach where you can grab a bite to eat and enjoy the sea views.
If you’re not a beach fan, but would still like to see a different side of Oman, head to the Qurum Natural Park. Here you can enjoy a picnic on the grass, admire the Sultan’s Rose Garden and explore the Muscat City Amphitheatre. You can even take a boat out onto the lake to give your trip that romantic touch.
Before you leave the city, make sure you stock up on souvenirs. Muscat has huge modern malls where you’ll find designer clobber, and traditional souks where you can do a spot of haggling. The biggest malls in the city are Oman Avenues Mall and Muscat Grand Mall, which house all the popular high street and designer brands. The best souk to visit is the Mutrah Souk, right next to the Mutrah Fort. You could shop for hours in this maze of stalls and shops which boasts an Aladdin’s Cave of treasures – everything from jewellery and pottery to colourful mosaic lamps and Arabic perfumes. Just make sure you have enough space in your suitcase to bring it all back.
City Tour, Stop: Mutrah Souq
Ready to see the best of Muscat in 48 hours? Follow the itinerary above and you’ll get the perfect mix of landmark-spotting, souvenir shopping and downtime on the beach. Browse our Muscat bus routes for more inspiration.