Go dolphin spotting, discover ancient forts and markets, or explore under the dazzling blue waters of the Gulf of Oman. There are plenty of things to do in Muscat with kids. The Omani capital is a thriving cultural hub with a range of natural attractions. Check out our definitive list of Muscat family activities below for a once in a lifetime holiday.

1) Take a wild walk at the Mangrove Lagoon

Introduce the kids to another side of Oman at the vibrant and lush Mangrove Lagoon. This nature reserve is home to a huge array of plant, bird and marine life. Discover colonies of crabs going about their business and find out more about the fish breeding programmes for bream and mullet. This green oasis runs along the coastline near the city, and is thriving despite the salty conditions. Well worth a visit with the family.

2) Explore the exotic Mutrah Suq

Wander the magical and mysterious alleyways of the Mutrah Suq, the oldest market in the Arab world. Little imaginations will run wild with all the sights, sounds and smells – including a huge array of exotic spices. Remaining virtually unchanged for generations, this is a great introduction to Arabian culture and a great place for the grown ups to haggle for some bargain gem stones or souvenirs.

3) Water sports at Qurum Beach

Need to cool off? Then take the kids for a refreshing dip in the Gulf at Qurum Beach. Well within the city limits, this is one of the city’s most popular hangouts. With plenty of people coming to jog along the waterfront paths, it’s where you’ll find cafes and restaurants with great views. It certainly ticks a lot of boxes. Try out water sports like kitesurfing, or stay active on the sand with beach volleyball.

4) Snorkel at Qantab Beach

One of the quieter beaches in Muscat, Qantab is known for its snorkelling and diving spots. The glistening blue waters are home to plenty of exotic fish, turtles and some truly stunning coral formations. If you’re staying on the sand, then the refreshing breeze here means it won’t get too hot – but always remember to wear sunscreen.

5) Dolphin spotting in the marina

Want to get up close and personal with some of the most charismatic creatures in the sea? The waters around Oman are filled with dolphins and there are plenty of boat trips available to let you get closer. Meet bottlenose, spinner and common dolphins as they frolic in the waters just outside the marina and enjoy the boat ride along the coast for a different perspective of the city.

6) Picnic at Qurum Natural park

Need some space after the hustle and bustle of the city? Then Qurum Natural Park is the largest of its kind in the country. Take a boat out on the lake and watch the fountains light up as the sun sets. Stroll the paths through the parks, discovering the Muscat City Amphitheatre and the Sultan’s Rose Garden - the perfect place to enjoy a family picnic.

7) Climb the Mutrah Fort

Scramble your way up the rugged cliff path to the base of the stunning Mutrah Fort. Rising out of the rock like a living extension of it, the fort was built here in the 1580s by the Portuguese – during their occupation. Since then it has gazed out to sea protecting Muscat from invaders. So it’s no surprise that it offers some of the best views of the Corniche and out over the Gulf.

8) Walk the city walls at the Old Quarter

Patrol around the 500-year-old city walls and imagine what life must have been like when the city was under siege. The Old Quarter is the most ancient part of Muscat, home to two more 16th century forts - Al Mirani and Al Jilali. Take the kids to learn more about the city’s history and culture at the fascinating Bait Al Zubair Museum.