Muscat’s ancient city defences

Rising out of the rock on which it’s built, the Mutrah Fort cuts an imposing figure looming over the harbour. If you’ve got an eye for a view be sure to scale the steps that wind up the side of the cliff edge. At the top you’re rewarded with stunning vistas of the surrounding harbour and the Gulf of Oman.

Our Hop-on, Hop-off Muscat Bus Tour will drop you off at the bottom of the hill, and from here you can begin your climb to the top. Walk back down and stroll along the harbour for top photo opportunities of the fort towering on its rocky seat.

A brief history lesson

Built by the Portuguese during their occupation of the 1580s, Mutrah Fort was a sturdy defensive measure against attack from the rampaging Ottoman army. It’s one of a number of forts they built here, along with Al Jalali, Khasab and Mirani.

Other interesting facts about the Mutrah Fort, Muscat

  • Mutrah Fort is twinned with the Al Jalali Fort, which sits in Muscat harbour a few miles to the south
  • The fort is still used for military purposes, so visitors are rarely allowed in, although there are great views from its flanks
  • The centre of Muscat is 13 kilometres (8 miles) away as the crow flies
  • The historic Mutrah Suq is just a short walk away. Hunt for bargains and haggle in its maze of shopping alleys
  • The Mutrah Fort overlooks and protects one of the largest sea ports in Oman