ActivityThe top five things to do in Muscat

Muscat is home to pristine beaches, rugged deserts and inspiring architecture

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Exuding a quieter Arabian calm than its glitzy Emirati neighbours, Muscat in Oman offers enchanting low-rise architecture, rugged desert landscapes and a glittering coastline. From experiencing the majesty of its dazzling Royal Opera House to diving in the crystal clear Gulf of Oman, join us for a trip around the port capital with our top five things to do in Muscat.

Shop ‘til you drop at Mutrah Souq

Located on Muscat’s bustling corniche, Mutrah Souq is the gateway to old-world Oman. Labyrinthine alleyways connect clusters of stalls and shops overflowing with handcrafted silver jewellery, luxuriant textiles, jewel-coloured carpets and ornate lamps. The aroma of local frankincense that Oman is famed for perfumes the air. Put aside an afternoon to spend getting lost in the lanes and be sure to practice your bargaining skills. When it’s time for a breather, a strong Omani coffee will soon perk you up.

Oman souk

 

See a performance at the glamorous Royal Opera House

The first and only opera house in the Arabian Peninsula, Royal Opera House Muscat is a landmark cultural institution. What’s more, the building itself is as ravishing as the shows it presents. Like a sultan’s palace with vast ceilings, Arabesque arches and exquisite detailing, the opera house is worth a visit for the architecture alone. Performance-wise, expect a rotating program of classic operas like La Traviata alongside local and international orchestral numbers and dance shows.

Muscat Opera House

 

Tour the Bait Al Zubair museum

Travel back in time to ancient Arabia with a visit to Bait Al Zubair museum. Showcasing the Zubair family’s incredible archive of artifacts and art collections, the beautifully preserved house is a window to Oman’s heritage and culture. From furniture and costumes to weaponry and aged maps, the generous collection spans all manner of captivating items that tell the story of Oman’s past.


Marvel at the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

Quite literally a masterpiece of modern Islamic architecture, Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque takes your breath away upon first sight. Four minarets puncture the cloudless sky while its golden dome gleams like a beacon. Inside, the attention to detail is magnificent. It took 600 people four years to weave the intricate hand-loomed payer hall carpet. Don’t miss the library, which holds over 20,000 books. Take advantage of available tours to experience one of the best things to do in Muscat.

Oman coral reef

 

Go wild with water sports

Occupying a shimmering stretch of the Gulf of Oman, there are plenty of fun things to do off Muscat’s shores. Cool off in its pristine depths with a scuba dive or try some snorkeling. The waters are blessed with coral walls, turtles and rays. For something a bit more pulse-raising, consider water skiing, wakeboarding or water sledding. Just off the coast of Muscat, there are tiny islets to discover. The best way to see their unspoilt beauty is by chartering a catamaran and riding the waves there.