If you want to visit the fairytale-like Sultanate of Oman, you will likely fly to Muscat. Home to about 2 million people, this city is the capital of Oman and is located on the country’s
If you want to visit the fairytale-like Sultanate of Oman, you will likely fly to Muscat. Home to about 2 million people, this city is the capital of Oman and is located on the country’s eastern coast. Here you can find magnificent mosques, great hotels, relaxing beach clubs, and you can buy the best souvenirs. Are you curious about the must-see places in Muscat? We’ve compiled a list of our favorite places and recommendations for very lovely hotels.
1) Sultan Qaboos Mosque, the Great Mosque of Muscat
One of Muscat’s most beautiful and unique places is the imposing Sultan Qaboos Mosque (the Great Mosque of Muscat). Non-Muslims may visit the mosque from 08:00 to 11:00 in the morning. Please cover yourself well, especially if you are a woman, as showing part of your leg or breast is not really done here. Therefore, it is advisable to bring well-thought-out clothing and a headscarf, or rent a full dress for a few rials Omani at the entrance. You can pull a pastel pink dress and matching sequined scarf out of the trunk of your car and pull it over your head in seconds!
And what is the beauty of the imposing Sultan Qaboos Mosque, which has graced the city since 2001? Actually, it is the stunning architecture and the impressive chapel where men can pray! The men’s chapel is huge with gorgeous decorations. The floor is covered with a vast colorful carpet, and a huge 14-meter-long chandelier, said to be made of over 500,000 crystals, hangs from the ceiling.
There is also a women’s prayer hall, but it is much smaller and somewhat inferior to the men’s grand hall, which is said to accommodate several thousand Omanis. Its size is such that it can accommodate 20,000 people at a single prayer. But it is not only the interior space that is beautiful. In particular, the plazas and cloisters with their unique views are all super photogenic. You could spend two hours here, taking pictures and admiring the beautiful buildings.
2) Al-Alam Palace
In “Old Muscat”, you will find Al-Alam Palace, the Sultan’s palace. This palace was built in 1972. It is a colorful building with blue and gold columns, a large square in front, and extensive gardens surrounding the palace. The back of the palace faces the sea, so it is fun to walk around and admire the view from that side. We were a little disappointed with Al-Alam Palace, but that may be because we visited the Sultan Qaboos Mosque just before. Good advice: visit the palace first and then the mosque. Besides the palace, you can walk to the harbor behind it, and there are other important buildings nearby, such as the Al Milani Fortress.
3) Buy souvenirs at the Mutra Souk
Don’t want to leave with empty suitcases? Then don’t miss the Mutra Souk in Muscat. Its maze of streets is lined with an abundance of stores. On one side are herbs and dates, while on the other are beautiful silverware and colorful jewelry galore. If you are not careful, hours can go by, but if you do not plan to shop like us, you can take a quick tour of the first part of the souk. Some stores accept credit cards, but if you plan to buy something, we recommend getting some cash from an ATM at the beginning of the market. The souk in Mutrah, like most places in Oman, is super photogenic, so bring your camera along and take pictures of the stores and their distinctive wares.
Have you ever been to any of these places? Share your experience with us in the comments below!