Have you ever heard about Oman? The Sultanate of Oman is on the edge of the Arabian Peninsula, which travellers often overlook. But Oman tourist places include incredible attractions and cities, making the site an exotic destination for national and international travellers. Though Muscat is a popular destination, historic forts, warm beaches, incredible mountain ranges, and desert landscapes make Oman a thrilling destination for your holiday.
Therefore, if you consider visiting Oman, which is set amidst the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian sea, make sure you know everything about the place. Let us go through this article in detail to learn about all the famous places in Oman. Read on!
Things You Need to Know Before Visiting Oman:
Pristine landscapes and nature experience are what attract many visitors to Oman. However, Oman has a vibrant cultural heritage being a modern Gulf country which is apparent by the multiple languages spoken in the country. Though the Omanis are very hospitable people, here are the few things you need to keep in mind before you plan a visit to Oman to show mutual respect:
- It is advised to pack comfortable clothing suitable for outdoors in addition to a sleeping bag. That is because there are many outdoor opportunities like scuba diving in marine reserves or watching nesting turtles.
- It is also advised to learn some local greetings to greet the locals appropriately. This can also be very helpful because you might find yourself the subject of much curiosity in some parts of the country. However, this is only because Omanis are curious and want to make their visitors feel welcome.
- Consuming alcohol should be done only in licensed bars and restaurants in International hotels. Oman has zero tolerance for drugs, and it is also illegal to drink in public. Therefore avoid possessing drugs or exhibiting drunken behaviour if you don’t want to face legal action.
- If you are visiting Oman during Ramadan, keep in mind that non-Muslim tourists aren’t allowed to drink, smoke, play loud music or eat during the day in public places.
- Unless you are deeply familiar with or are related to it, it is not common for people of the opposite sex to have a handshake, though it is common among men. Therefore, don’t offer your hand to a person of the opposite sex to initiate a handshake.
- Suppose you want to have a richer experience of the culture and traditions of Oman. In that case, you can accept invitations from welcoming visitors. It is common to receive a few invitations during your visit to the country.
- When you are in people’s homes, always ask before photographing their homes or even the people. A stranger taking your photograph is considered intrusive, and respect for privacy is highly regarded.
- Dressing modestly is recommended, though female visitors need not wear a hijab in Oman. Swimsuits and bikinis are also considered inappropriate in swimming pools.
- Suppose you are planning to go on a hike. In that case, it is advised to consider the fitness levels and experience in the mountains and the trail’s length and difficulty. In addition, it is better not to hike alone if you are inexperienced with harsh environments.
- You can hire a trekking guide who can show you safely around the peaks and valleys.
- It is advised to check the weather forecast and warnings before you go out camping because low-lying valleys, beaches, and wadis are prone to floods after heavy rainfall.
- Omanis have deep respect for their monarchy, country, the leadership of the Sultan, and their culture. Therefore, avoiding any controversial discussions criticizing the Sultan or government is better.
- Avoid talking inappropriately about Islam since rumour-mongering is punishable by law.
- Avoid making rude gestures, and don’t swear since it can result in legal action.
- It is prohibited to film or photograph any military vehicles, government buildings, or checkpoints. Err on the side of caution if you aren’t sure because if you post pictures of any of these on social media can result in imprisonment or fines.
- You can contact the Royal Oman Police on 9999 if you need rescue or urgent medical assistance.
What is the Best Time to Visit Oman?
The months between October and April is the best time to visit Oman. This is because the temperatures are warm during these months, which is pretty enjoyable. Although the country has a reliable climate, you can see the place anytime. However, avoid the months between June and August, which are scorching summers.
20 Best Tourist Places to Visit in Oman:
Top Places To Visit In and Near Muscat:
Muscat remains a significant stop for cruises and trade vessels and is an integral trading link between east and west. The city is also the capital of Oman and has old and new structures with Arabic details. The place attracts adventure enthusiasts with its emerald blue beaches and exciting water sports. Muscat is also one of the must-visit places for culture fanatics since it is filled with hills and beaches. There are the five largest airports and airlines in Muscat. Thirty-eight airlines operate and serve flights to and from 54 destinations at Muscat International Airport alone.
1. Nizwa Fort and Souq:
Nizwa is an ancient town surrounded by Oman’s highest mountains and a historic city called “The Pearl of Islam.”It is the second-largest tourist destination in Oman because of its open nature, though it is conservative. It is a diverse city surrounded by banana plantations and date palms and is many agricultural and historical attractions.
One of the most popular and best places to visit in Oman is the Nizwa fort. This fort is known for its cylindrical tower for approaching enemies, strategically shaped windows, and honey traps, which are the city’s defence mechanisms. In addition, for a unique shopping experience, you can visit the Nizwa souq, an outdoor market.
2. Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque:
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is one of the best and most popular places in Muscat because of its colourfully pleasing Mosiac patterns on the prayer hall, making it a work of art. This mosque’s every nook and corner depicts Islamic architecture’s embodiment. However, you are wrong if you think this mosque is just that. You can find marble stone walkways, fine gardening, and a luxurious library in the 416,00 square meters mosque.
You will have to spend 4 hours visiting Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, which welcomes non-muslims to explore. However, visitation hours are limited since Friday is a Muslim holy day. Make sure you are dressed modestly, not revealing any body parts.
Sur is one of the best places to visit in Oman, known for the boats or traditional Dhows’ craftsmanship. Sur’s rich heritage is associated mainly with building wooden ship trade. Sur’s population is around 120,000 residents, and it is the second wealthiest city in Oman. Therefore, Sur is one of the perfect places to indulge in local delicacies or sunbathe on exotic beaches.
Suppose you want to experience the rich Omani culture. In that case, you can visit several places in Sur, including Ras-AL-Hadd, Wadi Shab, and Wahiba sands.
4. Muttrah Corniche:
Muttrah is a charming district located in Muscat province of Oman. Before the discovery of oil and rapid development, Muttrah was the commercial centre of Oman. However, now it is home to the region’s biggest seaports. Omani people hold a special place for Muttrah, and it hosts a port where Sultan’s Yacht is parked. The sunset looks spectacular when the light casts a shadow across the serrated crescent of mountains.
There is also a Muttrah Souq where you can shop to your heart’s content, wander around the Muttrah Fort, and see the Bait Al Baranda Museum, among other things. There is also an iconic monument of Muscat called the Frankincense tower. You can see the turquoise blue waters on the other side when you look at the watch tower during the day.
Bahla is one of the popular Oman tourist attractions, which is also called Madinat Al Sehr or the city of Magic, located in northern Oman. Because of the centuries-old myths, legends, and superstitions, Bahla is considered a mysterious town. This town is also famous for its silver artefacts and pottery and has been declared a UNESCO world heritage site. Therefore, Bahla has excellent potential for any observant traveller and is an upcoming tourist destination.
There is a Bahla fort that dates back to the 13th century. This fort will give you a glimpse into the intricate Islamic architecture, a market, a mosque, palm trees, vernacular houses and the culture. At the same time, you can also have a memorable time by going on bike tours, camel rides, hikes, and dolphin watching.
6. Wahiba Sands:
Wahiba sands are one of the places to visit in Muscat with family. They are desert dunes that stretch for miles located in the centre of Oman. Suppose you are searching for a genuine, authentic, and traditional life with the Bedu people. In that case, Wahiba sands are where you need to go. You can start the tour of Wahiba sands from the city of Ibra on a camel’s back and camp under the stars in the desert. It can be a memorable experience with dunes all around.
7. Royal Opera House Muscat:
The Royal Opera House in Muscat is one of the popular tourist destinations in Oman, which is the epitome of luxury and fine architecture. It also showcases the combination of modern luxury and Oman’s cultural heritage. Since 2013, you don’t have to join an official tour to visit the Royal Opera House Muscat because it has been open to the public. You get to see a collection of International boutique cafes on site, which offer you several types of drinks when you visit the Royal Opera House.
8. The National Museum Oman:
The National Museum-Sultanate of Oman is the Sultanate’s flagship cultural institution, established in 2013. From the earliest human settlement in the Oman Peninsula some two million years ago through the present day, this National Museum showcases the nation’s heritage. The Museum ensures Oman’s cultural heritage is understood and appreciated within the Sultanate and internationally as a national institution with global outreach.
Furthermore, the National Museum Oman also aims to transfer traditional skills and knowledge from one generation to another, providing opportunities for expression and innovation.
9. Al Alam Palace:
Al Alam Palace is one of the Sultan’s six residences built under the watch of Imam Sultan bin Ahmed, the 7th direct grandfather of Sultan Qaboos. The palace has a history of over 200 years and is Muscat’s most popular tourist place. The public can take photographs by stopping near the gates, though the palace’s inner grounds remain off-limits. Mirani and Jalali forts, built in the 16th century by the Portuguese, are present all around the Al Alam Palace. The palace receives distinguished visitors when used for official functions.
10. Bait Al Zubair Museum:
Bait-Al-Zubair is a private Museum and is one of the best and most popular places to see in Muscat. The Museum was founded and funded by the Zubair family and opened its doors for public viewing in 1998. It contains all the relics of Oman’s cultural, social, and military past. In addition, this privately owned collection offers insight into Arab and Omani heritage with the family’s extensive collection of Omani artefacts, household items, and costumes.
The Bait Al Zubair complex contains five buildings Bait Al Bagh, Bait Al Oud, Bait Al Dalaleel, and Gallery Sarah, in addition to a gift shop, café, and a garden. It is considered the most extensive art collection by Omani artists within the four floors of an ever-growing permanent art collection.
11. Shri Krishna Temple, Darsait:
Shri Krishna temple in Darsait is one of the best places to visit in Muscat, Oman, and is about 28 to 30 km from the Seeb Airport. The Merchant community from Gujarat settled in Muscat and built this temple in 1987. However, they renovated the temple in 2013, providing the devotees with all the necessary facilities, including a multi-purpose hall with 500 to 700 devotees. Approximately 5k to 7k devotees visit the temple during festivals like Janmashtami, Diwali, and New Year.
12. Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve:
Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve is a Muscat tourist attraction popular among people of all ages. Visitors from all over the world consider it a key destination for guided turtle nesting tours. The touring process ensures that the turtles’ aren’t threatened by humans while allowing them to observe the fascinating creatures closely. You can also witness the turtles hatching on the beach from May to October.
13. Wadi Bani Khalid:
Wadi Bani Khalid is one of Oman’s most famous Wadis known for its large emerald green water pools surrounded by palm trees. It is known to have constant water flow throughout the year, unlike the other wadis in Oman that become dry during the summer months. This place is often touted as the ‘desert paradise’ because of the breathtakingly beautiful rocky canyon and cliffs of the Hajar mountains.
Wadi Bani Khalid has been developed with seating areas, a restaurant and a bridge and is the region’s most accessible wadis. Moreover, palm trees, pristine pools, and rock faces for swims and picnics are in the northern part of Wadi Bani Khalid. At the same time, rocky terrain is perfect for bouldering and trekking in the southern region, also called Wadi Hayer.
14. Bimmah Sinkhole:
The Bimmah sinkhole is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Muscat that is brimming with dazzling turquoise water. According to local legends, a cavern formed when a meteorite hit the spot, which was replaced by this swimming hole. However, the formation of the Sinkhole is attributed to rock erosion through the years. This is why Omani people also refer to the Bimmah Sinkhole as Haweat Najm or the Falling Star.
You can reach the pool from the rock precipice with the help of a large concrete staircase. Though the swimming hole is perfect for a quick dip, many people travel to admire the beauty of the Sinkhole.
Top Places To Visit In and Near Salalah:
Salalah is a beautiful city with rich culture and magnificent beaches and is home to the Sultan of Oman. This town is full of greenery and lush mountains that come alive during monsoons. Salalah is famous for its unique climate and the Arabian peninsula.
The beautiful city offers diving and snorkelling opportunities and has savoury and delicious cuisine choices you can enjoy. You can reach Salalah by flying from Muscat; it is the easiest and most preferred way. Though the flight to Salalah takes only 1 hour and 40 minutes, the road trip is much more economical and beautiful.
15. Al Mughsail beach:
Al Mughsail Beach is one of the best places to visit in Salalah. You can sit down and gaze upon the stunning blue sea and the mountains encompassing the stretch of white sand. It is considered one of the popular places to get some photographs because of the ethereal beauty of nature around the beach. You can plan a picnic at this beach with your family or partner by packing some food. Furthermore, you can try swimming in the middle of nature and watch numerous birds with a beautiful mountainous backdrop.
16. Taqah Castle:
The Taqah castle is one of the most exciting places to see in Salalah, which is a perfect example of grand architecture constructed in the early 19th century. The court was previously the private residence of Sheikh Ali bin Taman Al Ma’shani the maternal great-grandfather of Sultan Qaboos, a tribal leader. This castle is located in Taqah, a small fishing village with the mesmerizing and pristine beauty of the surrounding nature and the beach.
17. Marneef Cave:
Marneef cave is located in the Shatti Al Mughsayl area, about 40 km from Salalah. This cave is among the top ten popular Indian Ocean tourist attractions. It is also considered one of the preferred spots for a picnic among tourists and locals because it overlooks the Arabian sea and Al Mughsayl Fountains. The symbolic cave-like look makes it qualify as a cave, though it has no opening or hollow space. It is also a popular rock-climbing spot because there are several smaller caves around Al Marneef. Al-Mughsayl blowholes are another reason why Marneef cave is a popular tourist spot.
18. Wadi Darbat:
Surrounded by majestic hills on all sides, Wadi Durban is a luscious valley in all its essence. Moreover, this place will forever remain in your memory because you will come across an ethereal waterfall here. The area becomes even more enchanting with the addition of a serene ambience coupled with the diversity of nature. There are also several caves, which you can explore by hiking.
19. Fazayah Beach:
Look no further than Fazayah beach if you want some secluded place for much-needed soul searching. The area has an enhanced appeal because of the calm atmosphere and nature’s beauty. Keep in mind that you will need the help of a local Omani guide if you want to enjoy the Fazayah beach fully. Admire the picturesque beach view by simply sitting on the soft sandy beach.
20. Ayn Razat:
Ayn Razat plays a prominent role in providing water for the farms as it is one of the primary fresh-water sources in Salalah. The traditional falaj irrigation system makes it one of the popular Salalah tourist places. It is also considered a popular tourist attraction during the Khareef season. It is also a perfect tourist spot selling much stuff like toys, kites, fresh fruits, and umbrellas in many makeshift stalls during monsoon season. The surrounding mountains turn greener as the Khareef gains momentum because the water level increases.
Suppose you are excited to visit the incredible Oman tourist places. In that case, we hope the list of places we have mentioned will make it easier for you to create a wishlist. You will have a wonderful and memorable experience in Oman because it is home to the most underrated attractions and destinations, making your vacation unforgettable. Don’t forget to let us know if you found the article helpful!
1. Is Oman worth visiting?
A visit to Oman, the Middle Eastern Country, is worth it because it is known for its mesmerizing sights, rich culture, peace, serenity, and fantastic food. Whether with family, friends or as a couple, you can add Oman to your bucket list.
2. What are the things favoured in Oman?
Oman is famous for its dazzling souks, Omani Halca, Omani bread, and seafood, apart from its breathtaking scenery and architectural wonders.
3. Which time is the best to visit Oman?
If you plan to visit Oman, October to March is the best time. The weather during these months is cool and pleasant, making your trip memorable and easy. Though warmer than the winter, you can also visit Oman during April and May if you wish to avoid crowds.
4. Is Oman tourist friendly?
Oman is one of the more conservative Muslim nations in the Middle East. However, tourists from various countries are welcomed by locals in a very welcoming and friendly way by the locals. Therefore, it is advised to adhere to the rules and regulations of the country to have a safe trip to Oman.