Best places to visit in Muscat
The name stands for ‘safe anchorage’ and it’s evident why, the city life is majorly connected to its surrounding waters, be it for the scenic view, the pleasant walk along the beach or even to go on a boat ride to spot the dolphins. The city is quiet and laid-back. It’s always bright and sunny here. Spending 2-3 days for sightseeing should be sufficient.
Major places of attraction here are:
The Grand Sultan Qaboos Mosque
Located centrally, make sure you get here early to avoid walking on the hot marble. Words fall short to express the grandeur of this place. It has a story for every room. The chandelier in the men’s prayer hall of the mosque is the centre of attention as it is the largest in the world. This enormous bejewelled light measure 45 feet tall, and 26 feet wide and weighs around 9 tons. It is adorned with 600,000 pieces of crystal trimmed with gold and even has a small staircase inside it for workers to perform the maintenance needed to keep its 100-plus lamps shining bright.
Best time to Visit – There is no entrance fee for the mosque and its open every day, except Friday, from 8:30 until 11 am.
Tour guides will be present to interact with you or you can opt for an audio-guide. Shoes must be taken off prior to entering the room. Make sure you visit the cultural hall to interact with the Omanis and learn their heritage and enjoy their warm hospitality with kahwa (traditional coffee) and sweet dates, a staple in the Middle East.
Tip – Dress modestly.
Walk along this beautiful seaside and take in the aura of the “old Muscat”. This area has a lot to offer, and you will need a whole day to experience it fully. During the day, you can visit the nearby Bait Al Zubair Museum and the Al Alam Palace to fully immerse yourself in the history of the region. As the day proceeds, make your way to the Mutrah Souq (Arabic for street market), the main highlight of this region. This place is brightly lit in the evening, bustling with people and looks like a scene straight out of a movie, with colourful shops and exquisite craftmanship of various pieces. Hone up your bargaining skills and make this a memorable shopping spree.
Once you finish with that you can relax at any of the local shops that serve special delicacies like falafel or shawarma, while also enjoying the cool breeze from the sea. This will surely elevate your spirits!
One of the best beaches to visit in Muscat, Qantab beach is loved for the serene and clean atmosphere. Local fishermen offer boat rides costing around OMR 10. Evenings are the best time to visit. Marvel at the beautiful twilight hues of the sunset and the rock formations.
The boat ride will take you through the vast expanse of the ocean and the rocks. You might occasionally spot dolphins.
Click here for more information on places to visit in Oman.
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