Oman has been on my list of countries to visit for a long time. Any photo I had seen of it looked amazing – the desert, the white buildings, the sea.
Thankfully, the reality is even better and Oman is somewhere I truly loved exploring. I have still not seen anywhere near as much of Oman as I would like, but I hope you find my Oman travel guide useful.
There are some amazing tourist places in Oman and the best part is that there are not many tourists exploring them! Below is my list of the best Oman places to visit – some which I have visited personally and some that are on the list for next time.
Muscat is the capital of Oman and home or close to many of the tourist attractions in Oman. It makes for a great base to explore Oman thanks to its reasonably central location in the country. You can do many day trips from here.
Muscat itself is one of the interesting places in Oman to visit. It looks stunning with its location between the sea and the brown, dusty mountains. There is a strict building code which keeps the city looking magnificent.
While you are in Muscat, it is especially worth visiting the National Museum in Old Muscat and the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque.
You can read more in my full guide to Muscat.
The most popular place to visit in Mutrah is the Mutrah Souq (referred locally as Al Dhalam), an open air market where visitors are transported to the traditional Arab commercial area.
The area is a labyrinth of alleyways where shops selling perfumes, antiques, spices, jewelry, artifacts and textiles are scattered. One can easily get lost in a sea of shops but still, it is part of the fun to make your way around the souq. There are areas, however, that are restricted for tourists such as the Al Lawataya in Shiite so make sure to stay away from them and always observe signs.
While in Mutrah, also make sure you vist the Mutrah Corniche, pictured above. Mutrah is an area of Muscat.
Nakhal Fort is a short drive from Muscat so a good choice of places to see in Oman for people staying in the city. The fort has a long history with parts of the current built on top of previous structures in the seventeenth century and then the gateway and towers were constructed in 1834.
Nakhal Fort is also home to a museum. There are great views from the upper level of the fort over Al-Batinah region.
Misfat Al Abreyeen is one of the best places in Oman to visit. It is a mountainous village located approximately 6kms from Al Hamra. The way to the village is quite steep and zigzagged but once you reached the top, you will be treated to a scenic view of Al Hamra, breathtaking landscape of the village’s agricultural terraces, old houses, tree-lined alleys and pathways leading to plantations and small gardens.
Along the mountainous slopes, you’ll find water canals and some “mini pools” which are actually part of the village’s falaj irrigation system used to water banana, mango, pomegranate, citrus and papaya plantations. Occasionally, you will see children frolicking in the water. Other nearby attractions include Al Hoota Cave, the Jabal Shams mountain and Oman’s Grand Canyon, Wadi Ghul.
Nizwa is an easy drive from Muscat and is home to some of Oman’s tourist places including Nizwa Souq and Nizwa Fort.
The souq is old and extensive and Nizwa Fort is famous for its 40 metre tower which you can climb to the top for awesome views.
Sohar is one of the beautiful places in Oman. It is a coastal town located in Northern Oman. The city is known to be the home of literary character, Sinbad the Sailor.
One of Sohar’s attraction is the Sohar Castle built by the Emirs of Hormuz sometime in the 13th and 14th century. Located in the eastern end of the Sohar corniche is a whitewashed fort and next to it is the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, the main mosque in the whole of Oman and known for its golden dome.
The town features a handicrafts souq known as Omani Craftman’s House and the contemporary dhow-shaped fish market north of the corniche. The Dhow Marina Restaurant is worth a try for their fresh seafood menu. Sohar Beach Hotel is popular among tourists plus it lies next to public beaches and a park surrounding a lake.
Sur is a picturesque port town with a corniche, two forts and excellent beaches close by.
The town itself is worth exploring and it’s also a great base to explore Wadi Tiwi and Wadi Shab, as well as see turtles at Ras al Jinz.
Khasab is the local capital of the Musandam Peninsula, the northernmost part of Oman separated from the rest of the Sultanate by the United Ara Emirates. It’s one of the best tourist places in Oman for people who love natural attractions.
Dubbed as the “Norway of Arabia”, the peninsula is famous for its fjords. Visitors often visit the place to snorkel, watch the humpback dolphins, or go on a Musendam fjord or dhow cruise.
Other things to do in Khasab include a “safari” tour, which is more of like a mountain tour of the region on board a 4×4 vehicle or a coastal drive, where one can drive along the coastal areas and fishing villages.
Make sure to ask the driver to bring you to a lookout point to see the breathtaking view of the Khawr Najd creek in the late afternoon. Drop by the Khasab Fort too and visit the museum with your kids.
Bahla Fort is another of the Oman tourist attractions. It’s one of the most comprehensive walled cities in the world and the walls run for several hundred kilometres.
There are a few information panels but it’s best to have a guide. It is also worth exploring the surrounding mud brick settlement.
It’s easy to come here from Nizwa or it could be combined with other Oman attractions in a long day trip from Muscat.
Rustaq is one of the places of interest in Oman. It is a town located in the northern region of Oman and was once its capital.
The town’s famous landmarks are the Al Hazm Castle and the Al Rustaq Fort which were both built by Imam Nasser bin Murshid Al Ya’rubi. The fort served to repel the Portuguese conquistadors from the Sultanate.
Another popular destination is the Ain Al Kasfa, a hot water spring known for its therapeutic benefits. Al Rustaq has numerous wadis (dry valleys), which are popular camping spots in the region. Three of the most popular Rustaq wadis include Wadi Bani Ghaffir, Wadi Bani Aouf and Wadi Al Sahtan.
Thanks to the rise of many fantastic airlines on the Arabian peninsula, it is very easy to travel to Oman. We flew via Abu Dhabi on Etihad but there are many other options as well as good local airlines. You can read our full Etihad review here.
You can also start your Oman trip by travelling overland from the United Arab Emirates. There are public buses.
There are public buses in Oman as well which make it easy to travel Oman. There’s also the option of share taxis, car hire and guides with car (unfortunately, very expensive). Some visiting places in Oman to visit do require a four wheel drive to reach so be mindful of this, especially if you plan to hire a car.
I found Oman to be a fabulous destination with kids. Omani’s are friendly and welcoming and there are some great places to go in Oman for kids.
Many of the best places to visit in Oman are outdoors and perfect on a family trip to Oman. They will love exploring the old forts as well, heading to the beach or shopping in a souq.
I took my 4 month old baby to Muscat and it worked very well. Muscat is very stroller friendly and everyone was so helpful. I wrote more about that here. I can’t wait to return again in future to explore more with my older kids.
Below, you will find my Oman travel blog entries.