sultan qaboos grand mosque

Most people choose holiday destinations that are popular. Italy, France, UAE, USA, UK, etc. are some of the most sought after holiday places around the world. Rarely people go to a lesser known country or city. Oman is one such place. While this little country in the Middle East is generally not on the travel bucket list of most people, it has some of the most beautiful gems that not many know about.

When you think of Oman, the desert is the first thing that comes to mind. Yes, you would find vast deserts in this Middle Eastern country. However, this is not the only thing to see in Oman. Rather, you would be surprised to know that the country is endowed with natural beauty comprising mighty mountains, stunning wadis, and gorgeous beaches. Moreover, the authentic architecture of the place is something that would capture your interest. Apart from all this, Oman’s rich culture, traditions, and heritage are some of the major highlights of the place. If you still need to be convinced to travel to Oman on your next holiday, here we offer

15 best places to visit in Oman.


1. Muscat

Al Alam PalaceImage Source: Tristan Schmurr/

Located on the Arabian Sea, Muscat is the capital city of Oman. While Muscat is the most modern city in the country, the development has not affected its old-world charm. Muscat is home to historic districts, seafront fortresses, buildings with wooden balconies and royal palaces. You would also find several luxury hotels, malls, and restaurants in this city of Oman.

2. Jebel Akhdar

Jebel Akhdar OmanImage Source: Stephen Bugno/

Part of the Al Hajar Mountain range, Jebel Akhdar is the highest peak in Oman. While the name Jebel Akhdar means Green Mountain, you will hardly find any greenery here. However, while hiking to the summit, you will pass beautiful terraces full of trees filled with delicious fruits. Plus, Jebel Akhdar is the perfect place to go to if you want to cool off, as the temperature here is lower than in the desert. If you do not want to hike, traveling in a 4×4 vehicle would be the best way to visit the place.

3. Nizwa

NizwaImage Source: Hans Birger Nilsen/

The capital of Oman in the sixth and seventh centuries, the highlight of Nizwa is the Nizwa Fort with its enormous cylindrical tower, secret shafts, false doors, wells, honey traps, and turrets. The fort also has a museum which displays Omani life in the 17th century. While the fort is the most important part of Nizwa City, you would also have a great time wandering around the souk, the goat market, date palms, etc. of this city.

4. Salalah

SalalahImage Source: Reji/

Located in the southern area, Salalah is a green oasis in the desert land of Oman. If you want to enjoy the green beauty of the place, you must visit Salalah during the monsoon season (between June and August). You can check out the ancestral home of the ruling king and see the Qaboos Palace. Also, it is a great place to buy some frankincense as Salalah has two popular incense markets. The place also has a great beach and a beautiful mosque which you can visit.

5. Musandam Fjords

musandam fjordsImage Source: Panoramas/

Undeniably the most beautiful place in Oman, the Musandam Fjords is an exclave which is separated by UAE. It is part of the Musandam Peninsula and is endowed with views that would blow your mind away. Resplendent with gorgeous desert mountains, crystal clear waters, sheer cliffs, a visit to the place will instantly relax and refresh you. The best way to explore the place is by going on a dhow cruise or traditional Omani boat. It is also a great place to go scuba diving if you love water adventures.

6. Wahiba Sands

Wahiba SandsImage Source: Nicolas Rénac/

Your holiday in Oman is not complete without a visit to the desert, and the Wahiba Sands is the best for this. Visiting the Wahiba Sands would not only give you the chance to view the vast desert dunes of the country but also know about the true Omani culture and traditions. Join a desert tour to go on an adventurous desert drive, ride a camel, gaze at the open star-lit sky and spend a night in a goat-hair Bedouin tent. Nothing is as peaceful and relaxing like time spent at the Wahiba Sands.

7. Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

sultan qaboos grand mosqueImage Source: Andrea Moroni/

As Islam is the practicing religion of Oman, a visit to a mosque is imperative. The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque (located in Muscat) is a modern architectural marvel with its arches, lights, colors, and decorations. While the exterior of the mosque is grand, the interior is spellbinding. Decorated with blue mosaic tiles, enormous crystal chandelier and exquisite handmade carpet (the second largest in the world), the sight of the mosque is a sight to behold. It is open to non-Muslims too. However, make sure to cover your hands, legs, and head (for women) when inside the mosque.

8. Wadi Bani Khalid

Wadi Bani KhalidImage Source: Hans Birger Nilsen/

Oman is known for its wadis and surely one of the best in Wadi Bani Khalid. Complete with rugged mountains, beautiful lakes, refreshing pools, and numerous date palms, this place is the perfect oasis in the middle of the desert land. If you are tired of the sweltering heat of Oman, head off to Wadi Bani Khalid where you can take a dip in the cool waters of the pool while enjoying the dazzling view of the place.

9. Sur

sur omanImage Source: hey tiffany!/

Sur is the place in Oman where you can see the desert meets the sea. Due to this phenomenon, the place has long pristine beaches and most of them are empty, giving you the chance to enjoy the beauty of the sea in solitary. While the fishing village of Al Ayjah and a dhow boat building yard are interesting places to visit, you should definitely visit Ras Al Jinz which is a turtle reserve. If you visit the place between May and October, you would be able to sea turtle nests and the baby turtles hatching and making their way towards the ocean.

10. Wadi Shab

wadi shab omanImage Source: Prasad Pillai/

If you thought that wadis are only for relaxation, you would be surprised to know about Wadi Shab which is perfect for adventure. If you are looking for some action, head to Wadi Shab. Here, you ride a boat, hike on a valley and swim across pools to reach a cave that has the most stunning waterfall. The whole thing is really exciting and the place is absolutely stunning, making it one of the most interesting things to do in Oman.

11. Bahla

bahla omanImage Source: Teseum/

Located in Northern Oman, Bahla with its palm trees is nothing less than a heaven in the desert. The highlight of the place is definitely the historic Bahla Fort. The spectacular monument was built in the 13th century. A tour of the fort would be interesting and you would not only be able to see the entire city of Bahla but also the walls of the city that stretches for 7 miles in length. Other than this, you can buy local pottery as a souvenir at Bahla.

12. Masirah Island

Masirah IslandImage Source: Marlon Cureg/

Do you want to do something away from the crowded tourist destinations? Head to Masirah Island which is a desolate island! Although it is a major air base for the Oman Air Force, the island is home to small towns and remote beaches. While the beaches are splendid, most of them are isolated and do not have anything other than shipwrecks. This is a great place for a beach picnic. Also, check out the 30,000 turtles that are found at the beaches here during the hatching season, every year.

13. Misfat al Abriyeen

misfat al abriyeenImage Source: bint battuta/

A mountain village, Misfat al Abryeen has preserved the traditional Omani atmosphere that you would not find in the modern cities. Complete with stone buildings, banana trees, and lush greenery, this is a place to visit if you want to experience nature at its best. The best way to explore the place is on foot. Also, do not forget to visit the ancient watchtower above the village where you can see the entire place as well as the fields and dams surrounding it.

14. Mutrah Corniche

muttrah cornicheImage Source: Andrew Moore/

Want to enjoy a stroll while enjoying the sea and the view of the city? Mutrah Corniche in Muscat is the place you must head to. The presence of mighty mountains in the background of white buildings and mosques give the place a spectacular look. When you are done admiring the beauty of the place, do not forget to visit the Mutrah Souq where you would get to buy silver jewelry, frankincense, and myrrh, pashminas, ceramic incense burners, fluffy camels, genie lamps, etc.

15. Al-Baleed Ruins

Al-Baleed RuinsImage Source:

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Al-Baleed was an ancient Middle Age settlement, probably during the Iron Age. The ruins of Al-Baleed are heaps of rubble of buildings made by mixing wood and stone. The place has been a frankincense trade commerce center since the 11th century. Here, you can also visit the Frankincense Land Museum.

Things to Know Before Travelling to Oman

As you know the best travel places in Oman, it is time to book your tickets and fly to this amazing country. However, before you pack your bags, there are some important things that you need to know.

Visa: You would have to apply for an Oman visa before you travel to the country. Citizens of GCC countries do not need to have a visa to visit the country. On the other hand, citizens of the European Union, Canada, USA, Switzerland, Malaysia, China, etc. are offered visa on arrival. E-visa (single or multiple entries) for 30 days is also available for 71 countries and territories around the world. To ensure that your visa application is approved, make sure that your passport has validity for at least 6 months.

Weather: Oman is sunny throughout the year, even in winter. However, the weather is cooler during the winter season as compared to summer. The temperature can be anywhere between 30oC to 40oC in the summer, while the winter temperature can vary between 17oC to 25oC. However, the climate at the Al Hajar Mountains is cool throughout the year. Also, Salalah has a different climate than the rest of the country. During the summer months, when the rest of the country becomes too warm, Salalah enjoys occasional showers, making it really pleasant.

Transportation: Taxis are available for traveling in Oman. But they are really expensive. A cheaper alternative would be to share the taxi with other passengers. However, this may not be really convenient. The best way to travel in Oman is by renting a car. You can rent one at the airport. To get good rates, it would be best to book your car before you arrive in the country.

Code of Conduct: Oman is a conservative country where a lot of importance is given to traditions and culture. As a sign of respect to the people and country of Oman, you must make sure to dress conservatively. Although you do not have to wear the national dress of Oman, ensure that you wear clothes that cover your body completely. Showing skin is not recommended here. It is best to avoid wearing a swimsuit at the public beaches. You can wear one at the pool area of your hotel.


Oman is a unique place, and if you are looking for off-beaten tracks to travel, there is no better contender than this Middle Eastern country.

  • 10 thoughts on “A Definitive Guide to Visiting Oman
    1. Avatar for Anu Murthy

      Thanks to your blog, I am now seriously considering going to Oman for a tour. I wanted to ask, how are the stay options in the country?

    2. Avatar for Anu Murthy

      I was thinking of doing the Musandam Dibba Tour. How well are those dhow tours arranged? Are they worth spending time and money?

    3. Avatar for Anu Murthy

      I have been to Oman and my favourite place was Salalah. It was my first time seeing an oasis like this. Plus, the incense I bought there was amazing.

    4. Avatar for Anu Murthy

      How’s the heat in Oman? I hear it can get quite hot during the day and very cold at night. Do the tourist locations also get hot?

      • Avatar for Anu Murthy

        Oman is hot, but the winter months are pleasantly cool. And there are attractions like Salalah, Wadis, and Hajar Mountain that are always cool.

    5. Avatar for Anu Murthy

      I work in Muscat, and I must say, this blog has done a good job in covering places to visit. There’s a lot of natural beauty here in Oman.

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