Overview

Laid back and relaxed, Muscat is a capital city with a friendly atmosphere that offers much to explore. The gated walls around the port, the harbour, the souqs and the Sultan’s Palace are just some of the sights to discover in this welcoming city that is quite a contrast to other bustling, high rise cites in Arabia.

With a coastline of over 1,700km, some of Oman’s finest beaches are close to the city, many with luxurious resorts that offer the perfect mix of beach holiday and city break.

Highlights

Leave the hotel and explore the bustling city of Muscat or try a new water sport at the beach.

Stroll around the port

Despite being the capital’s main port area, Muttrah Corniche has a traditional feel - the daily catch is brought ashore to the fish market here. Perfect for an evening stroll, the latticed buildings and mosques along the Corniche look spectacular at sunset when the light casts shadows across the surrounding mountains. While this area is being developed with new hotels, the city is determined to retain its old world charm.

An artistic masterpiece

No visit to Muscat would be complete without a trip to the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. The world’s second largest chandelier (14 metres tall) is suspended above the world’s second largest hand-woven carpet (70 x 60 metres) in the prayer hall of this dazzling Indian sandstone building that can accommodate up to 20,000 worshippers.

Classical delights

Try a cultural high at Muscat Royal Opera House - world class ballet, opera and orchestral performances are waiting to be enjoyed. There’s a superb Galleria of 50 shops offering a mix of art outlets, gems, fashion and perfumes as well as “open house” days with musical performances, tours, and various events for the entire family.

When to visit

The best time to visit Muscat is between October and March, when temperatures are warm yet enjoyable. In the east and north the climate is more Mediterranean, but the surrounding desert helps summer temperatures soar to 40C. The south has a year round tropical climate and even a monsoon from July to September – keeping temperatures in the high 20Cs.