Muscat
Culture & History

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Our most recommended Muscat Culture & History

From Muscat: Wadi Shab & Bimmah Sinkhole Full-Day Tour

1. From Muscat: Wadi Shab & Bimmah Sinkhole Full-Day Tour

Discover the incredible oasis of Wadi Shab - one of the last places in Oman where you can chill in fresh blue water surrounded by mountains. Enjoy a rewarding full-day experience as you explore this spectacular waterfall in a cave. Start the tour with pick up from your hotel in Muscat. Hop into an air-conditioned vehicle and set off on a 2-hour scenic drive through the otherworldly landscapes of Oman. Along the route, stop at a local coffee shop to try an energizing Omani tea. When you arrive at your destination, hidden away in the canyon of the dry river Wadi-Shab, take a very quick boat ride to the other side of the bank. From here, embark on your 40-minute hike. During the walk, experience the awesome power of nature which has forged the rock formations of this impressive canyon. Observe how the local farmers live and work, maintaining their crops in rough, rocky lands using the old irrigation system as their water supply. Be sure to bring along your waterproof cameras and shoes so that when you reach the lake you can snap some photos and walk around through the magnificent site. Admire the cascade of the waterfall and take a refreshing dip in the beautiful blue water to cool off from the heat. On the way back, stop to see a beautiful lake located in the Bimmah Sinkhole. Finally, return to the vehicle and begin the drive back to Muscat where you will be dropped off at your hotel and the tour concludes.

Muscat: Sunset Cruise

2. Muscat: Sunset Cruise

Enjoy the calm waters off the coast of Muscat and admire some of the city's highlights from the deck of the dhow. Pass the 17th-century Portuguese fort, the Al Alarm Palace, as well as the Al Mirani and Al Jalali Forts. The activity starts with pickup from your accommodation. Catch the sunset over the water and be transported back in time to when these sailing vessels cruised up and down the coast of Eastern Arabia. After the excursion, hotel drop-off is provided.

From Muscat: Dimaniyat Islands Snorkeling Tour

3. From Muscat: Dimaniyat Islands Snorkeling Tour

Discover one of the jewels of Oman, the Dimaniyat Islands, on a boat tour from Muscat. Snorkel in a beautiful, UNESCO-protected nature reserve and admire the abundant sea life. Begin your day with pickup anywhere in Muscat before the Al Seeb area and transfer to the marina for the 70-kilometer (43.5-mile) journey northwest to the Dimaniyat Islands. Onboard, enjoy the scenic views of Muscat and the coastline, as well as unlimited soft drinks and water. Once at the Dimaniyat Islands, explore the nature reserve and stop in two different places for snorkeling. Keep your eyes peeled for sea turtles, corals, and, if you're lucky, sharks, eels, and dolphins. Have the chance to find Nemos (clownfish) and see other different species of colored fish, too.

Muscat Half-Day City Tour with Audio Guiding

4. Muscat Half-Day City Tour with Audio Guiding

Discover the rich blend of ancient and modern architecture of Muscat on a half-day city tour. Learn how the city has undergone dramatic development in the past 3 decades, yet managed to preserve its age-old culture and heritage. Your driver will show you how to use the audio guide system to benefit the GPS enabled commentary that follows the tour. Start with a visit to the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, and then continue through the Ministries' area to see a number of modern buildings with a touch of ancient, Islamic architecture. Go to the fish market and explore the narrow alleyways of the Muttrah souk to soak up the scent of exotic spices, coffee beans and ancient remedies. Learn more about the history of Oman at the Bait Al Zubair Museum. Take a souvenir photo at the magnificent Al Alam Palace, flanked by the twin Portuguese forts of Mirani and Jalali. Itinerary: • 45 mins in Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque • 15 mins in the fish market • 30 mins in the Bait Al Zubair Museum  • 10 mins for a photo stop in Al Alam Palace • 10 mins for a photo stop in Mirani & Jalali • 30 mins in Muttrah Souq

Muscat: Full-Day Nizwa Tour with Audio Guiding

5. Muscat: Full-Day Nizwa Tour with Audio Guiding

Get picked up from your hotel and head to the Shatti Al-Qurum hotel where the tour begins. Your driver will show you how to use the audio guide system to benefit the GPS enabled commentary (available in five languages) that follows the tour. Travel towards to Nizwa, Oman’s cultural capital and home to some of its most significant structures. Along the way, stop at a charming ancestral village called Birka Al Mawz, which sits at the base of Jebel Akhdar (Green Mountain). In Nizwa, admire the central fort and its giant cannon tower; walk through the traditional souq (market); and, of course, enjoy a local restaurant for lunch. After lunch, visit the unique Jabreen Castle, built in the 17th century. It has magnificent plasterwork, carved doors, and painted wooden beams. You'll also see Jebel Shams—one of the most famous mountains in Oman—and one of the oldest towns in the region, Oman Bahla, before heading back to your hotel.

Hajar Mountains: Private Day Trip from Muscat

6. Hajar Mountains: Private Day Trip from Muscat

Begin your tour driving through the Hajar Mountains to the township of Nizwa, which is the ancient capital of Oman. Visit Nizwa Fort and the traditional Souk.  Next, travel through the deep Wadi Ghul and arrive at Jebel Shams, Mountain of the Sun, which is the undisputed lord of the mountains. Jebel Shams is the highest peak of the Jebel Al Akhdar mountain range, soaring 3,000 meters above sea level. This is the Grand Canyon of Oman and provides spectacular scenery, ancient rock carvings, and remote villages.  Continue your tour to the beautiful old village of Misfah, perched on the side of a mountain where narrow ancient stone pathways lead you into the valley below. Have lunch at a restaurant where you can savor local delicacies at the top of the mountain. Afterward, explore the ancient labyrinth of the region of Al Hamra before your return trip to Muscat.

Full-Day Coastal Delights Tour from Muscat

7. Full-Day Coastal Delights Tour from Muscat

Start your full-day trip with a visit to the small fishing village of Quriyat. Afterwards, the tour continues with an off-road trip to Wadi Tiwi and Fins Beach. The drive on a graded track leads to Wadi Shab, one of Oman's most stunning wadis, which flows with fresh water most of the year alongside banana plantations and rocky paths. You’ll cross the river in a motorized boat. At the other side of the river, a walk will take you along flat land and over boulders and then on a path along the side of the mountain. Note that the path has a few narrow and slippery spots. Later in the afternoon you’ll be transferred back to Muscat.

Muscat by Night with Local Dinner from Muscat

8. Muscat by Night with Local Dinner from Muscat

Being a rare blend of ancient and modern, Muscat is a beautiful city which lies in a maze of brown pleated Mountains. Lulled by the Arabian Sea, the city has undergone dramatic development in the past two or three decades. However, Muscat takes pride in the fact that it has preserved its lustrous culture and heritage. Your visit starts with a tour of the grand mosque, which is an architectural marvel and perhaps the new landmark of the city. The drive continues through the ministries' area, where you can see a number of modern buildings with touches of ancient, Islamic architecture. Then, visit the fish market and the folkloric Muttrah souk, with its narrow covered alleys where you can smell exotic aromas of mounds of spices, coffee beans, and ancient remedies, all enticing perfumes that fill the air. Next, engage in a visit to the Bait Al Zubair Museum, which has a fine exhibit of Omani history and culture, encompassing all of the areas traditional values. You will also have a photo-stop at the magnificent Al Alam Palace (the official residence of Sultan Qaboos) flanked by the twin Portuguese forts of Mirani & Jalali. Continue to Bait-Al-Baranda, a great museum in muscat, before finally stopping for lunch in a local restaurant. In the afternoon , take your time to better explore this mystic city and its captivating civilization. Have a chance to explore other souks, and discover all the treasures and spices that you can find.

Muscat: Half-Day Guided Tour with Hotel Pickup and Drop-Off

9. Muscat: Half-Day Guided Tour with Hotel Pickup and Drop-Off

The first sight on the tour is Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque which is truly a masterpiece of the world architecture. It took 6 years to erect it and in 2001 it was successfully opened. This mosque is a traditional light Islamic building made from sandstone and marble. It has got 5 minarets – one main and 4 side minarets which create a special distinctive look. The internal design is rich in mosaics, huge handmade Persian carpets and chandeliers decorated with crystals. Our next stop is the Royal Opera House – the pearl of the Oman musical and stage art. The third sight we can’t avoid seeing is Muttrah Souq – the market located right at the banks of the Gulf of Oman. That’s an ideal place if you want to have a look at the ordinary life of Oman. Just go along the rows, look for the items, bargain and have fun as here you can find everything starting from spices finishing traditional rugs, vases or just souvenirs. Having seen the market, we should also look at the Mutrah fort. The fort leads its history at 1580s when the Portuguese had built it. It served as a military defense from the rivals in the past, but today it’s open for tourists. Next thing in Muscat to see is a well-known Al Alam Palace — the residence of Sultan Qaboos. From both sides the forts surround the palace, so you’ll likely enjoy the magnificent scenery. Located in the center of the city, it always attracts a lot of visitors and, although, people are not allowed to go in, they can easily go around and take cool photos.

Muscat: Private City Highlights Tour with Transfer

10. Muscat: Private City Highlights Tour with Transfer

A sightseeing tour around Muscat, the capital of Oman, is a great chance to soak up the Arabic atmosphere and explore the city where the ancient architecture and monuments are combined with the modern life. The first sight on the tour is Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque which is truly a masterpiece of the world architecture. It took 6 years to erect it and in 2001 it was successfully opened. This mosque is a traditional light Islamic building made from sandstone and marble. It has got 5 minarets – one main and 4 side minarets which create a special distinctive look. The internal design is rich in mosaics, huge handmade Persian carpets and chandeliers decorated with crystals. Our next stop is the Royal Opera House – the pearl of the Oman musical and stage art. The third sight we can’t avoid seeing is Muttrah Souq – the market located right at the banks of the Gulf of Oman. That’s an ideal place if you want to have a look at the ordinary life of Oman. Just go along the rows, look for the items, bargain and have fun as here you can find everything starting from spices finishing traditional rugs, vases or just souvenirs. Having seen the market, we should also look at the Mutrah fort. The fort leads its history at 1580s when the Portuguese had built it. It served as a military defense from the rivals in the past, but today it’s open for tourists. Next thing in Muscat to see is a well-known Al Alam Palace — the residence of Sultan Qaboos. From both sides the forts surround the palace, so you’ll likely enjoy the magnificent scenery. Located in the center of the city, it always attracts a lot of visitors and, although, people are not allowed to go in, they can easily go around and take cool photos.

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What people are saying about Muscat

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 220 reviews

I loved the trip - pick up was on time. Island was lovely. First snorkelling spot had such rich marine life - saw turtles as well and so many colourful fishes. Then, we moved to 2nd snorkelling spot + beach. Packed food was offered that was sufficient and well thought through. Overall, great trip!

Really a nice experience! If you are comfortable swimming, this is an amazing hike! The wadi is beautiful and with the amount of time we were in the water, even hiking at the beginning of May was doable. Bring water and water shoes!

All the places included in the activity deserved the visit, in particular the mosque.

We did everything as advertised, with a friendly and knowledgeable guide.

Probably one of the best tours I've been on... Thanks to Ilyas!!!