Top 50 Things to Do and to See in Oman

Oman, officially called the Sultanate of Oman, is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is one of the beautiful Arab countries and surely worth a visit. Oman is truly unique and has a lot of history and beauty to offer the visitors. There are some attractions that are particularly interesting and will allow those who visit to see and experience things that cannot be seen or done anywhere else in the world. Fifty things that you can enjoy in Oman along with your family are listed below:

1. Muscat City

The beautiful city of Muscat is one of the most popular tourist destinations of Oman. It is the capital of Oman and its financial and trade centre. The city of Muscat is culturally rich and has a famous heritage, also offers plenty of things to do and see. The capital area is a prime example of intelligent and aesthetic development, blending the ancient and modern.

2. Nizwa Castle

One of the spectacular tourist attractions of Oman is Nizwa Castel, situated right in the middle of lush spread of date palms. It is considered to be a prominent example of the town of Nizwa’s invincibility through turbulent periods in Oman’s long history. The town of Nizwa has a planned location at the crossroads of vital caravan routes linking interior, Muscat and Dhofar regions. During the seventeenth century it was declared the capital of Oman during the reign of Imam Sultan Bin Saif Al-Ya’arubi, who constructed and used the castle as his headquarters. One of the major tourist attractions of this castle is the central tower–a colossal 150-feet-diameter circular tower soaring 115 feet above the rest of fortification, complete with battlements, turrets, secret shafts, false doors and wells.

3. Nakhl Castle

The Nakhl Castel is situated in Al-Batina region, sets on top of a 200-metre rocky prominence in the foothills of the Western Hajar Mountains, overlooking the extended verdant palm farms of Nakhl countryside which gave the castle its name. The Nakhl Castle is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Oman. It is said that it belongs to the pre Islamic era and was restored in the 3rd & 10th century A.H. The gate, fence and towers were believed to be constructed during the reign of Imam Said bin Sultan in the year 1834.

4. Bahla Castle

Bahla Castle is situated in Bahla in the region of Ad-Dakhliyah, is one of the extremely popular tourist attractions of Oman. It is indeed among the oldest remaining strongholds of the country. Bahla Castel in Oman is well listed in UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the year 1988. It is a walled triangular-shaped building, with its wall stretching for 12 Km surrounding the old town of Bahla. The main structures of the Castle are located on a high land in the eastern corner, with some parts are thought dated back to the Pre-Islamic era.

5. Wadi Shab

The Wadi Shab is one of the major tourist attractions of Oman and is to be found around 76 Km from Qurayyat–Muscat. Once here you can notice that at the mouth of the wadi is a single beach dotted with fishing boats, making it a very impressive and beautiful spot for tourist. Water flows all year round. The wadi runs through a narrow gorge with date plantations, restful pools and lush vegetation. Oleander bushes attract butterflies and the singing of the birds is wonderful.

6. Wahiba

Wahiba is also known as the Ash-Sharqiyah Sands is one of the top tourist attractions of Oman. This attraction of Oman offers a perfect spot for those of the romantic visitor. Rolling sand dunes, varying from deep red to a rich honey color sands stretching as far as the eye can see, making it the most beautiful spot of the country. The Sands here stretch for 180 Km from north to south and 80 Km from east to west. You can hire guided tours to better explore the area.

7. Jabrin Castle

Jabrin Castle is situated in Jibrin town in Wilayat Bahla in the region of Ad-Dakhliyah. Jibrin Fort resembles an impressive blend of defensive architecture and sophisticated artistry. It is in fact among the most renowned forts in the Sultanate and the details and carvings in the rooms and balconies are most elaborate. You can find in the living room some of the finest painted flowers and symbols on the ceilings. This fort was constructed during the year 1680 AD by by Bala’rab bin Sultan Al-Ya’arubi . The tomb of Imam remains within the Fort.

8. Wadi Daikah

Wadi Daikah is popularly famous as the Devil’s Gap, Wadi Dayqah. It is well described by explorer S. B. Miles during the year 1896 as “the most singular piece of earth sculpture in Arabia”. The wadi runs through a narrow winding vertical-sided canyon that looks as though the mountain has been split in two, making it the most beautiful spot to visit in Oman. The walls soar to 1,700 meters and close in to 12 meters in some places.

9. Wadi Ghul

Wadi Ghul is listed among the top 10 tourist destinations of Oman and indeed a very beautiful place to visit. Wadi Ghul is situated around 15 Kilometers from Al Hamra. Once here you can witness an abandoned Persian village perched on the sides of a steep cliff. It has a recharged dam constructed in order to stop floodwaters from washing into Al Hamra and to allow water to be stored and drained down into the Wadi bed.

10. Jabal Akhdar

Al-Jabal Al-Akhdar is also known as the Green Mountain is the highest peak in the Eastern Hajar Mountains around 10,000 feet above sea level. It is one of the most famous tourist attractions of Oman and one of the highest points in the Sultanate. The breathtaking views from the Jabal, as well as its balmy climate, are among the qualities that makes it most impressive. The higher planes of the mountain are densely populated with lush vegetations comprising fruit trees, flowers and shrubs, which give rise to the name.

11. Sohar

The city of Sohar, centuries ago was the major region of trade. It is famous for its copper deposits, and archaeological evidence points to copper extraction being carried out 5,000 years ago. Sohar is a famous tourist attraction and you will also find three copper mines in operation even today with over 18 million tons of copper deposits. Beautiful beaches and attractive archaeological sites are the major attractions of this city.

12. Samhuram

Another most interesting ancient city of Oman is Samhuram. It is considered as a well-fortified region and is believed to be as old as 3,000 years. The city of Samhuram was a major port from which frankincense was shipped in ancient times, the first leg of its journey being a 650-Km voyage to Qana in present-day Yemen. You will still find some of the finest ruins here that were constructed to withstand attack by sea or land.

13. Salalah

Salalah is one of the most famous tourist destinations of Oman to be found located on the Arabian Sea, around 1,040 Km from Muscat. The city of Salalah offers magnificent tourist attractions and various attractive historical and archaeological sights. It is said that studies over the years and evidence has been found in the form of writing, inscriptions and signs indicating that a number of different civilizations have succeeded each other here, such as the ruins of Al-Blaid and Samhuram ancient cities. It is here you can find Nabi Ayoub (Jacob) Tomb, housed in a small destictive doomed building surrounded by green hills as well as the Tomb of Prophit Omran.

14. Qalhat

One of the oldest regions of Oman is Qalhat and is a beautiful tourist attraction of Oman. This charming town of Oman is situated A’Sharqiyah. The original town stood on a cliff overlooking the sea, but today only remnants of the city walls remain. During the 13th century, it was the main port of trade with the interior and was famous for its export of horses to, and import of spices from India. This town of Oman offers fairly attractive tourist spots.

15. Sea Turtles

Sea turtles are among the major source of attraction to tourist in Oman and are situated in Ras Al-Hadd and the Dimaniyyat Islands. Oman has a profusion of exotic marine life and some of the best dive sites in the world. In particular, the Hallaniyat Islands and the Dimaniyyat Islands offer chances to see beautifully coloured tropical fish and unusual hard and soft corals.

16. Nakhal Fort

Nakhal fort was constructed during the 17th Century and is one of the most famous tourist attractions of Oman. This magnificent fort is majestically perched on a rocky site in the foothills towards the Western Hajar. Indeed this fort provides you a spectacular 360-degree view of the surrounding countryside. Nakhal is renowned for its mineral-laden hot springs flowing year round from the clefts in the mountain rock right around the fortress.

17. Ras Al Hadd

It is well said that no visit to Oman is completed without visiting Ras Al Hadd. The sun rises first here in the Arab Peninsula”. It is well known as the “Green Turtle Habitat”, this region is situated in the Wilayat of Sur in the Sharqiya region. It is the migration destination of around 6,000-13,000 turtles who make their annual journey here, from the Arabian Gulf, the Red Sea and the East African Coast. Ras Al Hadd is one of the major tourist attractions of Oman.

18. Jebel Shams

Jebel Shams is the highest mountain of the Al Hajar mountain range and is situated around 280 km from the country’s capital. The meaning of Jebel Shams is “Mountain of the Sun” in Arabic. Jebel Shams are found 9000 feet above the sea level. The mercury here dips to zero in winter and sometimes is followed with snowfall. It is said that that climate of Jebel Shams is the reason enough to visit this region.

19. Wahiba Sands

The Wahiba Sands is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Oman. It is a huge desert of rolling sand dunes where you can get the opportunity to witness colors varying from deep red to rich honey. These dunes are home to traditional Bedouins who can endure the harsh desert conditions. It also plays host to a diverse type of flora and fauna. Wahiba Sands are among the most visited tourist destinations of Oman.

20. Bani Ouf Valley

The Wadi Bani Ouf is located in Al Rostaq wilayat, is one of the most renowned tourist attractions of Oman. This ancient wadi offers spectacular views along its 26-kilometer trail. Mountain streams and pools plus green fields also spectacularly beset this valley making it an ideal place for 4WD drives, trekking or cannoning. Once here you can also explore side canyons like the famous Snake Canyon/ Snake Gorge with it cool springs, splashing streams and sharp rock faces.

21. Shab Valley

Shab Valley is considered to be a must visit tourist attraction of Oman. ‘Wadi’ means ‘dry river bed’. This gully remains dry except during the rainy season where water quickly fills it up. It is situated just between the capital the beautiful town of Sur. One of the spectacular features of this wadi is that it merges the scenic appeal of the coastal areas with that of the inland wonders. It is interesting to note that you can find at least seven pools of emerald green water surrounded by marvelous boulders, here. Plan a trip to Shab Valley to have a fun filled and fascinating tour.

22. Mutrah Souk

Mutrah Souk is a famous tourist attraction of Oman. It is renowned for being the most interesting Souk in the Arab Gulf states. Inside this souk you can witness a unique blend of the ancient and the contemporary, offering with wide variety of choices to shoppers. Here you can shop for several products such as the silverware, antiques, frankincense garments, toys, spices, gold and many more.

23. Jebel Akhdar Villages

The mountain villages of Oman’s Jebel Akhdar are balanced precariously on the edge of absolute cliffs, leaving some of the most beautiful views of the country. Once here you can notice that the climate is much cooler than the rest of the country because it is located at an altitude of over 2,000 meters. The Jebel Akhdar is the location of the stunning easy going ‘Four Villages’ trek (2 hrs).

24. Nizwa Livestock Market

It is said that Nizwa Livestock Market should be included in the “to do list” of travelers travelling to Oman. This colorful livestock market is a sight full of human interest. You will notice that every Friday morning the ancient capital of Oman’s interior becomes a hive of activity as cattle, sheep, and goats are auctioned amongst scenes of great excitement. Numerous of local people are found here.

25. Wadi Bani Awf

Wadi Bani Awf is one of the most famous tourist attractions of Oman. Serpentine Wadi Bani Awf winds dramatically through the Hajar Mountains connecting the coastal Batinah plain with the country’s interior. Once here you will find that this rocky mountain valley has beautiful incredible scenery and offers spectacular photo opportunities where ever you turn.

26. Wadi Nakhr Gorge

Another most incredible tourist destination of Oman is Wadi Nakhr Gorge that is also famous by the name “Grand Canyon” of Oman. It very well cuts into the belly of Jebel Shams, the highest mountain in the country (3,005 m), and is certainly the most popular natural sights of the country. It is an ideal destination for adventurous visitors.

27. Ras al-Jinz Turtle Beach

Ras al-Jinz is considered to be the popular tourist destinations of Oman. It is also the prominent nesting site of the endangered green turtle. Every year numerous of turtles return to the beach where they hatched to lay their eggs thereby creating what is believed by many as the finest natural spectacle in Oman. The ideal season to visit here is between June and August.

28. Musandam Fjords

Musandam Fjords is considered of be one of the most beautiful and unspoiled areas in Oman. It is renowned for its magnificent mountains and fjord-like sunken valleys which have led the area to be called “The Norway of Arabia”. The relaxing dhow cruise of Khor ash Sham is said to be the most attractive feature of this area. Visit Musandam to explore the dramatic ‘fjord’ with its incredibly sheer cliffs and crystal clear water.

29. The Frankincense Coast

The Frankincense Coast is situated around 1000 km towards the southern of Muscat; the southern Omani province of Dhofar is the home of frankincense. This region of Oman is considered to be most scenic and comes as a great surprise. Ideal season to visit this part of the country is between July and early September, a season known as the ‘khareef’, coastal Dhofar is almost miraculously transformed into a land with lush pastures, flowing rivers, and waterfalls. Quite unlike any other part of Arabia!

30. Sur

One of the most certain tourist destination of Oman is Sur; it is a beautiful and peaceful sea coast town of Oman that offers impressive natural sights. Sur is also renowned for its striking traditional dwellings and considered to be a pleasant getaway in the Eastern region. A trip through Sur’s labyrinth of streets reveals many fine old houses with carved doors and arabesque windows. From the corniche, the dhows in the harbour can be seen against the scenic backdrop of the Gulf of Oman.

31. Nizwa

Nizwa is one of the most famous tourist destinations of Oman and offers some of the finest historical monuments, handicrafts and agricultural products. The city of Nizwa is also renowned for having an expansive Souq showcasing a wonderful array of handicrafts – coffee pots, swords, leather goods, silverware, antiques, and household utensils. One of the oldest cities of the Sultanate, this was once a center of education and art. Nizwa fort, completed in the 1650′s, was the seat of power during the rule of the Al Ya’ruba dynasty and is Oman’s most visited National monument.

32. Ibra

Ibra is among the prominent places of Oman and considered to be the Gateway to the Eastern region of the country. During ancient times, Ibra was renowned for its spectacular horses and horsemen. One of the famous attractions of Ibra is the “Wednesday Souq” run entirely by women. On the far side of Ibra lies Al Mansfah village, a community of mansions once owned by prosperous merchants of the 19th century during the reign of Said the Great.

33. Nakhl- Rustaq Loop

Nakhl-Rustaq loop is one of the most renowned tourist attractions of Oman. From the Batinah Coast towards the west of Muscat you will find numerous towns of special interest. Along the coast is the town of Barka with an incredible fort and Bait Al Naman Castle, an early home for the Al Bu Said dynasty. Closer to the mountains lie the majestic fortresses of Nakhl, Rustaq and Al Hazm. Restored by the government and preserved as national treasures.

34. Masirah Island

Masirah Island is considered to be an ideal destination for those travelers who really want to get away from it all. This cool and calm island is located right in the Indian Ocean. The stark rocky landscape is rimmed with isolated beaches whose only visitors are the logger head turtles that come to nest there. Beachcombers may come across a variety of shell fish and other specimens of marine life.

35. Grand Mosque

One of the beautiful mosques of Oman is the Grand Mosque, located in the country’s capital, Muscat. This mosque is considered to be the most glorious piece of modern Islamic architecture was a gift to the nation from Sultan Qaboos to mark the 30th year of his reign. The main prayer hall is a treat to watch. The Persian carpet alone is 70m x 60m wide, making it the largest carpet in the world. There are some rules to follow while entering the mosque- long sleeves and trousers (not jeans) or long skirts should be worn, and women should cover their hair.

36. Sultan’s Palace

Sultan’s Palace is one of the incredible tourist attractions of Oman to be found in Muscat. This palace was extended over the site of the former British embassy. In the grounds, there used to be the stump of a flagpole. You can get the best view of the palace from the roundabout on the inland side: some streets of houses have recently been cleared (to the chagrin of some) to make a new colonnade befitting of a royal residence.

37. Al-Jalali Fort

Al-Jalali Fort is a famous tourist attraction of Oman. You will find that this fort is guarding the entrance to the harbour to the east and was constructed during the Portuguese occupation in the 1580s on Arab foundations. Today it is a museum of Omani heritage, open only to visiting dignitaries and heads of state. With fireworks reflected in the water, it makes a spectacular sight.

38. Sultans Armed Forces Museum

Sultan’s Armed Forces Museum is an excellent place to witness more than just a display of military hardware. You will find it located in Bayt al-Falaj and was constructed during the year 1845 as a royal summer home but used mostly as the headquarters of the sultan’s armed forces. The museum is on the itinerary of visiting dignitaries and you’ll be given a mandatory military escort.

39. Bait al-Baranda

Bait al-Baranda traces the history – and prehistory – of Muscat and is certainly a great place to visit. The museum mainly appeals those who are interested learning about Oman’s history. The museum displays some of the best works through imaginative, interactive displays. One of the major attractions of this museum is a ‘cut-and-paste’ dinosaur, using bones found in the Al-Khoud area of Muscat and topped up with borrowed bones from international collections.

40. Muscat Gate Museum

The Muscat Gate Museum is one of the interesting places to visit in Oman. The original gates were in use till the year 1970 to keep land-bound marauders out, marks the position of the old city wall and considered to be the best way to introduce Muscat. It is also a vantage point for the Sultan’s Palace.

41. Waterfall

If it is waterfall it has to be the wadi, it is one of the most favorite destinations in Oman. It has got a breathtaking entrance along with awesome views of waterfalls, aquamarine pools, and terraced plantations. The kingfishers add magnificent splashes of color. There are plenty of adventurous for the adventure lovers such as swimming and also you can visit the partially submerged cave there.

42. Jabrin Castle

Jabrin Castle is an imposing sight to see in Oman, raising from the surrounding plain it has not competition in the area. Do try to climb one or more of the climb as the Jabrin has many; it also is one of the best preserved and whimsical of the Castles. Go onto the flagpole to have a bird’s-eye view of the latticed-window courtyard at the heart of the keep.

43. Fortress

The fortress is located in Samail, and it’s advisable to go there on your own vehicle. Samail is also home to Oman’s oldest mosque hidden in the plantations but the most attractive of them all is the lush oasis through which the road passes. You can also find here Masjid Mazin bin Ghadouba Mosque, which has wooden lintels and stained-glass windows, it is built from blocks of stone.

44. Watchtower Muscat, Oman

It is the restored Portuguese Watchtower facing the sea; it is located half way along the cornice. If you wish to have a lovely view out to sea this the best place. You can reach the staircase from behind the Al-Inshirah Restaurant. This area is a famous place for outing and to catch the evening breeze. It is always brighten up with fully decorated and colorful fountains at night.

45. Museum Muscat

Oman museum is located in Muscat and it is an attempt to show case artefacts and interesting rooms on Omani architecture. The Oman Museum is also famous for its view over dazzlingly white suburbs and sea. The Museum is not always open, check out the local Museum timings to pay it a visit.

46. PDO Oil and Gas Exhibition Muscat Oman

The rapid growth of infrastructure throughout Oman is due to Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) and it is as displayed in the PDO Oil & Gas Exhibition. The exhibition displays the steps in which Oman has constructed into a modern country and different plans to be implemented. This exhibition is easy to reach from Qurm.

47. Planetarium Muscat

Planetarium is yet another achievement of modern Oman; it is open for two shows per week usually at 19:00hrs Wednesday and 10:00hrs, you can also book in advance for the shows one day ahead. It is especially attractive among young ones and science lovers but other can also enjoy it.

48. Omani-French Museum

Omani-French Museum as the name itself indicates depicts relations between the two countries that are on display in different ways on many galleries. The Omani-French Museum is window to look back and see the interesting snapshot of 19th-century colonial life in Muscat. The timings for the museum are 16:00 to 19:00 hrs from October to March.

49. Natural History Museum

Another in the list of handful museums in Oman is the Ministry of National Heritage houses. It is a small but lovely Natural History Museum. It provides a glimpse into the local flora and fauna and it is a must for anyone interested in the flora and fauna. The Museum is also home to some excellent displays on Oman’s geography and geology.

50. Mutrah Fort Muscat

The Mutrah Fort is built by the Portuguese in the 1580s; the Mutrah Fort occupies the eastern end of the harbor. It was used for military purposes and the general public usually allowed in certain times but you can scale the flank of it and have a good view of the ocean. And near the Mutrah Fort, there is a leafy Al-Riyam Park which gives a fine view of the harbor from the giant, attractive incense burner and little fun fair.

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