Top things to do in Oman

by Travelbag on 18 June 2015, 13:06PM

Oman is frequently overshadowed by its sister nations as a holidaying destination, however it is well worth a visit as the Sultanate holds many hidden gems and surprising secrets.

Many who choose to visit Oman, return year after year, amazed by its authenticity and culture – and hypnotised by the beauty of the surroundings and coastline. It’s a region that has it all – from huge luxury beach resorts, to smaller ‘local-style’ accommodation, you’ll find something you love here.

Oman also boasts a wide range of attractions and activities. It’s not just shopping and beaches here – there are incredible mountain ranges (ready and waiting to be explored), stunning deserts, brilliant souks and markets, and even wildlife that you can get up-close and personal to (but more on that later).

You won’t be bored visiting Oman; it is rich in history and culture and offers something for every member of the family, young and old. Here are our favourite picks…

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat

If it is the culture you’re most interested in seeing, then you absolutely need to take a visit to the Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat. The mosque offers guided tours (which are free!) and so you can take the opportunity to learn as much as possible about the structure and where it came from. Each building here has its own story and significance – so taking the time to get to know it will only help you understand Oman more.

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The mosque is quite simply stunning, inside and outside. If you’ve never been to a mosque before and you are unsure what to expect – well you’re in for a treat. This is one of the most grand and opulent mosques in the Middle East and will leave you staring around the room in awe. It is quite simply perfection.

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Mohammed Al Ameen Mosque

If visiting the previous mosque left you wanting more, there is another mosque not too far that you could also visit. This is a slightly different kind of mosque and you’ll notice almost immediately that the décor isn’t as opulent and as dramatic. But fear not – with this particular structure it’s all in the details. Look a little closer and you’ll notice just how much love and devotion this building was created with.

Qurum Beach

You’re in the Middle East, where the weather is simply wonderful all-year round. This part of the world experiences beautiful sunshine and no matter what time of the year you visit, we imagine you’ll want to do a little bit of sunbathing and relaxing.

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This particular beach is a favourite among locals and travellers alike, and when you see it, you’ll likely nod your head in agreement. The clean water, white sand and mild weather make this the ideal spot for relaxing and having a time-out. Why not pack a little lunch and enjoy some snacks on the beach too?

It is beautifully maintained and is everything you would hope a beach should be. Now sit back and relax!


Royal Opera House

For a taste of the high life and how the royals live, paying for a trip to the Royal Opera House is a must. However, this isn’t because of the opulence and luxury on show – the shows at the Royal Opera House are guaranteed to always be world class too. You’ll be rubbing shoulders with the rich (and sometimes famous) and if you have the budget we’d even recommend splashing out for a private box.

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If you can’t afford show tickets, you can still take a guided tour around the building and see the ins and outs of such a brilliant piece of architecture.

Nizwa and Bahla Fort

For a taste of local history (dating back hundreds of years) then a visit to Nizwa Fort is definitely on the cards. In the neighbouring Emirates it can be difficult to find history dated before the last 50 years – especially in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Indeed, you can feel honoured to experience these ancient structures in Oman, because you simply won’t find them elsewhere.

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National Museum of Oman

Again, this is another one to help you understand more about the country you’re visiting. The museum is jam-packed full of brilliant historical artifacts, as well as more interactions exhibitions for children – and it’s something you could easily spend an afternoon wandering around and looking through. As with any great museum, there are tours available – but most people generally prefer to meander through at their own pace.

Wadi Ghul (also known as Oman's Grand Canyon)

If it’s adventure you’re after, then a road trip (or guided tour, if you’re not a driver) is the way to go. The Wadi Ghul is one of Oman’s most famous natural landmarks and you’ll be overwhelmed by the size and scale of it. It’s an epic sight to see, and you’ll find yourself staring up (and down) in disbelief as you climb the mountain range.

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This is something you’ll probably want to spend a whole day doing, and devote proper time to seeing – it’s not something you’ll want to rush. Many people even book a separate accommodation up in the mountain (or in towns nearby) so they don’t have to make the long drive back to the city before nightfall. It is worth bearing in mind, as that would essentially give you an extra day exploring the next day too.

Go and visit the turtles

Turtle Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, not necessarily because of what it looks like – but because of what you can be witness to when you visit. The beach, as you’d expect, is home to turtles and every year many make their way onto the beach to nest and lay their eggs.

If you’re lucky you’ll see these beautiful creatures in the wild, and you’ll be able to find them on the beach (during the evening) to watch this process, and to watch the babies making their way to see once they’ve hatched. This is all with guides and wildlife experts – so you don’t disrupt or interfere with the course of natures.

It’s truly something to marvel at, and you’ll find yourself getting emotional as you watch these incredible creatures carry on in their circle of life. It’s hard not to feel overwhelmed by the magic of it all – and it really is something you’ll never forget.

It’s worth remembering, that no photography is allowed (the flashes can disrupt the animals) so don’t feel disappointed when your guide informs you. What you can do though, is fully be in the moment, and just enjoy it for what it is. You truly won’t want to miss a moment anyway.

Click here for more information on Oman.


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