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Travel Guide
Muscat featuring a sunset and general coastal views

East meets west in this historical port city, home to lavish palaces, Portuguese forts and one of the oldest marketplaces in the Arab world.

Muscat has long played an important role in trade between the east and the west and its streets and attractions reveal its ancient harbor town history. Today, the city is made up of three main areas. Explore the ancient walled city of Old Muscat to discover its royal palaces and forts. Mutrah is a small fishing village in the harbor and the site of the famous maze-like market. The commercial heart of Muscat is in Ruwi.

Muscat lies between the rocky Western Al Hajar mountain range and the Gulf of Oman, giving the city a picturesque landscape of blue seas and dramatic mountains.

Start your day with an aromatic kahwa (Omani coffee), spiced with cloves and cardamom, in one of the city’s many coffee shops. Afterwards, learn about Muscat’s lively past as a prosperous trade town with ruling Omani sultans and as a part of the Persian and Portuguese empires.

Visit Old Muscat to see the extravagant official residence of Sultan Qaboos, called Al Alam Palace, nestled between two 16th-century Portuguese forts, Al-Jalali Fort and Al-Mirani Fort. Enjoy beautiful panoramic views of the harbor and the Gulf of Oman.

Get a taste for traditional Oman at the Mutrah Souk market, one of the oldest marketplaces in the world. Stalls overflow with glittering gold antiques, embroidered robes, incense, spices and fresh produce. Just a few minutes’ walk from the souk is the extensive Bait al Baranda Museum where you can immerse yourself in Muscat’s rich history and distinctive culture.

Muscat’s arid climate makes for long, hot summers and very warm winters with little rainfall. Drink plenty of bottled water and save the hottest part of the day for enjoying Omani dates and halwa sweets indoors.

Discover Muscat’s three districts by car. Sign up to a car rental service or take advantage of the affordable orange and white taxis that travel all over the city and beyond. Inexpensive buses also serve the city. Muscat International Airport is located approximately 25 miles (40 kilometers) west of Ruwi.

Where to stay in Muscat

Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah, Muscat
Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah, Muscat
5 out of 5
Barr Al Jissah, Po Box 644, Muscat
The price is £106 per night from 3 Aug to 3 Aug
Nestled on the beach, this Muscat resort is within 9 mi (15 km) of Qantab Beach, Marina Bandar Al Rowdha and Muscat Central Business District. Port Sultan Qaboos ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (989 reviews)
"Amazing service. Beautiful location. Great for diving"

Reviewed on 25 Apr 2021

Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah, Muscat
Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel
Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel
5 out of 5
Muscat 114 Oman, Quron Beach, Muscat
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is £158 per night from 28 Jul to 28 Jul
This Muscat resort is on the beach, 1.9 mi (3 km) from Marina Bandar Al Rowdha, and within 6 mi (10 km) of Qantab Beach and Muttrah Corniche. Kalbuh Park and ...
4.6/5Exceptional! (271 reviews)
"The garden is huge and landscaping is excellent covered by grass and palm trees along the private beach. Pool and kids wading pool is excellent too."

Reviewed on 8 Apr 2021

Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel
Kempinski Hotel Muscat
Kempinski Hotel Muscat
5 out of 5
335 Street 6, Muscat, Muscat
The price is £166 per night from 29 Jul to 29 Jul
This family-friendly Muscat hotel is located near the beach, within 3 mi (5 km) of Al Mouj Marina, Markaz Al Bahja Mall and Almouj Golf. Muscat City Centre Shopping ...
4.6/5Exceptional! (193 reviews)
"The Hotel and the it’s Facilities are wonderful and nice place for a stay"

Reviewed on 8 Jun 2021

Kempinski Hotel Muscat
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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