Keep reading to discover the 15 best places to visit in Oman.
Oman is one of the world’s most underrated and surprising countries. It is a place where you will find diverse landscapes, hospitable people, and a distinctive culture unlike anywhere else. From beaches to deserts to mountains and beyond, the diversity is incredible with something new and unexpected around every corner. If you are looking to travel someplace different that you haven’t seen 100 times online, then Oman is the place for you.
When visiting Oman fully immersing yourself in the country’s unique and different places is the best way to experience it. Below you will find the 15 best places to visit in Oman to get a taste of the many different and incredible parts of the country.
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15 Best Places to Visit in Oman
When most people think of the Middle East they think of endless sand dunes and deserts. However, a desert is present in only a small part of Oman. This desert region is called Wahiba Sands and it is easily one of the best places to visit in Oman. The endless stretches of golden-hued rolling sand dunes are mesmerizing and you only realize the vastness when you see it in real life.
Most people stay overnight in Wahiba Sands in one of the luxury desert camps to fully experience this unique place and the cultures associated with it. But you can also go here on a day trip as it can be reached in 3 hours by car from Muscat. However, it is best to fully experience Wahiba Sands by staying in a desert camp to immerse yourself in Arabian-style living. These luxurious overnight stays offer jeep tours, homemade meals, and more. Some of the best-rated desert camps are:
The first word that comes to mind when talking about Wadi Shab is Oasis. This hidden gem is located seemingly in the middle of nowhere in Oman and is completely unexpected. Full of lush greenery, thriving flora, and flowing blue water rivers it is the last thing you expect to find within the valley of huge rocks in Oman. It is one of the country’s most breathtaking attractions and one of the best places to visit in Oman.
Be prepared: the journey to the pools of Wadi Shab is not so straightforward. To start the journey you must drive to the parking lot and take a 30-second boat across the river (this costs 1 Omani Rial). Then you will start a 45-minute hike over huge rocks and steep edges.
It requires sneakers or hiking boots (don’t wear sandals), and in the heat of Oman, it is exhausting! Bring water and arrive at 7 AM to do the hike in the shade and with the least amount of people.
After 45 minutes you will arrive at the first pool where you can swim and cool off after the hike. The other two pools are only reachable by swimming so bring a waterproof bag or you will have to leave your stuff unattended at the first pool.
Bimmah Sinkhole is one of the most beautiful and best places to visit in Oman. Here you can see and enjoy one of the country’s most unique, natural attractions. This hidden gem is located just 20 minutes from Wadi Shab and is the perfect place to visit after you go there. The best thing about Bimmah Sinkhole is that it is 100% FREE.
The sinkhole is a huge crater-like hole in the ground full of bright blue water. It is open to the public for swimming and enjoying every day of the week. However, women dress modestly here. To be respectful of the rules it is best to wear a t-shirt and shorts in the water instead of a bikini. The sinkhole is located is a beautiful park and there are facilities like toilets for getting changed.
No visit to Oman is complete without visiting the capital city Muscat. It is one of the best places to visit in Oman to get a real taste of the culture and living of local Omanis. Here you can explore local restaurants, shop in the famous souq and experience the vibrance of the capital. This is also the best place to stay in Oman to be in the middle of all the action and in close proximity to all the top attractions and best places to visit in Oman.
Niwza Fort is one of the best places to visit in Oman to experience one of the country’s top attractions. This castle, fort, and museum looks like a giant sand castle and is easily one of the most unique structures you will ever see. Although it was only built in the 17th century it is still full of history in regard to Omani defenses and past battles.
The entrance price to Nizwa Fort is 5 Omani Rials for Adults (12.59€). Exploring the entire castle and all its rooms and towers takes around 1 hour. It is best to visit Nizwa fort in the morning at 8 AM when it opens as this is when the sun is least powerful and much of your day at Nizwa Fort will be outside.
Head to Nizwa Souq for one of the best places to visit in Oman for a more cultural experience. This small market is located just outside Nizwa Fort’s walls and is one of the calmest souqs in Omani. It is the perfect place to look at beautiful local goods like handmade goods, pottery, jewelry, coffee, and more! This is one of the best places in Oman to see how locals interact and to pick up unique souvenirs from a trustworthy place.
Sur is a brilliant coastal town located on Oman’s Eastern tip. This quiet beach town is full of natural, cultural, and historic attractions just waiting to be discovered. It is one of the best places to visit in Oman to enjoy the country’s city life in a more calm and relaxed way. Historically Sur was the country’s most important trading port and you can still how it used to be in old Sur and in the suburb of Aija.
Note: Sur is a great place to stay in Oman if you want to see the rare sea turtles that hatch nearby at Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve.
Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve
Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve is one of the best places to visit in Oman to experience one of nature’s most magical shows: the birth of sea turtles! Every year, thousands of turtles migrate to the shorts of Oman’s beaches to nest and lay their eggs. The best seasons to see turtle hatchings are between May and September. You can watch the turtles at sunset and sunrise as they build nests, go to the sea, and eventually hatch.
This is a protected area in Oman and a beautiful place to experience the wonders of nature. If you love wildlife it is best to stay at one of the resorts at the reserve so you can easily go see the turtles as you wish.
Bahla Fort is a historical landmark in Oman built between the 12th and 15th. It is one of the best places to visit in Oman to experience one of the country’s most significant fortresses and Oman’s only UNESCO fort. This fort is located at the foot of the Jebel Akhdar mountains and is a stunning mud-walled structure to see and admire. It also costs only 1 Omani Rial to enter (2.45 €) which is much cheaper than Nizwa Fort.
Mutrah Corniche is a beautiful promenade in Muscat and one of the best places to visit in Oman. This curved waterside area is home to stunning latticed buildings and mosques, plus views of the sea and surrounding mountains. It is one of the most popular places to visit in Muscat where you can enjoy manicured gardens, beautiful fountains, and unique architecture.
Ad Dimaniyat Islands
Ad Dimaniyat Islands typically results in the reaction of: “There is NO WAY this is in Oman”. But incredibly enough it is. Ad Dimaniyat is composed of nine islands off the coast of Barka. It is a protected area in Oman where you can snorkel and sail around the stunning sea. Heading here is one of the most surprising things you will do in Oman that is as unexpected as it is beautiful.
Head to Ad Dimaniyat Islands to experience one of the best places to visit in Oman that truly shows the diversity of the country. Below are some tours to get you there.
Jebel Akhdar is where we get to see Oman’s diverse landscapes again: with its huge mountain range! Jebel Akhdar is part of the Al Hajar Mountains range that reaches a staggering height of 2,980 m. Once again, prepare to be shocked by Oman in how different this country is throughout its different parts. This is one of the best places to visit in Oman for adventure travelers who want to hike and enjoy the outdoors.
There are two popular mountain ranges in Oman: Jebel Shams and Jebel Akhdar. Jebel Shams is more rustic while Jebel Akhdar has better infrastructure. Below are some tours to help guide you to and around the mountains. I highly suggest getting a local guide to help you navigate this correctly. You can even ask your hotel and they may have some suggestions for local tours and guides.
Going to a beach in Oman feels like something you would never expect but alas, this is one of the best places to visit in Oman. As you can expect the weather in Oman is quite hot and cooling off throughout your stay will be a top priority. This makes heading to this stunning beach all the more enjoyable! Mughsail Beach is clean and quiet, with white sand and bright blue water. It is the ideal place to relax and enjoy this unique part of the country.
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is the largest mosque in Oman and one of the country’s most stunning structures. The ornate exterior architecture of the mosque and surrounding gardens are incredibly impressive – so much so that photos just don’t do it justice. The interior is equally as impressive and beautiful and well worth seeing. While visiting this mosque be sure to dress respectively: men cannot wear shorts, and women must cover their arms, legs, and hair. However, visitors can rent coverings at the mosque.
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is one of the best places to visit in Oman to experience the peaceful and beautiful Muslim religion.
Located in the heart of Muscat Mutrah Souq is one of the best places to visit in Oman. This old-fashioned bazaar/market is the perfect place to find local goods and products from the most authentic sources. Find spices, clothing, food, household items, and much more. While here you can also watch how the locals interact in their environment. This is one of the most vibrant places in Oman to see the locals in action.
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