14 Best Things to do in Oman

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Get inspired by this list of the best things to do in Oman and prepare to fall in love with one of the world’s most underrated countries.

The 3 best words to describe Oman are surprising, diverse, and peaceful. It is a country like no other that is relatively undiscovered only adding to its charm. Oman is a very unique place where you can find huge mountain ranges, endless desert sands, bright blue waters, and historic old towns. It is also one of the safest countries in the world with very peaceful and reserved locals.

My visit to Oman was an endless string of surprises and amazement. Thinking how come this is not one of the most popular places to visit in the world?! But for now, it is a well-kept hidden gem that is best visited before the surge of others finds out about it.

If you are heading to Oman use this post of the best things to do in Oman to guide your adventures. You will also find out how to get around Oman, Oman travel tips, how to get to Oman, and where to stay!

(Disclaimer: Some links in this post may be affiliate links, meaning if you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small commission. This is at no extra cost to you and you may even receive a small discount. See disclosure for more information.)

14 Best Things to do in Oman

Explore Wahiba Sands

Wahiba Sands Desert
Wahiba Sands Desert

Wahiba Sands is a vast desert region in Oman with rolling sand dunes stretching endlessly in all directions. The golden-hued sand is pale during the day and slowly turns more golden as the sun sets. The endless sea of sand has been shaped by the wind to form unique and mesmerizing sand dunes that are amazing to see for yourself.

Wahiba Sands is reachable in 3 hours by car from Muscat and is a great day trip or you can stay overnight in one of the many luxury desert camps. The best way to fully experience Wahiba Sands is by staying in a desert camp. These luxurious overnight stays offer tours, meals, and more to fully immerse its visitors in Arabian-style living. Some of the best-rated desert camps are:

Wahiba Sands Desert
Wahiba Sands Desert

Heading to Wahiba Sands is one of the top things to do in Oman and something you should not miss! It is easily one of the top places to visit in Oman to see and experience the power and raw beauty of nature. Just note, you will need a 4-wheel car to drive into the desert and it is best visited with a guide! I would not recommend navigating and driving into the desert on your own.

Visit Nizwa Fort

Nizwa Fort is a large fort located in the city of Nizwa, Oman. It looks like a giant sand castle and is incredibly unique compared to most castles around the world. This castle was built in the 17 century and is one of Oman’s most popular tourist attractions. Head here to learn about the history of the castle and its unique defenses, and immerse yourself in one of Oman’s oldest towns.

Nizwa Fort
Nizwa Fort

Entrance to Nizwa Fort costs 5 Omani Rials for Adults (12.59€). And most people spend around 1 hour here exploring the castle, its different rooms, and reading the different signs scattered around. IMPORTANT: Nizwa fort is open 8 am – 8 pm so be sure to go early in the morning at 8 AM or when the sun is setting and less powerful. It is incredibly hot if you go in the afternoon.

Shop in Nizwa Souq

Nizwa Souq
Nizwa Souq

Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Nizwa Souq, one of Oman’s most famous traditional marketplaces. Located in the historic city of Nizwa, this bustling souq is a shopaholic’s paradise.

Wander through the narrow alleys lined with shops selling a wide variety of goods, from intricately crafted silver jewelry and colorful textiles to aromatic spices and traditional handicrafts. Marvel at the skilled artisans showcasing their craftsmanship, and engage in friendly haggling to score the best deals.

Nizwa Souq is not only a shopping destination but also a cultural experience. Take a moment to observe the locals going about their daily lives, exchanging goods and engaging in lively conversations. Indulge in the flavors of Omani cuisine at the food stalls offering delicious snacks and refreshing drinks.

Whether you’re seeking unique souvenirs or simply want to immerse yourself in the local culture, a visit to Nizwa Souq promises a memorable shopping experience in the heart of Oman.

Hike and Swim in Wadi Ash Shab

Wadi Ash Shab is one of Oman’s most unique and breathtaking attractions. Heading here for the hike and swim is one of the top things to do in Oman and the number one thing I suggest you add to your itinerary if you are visiting Oman. To know what your getting into it is essentially a huge canyon with a river with bright blue, crystal clear water. You hike through a narrow canyon to arrive at a deep swimming pool – almost like an Oasis.

Wadi Ash Shab
Wadi Ash Shab

However, the journey here is not an easy one and requires some planning to prepare. First, you must drive to the parking lot and take a 30-second boat across the river. This costs 1 Omani Rial. You will then hike 45 minutes through the canyon, this is not an easy hike as you will be walking on steep edges, and slippery rocks, and must climb over big rocks. After the hike, you will arrive at the first pool.

Wadi Ash Shab
Wadi Ash Shab

Here you can swim and if you want to visit the other two pools at Wadi Shab the only way there is to swim through the river. I will be writing a complete guide on how to get here soon! Some important things to note: wear sturdy sneakers or hiking shoes, bring water, and pack a waterproof bag if you want to swim to the other pools so you don’t have to leave your stuff unattended.

Arrive as early as possible! 7 AM is the first boat ride and the earlier the better to beat the crowds and the heat. You can take a tour like one of the ones listed below but it’s more than doable on your own.

Swim in the Bimmah Sinkhole

Bimmah Sinkhole is a hidden gem located just 20 minutes from Wadi Ash Shab along the coast of Oman. It is 100% FREE and visiting here is one of the best things to do in Oman. The sinkhole is a huge hole in the ground full of bright blue water that is open to the public for swimming. This unique natural wonder offers one of the most unique places to enjoy a quick cool-off.

Bimmah Sinkhole
Bimmah Sinkhole

It is important for women to 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 – some people just swim in their clothes. The best time to visit is in the morning at 8 AM when it opens as this is when there is the least amount of people. There are also facilities like toilets here for getting changed.

Go Snorkeling

Snorkeling is definitely not the first thing you think of when you think of Oman but it is actually one of the top things to do in Oman. The best snorkeling spots are in the Gulf of Oman and around Muscat and there are plenty of tours that will bring you out to enjoy one of Oman’s most unique attractions. Below are some tours you can join to see and experience the unique and beautiful underwater life of Oman.

Have a Drink at The Chedi

The Chedi Muscat in Muscat, Oman

Indulge in a luxurious and relaxing experience by having a drink at The Chedi in Oman. Located in Muscat, The Chedi is a renowned five-star hotel known for its stunning architecture, serene ambiance, and impeccable service.

Make your way to the hotel’s stylish bar or lounge area and savor a refreshing beverage while taking in the breathtaking views of the Arabian Sea or the beautifully landscaped gardens. The Chedi offers a wide selection of wines, spirits, cocktails, and non-alcoholic beverages to suit every preference.

Unwind in the elegant surroundings and enjoy the soothing atmosphere created by the combination of modern design and traditional Omani influences. The attentive staff will ensure that your experience is nothing short of exceptional.

As you sip your drink, take a moment to appreciate the tranquil surroundings, reflecting on the beauty of Oman’s natural landscapes and rich cultural heritage. Whether you’re seeking a quiet evening or a lively gathering with friends, The Chedi provides a sophisticated and inviting setting for enjoying a drink in Oman.

Admire the Blue Water Beaches

Oman Beaches
Oman Beaches

Oman’s coast is lined with beautiful beaches that are shockingly beautiful. The beaches look a lot like Ibiza or Greece but without the huge crowds of people. In fact, the beaches in Oman have almost no one on them which is ideal if you want to enjoy a day in the water alone.

The best way to find beaches in Oman is the drive along the coast and stop along the way when a beach interests you. Driving the coast is also one of the best things to do in Oman, and finding beautiful beaches is a bonus!

Visit Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. Sultanate of Oman.

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is the largest mosque in Oman that is stunning on both the interior and exterior. The architecture and surrounding gardens are incredibly impressive – so much so that photos just don’t do it justice. While visiting this mosque be sure to dress respectively: men cannot wear shorts, and women must cover their arms, legs, and hair. Visitors can rent coverings at the mosque.

Visiting Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is one of the top things to do in Oman to experience the peaceful and beautiful Muslim religion in Oman.

Hike in Jebel Akhdar

Image of landscape Saiq Plateau and terrace cultivation in Oman

Jebel Akhdar is a huge mountain range in Oman ideal for adventure travelers who want to enjoy hiking and outdoor activities. There are two popular mountain ranges in Oman: Jebel Shams and Jebel Akhdar. Jebel Shams is more rustic while Jebel Akhdar has better infrastructure. Therefore, Jebel Akhdar is a better option for travelers who just want to see and explore the mountains in a more fun and calm way.

Below is a tour option to guide your way through the mountains.

Explore Mutrah Souq

Group of Muslim people shopping in Mutrah Souq covered market
Locals and tourists visit the Mutrah souk (souq), to shop in the attractive waterfront Corniche area, the entrance is a domed, double-height gateway with arches.

Discover the vibrant atmosphere and cultural richness of Mutrah Souq, one of the must-visit destinations in Oman. Located in the heart of Muscat, this traditional marketplace is a treasure trove of local goods and experiences.

Embark on a journey as you wander through the narrow alleyways, adorned with colorful textiles, aromatic spices, exquisite jewelry, and traditional Omani handicrafts. Engage in friendly haggling with the friendly shopkeepers to find unique souvenirs and authentic mementos.

Immerse yourself in the bustling ambiance of the souq, as locals and tourists alike navigate the lively maze of shops. Don’t forget to explore the fish market nearby, where you can witness the daily catch being sold and experience the vibrant energy of a traditional Omani marketplace.

After shopping, take a leisurely stroll along the picturesque Mutrah Corniche, overlooking the stunning views of the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Oman. Admire the iconic Mutrah Fort and explore the charming Mutrah Old Town with its historic buildings and architectural wonders.

Exploring Mutrah Souq is not just a shopping experience; it’s an opportunity to delve into Omani culture, connect with the local community, and create lasting memories of your time in Oman.

Admire Royal Opera House Muscat

Royal Opera House Muscat building.

Immerse yourself in the world of arts and culture by admiring the grandeur of the Royal Opera House Muscat in Oman. Located in the capital city of Muscat, this architectural masterpiece is a symbol of the country’s commitment to promoting performing arts.

Marvel at the stunning exterior of the opera house, characterized by its elegant Arabian design and intricate details. Step inside and be greeted by a world-class venue equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, designed to host a wide range of performances including opera, ballet, symphony concerts, and theater.

Check the schedule and treat yourself to a mesmerizing performance by renowned international artists or local talents. The opera house offers a diverse program throughout the year, showcasing a fusion of traditional Omani culture and global artistic expressions.

Even if you’re not attending a performance, the Royal Opera House Muscat is worth a visit for its captivating architecture and serene surroundings. Take a leisurely stroll through the beautifully landscaped gardens and appreciate the tranquil ambiance.

The Royal Opera House Muscat is a cultural gem in Oman, offering a unique and enriching experience for art enthusiasts and visitors seeking to explore the vibrant art scene of the country.

Visit Wadi Dayqah Dam

Wadi Dayqah Dam in Qurayyat, Oman. It is located about 70 km southeast of the Omani capital Muscat.

Located in the Al Qabil region Wadi Dayqah Dam is not only a vital water resource but also a captivating tourist attraction. Marvel at the grandeur of the dam as you approach it, surrounded by towering cliffs and rugged mountains. The crystal-clear turquoise waters of the reservoir create a stunning contrast against the rocky landscape, offering a picture-perfect view.

Take a leisurely walk along the dam, enjoying the tranquility of the surroundings and the gentle breeze. Capture the beauty of the scenery through your camera lens or simply immerse yourself in the serene ambiance of this natural marvel.

For the more adventurous, explore the surrounding Wadi Dayqah area, offering opportunities for hiking, rock climbing, and off-road adventures. Experience the rugged beauty of the wadi, with its dramatic rock formations, lush vegetation, and hidden pools.

Whether you’re seeking natural beauty, a peaceful escape, or an active outdoor experience, a visit to Wadi Dayqah Dam promises to be a memorable part of your journey through Oman.

Explore Muscat

Cityscape view of Muscat city at sunset. The capital of Oman.

Explore the captivating capital city of Muscat, where modernity blends seamlessly with Oman’s rich cultural heritage. Discover a range of experiences that highlight the beauty and charm of this coastal city.

Begin your exploration by visiting the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, an architectural marvel adorned with stunning marble, intricate mosaics, and a magnificent chandelier. Head to the Mutrah Corniche and stroll along the picturesque waterfront. Enjoy the panoramic views of the Gulf of Oman and marvel at the traditional dhows floating in the harbor. Don’t miss a visit to the Mutrah Souq, where you can browse through a variety of goods, from spices and textiles to traditional Omani handicrafts.

For history enthusiasts, a visit to the Al Jalali and Al Mirani forts is a must. These ancient forts overlook the city and offer panoramic views of the surrounding areas. To immerse yourself in Oman’s cultural heritage, explore the Bait Al Zubair Museum, showcasing artifacts and displays that provide insights into the country’s history, traditions, and costumes.

Muscat is also home to a range of world-class restaurants, where you can savor delicious Omani cuisine and international flavors. Exploring Muscat is a journey of discovery, where you can experience the perfect blend of tradition and modernity in a stunning coastal setting.

How to Get Around Oman

The best way to get around Oman is by car. Renting a car in Oman is very easy and there are many car rental companies. We rented a car for 2 days to visit Nizwa Fort and Wadi Shab. These two places don’t require a vehicle with 4-wheel drive.

The price for the company we went with was 16 Omani Rials a day (40€).

Oman Travel Tips

Below are some of the top Oman travel tips to keep in mind while visiting the country.

  • Dress modestly: wear long dresses and long sleeves to remain respectful. Even while swimming in some places you will have to wear modest swimwear.
  • Attractions are pretty spread out: so you will want to rent a car to see it all.
  • Expensive: Oman is much more expensive than you would think so prepare for high prices.
  • Great People: The people in Oman are super friendly and welcoming.

How to Get to Oman

There are three ways to get to Oman:

  1. By Plane: Fly into Muscat International Airport
  2. By Car: Rent a car and drive from Dubai to Oman. With this option, you must rent a car that has papers to allow you to bring the car across the border.
  3. By Bus: Take a bus from Dubai to Oman. We took a bus from Dubai to Oman with Al Khanjry Transport.

Travel Insurance

Getting travel insurance before you travel is a MUST. It’s the number one thing you should always pack before travelling that can save you a lot of money, time, and stress. With how crazy travel has gotten recently you need that peace of mind that no matter what happens there is something protecting you from losing out. I always travel with travel insurance and think everyone should.

I always travel with travel insurance and think everyone should. Below is my favorite travel insurer Safety Wings, enter your details to get a free quote! 

Where to Stay in Oman

The best place to stay in Oman is Muscat. This is the most central location with the most amenities close by. However, here is a run down on all the popular areas in Oman.

  1. Muscat: The capital city offers a range of accommodations, from luxury resorts like The Chedi and Al Bustan Palace to mid-range and budget hotels located near the city center or along the beach.
  2. Salalah: This coastal city in southern Oman is known for its beautiful beaches and lush greenery. You can find beachfront resorts and hotels that offer a tranquil and relaxing stay.
  3. Nizwa: For those interested in exploring the historic city and its surroundings, Nizwa offers traditional guesthouses and boutique hotels that provide an authentic Omani experience.
  4. Wahiba Sands: To experience the magic of the desert, Wahiba Sands offers desert camps where you can stay in traditional Bedouin-style tents and enjoy camel rides and stargazing.
  5. Jebel Akhdar: Located in the Al Hajar mountain range, Jebel Akhdar has luxury resorts and boutique hotels that provide breathtaking views of the mountains and valleys.

Remember to consider your preferences, budget, and desired location when choosing your accommodation in Oman.


With so many amazing things to do in Oman the time to visit is now!

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14 Best Things to do in Oman
14 Best Things to do in Oman