Muscat

Travel Guide

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

Holiday Inn Muscat Al Seeb, an IHG Hotel
Holiday Inn Muscat Al Seeb, an IHG Hotel
4 out of 5
Al Mawaleh South, Opp Markaz Al Bahja, Muscat, Muscat
The price is AU$81 per night from 24 Dec. to 24 Dec.
Situated near the airport, this hotel is 0.4 mi (0.6 km) from Markaz Al Bahja Mall and 2.3 mi (3.7 km) from Al Mouj Marina. Muscat City Centre Shopping Mall ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (190 reviews)
"Excellent"

Reviewed on 30 Nov. 2021

Holiday Inn Muscat Al Seeb, an IHG Hotel
Kempinski Hotel Muscat
Kempinski Hotel Muscat
5 out of 5
335 Street 6, Muscat, Muscat
The price is AU$606 per night from 17 Dec. to 17 Dec.
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. Oman International Exhibition ...
4.6/5 Exceptional! (196 reviews)
"Wow where do I start! I have so much to say but I'll try keep this short and sweet. This is the most fabulous hotel we have stayed in from the staff to the facilties/amenities to the aesthetics. Firstly the place smells amazing. Check in was so easy and the staff were wonderful. Our room was just ..."

Reviewed on 18 Nov. 2021

Kempinski Hotel Muscat
The Chedi Muscat
The Chedi Muscat
5 out of 5
North Ghubra 32 Way No. 3215, Street No. 46, Muscat
The price is AU$938 per night from 7 Jan. to 7 Jan.
Nestled on the beach, this Al Ghubrah Ash Shamaliyyah resort is 1.7 mi (2.7 km) from Avenues Mall and 2.4 mi (3.8 km) from Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. Muscat ...
4.6/5 Exceptional! (551 reviews)
"The property was beautiful so well maintained as if was built recently."

Reviewed on 18 Nov. 2021

The Chedi 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.
Gulf Hotel Apartment
Gulf Hotel Apartment
3 out of 5
Al Ghubra North, Muscat
The price is AU$73 per night from 4 Jan. to 4 Jan.
Located in Al Ghubrah Ash Shamaliyyah, this aparthotel is 0.9 mi (1.4 km) from Avenues Mall and 1.7 mi (2.7 km) from Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. Muscat Grand ...
3.3/5 (4 reviews)
"Good and affordable but wifi is terrific experience suggesting people's to come with their own dongle"

Reviewed on 26 Feb. 2021

Gulf Hotel Apartment
Fraser Suites Muscat
Fraser Suites Muscat
5 out of 5
Landmark Building, 23 July Street, Muscat, Muscat Governorate
The price is AU$161 per night from 14 Dec. to 14 Dec.
Situated in Muscat, this luxury aparthotel is 0.6 mi (0.9 km) from Panorama Mall and 2.1 mi (3.4 km) from Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (53 reviews)
Untrustworthy housekeeping staff.
"The front of house service was extraordinary. Huge apartments, gym facility and pool. We was allowed an early check in on arrival which was very helpful. A few teething issues, when we arrived we had to request robes and slippers which were not in the apartment - however they brought them up straight ..."

Reviewed on 13 Mar. 2020

Fraser Suites Muscat
Asahalah Farm Villas
Asahalah Farm Villas
4 out of 5
47, Way 3596 Al-Manooma Area 256, Seeb
The price is AU$482 per night from 1 Jan. to 1 Jan.
Situated near the airport, this villa is within 16 miles (25 km) of Barka Fort, Oman Botanic Garden and Barka Souq. Jamiya Islam Masjid and Muscat City Centre ...
5/5 Exceptional! (4 reviews)
"Totally recommend this farm villas for families. You have your own yard with private swimming pool and very spacious."

Reviewed on 1 Feb. 2021

Asahalah Farm Villas
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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