From its cutting-edge Islamic architecture to the traditional seafront souks, Oman’s sprawling capital is a lively blend of the old and new, and with beaches and mountains right on its doorstep, there’s plenty to keep visitors busy. Here are some ideas for how to spend 3 days in Muscat.
Day 1: Walk the Corniche
Muscat’s Old Town is one of the city’s most atmospheric districts and the most popular way to take in the sights is with a walk along the picturesque Muttrah Corniche. Stroll through the colorful harbor, stopping at the famed fish market and dipping into the maze of the Muttrah Souk to pick up some unique Omani souvenirs, then marvel at the opulent Al Alam Palace (Sultan's Palace) overlooked by the towering 16th-century forts of Mirani and Jalali.
Day 2: Get a taste of Omani culture
Muscat is renowned for its rich cultural heritage and the city is teeming with examples of its artistic prowess. Check out the magnificent Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, one of the largest mosques in the Gulf, then spend the afternoon unveiling Oman’s colorful history at one of the city’s many museums – the Bait Al Zubair Museum, the Land of Frankincense Museum or the Sultan's Armed Forces Museum are all fascinating choices. Cap off your day with an evening of entertainment at the exquisite Royal Opera House.
Day 3: Take a day trip
Escape the city for a day trip into the Hajar Mountains, where you can explore the traditional mountain villages and souks, or plan an overnight stay in the desert, with a trip to the Wahiba Sands. Another popular day trip is touring the historic forts of Nizwa, including the UNESCO World Heritage listed Bahla Fort.