Top 10 Things to do in Muscat in One Day

Top 10 Things To Do in Muscat in One Day (2024)

Discover the essence of Muscat in just one day with our curated list of must-try activities. Experience the rich tapestry of Omani culture with visits to iconic landmarks like the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque and the Royal Opera House. Delve into the city’s vibrant souks, where you can haggle for exotic spices, traditional crafts, and dazzling textiles. Unwind amidst the serene beauty of Qurum Beach or embark on a thrilling desert safari for an adrenaline-fueled adventure. Indulge in a culinary journey through Muscat’s diverse flavours, from aromatic Omani coffee to succulent grilled meats. In this post, I will list the top 10 things to do in Muscat in one day.

Muscat has undeniably captured my heart as one of the most captivating cities globally. Its charm is unparalleled, boasting exquisite beauty, hospitable and respectful locals, and many fascinating activities. During this year’s Easter break, I embarked on a four-day journey to Oman, dedicating one blissful day to exploring the enchanting city of Muscat.

While experiencing everything Muscat has to offer may require more than just a single day, it’s possible to immerse yourself in the city’s top tourist attractions within a day.

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Oman Travel Resources

Best Time to Travel to Oman
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Complete Guide to Wadi Shab Hike
Bucket List Accommodations: 5 Best Hotels in Muscat; Hotel Ramada Encore Muscat by Wyndham
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Rental Cars is the best car rental company to hire self-driven cars

About Muscat

Renowned for its warm hospitality and bustling souks, Muscat stands as Oman’s vibrant port and capital. Al Jazeera’s report lauds the city’s picturesque allure, ranking it among the world’s top 5 most beautiful destinations alongside illustrious counterparts like Paris and Venice. However, it’s important to note that Muscat also holds the distinction of being one of the more costly cities to visit despite its burgeoning status as a prominent global tourist hotspot.

Fun fact: Did you know that the name “Muscat” translates to “anchorage”? This fitting moniker reflects the city’s strategic positioning between the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean.

Top 10 Things To Do in Muscat in One Day

  • When visiting Oman, adhering to modest dress standards is essential, and this guide offers invaluable insight into what to wear in Oman.
  • Additionally, discounts for specific landmarks are possible when booking tickets online through the Otaxi application.
  • Moreover, it’s worth noting that entrance fees may vary for Omani citizens and residents, often presenting more affordable options than tourist rates.

Visit Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

Established in 2001, the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is the sole mosque in Oman open to non-Muslims. A testament to Sultan Qaboos’s generosity, this architectural marvel was a gift to the nation, commissioned by the Sultan himself and completed in six years and seven months.

Make sure not to miss the main prayer hall’s remarkable carpet, a singular masterpiece in its own right.

While Muslims can access the mosque throughout the day, non-Muslim visitors are welcomed between 8 AM and 11 AM, Saturday to Thursday, as Fridays are reserved for prayer and closed to the public.

Remarkably, there is no entrance fee to explore this awe-inspiring site. However, visitors must adhere to appropriate dress codes, with women advised to cover their heads. For those in need, Abayas are available for hire at the entrance.

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

Attend a Show at the Royal Opera House

Opened in 2011, the Royal Opera House Muscat is Oman’s premier cultural hub for music and art. Initially named the House of Musical Arts, this esteemed venue not only celebrates Omani music and culture but also showcases diverse musical performances from around the globe. With a seating capacity of up to 1100 attendees, it encompasses a theatre, auditorium, gardens, art centre, and more.

For tourists, entry to this cultural gem is priced at OMR 3, which includes a guided tour for a comprehensive experience. However, concert attendance entails additional fees that can vary depending on factors such as the performing artist and seat selection, reaching up to Euros 1100.

Attending concerts at the Opera House calls for a preference towards business casual attire and a conservative dress code, aligning with the esteemed ambience of the venue.

Royal Opera House
Royal Opera House

See Al Alam Palace

Constructed under the patronage of Imam Sultan bin Ahmed, the Al Alam Palace stands as one of the six residences of the Sultan. Nestled amidst the protective embrace of Mirani and Jalali Forts, the palace boasts a resplendent facade adorned with hues of gold and blue.

Remarkably, there is no entrance fee to behold this architectural marvel. However, visitors are limited to admiring the palace from the exterior, as access to its interior is restricted.

Al Alam Palace
Al Alam Palace

Visit the National Museum of Oman

Established in 2013, the National Museum of Oman is a decade-long collaboration between the Ministry of Heritage and Culture, the Royal Estate Affairs of Oman, Jasper Jacob Associates, and Arts Architecture International Limited. This esteemed institution now houses over 5000 artifacts from the prehistoric era to contemporary times, showcased across its 14 galleries.

Visitors are invited to explore the museum’s treasures between 10 AM and 5 PM, Saturday to Thursday, and from 2 PM to 6 PM on Fridays.

For tourists, admission to this cultural treasure trove is priced at OMR 5, offering a captivating journey through Oman’s rich heritage and history.

Visit an Offbeat Attraction, the Omani-French Museum

Established in 1992, the Omani-French Museum offers a unique and enriching experience for visitors to Muscat, serving as a testament to the historical ties between Oman and France. This hidden gem is dedicated to preserving artifacts and commemorating the rich cultural exchange between the two nations. Visitors can marvel at various exhibits within its walls, including photographs, ships, documents, costumes, and jewellery belonging to Omani and French dignitaries.

Operating hours are 8 AM to 1:30 PM, Saturday to Thursday, and 9 AM to 1 PM on Fridays.

For tourists eager to delve into this fascinating fusion of cultures, admission to the museum is affordably priced at OMR 1, promising an immersive journey through history and diplomacy.

Shop at Muttrah Souq

Famed for its abundance of local products and handicrafts, the Muttrah Souq is an exceptional destination for souvenir hunting and discovering authentic local treasures. Renowned for its aromatic spices, delectable sweets, and fragrant incense, this bustling marketplace offers a sensory feast for visitors.

With a rich history dating back two centuries, the Muttrah Souq is one of Oman’s oldest markets, steeped in tradition and culture.

Operating hours are from 9 AM to 1 PM and from 4 PM to 10 PM daily, ensuring ample exploration and shopping opportunities.

Remarkably, there is no entrance fee to experience this beloved Omani landmark’s vibrant ambience and vibrant offerings.

Muttrah Souq
Muttrah Souq

Visit Muscat Fish Market

Situated near the picturesque Muttrah Corniche, the Muscat Fish Market offers a captivating glimpse into the vibrant bustle of fishermen and locals engaged in the trade of fresh seafood. This lively scene provides ample opportunities for capturing striking and evocative photographs amidst the hustle and bustle.

For those craving a taste of the ocean’s bounty, an on-site restaurant awaits, offering delectable seafood dishes prepared with the freshest catch of the day.

Operating from 6 AM to 10 AM daily, the market invites early risers to witness the lively spectacle of fish trading and community interaction.

Notably, there is no entrance fee to immerse yourself in this dynamic fish market’s sights, sounds, and flavours.

Go Back in Time to Old Fort in Qurum

Constructed by the Portuguese under the reign of Philip I of Portugal, the Old Fort of Qurum, also known as Al Jalali or Ash Sharqiya Fort, stands as a testament to Oman’s rich history. Despite little remaining of its original structure, this fortification offers a captivating journey back in time, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in its storied past.

Operating hours are from 9 AM to 5 PM, Saturday to Thursday, and 8 AM to 11 PM on Fridays, providing ample exploration and discovery opportunities.

Remarkably, this historical gem has no entrance fee, making it accessible to all who wish to delve into Oman’s fascinating heritage.

Watch the Sunset at Muttrah Corniche

Stretching along the waterfront for 2 kilometres, Muttrah Corniche offers breathtaking views of the mountains and shimmering waters, making it a picturesque promenade to explore. With a paved pathway, visitors can stroll along the waterfront, soaking in the scenic vistas that unfold before them.

Entrance to this stunning waterfront promenade is free of charge, allowing all to enjoy its beauty and calmness.

Muttrah Corniche
Muttrah Corniche

As the day draws to a close, be sure to catch the spectacular sunsets that grace the horizon, painting the sky with a palette of vibrant hues. Keep an eye out for the Sultan’s private cruise, often spotted moored along the Corniche, adding to the allure of this enchanting locale.

Things to do in Muscat – You can also scuba dive in Muscat | Read Oman Diving.

Hang Out at Shatti Al Qurum Beach

Shatti Al Qurum Beach stands out as one of Muscat’s liveliest and most bustling destinations, drawing crowds with its vibrant atmosphere and dining options. This must-visit spot is renowned for its picturesque beachfront and upscale surroundings, making it an ideal locale for leisurely outings with loved ones.

Admission to this popular beach destination is free, inviting all to bask in its charm and beauty.

With many restaurants and cafes lining the beachfront, Shatti Al Qurum Beach is a culinary haven, offering diverse dining experiences to suit every palate. Whether you’re seeking a relaxed beachside meal or a lively gathering with friends, this dynamic area has something for everyone, solidifying its reputation as one of Muscat’s most happening locales.

Best Time to Visit Muscat

The optimal time to explore Muscat is typically from November to March, coinciding with winter. The weather is mild and pleasant during these months, offering respite from the intense heat that characterizes the summer months. Temperatures during winter are comfortable and do not soar to the extreme levels experienced in the scorching summer, where temperatures can reach a sweltering 40 to 45 degrees Celsius.

Places to Stay in Muscat

Muscat boasts many exceptional accommodations, catering to diverse preferences and budgets. Whether you seek the luxury of a 4- or 5-star Hotel or the affordability of budget accommodations, the city provides many options.


Golden Tulip Headington Ruwi Hotel

Nestled in the vibrant Ruwi district, the Golden Tulip Headington Ruwi Hotel offers a luxurious retreat with its array of comfortable and spacious rooms. Positioned in the city’s bustling heart, this 4-star hotel provides an ideal base for immersing yourself in the lively streets and bustling markets of Muscat.

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Grand Tulip Muscat
Golden Tulip Headington Ruwi Hotel

Ramada Encore Muscat

Situated in the Al-Ghubra area, Ramada Encore Muscat epitomizes luxury with its exceptional standards akin to those of a 5-star hotel. Boasting impeccable rooms, dedicated staff, and outstanding amenities, this 4-star hotel stands out as one of the finest accommodations in Muscat.

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Hotel Ramada Encore Muscat by Wyndham, a 4 Star Hotel in Muscat

Grand Millennium

Among the top-tier 5-star accommodations I’ve experienced, the Grand Millennium stands out as an unparalleled luxury destination. With over 300 opulent rooms and suites, this esteemed hotel is situated in the prestigious Al-Ghubrah area, offering guests a lavish and unforgettable stay.

Click here to check prices on

Grand Millennium Muscat

How to get to Muscat?

By Air

Muscat boasts its international airport, serving as a key transit hub for numerous airlines worldwide. Approximately 10 kilometres from the city centre, Muscat International Airport is a bustling gateway to Oman. Renowned carriers such as Oman Air, Turkish Airlines, IndiGo Airlines, and Emirates, among others, operate flights to and from this prominent airport.

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For convenient transportation to the city centre, taxis are readily available just outside the airport terminals. Marhaba taxis offer a comfortable ride to the city centre for OMR 16 per person, providing travellers hassle-free journey from the airport to their destination.

By Sea

Given Muscat’s status as a prominent port city, numerous cruises include it as a port of call on their itineraries. These cruises often originate from neighbouring cities like Abu Dhabi and Doha, offering travellers an affordable and convenient means of arriving in the country. Additionally, many cruise companies typically manage passenger visa arrangements, streamlining the entry process for a hassle-free travel experience.

By Road

Muscat enjoys excellent connectivity with Dubai, with a seamless road journey taking less than 5 hours to cover the approximately 450-kilometre distance. Thanks to well-maintained roads, travellers can comfortably traverse this route, enjoying a smooth and efficient travel experience.

Visitors can hire a self-driven car directly from the airport for added convenience and flexibility. This allows for easy exploration of Muscat and its surrounding areas at one’s own pace, offering the freedom to discover the city’s hidden gems and scenic landscapes easily.

By Public Transport

Muscat maintains robust bus connections with Dubai and Abu Dhabi, offering convenient transportation options for travellers. Operated by the Oman National Transport Company, these bus services provide reliable and efficient travel between the cities. The primary bus stop in Muscat is located in the bustling area of Ruwi, serving as a central hub for arrivals and departures.

Is Muscat Safe for Solo Female Travellers?

Muscat is renowned for its safety, making it an ideal destination for solo female travellers. Locals are known for their respect towards women, often going above and beyond to ensure their comfort and well-being. However, it’s advisable to exercise caution, particularly when venturing out at night.

For added peace of mind, it’s recommended to use reputable taxi services booked through mobile applications like Otaxi or Shetaxi. These platforms offer tracked rides, enhancing safety and security during your travels.

Closing Notes

As highlighted, Muscat offers many activities to explore, but the following list encapsulates the top 10 experiences to enjoy daily. Renowned for its beauty and warm hospitality, Muscat stands out as one of the most welcoming cities in the Middle East.

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