Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Muscat Travel Series: Ten Things to do in Muscat

In the last few months, I visited Muscat, the capital of Oman, few times and I really loved it. It's such a great place to visit. It is very different than other countries in the Arabian Gulf. It's exotic, surrounded by the most beautiful beaches, and still not so crowded.
I am a little scared to share all these good spots because I really hope it doesn't turn into another Dubai. Part of Oman's charm is the quiet and friendly atmosphere. Click on each of the titles below to see more pictures and more details. ( Each point will have a special post, they will all be coming daily for the next few days)

Top tip: there are taxis all over, but renting your own car will be very handy and will take you to further places. 

1- Stay at the Ritz (Al Bustan Palace) or the Shangri La
Theses two resorts are absolutely beautiful and have their own private beaches. If all you want to do is chill out and relax in Muscat, stay at one of them for the whole weekend and enjoy the views. 
The Chedi is another popular resort and is a little busier, but loved by many. I haven't stayed there personally, so I can't comment.
2- Drink a coconut and Chill on the beach -public or private-
My favourite thing in Muscat are the beaches. If you stay in one of the places mentioned above, the beach will be at your fingertips. If not, there are public beaches all over town, where you park your car and dive in the water. If you prefer another private beach, check the Oman Diving Center.
3- Visit the Grand Mosque
Worth a visit! It's so pretty.
4- Attend a show at the Royal Opera House
I am so proud of Oman for having an opera house. It's architecturally gorgeous and the shows are entreating. Most of the shows are during the christmas and the new year break.
5- Have a meal at the Royal Opera House 
The opera house is not only for shows, but for temporary exhibits, high class shops and lovely places to eat and have deserts. I tried the MORE cafe there. 
6- Go to the traditional market, Mutrah Souq
In muscat, they have few shopping malls such as the Muscat Grand Mall, Muscat City Center and few smaller ones. I wasn't interested in the easily accessible high retail shops because it's the same merchandise everywhere. I prefer traditional, local shops and that's exactly what I found in the Mutrah Souq. 
7- Visit the Bait Al Barnda Museum
A short walk from the Mutrah Souq. It is a nice little museum that's fun to checkout.
8- Go up to the mountains or to the sun mountain aka Jabal Shams
The geography in Muscat is very interesting. It extends high up with mountains and down low with valleys. I visited the most popular one there. 
9- Go down to the valley aka wady shab
This was fun, but it could get so hot and crowded.
10- Try the different types of food Muscat got to offer
Muscat has a great selection of all kinds of foods. The malls have a lot of options in their food courts. Some other ones I tried are the Jungle restaurant and the Noodle house. Thankfully all my food experiences have been good in Muscat. It just feels great that everything is halal!
And if all the above points didn't convince you, checkout all the awesome doors and windows I spotted around (coming soon on the blog) and the adventurous mountain goats. 

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