From adventure to archeological treasures, Oman is surprisingly full of natural splendour. When it comes to things to do in Oman, there’s more to do than just relax in the resort. It sits in its own lane, being less commercial than its Middle Eastern counterparts which in turn can naturally correlate with less crowds which means that you are less likely to have to clamber for position with other tourists.
It’s easy to have a perception of what you think Oman might be like but this serene and sandy country on the tip of the Arabian Peninsula is nothing like what you might think. From the weather (which isn’t always absolutely scorching) and the temperature even in the city can peak and trough in a heartbeat to its diverse and intriguing landscape.
A visit to Muscat is the obvious choice and whilst the capital has many of the country’s top notch attractions including the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque and the Royal Opera House, but if you favour escaping the city for something different, you will be rewarded with endless unspoilt coastline,majestic mountain ranges, rugged canyons and of course expansive deserts.
If you are looking for exciting things to do in Oman, you will not be disappointed. So check out our handy guide to find out more.
Explore Oman’s capital
Sitting pretty along the coastline of the Arabian Sea, Muscat has a quaint and serene elegance that you might not necessarily find in other capitals in the Arabian Peninsula. Forget glistening skyscrapers and packed tour groups and instead think of awe-inspiring mosques, grand forts and pristine white buildings.
Take a stroll through the Old Town where you will see the twin forts of the city Al Jalali and Al Mirani which overlook the port. The Old Town is often referred to as Old Muscat and is chock-full of top-notch things to see and do. Here you can discover the history and culture of Oman’s capital as well as get lost in the colourful maze of the Mutrah Souk.
Visit the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
Soaring and stately, the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in the heart of Muscat dominates the skyline. Nestled amongst manicured gardens with a series of intricate archways, it is a feat of modern architecture and thanks to its striking exterior and elegant and rich interior, a visit to the mosque is without doubt one of the best things to do in Oman. The architecture has been inspired by a fusion of Egyptian, Omani and Persian design. Other architectural details, such as the impressive latticed golden dome over the central prayer hall, are entirely original.
The Grand Mosque is the only mosque in Oman open to non-Muslims, they just request that you cover up and leave your shoes outside. Up to 20,000 worshippers can congregate within the two prayer halls and surrounding courtyard.
Go snorkelling in the Damaniyat Islands
Just a short journey by car and boat from Muscat are the beautiful Damaniyat Islands which are an archipelago of nine uninhabited islands just off the Gulf coast. Whether you are into relaxing on the beach, exploring the coastline or even trying some diving and snorkelling, a visit to the Damaniyat Islands should be high up on your list of things to do in Oman.
The islands are dotted with calm shallow coves making it a prime spot for scuba diving and snorkelling and you will get to see an amazing array of wildlife both in and around and the water. turtles and migratory birds, and everything in-between.
You might even spot the odd shark too between September to November which makes for an unforgettable encounter. There’s also an abundanceof ancient coral reefs at Damaniyat which nestle on the seabed which are protected by UNESCO.
Whilst we are talking about sea life, we can’t not talk about a visit to Ras Al Jinz to watch little sea turtles being born. If this isn’t on your ‘things to do in Oman’ list, it really should be as witnessing sea turtles nesting and hatchlings emerging on the unspoilt beaches of Oman surely is an experience not to be missed.
You can find five of seven species of sea turtle in Oman. They are all sadly endangered and whilst they can be seen all year around, it is during the periods of April and August where you can see the turtles nesting on the beaches of Ras Al Jinz which makes for a magical experience.
Explore the souks
Can you say you have been to Muscat if you haven’t haggled over something at a souk? We don’t think so. Whilst a visit to the souk is not obligatory, it really should form part of your list of things to do in Oman.
The Muttrah Souq is probably the most famous souk in Muscat, if not the whole of Oman. You can easily lose yourself and a smidge of your spending money in this traditional market on the Muttrah Corniche where an array of Omani products are waiting for you – from frankincense and art to traditional clothes and jewellery, it’s evocative, colourful and intoxicating in equal measure. Even if you don’t want to buy something, the souk is one of the must-visit attractions in Muscat and it’s a great place to mingle with the locals and take photos.
Orbzii Insider tip: All that shopping and sightseeing will make you thirsty, so make sure you take some time out to enjoy a cup of sweet cardamom tea known as karak chai and watch the world go by. Once sufficiently refreshed, head over to the striking Masjid Al Rasool Al Adham, a Shia mosque from the 15th century and marvel at its blue dome.
Climb every mountain
Jebel Akhdar or the Green Mountain, is one of the most famous mountains that forms part of the magnificent Al Hajar Mountains Range in the north of Oman. Green by name and yep, you have guessed it – its name lives up to its lush appearance. Al Jebel Al Akhdar is almost completely covered with green plantations and bountiful grass and is truly a sight to behold. Whether you simply want to gaze upon its glory, immerse yourself in nature or even go for a hike, this mountain has something for everyone.