Fellow travelers, let us take you on a journey to a land that remains undiscovered by many. Nestled in the heart of the Arabian Peninsula lies a precious jewel that is Oman. An experience like no other in the region - with breathtaking desert landscapes, picturesque sceneries, rich cultural heritage and a history that will leave you amazed.
Join us as we explore 13 must-visit places in Oman that will leave you with memories to treasure for a lifetime.
Let’s start with Muscat – Oman’s vibrant capital that perfectly blends modernity and tradition. It’s a melting pot of different people and their cultures, where you can immerse yourself in numerous historical sites, museums, and markets.
The first on the list is the Grand Mosque, a magnificent edifice that is a true masterpiece of Islamic architecture. Its intricate design and impressive architecture will take your breath away. The mosque is a symbol of Oman’s religious and cultural heritage and is a must-visit destination for anyone visiting Muscat.
But that’s not all. Next, let’s wander through the ancient winding alleys of the Mutrah Souq, a place that will take you back in time. The souq is a bustling marketplace that dates back to the 18th century, where you can explore its unique architecture and catch a glimpse of Oman’s traditional lifestyle. It is an experience that will stay with you forever, a place that will awaken your senses and leave you spellbound with its authenticity.
For the people coming in for business and resting in the top hotels in Muscat, the Opera House, the Al Allam Palace, Bait al Zbait al zubair museum, mirani and jalali and matra castles, and a vacation place called al mouj. There are many restaurants, walkable destinations, and a viewpoint of the ocean. There are also many malls and shopping centres in the central district. The castles is interesting as they have 2-300 years of history and is good to see for yourself.
Don’t miss out on this vibrant and culturally-rich city that is the heart of Oman. Muscat is a destination that will leave you with unforgettable memories.
How to get there: To get to Muscat, you can fly into the Muscat International Airport from various parts of the world, make sure to check the information if you need a visa for your country.
Recommended Guide: Highlights of Oman
Now, let us paint a picture of a city that will take you on a journey through time. Nizwa, the cultural capital of Oman, is a place that exudes a sense of pride in its history and heritage. From the moment you step foot in this charming city, you’ll be transported to a bygone era.
Nizwa’s most prominent attraction is the Nizwa Fort, a majestic fortress that has stood tall and proud for centuries. The 17th-century architectural masterpiece is a testament to the resilience and craftsmanship of Oman’s ancestors. Its intricate design and sturdy structure are a marvel to behold and will leave you in awe.
Just behind the Nizwa Fort is the Jaman mosque, which is also worth visiting. It is a beautifully crafted structure with intricate details that reflect Omani architecture and culture.
Nizwa’s old quarter around the souq is a great place for tourists to explore. Visitors can wander through the walking area, admire the old houses, and browse the small shops selling local Tour Names. This area is steeped in history and is an ideal place to learn more about Oman’s cultural heritage.
There is plenty of parking available in front of the souq, and visitors should not miss the night market, which is open from 6/7 pm until midnight. The market is bustling with street food vendors, food carts, stalls, and small restaurants, offering a wide variety of local cuisine.
One unique feature of Nizwa is the cattle market that takes place on Fridays from 6 am to 8 am. This traditional market is where many locals bring their cows and goats to trade, and it provides a glimpse into the traditional way of life in Oman.
For those looking for an authentic Omani experience, there are other places to stay in and around Nizwa, such as the Mesfat al Ebreen Village. This UNESCO World Heritage site is similar to Al Hamra and offers a glimpse into traditional Omani village life.
How to get there: You can take a two-hour drive from Muscat
Recommended Guide: Oman Culture Tour- 3 Days
Venture south and you’ll get to the captivating city of Salalah, where nature’s beauty will take your breath away. Salalah is a hidden oasis in the heart of Oman, a place that is known for its lush greenery and stunning beaches that are second to none.
One of the highlights of Salalah is the Al Baleed Archaeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site that is a true gem of Oman’s cultural heritage. The park features the remains of an ancient city that dates back to the 3rd century BC. This destination is a testament to Oman’s rich history and is a must-visit for anyone looking to experience the essence of Oman’s cultural heritage.
But that’s not all Salalah has to offer. The city is also known for its pristine beaches that will take your breath away. Another thing to see is Wadi Darbat, this place is in the Dhofar region, there are certain places you can swim in and one of the popular spots are the springs and waterfalls such as the ayn khor waterfall, ayn shalnoot, and ayn athum, keep an eye out for camels in the rivers, there are definitely plenty to spot!
So pack your bags and let’s explore the hidden gem that is Salalah. It’s a destination that will leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.
How to get there: One flight away from Muscat
To discover more about the top destinations in Oman, check out our guide that covers the must-see places in Salalah.
Recommended Guide: Jewels of Salalah
4. Wadi Shab
Have you heard of the glorious Wadi Shab? It’s a natural masterpiece that will leave you breathless with its sparkling pristine waters and magnificent natural surroundings. Trust us, it’s a must-visit destination for all thrill-seekers and nature lovers alike!
The adrenaline-pumping activities that await you here are endless. From the invigorating hikes that offer stunning vistas to the exhilarating swims in crystal-clear pools and the enthralling dives that take you into the depths of underwater wonderlands. There’s something for everyone at Wadi Shab.
Believe us, it’s worth every sweat and muscle ache to get to this place. As you trudge along the rocky terrain, surrounded by towering cliffs and lush greenery, you’ll feel like a true adventurer on a quest to discover the secrets of this natural gem.
So pack your bags, tie your laces tight, and get ready to unleash your inner adventurer at Wadi Shab. It’s a journey of a lifetime!
How to get there: Take a two-hour drive from Muscat then prepare for a hike that’ll take about 45 minutes to reach the entrance of the Wadi
Recommended Guide: Cities, Wadies and Desert- 5 Days
5. Wahiba Sands
Have you ever dreamt of wandering into a sea of sand dunes that stretches as far as your eyes can see? Look no further than Wahiba Sands, my fellow seeker of thrills!
This awe-inspiring desert landscape is home to the brave and hospitable Bedouin tribes of Oman, and it’s an experience you don’t want to miss. From the moment you set foot on the golden sands, you’ll feel the magic and mystery of the desert seeping into your soul.
To fully immerse yourself in the Wahiba Sands experience, you’ll need to hop on a desert safari and explore the vast and mesmerizing sand dunes. You’ll be dazzled by the ever-changing hues of orange, gold, and pink as the sun sets over the horizon, leaving you in awe of the beauty that surrounds you.
It’s quite the distance to get here but the moment you step foot on this magical land, you’ll forget all about the long drive and be swept away by the adventure that awaits. So, pack your bags, put on your adventurer’s hat, and get ready to trek through the shifting sands of Wahiba Sands. It’s a journey that’ll stay with you forever.
If you're looking for a quick weekend getaway in Oman, be sure to check out our guide that covers the 3 best tours for a weekend in Oman. These tours are a great way to experience some of the top destinations in the country.
How to get there: 3-hour drive from Muscat
Recommended Guide: North Oman Adventure Tour
6. Jebel Shams
Can’t get enough of scaling rugged mountains and breathing in the crisp and refreshing air? Do you long for that outdoor trekking to get to the mountaintop? If so, then you must make your way to Jebel Shams, a breathtaking mountain range that’ll leave you in awe of its rugged terrain and stunning landscapes.
This towering mountain range is known as the “Mountain of the Sun” and is the highest peak in Oman, with an elevation of over 3,000 meters. It’s a playground for adventurers who love nothing more than hiking, rock climbing and camping amidst the majestic landscapes of the Middle East.
As you trudge along the rocky terrain, surrounded by towering cliffs and rugged valleys, you’ll feel like a true adventurer on a quest to discover the secrets of this natural gem.
Once you reach the summit, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views that’ll take your breath away. You’ll be able to see the spectacular Grand Canyon of Oman, a deep and majestic canyon that’s over a thousand meters deep. And if you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the endangered Arabian leopard that inhabits these magical lands.
So pack your bags, tie your laces tight, and get ready to unleash your inner hiker at Jebel Shams. Whether you’re an experienced adventurer or a first-time hiker, this natural wonderland is sure to leave you in awe of its beauty and majesty.
How to get there: 3-hour drive from Muscat and then a 2-hour hike to the summit
Recommended Guide: Oman Classic Tour
7. Wadi Bani Khalid
Can’t get enough of Wadies? We got you covered! This time, why not explore the wonder and beauty of Wadi Bani Khalid? It’s a hidden oasis nestled in the rugged terrain of Oman’s Eastern Hajar Mountains, and it’s a true natural wonder that’ll leave you in awe of its beauty.
Wadi Bani Khalid is known for its crystal-clear waters, stunning natural landscapes, and hidden caves that are waiting to be explored. It’s a popular destination for hiking, swimming, and diving, and it’s a must-visit for anyone who loves the great outdoors.
As you make your way through the rugged mountains, you’ll feel like a true adventurer on a quest to discover a hidden paradise. And believe us, you won’t be disappointed when you finally arrive.
Once you get there, you’ll be greeted by the tranquil sounds of the flowing water and the refreshing coolness of the swimming pools. You can hike along the rocky terrain, swim in the crystal-clear pools, and explore the hidden caves that are scattered throughout the wadi. And if you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can even try your hand at cliff diving and explore the underwater caves.
Wadi Bani Khalid is a true natural wonderland that’s just waiting to be explored. So don’t think twice and get ready to unleash your inner explorer at this hidden oasis. It’s a journey that’ll take you through rugged mountains, hidden caves, and crystal-clear waters, and it’s a true adventure that you won’t soon forget.
How to get there: 2.5-hour drive from Muscat
Recommended Guide: Oman, Culture & Nature – 5 Days
8. Discover Al Hamra Village, Al Hoota Cave, and Balad Sayt
Al Hamra Village is a charming little village located at the base of the Al Hajar Mountains in Oman. This traditional village offers visitors a glimpse into Oman’s rich cultural history, with its stunning natural beauty, traditional architecture, and friendly locals.
One of the must-visit attractions in the area is the Al Hoota Cave, located just a short drive from Al Hamra Village. This natural wonder is one of the largest caves in the Middle East, and it’s a fascinating destination for those interested in geology and natural history. Visitors can take a guided tour through the cave system, learning about the stalactites, stalagmites, and other unique features that make this cave such a special place.
Another nearby attraction is the village of Balad Sayt, which is located in the mountains and offers a glimpse into traditional Omani village life. This picturesque village is surrounded by stunning natural beauty, with towering mountains and lush green valleys providing a stunning backdrop for the traditional houses and buildings. Visitors can explore the village, interact with the friendly locals, and learn about the traditional way of life in Oman.
Back in Al Hamra Village, visitors can wander through the narrow streets and explore the traditional mud houses that have been preserved for centuries. These ancient structures are a testament to the ingenuity of the Omani people, who built them to withstand the harsh desert environment. Visitors can learn about the traditional building techniques used to create these mud houses and gain a deeper appreciation for the rich cultural heritage of Oman.
How to get there: 2-hour drive from Muscat
Recommended Guide: Experience North & South of Oman
9. Bimmah Sinkhole
Now, if you’re open to a completely out-of-the-box nature experience that’s unlike anything else in Oman, then Bimmah Sinkhole is a must-visit destination. This stunning sinkhole is located in the heart of the desert, and it’s a true natural wonder that’s just waiting to be explored.
This enchanting sinkhole is a true marvel of nature. With its crystal-clear waters, unique geological formations, and rugged natural landscapes, it’s a destination that’ll leave you feeling invigorated and alive.
As you make your way through the endless expanse of the desert, you’ll feel like you’re in a different universe, surrounded by nothing but sand and sky.
But once you arrive, you’ll be greeted by a sight that’s nothing short of breathtaking. The cool waters of the sinkhole will beckon you, inviting you to take a refreshing dip and wash away all your worries. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can explore the hidden caves that are tucked away in the surrounding terrain.
Bimmah Sinkhole is a true natural wonder that’s just waiting to be explored. It’s a destination that’ll leave you feeling alive, invigorated, and full of wonder. It’s one of those adventures you’ll cherish forever.
How to get there: 1-hour drive from Muscat
Recommended Guide: Oman Culture Tour- 3 Days
10. Ibra, Jabrin, Bahla
Why limit yourself to visiting just one historical town when you can do three at a time? If you’re up to the challenge that’ll take you through the heart of Oman, then it’s a must to explore the enchanting towns of Ibra, Jabrin, and Bahla. These three historic towns are steeped in culture, history, and natural beauty, and they’re just waiting to be explored.
Ibra, Jabrin, and Bahla are located in the heart of Oman, and they’re home to some of the most iconic landmarks in the country. From ancient forts to traditional souks, there’s something for everyone in these charming towns.
When you travel through the different terrain on the way there, you’ll feel like you’re on a journey back in time, surrounded by the rich cultural heritage of the country.
Once you arrive in these three towns, you’ll be amazed by their beauty. The ancient forts that dot the landscape are a testament to the country’s rich history, while the traditional souqs are a hub of activity and commerce.
But that’s not all. The natural beauty of Ibra, Jabrin, and Bahla is simply breathtaking. From towering mountains to lush green valleys, the landscape is a sight to behold.
How to get there: 2-hour drive from Muscat
Recommended Guide: Oman Classic Tour
11. Sumhuram UNESCO World Heritage Site
Let’s show our history buffs and archelogy geeks some love! If you’re a lover of history and ancient civilizations, then you must visit Sumhuram UNESCO World Heritage Site in Oman. This ancient site is a true marvel of human ingenuity and a testament to the rich cultural heritage of the region.
Located in the Dhofar region of Oman, Sumhuram was once a thriving city that was a hub of commerce and trade. Today, the ruins of this once-great city are a UNESCO World Heritage Site that attracts visitors from all over the world.
To get to Sumhuram, you can take a scenic drive from Salalah, the capital of the Dhofar region. Once you arrive at Sumhuram, you’ll be amazed by the scale and complexity of the ancient ruins. The city was once a centre of commerce and trade, and the ruins bear witness to its former glory.
As you explore the site, you’ll be transported back in time, to an era when the ancient civilizations of the region were at the height of their power. You’ll see the remains of the city’s fortifications, the intricate water systems that were used to irrigate the fields, and the impressive architecture of the city’s buildings.
Sumhuram is a true marvel of human ingenuity and a testament to the rich cultural heritage of the region. It’s a destination that’ll leave you feeling inspired and awestruck, and it’s a journey that you won’t forget.
How to get there: 30-40 minute drive from Salalah
Recommended Guide: Experience North & South of Oman
12. Falaj Al Khatmayn & Jebel Akhdar
For those seeking adventure and stunning natural beauty, a visit to Falaj Al Khatmayn and Jebel Akhdar is a must-do when visiting Oman. Jebel Akhdar is a rugged mountain range located in the heart of Oman, and it offers visitors breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
To get to Jebel Akhdar, visitors must first pass through the village of Falaj Al Khatmayn. This charming village is known for its traditional falaj system, which is a series of underground tunnels and canals used for irrigation. Visitors can explore the falaj system and learn about its importance to the local community.
Once in Falaj Al Khatmayn, visitors can rent a 4WD vehicle and head up to Jebel Akhdar. The mountain range is known for its lush greenery, which is a stark contrast to the desert landscape of much of Oman. The journey to the top of Jebel Akhdar is a thrilling adventure, with steep switchbacks and breathtaking views around every turn.
At the top of Jebel Akhdar, visitors will be rewarded with stunning views of the surrounding landscape. From the top of the mountain range, visitors can see the Al Hajar Mountains, Wadi Bani Awf, and other nearby attractions. The area is also home to a variety of flora and fauna, including pomegranate and walnut trees, and a variety of bird species.
In addition to the natural beauty of the area, there are also several historic and cultural attractions to explore. The village of Wadi Bani Habib is a traditional Omani village that has been preserved for centuries, and it offers visitors a glimpse into the traditional way of life in Oman.
Tour: Oman Tour Nature – 5 Days
Recommended Guide: Oman Classic Tour
Ras-al-Jazin is a hidden gem located on the easternmost tip of the Arabian Peninsula, and it’s a must-visit destination for anyone seeking a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. This stunning location is characterized by its clear turquoise waters and soft golden sand, making it the perfect spot to soak up the sun and enjoy the tranquility of nature. Visitors to Ras-al-Jazin can indulge in a variety of water-based activities, such as snorkeling, swimming, and scuba diving. The clear waters provide an ideal environment for exploring the diverse marine life that inhabits the area. Snorkelers can expect to see colorful fish, sea turtles, and other fascinating sea creatures. For those who prefer to stay on land, the beach provides a serene setting to relax and unwind. One of the highlights of Ras-al-Jazin is the opportunity to witness sea turtles nesting on the beach. During the nesting season, which typically runs from June to September, visitors can observe these magnificent creatures laying their eggs in the sand. It’s a unique and awe-inspiring experience that’s not to be missed. Another must-visit attraction in the area is the Ras-al-Jinz Turtle Reserve. The reserve is dedicated to the conservation and protection of the sea turtles that nest on the beach. Visitors can take a guided tour of the reserve and learn about the various species of sea turtles that inhabit the area. For those seeking a more adventurous experience, there are several hiking trails in the area that offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape. The trails are suitable for all levels of experience, and they provide a unique perspective on the natural beauty of the area.
Discover the hidden gem of Oman and embark on a journey like no other. Oman boasts breathtaking desert landscapes, picturesque sceneries, a rich cultural heritage and a history that will leave you amazed. Explore 13 must-visit places in Oman that will leave you with memories to treasure for a lifetime. From Muscat’s Grand Mosque to Nizwa’s historic souq, Salalah’s lush greenery and stunning beaches to the natural masterpiece that is Wadi Shab – Oman has it all. So pack your bags and immerse yourself in Oman’s beauty, culture and heritage, a destination that will leave you with unforgettable memories.
When planning your trip to Oman, it's important to consider the best time to visit. Check out our guide to planning your trip to Oman for advice on when to go and what to expect.