Muscat Travel Guide: Is Muscat, Oman Worth Visiting?

· Everything you need to know to plan a safe trip to Oman’s capital, including the best things to do, how to get there, how to get around, and more. ·

Dec, 02, 2022
aerial view of mountain city of muscat during dusk

The Arab World is becoming an increasingly popular place to visit, with cities like Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Marrakech becoming favorites all around the world. While Oman doesn’t usually top travelers’ Arab World bucket lists, its capital city is surely a place you don’t want to overlook if you have the opportunity to visit. We were in Dubai and needed to catch a flight to Chittagong, Bangladesh, and we found that Muscat had much better flight options for the day and time that we needed to travel.

While our reason for traveling through Oman was simply out of convenience, we found that Muscat is a beautiful destination in and of itself, and we would love to return in the future! Here is everything to know about traveling to Muscat, including the best things to do, how to get there, how to get around, and more.

Best Things to Do in Muscat

1. Visit the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is by far the most epic and beautiful building in all of Muscat. The dome and interior walls are extremely ornate, the exterior is almost equally as mesmerizing, and the building is absolutely huge, with a capacity of 25,000. We always love checking out religious buildings when we travel, as we think that religion is one of the most important parts of any culture. Whether you are interested in learning about Islam or not, there is no doubt that visiting the Grand Mosque is the best thing to do in Muscat.

2. Stroll Along the Mutrah Corniche and Wander the Mutrah Souq

Mutrah is an area about 15 minutes from Old Muscat that is filled with many of the best things to do in Muscat. Mutrah has a large stretch of coastline, and the Mutrah Corniche is a paved walkway that hugs the water and provides great views of the Gulf of Oman and the surrounding mountains. After a quick stroll on the Corniche, most tourists head to the Mutrah Souq, which is one of the most popular markets to visit in all of Muscat. Frankincense is grown all over Oman, and you can smell it all throughout the market!

3. Check Out the Mutrah Fort

The Mutrah Fort is a beautiful old fort that was built by the Portuguese to protect the city in the 1500s. It sits up on a hill, providing gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains and Gulf. While there are many forts in and around Muscat, the Mutrah Fort is one of the most scenic and popular ones to visit, which is what makes it one of the best things to do in Muscat.

4. Admire the Artifacts in Bait Al Zubair Museum

Bait Al Zubair is a museum and cultural center located in Old Muscat that is dedicated to preserving the culture and history of the area. Muscat’s history dates back to antiquity, and this museum is filled with artifacts from all Omani time periods and cultural expositions highlighting many aspects of Omani culture that set it apart from other countries on the Arabian Peninsula. If you have the time, this museum in Muscat is very worth visiting.

5. Go for a Swim at Qurum Beach

Qurum Beach is a very long, sandy strip of beach on the Gulf of Oman. This is one of the most popular beaches in the whole Muscat area, and taking some time to cool off from the desert heat in the beach’s water is always a good idea. There’s a nature reserve and a few great restaurants in in this area, including even a Starbucks!

palm trees near ocean during daytime

How to Get to Muscat

Flying to Muscat

There is only one international airport in Muscat, and it is conveniently located right in the city. Muscat International Airport (MCT) is a nice airport that offers international flights all over the world, and its affordable flights are actually what drew us to Oman in the first place. While Muscat International Airport offers competitively priced flights all throughout the region, you might have a hard time finding affordable flights from further away places, like Europe and the United States.

If you are unable to find an affordable flight, even after using my tips for finding cheap flights, I recommend flying into Dubai and taking a bus south to Muscat. Dubai has two major international airports: Dubai International Airport (DXB) and Al Maktoum International (DWC). From Dubai, you can get to Muscat by Mwasalat bus in about 5.5 hours plus a stop at the border. Flying directly into Muscat is certainly easier, but flying into Dubai could save you hundreds of dollars.

Take a Bus to Muscat

As I just mentioned, you can take buses from the United Arab Emirates to Muscat with a stop at the border. The border stop on the way from Dubai to Muscat is very nice, and the UAE side has a couple of restaurants inside where you can grab a fast bite to take back onto the bus. While Muscat borders two countries other than the UAE, there are very few cities near the borders with Saudi Arabia and Yemen, as the borders are located in the desert. Additionally, Muscat is the biggest city in Oman by far, making it the first place that most visitors experience in Oman. If anything, it is likely that you would catch a bus leaving Muscat to head to another part of the country, and not the other way around.

selfie of american couple and elderly british man on a bus

We took the bus to Muscat. It wouldn’t be our first option of transportation if we were to do it again. It took a total of 9 hours with all of the border stops and bus stops. However, we did need a friendly British gentleman! So at least we made a friend!

How to Get Around Muscat


Muscat is not a huge city, but it is not entirely walkable, either. While most areas of the city are walkable, getting from one area to another sometimes requires that you find a form of transportation. Taxis are widely available and easy to use in Muscat, but many of them are not metered. For this reason, it is important to agree on a price in advance. Official taxis are usually orange and white.

Muscat is also serviced by a bus network, including the Mwasalat transportation company that operates the buses from the UAE to Muscat. These buses are all safe and relatively affordable. In addition to operating buses, Mwasalat also offers an app that can be used to hail and pay for taxis while in Muscat. This is a huge advantage, as it eliminates the language barrier, the need for cash, and the need to negotiate on price.


Download the Mwasalat app to hail taxis for you. It elminate the language barrier!

Is Muscat Worth Visiting?

The Arab World is skyrocketing in popularity, largely because the region is becoming more stable and safe to visit. As a result, many travelers are becoming increasingly curious about many destinations in this part of the world. If you were to ask me “Is Muscat worth visiting?” my answer would be that it depends. If you have never been to the Arab World, there are many cities I would recommend visiting before you visit Muscat. For example, Amman, Jordan is very similar to Muscat, except that there are simply more touristy things to do in Amman than their are in Muscat.

In our opinion, there are better cities to visit in the Middle East than Muscat. It makes a good side-trip to a larger Arab destination.

If you are trying to select just a few cities to visit on a trip to the Arab World, I would not recommend including Muscat on your itinerary. It is a very nice city, but the best things to do in Muscat can be a bit underwhelming compared to other popular cities like Abu Dhabi, Cairo, and Amman. However, if you are already going to be near Muscat and are curious whether or not Muscat is worth visiting for a couple of days, I would absolutely recommend making the trip. We had a great time and would love to go back, but the city is certainly not the best place we have visited in the Arab World.

city Muscat skyline during night time by body of water

Is Muscat Safe to Visit?

Many people associate the Middle East with danger, and this assumption is entirely wrong. While there are certainly countries in the Middle East that are at war and unsafe to visit, this does not apply to the entire region. Oman is an incredibly safe country, and actually has some of the lowest terrorism rates in the entire world. Despite its border with Yemen and its proximity to Iran, Oman is an incredibly safe place to vacation, and there is very little that you need to worry about while visiting Muscat.

Like in any city, you should take normal precautions. However, as long as you respect the Omani people and their culture, you will likely have a perfectly safe and very enjoyable time in Muscat.

aerial view of mountain city of muscat during dusk

That’s all we have for you about Muscat! Hopefully this post leaves you feeling informed while planning your trip to Oman’s capital city. While it is not the most touristy city on the Arabian Peninsula, Muscat is a beautiful place that I would love to return to, and definitely recommend checking out.

If you’re planning a trip to Muscat, let us know! Comment your questions! We’d love to chat ahead of time and answer any questions you have. Otherwise, have a wonderful day and stay present!


Hi, I'm Greg. I'm an avid traveler who has traveled to over 50 countries all around the world with my wife and kids. I've lived in Italy, Mexico, China, and the United States, and I dream of moving abroad again in the future. With this blog, I provide my audience with detailed destination guides to my favorite places and pro-tips to make travel as stress-free as possible.


  1. Reply


    May 23, 2023

    Do you know where I can get information about the bus schedule from Dubai to Muscat? Thank you!

    • Reply


      June 7, 2023

      Hey Kate,

      I know things got pretty funky when COVID hit. Are you in Dubai right now?

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Meet The Author - Greg

Hi, I'm Greg. I'm an avid traveler who has traveled to over 50 countries all around the world with my wife and kids. I've lived in Italy, Mexico, China, and the United States, and I dream of moving abroad again in the future. With this blog, I provide my audience with detailed destination guides to my favorite places and pro-tips to make travel as stress-free as possible.