Travel to Muscat

Mutrah Corniche, Muscat

If you visit Oman, you will most likely travel to Muscat either via car or flight. Muscat is the capital city and it is quite large and sprawling in the middle of the northern coast. There are many beaches to enjoy the seaside. Also nearby are views of hills and mountains. Luckily, I stayed in the beautiful Mutrah area which offered both nature and an interesting town. Visiting the souqs (markets) and walking along the Corniche were highlights.

In contrast, the central city of Muscat is filled with more modern architecture. The Royal Opera and Mall of Oman are impressive structures, and I enjoyed a British opera during my visit. Additionally, there are the large, beautiful mosques such as Sultan Qaboos and Mohammed Al Ameen.

Finally, as usual, one of the best experiences was trying the local foods. There are so many traditional Omani dishes, and variations of familiar dishes such as samosas and kebabs. For those with a sweet tooth, there is an unusual, sticky type of halwa and lots of desserts made with dates.

Azaiba Beach
Mutrah Corniche
Mutrah Fort


  • Many beautiful beaches and parks along the coasts including Muscat, Azaiba, Shati Al Qurum and Qurum
  • Mall of Oman
  • Muscat Marina
  • Burj Al Sahwa, a big clock tower in the middle of a roundabout
  • Sultan Qaboos grand mosque
  • Mohammed Al Ameen Mosque
  • Royal Opera and Opera Galléries mall
  • Mutrah Corniche and seaside
  • Mutrah Souq
  • Mutrah Fort and other nearby forts and watch towers

Before you go

  • Muscat is the capital city of Oman and it covers most of the north part of the country
  • Most places accept credit cards
  • Many people speak English so I didn’t need a translation app
  • GoogleMaps does not work that well and a lot of street names were unknown
  • You’ll need a car or taxi to get around
  • Parking is often free and restricted parking is marked with signs, otherwise it seems flexible. By the beach, people drove as close as possible to the sand
  • Dress modestly to fit in with the culture
Burj Al Sahwa
Riyam Censer
Fort Guesthouse


  • The international airport is in Muscat, and is not far from the city centre
  • Taxis are available if you don’t want to drive, but I found that having a rental car was a great way to get around. The roads are generally good and well-marked with signs. However, GoogleMaps often did not know the names of roads and even the motorways, so I had to look carefully at the map rather than trust the audio directions
  • You can walk around areas such as Mutrah on foot but you need a car to get between areas
  • The city of Muscat is quite spread out and public transport is limited so taxi or car would be needed


  • During my entire visit, I stayed at the Fort Guesthouse, which I found via
  • The guesthouse is located in Mutrah, up on a hill by the seaside and the Mutrah fort
  • Parking is free and easy nearby in a public lot
  • It is quaint and traditional, with just a few rooms which have air conditioning
  • Entry is via a code that is sent to you in advance
  • Breakfast can be ordered from the cafe next door
  • They accept credit card payments
Mutrah Souq
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
View from Mutrah Fort
Al Diwaniya sweets halwa
Bait Al Luban Oman restaurant Paploh fish soup
Bait Al Luban Oman Shuwa lamb and rice
Cafe Bateel Zaatar Croissant
Al Mandoos restaurant Chicken salona
Chicken samosas from Al Mandoos restaurant
Club sandwich and papaya juice from Shawarma Spot
Lobster roll and fries at Luban Cafe
Bait Al Luban Oman date brownie
Date ice cream at Al Mandoos restaurant



Al Diwaniya sweets seemed to be a very popular place to buy gift boxes. I tried a lot of different Omani halwa, which had a slightly jelly-like consistency. It’s very different to the powdery halwa I have from the Persian markets in London. Each flavour has different nuts, saffron and other spices.

Fresh juices were a treat and I had juice a few times during my trip. Juice World Mutrah and Shawarma spot were two quick places along the Mutrah High Street. They also had food including burgers, club sandwiches and kebabs.

Cafe Bateel is a fancy cafe near the marina in Muscat. All of the baked goods looked delicious, and I had the zaatar croissant and a cinnamon roll.

Turkish style pastries and baklava were available in some shops, and I had some pistachio sweets from Mado at the Mall of Oman. Delicious and beautifully presented.

Although I normally do not drink coffee, the staff of Caribou coffee were very friendly and offering a free sample of their iced coffee frappe. It was tasty and the people were welcoming so I would stop by there again.


My first evening, I went to Bait Al Luban restaurant for dinner. It’s a lovely traditional restaurant on the upper floor above a bank. They sat me at a table on the terrace with a nice view. I had Paploh fish soup to start which was with fish, squid and rice. For the main, I had the typical shuwa, a roasted lamb dish with rice. And for dessert, I asked them for something without walnuts. They told me the date brownie was fine, but when I got it I saw walnuts. The chef confirmed that there were walnuts, so I opted for the yogurt and saffron ice cream instead. They also gave me some Omani dates to try.

After a day out on a boat, I was hungry for lunch and went to Al Mandoos. It was a traditional restaurant with only locals there. The service was very friendly. They put a plastic sheet down for each person eating to make cleaning up easier. They did this at tables and also for the floor seating. Some of the menu items were unavailable, but there were plenty of choices. I had the chicken samosas to start. The filling was shredded chicken with Omani spices, so different from Indian samosas. Then I had the chicken Salona stew with a huge platter of white rice. Everything was very tasty. I also had a local citrus soda since they didn’t have any diet drinks. For dessert, I had the date ice cream and they gave me four scoops and a side of Omani coffee.

At the casual Luban Cafe, I had an Omani lobster roll, chips and fresh orange juice. It was a perfect lunch, and also a peaceful place to relax before my flight back to Dubai.

Royal Opera House Muscat
Shati Al Qurum Beach
Mohammed Al Ameen Mosque


Q: Do I need a tour guide?

A: No, it is easy to find the places of interest and safe to walk around

Q: Do people speak English?

A: Yes, most people speak some English

Q: Is it a walkable city?

A: No, Muscat is very large and you need a car or taxis to get around between areas

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