A day in Muscat

The wow factor for nature - does it show nature at its best? Doesn't need to be the wilder-beast migration or diving with hundreds of hammerheads. Rather make you pause as you realise just how awesome the natural world can be
How much does this experience showcase some of the better and finer things that us humans can offer? Sure, it can be ancient ruins and renaissance churches, but it can also be festivals or soaking up some of the great modern cities of the world
Fun factor/activity
Very simple - was it fun? This is usually linked in with doing some kind of activity - i mean, walking along some cliffs is nice, but paragliding from them, now that is fun. Its a vastly underrated factor in a truly great experience
Avoid the crowds
Big tour groups and being surrounded by loud fellow tourists can sap the life out of even the greatest of travel experiences. This score is to reflect just how much you can avoid this. But. . . The score also takes into account if the crowds actually add to the experience, such as with a party town or a bustling food market
World famous
How world famous is the experience?
How hard is it to have a similar experience in other places round the world?
Overall Score
The highest score of nature or culture, + fun factor, + avoid the crowds, + the highest score of world famous or unique. Then turned into a score out of 100. More details at the bottom of the page
42 *What the scores mean and where do they come from
Middle East
Length of time
1 day or less
Rough cost
Obviously people have different tastes, so this will depend on those tastes, but this is a rough idea of price of the whole experience based on 2 people able to split the accommodation costs and excluding travel there and back
$ 80
Time of year visited
Primary Tags
Click on any of the tags to see all travel experiences with the same tag
How this travel experience ranks compared to all the other experiences on this site
329th/372 This travel experience's ranking compared to all the other experiences on this site
Bottom 10% SUMMARY RATING: Gash


As the natural entry point for the vast majority of trips to Oman, Muscat is a nice spot for a day or so to rest before or after a long flight.  The walk by the Corniche with its fish market and Mutrah Souk; the walk along the pretty beaches where many of the nice hotels are based; and a trip to the National Museum to learn some of Oman’s history are all great for a couple of hours or so . . . but I wouldn’t suggest really any more than that if it means sacrificing time in the other Omani highlights


If have a day, I’d aim for:

    • Morning – Corniche.  A morning walking the short distance along the Corniche where you start at the fish market and end at the Mutrah Souk.  Have lunch there – Bait Al Luban (Omani) and La Brasserie (International) were nice
    • Early afternoon – Old Muscat.  Take a cab (don’t, as the Lonely Planet advises, walk – its a nice view of the water but its a dull 1 hour walk in the heat by a road) to the “Old Muscat” (which feels a little like a Disney set).  There have a look at the Sultan’s Palace and give yourself 1-2 hours in the National Museum  to see
    • Late afternoon – beaches for sunsets.  A walk along one of the many lovely beaches for the sunrise.  We stayed at the W Hotel, which was on a great beach, with nice restaurants nearby (top floor bar or W was nice, as was the traditional Omani Ubhar Restaurant nearby), and the Opera House right next to it is also worth checking out


#1 Walking along the famous Corniche with its low rise buildings giving a nice old feel against the sharp mountains nearby

#2 Learning about Omani history in the National Museum

#3 Briefly checking out the Al Alam Palace and beautifully manicured surrounding of the "Old Muscat"

#4 Walking any of the nice beaches scattered along Muscat's long coastline

#5 Having a sundowner at one of the many luxury resorts lined along the beaches

#6 A brief tour of the Muscat Royal Opera House

Experiences nearby

The below map shows experiences nearby with a colour that reflect the Overall Score of those experiences

Score Detail

Background - how many times have you asked someone what a travel experience was like and the response was "amazing" or "awesome"?  That response is nice to know, but it makes it hard to differentiate that experience compared to others.  That is exactly what these scores are trying to do - differentiate the experience by giving a score out of 10 based on 6 categories and then giving an overall experience score

This overall experience score is calculated by:  take the highest of the "Culture" or "Nature" score (1-10) + "Fun factor" (1-10) + "Avoiding the crowds" (1-10) + highest of the "Unique" or "World Famous score" (1-10).  Then convert into a score out of 100

Extra detail - the logic being that I find all of the 6 individual scores important, but I don't want to mark an experience down just because it doesn't cover both "Culture" and "Nature", or because it isn't both "World Famous" and "Unique".  Take the examples of Safari in The Serengeti and walking through Rome - they both appeal at opposite ends of the nature / culture spectrum, and you can have a fantastic time without needing to appeal to both sides.  So, their overall scores aren't penalized for their lack of one or the other, and I've done the same for "World Famous" vs "Unique".  But . . . I do think that the "Fun factor" of an experience is important, irrelevant of other factors, and so is "Avoiding the Crowds" (or where there are crowds that add to the experience).  So, both of these scores are standalone