24 hours in Muscat: The best way to spend a day in the capital

Here’s the perfect itinerary to see all the main sights

24 hours in Muscat: The best way to spend a day in the capital
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

Plenty of travellers find themselves in Muscat for just a day, whether that’s because of a layover or they have plans in other cities.

Twenty-four hours definitely isn’t enough time to see the whole city, but you can definitely visit a lot of the main sights.

To make it easier for you, we’ve put together an action-packed itinerary for getting the most out of the city in such a short period of time.

Read on for the plan – but be warned, it’s very intense.

It’s the most important meal of the day, and what a day you’ve got ahead of you, so you’ll certainly need to eat before setting off. To give you your first taste of Omani food, head to Dukanah Café in Azaiba, which looks just like an Omani house. Here you’ll be able to pick up a traditional breakfast, or grab a quick coffee or tea and try some dates. Just make sure you head here early and eat fast (you’ll understand why soon enough).

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
You can’t visit Muscat without looking around the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, but unfortunately it’s only open to visitors between 8am and 11am Saturday to Thursday, so you’ll need to head here early (hence, eating quickly at Dukanah). You’ll need to wear long sleeves and trousers or a maxi skirt, and wear an abaya to cover your hair if you’re a woman. If you don’t have one, you can rent one in the gift shop for OMR2.5. Once inside, you’ll be wowed by the impressive chandeliers and the huge carpet, which is the second largest in the world.

Muttrah Fish Market
Once you’ve finished up at the mosque, hop in a cab and head over to Muttrah Fish Market. You can find all kinds of local fish here, and it’s fascinating to watch the market in action. The building is new, but that doesn’t detract from the experience here.

Muttrah Souq
From there, stroll along the corniche and snap a few photos along the way before making your way into Muttrah Souq. Inside you’ll find all kinds of treasures (and, if we’re being entirely honest, some trash) like furniture or traditional crafts. It’s a great place to pick up a souvenir for your friends or family, just make sure you haggle, haggle, and haggle some more for a good price. Don’t be afraid to get lost, it’s half the fun. The Gold Souq next door is well worth a visit too.

Riyam Park
Keep walking along the corniche until you reach Riyam Park. There’s lots of activities for kids in the park, including several rides, so feel free to stop here for a while if it tickles your fancy. Before you leave, make sure you climb up the path to the ornamental incense burner for fantastic views over the area.

Bait Al Zubair
Make your way over to Bait Al Zubair, keeping an eye out for the Muscat Gate which you should pass through. Congratulations! You’re now in Old Muscat, the site of the original city. Bait Al Zubair is a museum complex that has five separate buildings, each filled with artefacts from 19th and 20th century Oman. It’s a privately-owned museum and one of the buildings is designed to look just like a traditional Omani home.

Inside Bait Al Zubair is a small coffee shop, Bait al Dalaleel, where you can grab a drink and a bite to eat. If you’re not keen on the food here, there’s a few cafes nearby you could try too.

National Museum Oman
Just a ten minute walk away lies the National Museum, and absolutely must-see in Muscat. It covers the history of Oman from the earliest human settlement up until the modern day through more than 5,000 objects. The museum split into different exhibitions including currency, intangible heritage and the role of Islam, so you’ll be able to find something fascinating to learn about no matter what you’re interested in.

Al Alam Palace
Also nearby is Al Alam Palace. It dates back 200 years, but was given its colourful (and Instagram friendly) façade by the late Sultan Qaboos. You can’t go inside, but you can go up to the gates to take pictures.

Mirani Fort
Al Alam Palace is flanked on both sites by Mirani Fort and Jalali Fort, both of which you sadly cannot visit. They’re beautiful to look at, and you can climb up to Mirani Fort to check out the views.

For dinner, you should head over to The Cave, a complex of several different restaurants and bars. If you’re after even more Omani food, head to Al Manjur, or get something entirely different at Latin American restaurant Rumba Lattina. There are also Asian, Italian and seafood options. Once you’ve finished eating, you can head into Rumba Lattina or Route 66 for drinks.

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