Omani Places to See and Visit
Muscat: This old walled town is dominated by two well-preserved 16th-century Portuguese forts, Al Jalali and Mirani. The town consists of old houses, narrow streets and three beautifully carved original gates. The Ali Mosque, the New Mosque and the Sultan's Palace are well worth visiting.
Salalah is the capital of the southern region. It is a city set amongst coconut groves and banana plantations, sprawled along sandy beaches that run the length of its plain. The lush vegetation makes Salalah seem almost tropical.
Sur is situated in the northeastern province of Sharqiya. It is a seafaring town, a fishing village and a trading port all rolled into one. Famous for its traditional ship building, Sur started trading along the African coast as early as the 6th century. It is an old town with winding streets, carved wooden doors and old arabesque buildings.
Sohar: There is a very large and functional souk (market) here full of tailors, fruit-sellers and fishermen. An imposing four-storey fort with six towers overlooks the bay.
Matrah-Muscat: Archaeological excavation of the tumuli at the site of Souks Bausharios is fascinating.
Nizwa is the main town in the interior province. It was the capital in the 6th and 7th centuries. The town's immense palm oasis stretches for 13km (8 miles) along the course of two wadis. It is famous for its fort and its gold and silver handicrafts.
Jabrin: The 17th-century fortified palace situated here is notable for its painted wooden ceilings and the splendid view across the desert to the mountains.
Bahla: This ancient town, known for its pottery, has a good souk and nearby is the picturesque village of Al Hamra.
Jebel Akhdar: Literally 'The Green Mountain', noted for its picturesque terraced villages.
Al Hazm: On the northern slopes of the Jebel Akhdar is the fortress of Al Hazm Fort, built in 1708, and the oasis town of Rostaq.
Qurum: Encapsulates Oman's archaeology, history and culture. The National Museum has a collection of silver, jewellery, weapons and ancient stone artefacts. From here dhows cruise along the palm-fringed coast and there are excellent fishing grounds and beaches.
Muscat :Muscat city, once a thriving and strategically located port of the Arabian peninsula in ancient times, is the capital of modern Oman. Its medieval appearance with two old Portuguese forts, Jelali and Merani, flanking the rocky cove around which the city is built, makes it a unique and unusually exotic place. Muscat's picturesque old buildings co-exist with modern commercial and residential quarters giving the city an ambiance of its own. the seaside palace of H.M. Sultan Qaboos bin Said, nestled between steep rocky hills, offers a spectacular sight, specially by night.
Salalah:The Largest city in Southern Oman, Salalah has a unique charm with its coconut groves and banana plantations growing right to the water's edge. Its beautiful beaches of white sand are a heaven for swimmers and sea lovers. The rugged beauty of its fertile plains, its fresh water springs, its bustling souqs and tropical landscape leave a lasting impression on the visitors mind. The best time to visit Salalah is from June to September, When the monsoon rains lash the region, turning it into a tropical paradise.
Nizwa: The oasis city of Nizwa, the largest in the interior province, was the capital of Oman in the 6th and 7th centuries. Today it remains one of the most popular tourist attractions with its historical buildings and imposing fort built in the mid 17th century by Imam Sultan Bin Saif Al Ya'ribi. The town's immense palm oasis stretches for eight kilometers along the course of two wadis. It is famous for its bustling souq where tourists can buy exquisite copper and silver jewelry and other craft items.
Sohar: The coastal city of Sohar was once an important Islamic port and the largest town in the country. Visitors will be attracted to its large and functional souq with handy tailors, fruit sellers, and fishermen vying for space, and its fort which stands apart with its four-story walls and six towers, an imposing sight overlooking the bay.
Sur: Sur has a ideal location in the northeast Province of Sharquiya and is a seafaring town, a fishing village and a trading port all in one. The highlight of the town is the dhow builder's yard of the coast just beyond the town. Sur started trading activities with the African coast as early as the 6th century A.D.. A walk through its labyrinthine streets reveal many fine old houses with carved doors, arabesque windows and other intricate details. Sur is also famous for its breeding sites of world's rare sea turtles in Ras Al Jinaiz, which has been declared a protected wild life area.
Musandam: Separated from the rest of Oman by part of the United Arab Emirates, this is the northernmost part of the Sultanate. It's rugged mountains rise up to 2100 meters above sea level and the coast which juts into the strait of Hormuz has a spectacular fjord like look. It is no wonder that Musandam is also called "The Norway of the Middle East". Khasab Fort, Qadah Archaeological site, Jebel Harim Mountain, Shim Gulf and Strait of Hormuz are the most important attractions in Musandam.
Forts and Citadels:
Forts, citadels, towers and numerous historical sites serve as magnificent reminders of the rich heritage of Oman. The remote past of Oman dates back to several thousand years when man first appeared. When he settled and looked after his land and animals, he started building forts and citadels for his protection. Most of the forts, towers and fences were built in flourishing cities and urban areas for protection against intruders and as symbols of mightiness. Forts and citadels in Oman have a unique architectural designs and artistic patterns. The following are some of the most important and largest forts and citadels of Oman.
Jalali Fort: One of the two forts constructed by the Portuguese to defend the Muscat port in 1587, it was first named as Sao Joa. It is in the eastern side of the port.
Merani Fort: his western fort was completed in 1586 and was originally called Fort Capitan. The building of the two forts remain virtually unchanged, though restoration works were carried out in later times.
Nizwa Fort: Built by Imam Sultan Seif Al Yarubi in 1641 AD is one of the largest monuments of Oman's historical and cultural legacy. It lies in the city of Nizwa, 175 km south of Muscat.
Jabrain Castle: Built in 1688 AD and situated in Bahla, not far from Niawa is the most beautiful and magnificent historical monuments of Oman.
Rustaq (Hazim) Fort: Situated in Rustaq, 160 km north-west of Muscat was built in 1702
Nakhl Fort: This fort is built on a 200 ft. high mountain peak and it dates back to the pre-Islamic era. It lies in Nakhl which is 121 km from Muscat.
Several interesting museums are popular with Omani schools children and visitors to the Sultanate. The Omani Museum, established in 1974 at Medinat al-Alam, has been renovated and is now distinguished by a massive wooden entrance door in the Omani tradition. The surroundings have been improved and the layout of exhibits re-arranged and expanded. In Muscat the Omani-French Museum, which was the French Consul's residence in 1896 has been restored to its former glory. A museum in a completely different modern setting is the Children's Museum, Where children can learn, through 'hands on' experience, basic scientific principles. The historical fort at Sohar also contains a museum and there are plans to install exhibits in the Cultural Center in Salalah. One of the most visited museums, situated within the Ministry's complex, is the Natural History Museum. In 1995 a fossils exhibition was added as a National Day gift to the nation from PDO This museum, with its whale hall and displays of animals and birds, has an educational purpose as well as being of interest to tourists. Mention should also be made of two places appreciated by visitors but not part of the Ministry - the Sultan's Armed Forces Museum at Bait al-Falaj and the permanent Oil & Gas exhibition at Mina al-Fahal.
Note: Entry into mosques is forbidden to non-Muslims.
- Heritage Sites in Oman
- Adventure Trips
- Oman Museums, Parks & Attractions
- Beaches of Oman
- Gardens of Oman
- Al Hoota Cave - A frozen architecture of huge lion shape stalagmites and stalactites
- Muscat, Sultanate of Oman - A Virtual Tour
- Oman Forts & Castles
- Salalah the stunning jewel of the Sultanate of Oman