Muscat is Oman’s capital city, the most popular and touristy city you can visit. Muscat’s skyline looks picturesque with the rocky Western Al Hajar Mountains. The town seems precisely out of a book. You can see the Arabian sea majestically existing and modern architecture and the beautiful mountains at the top, all in one scene.
Muscat is a place that has soul and warmth, unlike Dubai, says Vineet. He loves Dubai, but Dubai lost the soul. This city will make you fall in love with its warm people, great architecture, comforting food, and exuberantly colorful souks.
Muscat city is a Vineet’s cozy corner of the world that he loves to visit time and again. Below are few things that you should mandatory do while you are in Muscat
Sultan Qaboos grand mosque in Muscat
Sultan Qaboos mosque is one of the prettiest and regal mosques in the world. This grand structure took six years to make. The mosque has the world’s most enormous chandelier (the title now taken by Abu Dhabi), which looks mesmerizing in real life.
Vineet was having the time of his life adoring and admiring the intricate mosaic patterns and stonework done on the walls and ceilings. This mosque is open for everyone irrespective of their caste and gender, but tourists and NonMuslims should make it a point to visit this mosque from 8 am to 11 am.
This is the only time they are allowed to enter inside. If you visit after the mentioned time, you can still see the beautiful structure and huge gardens from the outside.
Mutrah Souq in Muscat
This souq is what true Middle Eastern culture is made of. The souq is filled with colorful items and trinkets. You will find everything from clothes to décor, odd food stalls to vibrant bags. This market looks like a kaleidoscope. Each corner is packed with beautiful items and trinkets that would elevate your home if you buy any souvenir from here.
Like all bazaars, you have to be on top of your haggling game to score good products at a reasonable price. You won’t be able to haggle much in jewelry as they sell them by weight. Vineet noticed that the shopkeepers do not let tourists haggle much.
this is mostly because of the market’s touristy nature. As people and tourists come, shopkeepers know how much to let someone bargain, so be persistent and take your find home with pride.
Al Qurum beach
This beach is in the middle of Muscat’s heart and beats loudly through its amazing views and water sports. Al Qurum offers a good variety of water sports for sporty people and tourists.
Vineet decided to sit and enjoy the views by sipping a nice cup of coffee at a café near. You will find pretty cafés and shopping centers all lined around the beach. A sunset walk on this beach can be a perfect way of wrapping your day by the beach.
Don’t forget to visit the Sultans palace in Mutrah that looks crisp and sharp. Tourists aren’t allowed there when Omar’s ruler comes there, this happens rarely, but when it happens, the flag gets hoisted to show that Sultan is present there. Clicking pictures is allowed from the outside.
This place is like a marble dream come true. The white uniform squarish building will make you fall in love with the place. Although Vineet wasn’t able to catch any show, he enjoyed wandering around and window shopping at the Opera Galleria arcade, which is also in the same complex.
Al Cornish café
After a tiring shopping spree at Mutrah Souq, come to Vineet’s favorite café to relax and unwind. He swears by the food at this café as everything is perfect – the ambiance, tasty filling food, and salty breeze occasionally brushing your cheeks ever so slightly.
Try sitting at the outer side of Al Cornish café so you will get a nice view of the sea. Order any dish, you are bound to love it, but their Hummus won Vineet’s heart. Hummus at Al Cornish café is his all-time favorite dish. Don’t forget to try Omani food while you are in Muscat! The hearty serving of rice and meat really makes your heart warm.
Few things to keep in mind while you are at Muscat
Wear modest clothes: When you are a guest of this city, try wearing modest clothes to respect their culture. Gents should cover their knees, and women should cover their elbows, knees, and body. If you visit a mosque, always cover your hair; this applies to women.
Avoid visiting in summer: The summer season in Muscat can be very tough to handle. The temperature and humidity will ruin your trip. Winter is the best time to carry your trip, so try visiting during winter.
Don’t forget to smoke authentic sheesha while you are in Muscat. It is not intoxicating, but you might feel a little dizzy, especially if it’s your first time.
Drink Karak chai without asking any questions. Karak chai is a local rejuvenating drink that can refresh and energize you more than a Monster energy drink can.
Omanis are known for their hospitality and warm nature. If someone invites you over, never decline their invitation as it is considered disrespectful. You will mostly be greeted with chai/coffee along with dates and fruits.
Muscat is one of the safest countries in the Middle East, so you can roam there without worrying much. As most people speak English, the communication disturbance is not that prevalent.
Muscat can be a little expensive, so backpackers and budget travelers should keep this in mind.
That’s it for today’s blog, and we hope you enjoyed this blog post. If you plan to go to Muscat, keep the above-mentioned things in mind and experience Middle Eastern culture with this authentic city filled with warmth.
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