Oman in the Middle East is one of the most naturally and culturally diverse countries. Still not very popular Middle Eastern destinations among the tourists, Oman is gradually making its mark on the world tourism map. There are a lot of different kinds of things to do in Oman. The country is home to a long stretch of a 3000 km coastline, the highest peak in the Arabian Peninsula, and centuries-old history of the Frankincense civilization. The capital port city of Muscat is an urbanized city with touches of Arabian heritage widely visible throughout the city. Unlike its more famous neighbor Dubai, the skyline of Muscat does not have a single skyscraper.
The city is considered to be laid-back yet modern while sticking to its Bedouin values and Arabic heritage and culture. Lying across the Arabian sea, the city of Muscat is the center of arts and culture in the country along with abundant natural beauty, which is hard to find in metropolitan cities.
By being the capital city of Oman, Muscat can be easily listed as an expensive city to visit. However, there are still plenty of interesting activities and places to visit around Muscat absolutely free of cost!
Best Free Places To Visit And Things To Do In Muscat
The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque :
The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, named after the ruling king of Oman is the biggest and the most lavish mosque in the country. Made up with white marbles, the mosque is located right in the heart of the city. The main praying hall in the mosque hangs the world’s largest chandelier, which is fourteen meters long. There are small chandeliers hung all across the mosque. The mosque is surrounded by five minarets that guard the main dome of the mosque. The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is also the only mosque in the country which is open for people from all nationalities to visit and experience the beauty of the Arabian architecture.
*Note: The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is open for people from all religions, except Friday afternoon when the Friday prayers are conducted. Women should cover their head and wear clothes covering from shoulders to the knees to enter the mosque. Men should wear full-length sleeves and trousers as a courtesy to respect the norms of the mosque.
Royal Opera House Muscat :
The Royal Opera House of Muscat is the main center of arts and culture in Oman. The opera house is a marvelous white complex with gardens and auditoriums for different arts and culture-related events. The venue is used for local as well as international cultural events. Visitors are welcome even if they are not attending any show in the opera house. The entire space speaks for Arabesque architecture from every corner of the complex. The place gets even more picturesque after the sunset. On special occasions such as Eid or the National Day of Oman, free laser light shows are conducted at the Royal Opera house Muscat. It is also a great spot for photographing at the golden hour.
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The Muttrah Fort :
The Muttrah Fort is a 16th-century fort which built by the Portuguese sailors who landed on the port city for the purpose of trade. The fort was built to guard the port area and trade ships used by the Portuguese. It is built on top of a cliff facing the Arabian Sea. The port is made up of limestone rock and stone, which is abundantly found on the Omani soil. There are hidden chambers inside the port, which were built for the people to escape in case of an attack. There are a total of three viewpoints at different levels on the port. The top viewpoint gives magnificent views of the Corniche road running alongside the Arabian Sea. The fort has been recently renovated and the entry fee has been removed. (As of Feb. 2019, the Muttrah fort is absolutely free to enter).
Lover’s Road :
The Lover’s road is an iconic seafront street in Muscat in the Shatti Al Qurm area. It is a 3 km long street with modern cafes right in front of the Arabian Sea. Though no one knows the real context of how the street got its name, however, it is now one of the most buzzing and favorite streets of Muscat, especially for young people. There is a 2 km long walking pathway along the street with a seating area and a walking/jogging track. Visiting the Lover’s road have many benefits as it offers great spots for viewing the sun getting set in the sea. During the winter months when the weather remains cooler, a late night stroll at the Lover’s road is the best way to get away from the chaos of the city life while relaxing by the beach.
Read here an informational guide on Oman Travel Tips.
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