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Muscat Travel Guide

Muscat is the capital of Oman and a trading port. The city's main livelihood trade is exporting pearls, fish and textile products. With its other economic resource oil, Muscat became the main center of oil companies in the country. This commercial embodiment is blended with the history of the city.

In 1507, the Muscat, which was dominated by the Portuguese, later passed into the hands of the Ya'ribi and became a commercial city. The city is enriched by strong commercial relations with India. The city, which has survived many badges until today, is one of the cities that develops every year and makes a breakthrough in the tourism sector, preserving its identity as an important trading port city as in the past.

General Information About Muscat

Country: Oman
Region: Southeast of Arabian Peninsula
Area: 3.500 km²
Language: Arabic
Average temperature: 28.2 °C
Climate: Tropical climate
Vegetation: Tropical Plants & Desert Plants
The difference between GMT: UTC+4
Telephone Code: +
Currency: OMR – Omani Rial
Socket Type: Type G


How to Get to Muscat?

The birthplace of Sinbad legend, Muscat invites you to an unforgettable experience with its impressive architecture, dazzling night lights and natural beauties. You can go to Muscat with transfer and short flight after 4 hours and 15 minutes flight from Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport to Muscat International Airport. Pegasus Airlines has prepared your Muscat flight ticket at the best prices for your holiday in this fairytale city! 

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Transportation from Muscat International Airport to City Center

Muscat International Airport is strategically located 30 km from the city. Although the most popular transportation method to get to the city center from the airport is by taxi, there are also bus services provided by Mwasalat Transport Company and free shuttle services provided by hotels.

Buses belonging to Mwasalat Transportation Company depart from the parking lot at the ground floor exit of Muscat Airport. The bus service provided by Mwasalat, which serves in many Arab countries, is of high quality. You can click this link to get detailed information about bus times and fare information.

You may need to contact your hotel and make a reservation for the shuttle services offered by the hotels. You can easily reach your hotel from the airport with the transportation service that is provided. If you can plan your vacation well, this will be the best way to go to Muscat from the airport.

The taxi service in Muscat is also provided by the Mwasalat Transport Company. If you want to rent a taxi, you can stop by the Mwasalat office in the common passenger lounge or make a reservation in advance via their website. Since taxis are not required to have taximeters, you may need to negotiate the price before the trip. However, according to the taximeter, the daytime tariff is 3 OMR and 400 baisa per kilometer and at night tariff is 3,6OMR and 450 bias per kilometer. In light of this information, it may be easier to negotiate.

If you want to travel around Muscat as you like you can find a car to rent just for you with a great offer by using the Pegasus Airlines car rental service.


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Public Transport in Muscat

Taxis are mostly used in city transportation in Muscat. There are also bus lines provided by the Mwasalat company that stops at central points in the city. 

Orange and white taxis are a bit expensive compared to public transport, but they provide a very professional service. Taximeter opening prices are 3 OMR in day tariff and 3.6 OMR in night tariff. You can easily find taxis in many points of the city.

Public transport in Muscat is provided by Mwasalat buses. Buses pass through almost all major points of the city with ticket prices ranging from 200 to 500 baisa (2019) and can be paid cash to the bus driver. You can click on this link to see the detailed timetables and departure times for buses.

Muscat, you can also rent a car to visit as you wish. It is sufficient that your driver's license is taken at least 90 days in advance. However, the roads in Muscat are a bit complicated and you may need to have a road map of the city. If you want to rent a car, you can benefit from the Pegasus Airlines car rental service.

Best Time to Visit Muscat

Oman is a very warm country that has a desert climate. Although Muscat has a more tropical climate due to its location on the coastline, it is affected by the warm weather throughout the country. The average temperature in Muscat is 38.6 °C where the humidity increases with the increase of the temperature in the summer months. In winter this average temperature drops to 17.3 °C. Therefore, the best time to visit Muscat is between October and April.

Festivals in Muscat

  • Muscat Festival (January - February)
  • Salalah Tourism Festival (July)
  • Sultan Camel Race Cup (March)

Places to Visit in Muscat

Muscat was home to British, Indian, Portuguese and Arab cultures throughout its history. Muscat's wonderful city architecture and atmosphere created with this cultural mix will take you to the Sinbad story. Because it is an important commercial port city, there are many beautiful places to visit and see in Muscat where many civilizations have left their mark. 

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

Completed in 1994, the mosque is the second largest mosque in the Middle East. 300,000 tons of Indian sandstone was used in the construction of the mosque, the focal point of tourists. The interior architecture of the mosque, which attracts attention with its exterior architecture, is also quite interesting. When you go to the mosque, you should see the colorful embroidery and the world's second-heaviest one-piece carpet with a weight of 21 tons with 1.700.000.000 knots.

Al Jalali and Al Minari Forts

The castles built after the occupation of Muscat by the Portuguese were used as a dungeon to imprison the royal family of Oman. After the capture of Muscat by Oman troops, the castle was also used as a shelter and was occupied by the Ottomans and saw many restorations. Today, many historical monuments are exhibited and can be visited only by people who own the fortresses of the castle converted into a special museum of the multicultural history of Muscat where you can see closely. Although everyone can't visit the castles, you can watch or photograph the spectacular views created by the castles with the vast sea views.

Souq Muttrah

Muttrah Souq, also known as Al Dhalam in Arabic, means darkness. Souq, one of the oldest markets in the Arab world, is called dark because of its architecture. It is said that the traders inside the market, which was built to cut the light to protect from the sun, opened the bench only to the points where the sunlight hit and shoppers looked at the products using the lamp. You should see this place which has great effects on Muscat as an important commercial port on the Chinese and Indian trade routes. 

Bait Al-Zubair Museum

Bait Al Zubair Museum is located in the old Muscat. The museum, which is located in the flag of the country and contains many historical weapons such as khanjar dagger, which is unique to Omani culture, is the most suitable place in Muscat where you can learn Omani culture. The Oman village and Souq are just outside the museum.

Royal Opera House

Royal Opera House, a magnificent synthesis of Islamic and Italian architecture, is one of the most famous tourist locations in Muscat. From September to May, many cultural and artistic events take place in the opera house, which creates a spectacular visual with its night lights and decorative garden. You can attend many events in the building which has a concert hall for 1100 people.

Where to Stay in Muscat?

The city of Muscat is a large city with a large area. Although every point in the city is convenient to find hotels, hotels close to the city center may be better for your holiday in Muscat. However, the highways developed along with the city make urban transportation very easy and you can enjoy the city even if you stay in a hotel far from the city center.

The most luxurious hotels in Muscat are the Chedi and The Shangri-La. Those looking for luxury hotels can also choose Al Bustan Palace A Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Grand Hyatt Muscat, Radisson Blu Hotel Muscat.

There are many hotels, guesthouses, and hostels in the city if you have planned a holiday at more affordable prices. Of these, we recommend the Jasmine Hotel Apartments, Al Jisr Hotel, and Majestic Hotel. 


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What to Eat in Muscat?

Muscat is the center of Oman cuisine where the west and east are intertwined. Most of the spices used in cooking come from India. You can taste the most beautiful dishes of Oman cuisine in Muscat and find the freshest fish coming out of the sea. The most popular meal in Muscat, the most popular beverage of which is hard coffee, is a rice dish called Ruz Al Mudhroub, served with fried fish. Meat and chicken dishes cooked with saffron and similar spices such as Kabsa and Maqbous are also famous.  

  • Ruz Al Mudhroub: Al-Tanoor Restaurant
  • Maqbous: Mumtaz Mahal
  • Tabbouleh: Khargeen Caffee

Shopping in Muscat: Best Souvenirs to Buy

In Muscat, a shopping center throughout its history, it is easy to find beautiful souvenirs that will immortalize your holiday. Popular in the city with its handicraft and textile products, you can also find many kinds of spices. Souq is the first place to visit in Muscat when it comes to shopping. Souq, one of the oldest markets in Muscat and even the Arab world, offers spices and coffee at affordable prices. In addition to this, you can find gold jewelry, high-selling mırra coffee pot, coffee sets, incense burner and gift versions of the Khanjan dagger, one of the symbols of Oman.

In addition to the bazaars where traditional products are sold, shopping malls with DÜnya brands are located in many points of the city. Muscat Grand Mall, Oman Avenues Mall, City Center Muscat are some of them.

Nightlife in Muscat

Even though the Muscat nightlife is quieter than other touristic cities, it embraces all levels of entertainment with its authentic cafes, clubs, and bars in luxury hotels.

There are many options in the city for those who want to spend a quiet night. You can relax by the sea under the lights of the city while eating delicious Oman cuisine in the restaurants or cafes by the beach. The traditional Muscat nightlife is to have a picnic under street lamps.

Since it is a Muslim state, alcoholic entertainment venues are only available in luxury hotels. If you want to spend a more exciting night, you can go to clubs in luxury hotels.

Things You Should Know

  • Although it is not legally a criminal offense, it is not recommended that you show your relationship with your partner in public places in respect of the culture and religious beliefs of the people of Muscat.
  • We recommend you to carry a Muscat highways map with you if you want to rent a private car during your holiday in Muscat.
  • If you are going to use a taxi or private transportation or hotel shuttle service, we recommend you to book it before arriving at the airport.
  • Due to being a Muslim country, the weekend is from Friday to Saturday.
  • Due to its hot temperature during the summer season, carrying water and protecting your skin from the sun is highly recommended for summer vacations.
  • Credit and debit cards are widely accepted, but it is recommended that you keep cash and keep your money in a safe place for shopping in historical bazaars. 

Essential Numbers

Country Code: +968

City Code: +968 24

Muscat Airport: + 968 24351234

Emergency Number: 9999  

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