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How to Spend 3 Days in Muscat

How to Spend 3 Days in Muscat

Muscat has plenty to keep intrepid travelers and sightseers happy, with everything from aquamarine seas and traditional Arabian architecture to expeditions into Oman’s mountains and dunes. With three days to play with, here are your options for enjoying the city and heading farther afield.

Day 1: Hit the Sights and Sea

Cover Muscat on a hop-on hop-off bus tour around its coastline, old quarter, and bayfront Muttrah district, or take a city tour that visits the 2001-built Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Muttrah Souk, 16th-century Al-Jalali and Al-Mirani forts, and more. Some city excursions include a cruise on the Gulf of Oman. Alternatively, set sail on a dedicated dolphin-spotting or deep-sea-fishing trip, or go snorkeling to view the gulf’s underwater world. This evening, combine dinner at a local restaurant with a city lights tour. Grab your camera to capture the Omani capital at its most enchanting, with the illuminated houses of Muttrah strung like a necklace under the Hajar Mountains. 

Day 2: Explore Oman’s Interior

Muscat is perfectly positioned for exploring Oman’s interior, either on single- or multi-day excursions. Adventure lovers can journey south to the Wahiba Sands, whose high dunes invite dune-bashing drives. Tours often include stops at other spots such as the wadi river canyon Wadi Bani Khalid. Other options include 4WD and hiking trips to Wadi Bani Awf and Snake Gorge. Trek the narrow canyon beds past waterfalls and pools, swim through caves, and picnic under date palms. Alternatively, choose a 2- or 3-day expedition farther into central Oman. Many trips cover multiple attractions, combining Wahiba Sands with turtle-watching at the Ras Al Jinz turtle sanctuary and time at the idyllic gorge Wadi Shab.

Day 3: Mountains and Forts

If you’ve already visited the Wahiba Sands, set aside today for Oman’s northwestern Hajar Mountains. History buffs will love the 17th-century forts at Rustaq, Nakhl, and the former capital of Nizwa. Many fort tours also cover Jebel Shams, Oman’s tallest mountain, to see what’s called the Grand Canyon—a gargantuan, millennia-old river gorge—before continuing to the pottery town of Bahla and Fanjah oasis. For scenery over history, head for Jebel Akhdar, often known as the Green Mountain. Zigzagging roads lead to this high mountain plateau, from which you can absorb unforgettable views of villages, fruit orchards, and rose farms clinging to the slopes far below. Back in Muscat, top off your trip with a sunset cruise. Admire the Omani capital’s floodlit minarets and forts as you sail the darkening waters on an Arabian dhow—a truly atmospheric finale to your 3-day stay.

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9 Tours and Activities | All Muscat Tours

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Big Bus Muscat Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

Big Bus Muscat Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

star-4
Discover the delights of Muscat with ease on this Big Bus hop-on hop-off tour. With your 1- or 2-day ticket, explore the city at your own pace aboard an open-top, double-decker bus. Enjoy 360-degree views of the sights as you hear the entertaining onboard audio commentary, and hop on and off at any of the stops as you please. See top Muscat attractions such as beautiful Muttrah Corniche and the Royal Opera House; hop off to enjoy Muttrah Souk; admire the picturesque forts of Muscat Old Quarter, and much more.
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  • 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$75.30
From
$75.30
Taking safety measures

Muscat Guided Night Tour

Muscat Guided Night Tour

star-5
Admire Muscat’s city lights on a private 4-hour evening tour, with a knowledgeable local driver-guide. Sightseeing by foot and air-conditioned vehicle, hear about the Omani capital’s history as you absorb the twinkling buildings, waterfronts and souks set against the dusky mountains. See the illuminated domes of Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, witness the beautiful views along Muttrah Corniche, browse Muttrah Souk and view floodlit Al Alam Palace before dinner at a local restaurant. Inform your guide if there’s something you want to see more of — your itinerary is customizable.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$129.00
From
$129.00

Desert Safari: Wahiba Sands and Wadi Bani Khalid from Muscat

Desert Safari: Wahiba Sands and Wadi Bani Khalid from Muscat

star-3.5
Visit the Wahiba Sands and gorgeous Wadi Bani Khalid on a private day trip from Muscat. Board a 4x4 with a professional driver-guide, and pass the Hajar Mountains and plantations of Fanjah on route to Bani Khalid. Admire the paradise-like ‘wadi’ (river canyon), with its jewel-blue pools, boulders and palms; and savor a picnic lunch and swim. Next, head into the rolling dunes of the Wahiba Sands. Enjoy a sunset dune bash, visit a Bedouin camp and ride a camel (additional cost) in this epic setting before your return trip.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$213.00
From
$213.00

Day Trip to Green Mountain and Jebel Al Akhdar from Muscat

Day Trip to Green Mountain and Jebel Al Akhdar from Muscat

Visit the Green Mountain (Jebel Akhdar) and experience its beauty and traditional culture with a driver-guide to provide background and negotiate the mountain roads on this private full-day tour. Pass the Hajar Mountains on the drive from Muscat, and visit Nizwa Fort, Nizwa souk, and hill villages on route. Then, ascend to the Green Mountain’s plateau to drink in the panoramas over the fruit farms, ravines, and hamlets below.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$212.00
From
$212.00

Private Tour: Muscat Sightseeing Tour Including Dolphin Watching Cruise

Private Tour: Muscat Sightseeing Tour Including Dolphin Watching Cruise

star-4
Explore ancient and modern Muscat and enjoy a dolphin-watching cruise on this private 8-hour Muscat sightseeing tour. Visit the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque with your private guide, and admire the beautiful fixtures and fittings you find. Hop aboard your boat in the marina and head out onto the waves. Watch the waters for playful dolphins and enjoy panoramic views over Oman’s coastline. Back on dry land, delve into Old Muscat and discover top attractions including the Bait Al Zubair Museum, Al Alam Palace, Al-Jalali Fort and the bustling Muttrah Souk.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$244.29
Price varies by group size
From
$244.29
Price varies by group size

2 Days Muscat Watching Turtles and Wadi Shab Package

2 Days Muscat Watching Turtles and Wadi Shab Package

star-5
Wrapping up north Oman’s attractions in one trip is difficult independently, with unmade mountain roads and long distances to plan for. This private 4x4 tour from Muscat rounds up highlights including Wadi Shab, the Wahiba Sands, Ras Al Jinz’s nesting turtles, and a Muscat tour, into a great-value two days, with a guide for insight and navigation. Overnight accommodation and hotel, port, or airport pickup and drop-off are included.
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  • 2 days
From
$614.00
Price varies by group size
From
$614.00
Price varies by group size

Jebel Shams Day Trip: The Grand Canyon of Oman

Jebel Shams Day Trip: The Grand Canyon of Oman

star-4.5
Exploring Oman’s rugged natural sights takes expert navigation—and a sturdy vehicle. During this hassle-free private tour, you’ll enjoy comfortable pickup from Muscat. Settle back and relax as you make your way to Oman’s own Grand Canyon: Jebel Shams, the country’s highest peak. Stop at other interesting sights along the way, from Persian ruins and Oman’s ancient capital to a talented local textile weaver, with the option to shop.
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  • 7 to 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$200.00
Price varies by group size
From
$200.00
Price varies by group size

Snorkeling Trip from Muscat

Snorkeling Trip from Muscat

star-3
Muscat is known for its scenic sights, but the most spectacular attractions are underwater. Get a first-hand peek at Oman’s colorful marine life during this all-inclusive snorkeling tour. Hotel transfers are included along with gear and safety equipment, making this a convenient option for families. Get a chance to spot sea turtles, stingrays, and parrot fish as you embark on an action-packed day trip out on the open water.
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  • 2 to 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$80.00
Price varies by group size
From
$80.00
Price varies by group size

Full Day Wadi Bani and Snake Gorge Private Tour by 4x4

Full Day Wadi Bani and Snake Gorge Private Tour by 4x4

star-3
Exploring Wadi Bani Awf—one of Oman’s most challenging river gorges—isn’t recommended without a 4x4 and guide to negotiate the high and narrow trails. This 4x4 tour takes you into the canyon with a driver-guide to navigate and show you the scenery. Admire the ancient landscapes, explore caverns and winding Snake Gorge, and swim in pools and waterfalls, all with a picnic lunch and entrance fees arranged and included.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$233.00
Price varies by group size
From
$233.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures