Awesome Things to do in Muscat, Oman

The Sultanate of Oman is a fantastic country to visit. My third trip to Oman has been absolutely wonderful. Aside from doing a safari to Jebel Harim in the Musandam Peninsula, I revisited Muscat. It's a city I wasn't very fond of the first time I was there. I basically did a complete 180; which is why you should always give places you didn't like a second chance. Muscat is a real pleasure with a lot to see and do. Here are awesome things to do in Muscat, Oman! The Grand Mosque. The Grand Mosque in Muscat is probably the top tourist destination in Muscat itself. It's a massive, beautiful mosque completed in 2002. It's on the outskirts of the city and a taxi ride away. It's worth noting that tourists are only allowed in from 9-11am. If you arrive afterwards, have no fear, you can still walk around the grounds and get some amazing photos and views of a real marvel. It's reminiscent of the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, just on a smaller scale and a darker color. The Mosque will be a highlight of a trip to Muscat. Hotel. It's a six star property and it literally resembles a palace in size, scale and outright beauty. Walking into the lobby is an awesome experience where you'll look up and down and side to side then repeat over and over again! It's that cool and takes a few minutes to get your bearings with the size and opulence of the lobby. As you move downstairs and outside, you'll see massive grounds of grass, palm trees and chairs for people to sunbathe. You'll also notice a pool on either side of the hotel and the main pool directly in front of the hotel and the beach. Tour Old and New Muscat. I hired a private driver that I found in town by where the tourist busses are. My driver spoke excellent English and was very kind, helpful and honest. I felt very comfortable with him. First he took us around Old Muscat. This is where many Omani's live; it's a bit older and is the location of the Sultan's Palace and many ministry buildings. It's a nice place to walk around and see some forts that are only there for decoration-literally. It's a nice place but new Muscat is tops for me. As you drive out to the very spread out new city, you notice it feels like a suburb in Southern California. The houses are gorgeous as you approach the beach. There’s a golf course where most of the American expats live and a little further up is the public beach. The beach is the center of much of the social life in Muscat. Omani’s drive up and down the strip (where the Starbucks is) to show off a bit and take in the views. Families will picnic on the beach and young people will hang out at night. The beach itself is pretty nice, not Southern California nice, but pretty nice! The Souk. The Souk is located right in the center of the Corniche in the old town, right by the port and the taxi stand. It’s a great place to walk around and do some shopping if that’s your thing. It’s not my thing but I like the frenetic energy of the hustle and bustle in the Souk. If you’ve never been to a Souk or a Bazaar in the Middle East or North Africa, they are a sight to see. The main Souk in Muscat is tame compared to the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul but you still get the gist. It’s definitely worth a look around! Wadi Shab. Wadi Shab was the highlight of my trip to Oman, let along Muscat. I had actually never heard of it. My driver Talal recommended it for the second day. I had asked him what was the best thing to do in the country as we had a full open second day in Muscat. He was right-it was fantastic!