I am in Oman for the first time! My 172nd country! I stayed at the Al Falaj Hotel for my first few days in Muscat.
I was so excited to finally set foot in Oman! It’s my 172nd country (152nd UN) so I was primed and ready to see more of the Middle East! I started in Muscat, the capital, where the Al Falaj Hotel became my home for a few days. It was a great start as we have done a lot of touring in this country so it is important to stay in a hotel that is comfortable and relaxing enough. That’s Al Falaj Hotel for me! More about this hotel is below.
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Things to do in Muscat, Oman
1. Admire the majesty of the mosques
There are several mosques to see and admire in Muscat. All of these stand with such elegance and you should see them!
- Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque – A visit to the mosque is definitely worth it. The monumental building can be visited without an entrance fee. Even the large gardens around the mosque are impressive. Notes: Shoes must be removed before entering and women must wear specially covering clothing. The prayer hall for women is relatively small, while the great hall for men is distinctly different and very delicately designed.
- Mohammed Al Ameen Mosque – The Mohammed Al Ameen Mosque is also only a few years old and is located in an exposed location on a hill. As the mosque is not yet commercialized, expect very few visitors during your visit. The mosque is beautiful and the interior is worth seeing, so be sure to visit!
2. Visit museums after museums!
There are plenty of museums to explore in Muscat! This way you will be able to learn more about this historic city. Even if you’re not a fan of museums, there are literally tons of them to choose from that might interest you.
- National Museum – A modern and spacious museum. The development of Oman from prehistoric times to the present is presented in individual departments. The exhibits are well lit and labeled (in both English and Arabic). Some exhibits even directly invite you to touch (or grab) them. In the film room, the history of Oman is summarized in a 15-20 minute film (alternately in English and Arabic) – definitely worth watching.
- Sultan’s Armed Forces Museum – A very interesting exhibition that tells the history of Oman’s military achievements from ancient times to the present. The museum’s exhibits are very well laid out in terms of their historical structure.
- Ghalya Museum of Modern Art – A small museum that gives an insight into life in Oman in the 50s/60s/70s. Living rooms and other rooms that were occupied in summer or winter are shown. The Art Gallery also exhibits works by Omani artists.
- Museum of Natural History – This small museum provides an overview of Oman’s wildlife and geological history. Also interesting is the botanical garden with some specimens of Boswellia Sacramento, Frankincense and more!
- Oman Children’s Museum – Well done museum for coming up with such science fun for children’s development. Even older than 11 years, this game will be like added knowledge for a child.
- Bait Al Zubair – A cultural foundation that opened its doors to the public in 1998. The complex consists of five separate buildings and a garden with many traditional features, a cafe and a gift shop. Unfortunately, photography is prohibited in the museum.
3. Explore Natural Wonders – Beaches and Wadis
If you love swimming under the sun, Muscat is also the perfect place to refresh yourself! The wadis are also another must-see natural wonder in the city! Here are some of the beaches and wadis we recommend you visit.
- Qurum Beach – A very beautiful and long beach right on the street. It is clean and the water is very clean. There are also several cafes and restaurants in close proximity to the beach.
- Wadi Bani Khalid – Undoubtedly the most visited wadi in the country, it takes a bit of luck to breathe in the full beauty of the terrain. Enjoy nature like a dream and if you have the right swimsuit with you, you can even go into the water or let the fish nibble on your legs.
- Bimmah Sinkhole – This hole between the sea and the mountains is really impressive. About 120 meters in diameter and 30 meters deep. You can swim in the clear water below and refresh yourself. There are also picnic options at the top.
- Wadi Al Arbeieen – Beautiful wadis with deep blue pools and amazing surroundings. This Wadi is one of the highlights. It should take you two to three hours to explore it thoroughly. If an all-terrain vehicle is absolutely necessary, then you will be rewarded with a special landscape. The contrasts of steep mountain walls and multifaceted greenery create a special atmosphere.
- Qantab Beach – It should definitely be visited. As with everything in Oman, the best way to get to this beach is by renting your own car. Because it is a bit far, it is so peaceful and attractive. A beautiful beach with crystal clear and warm water.
- Al Sifah Beach – Sifah Beach is about 45 minutes from Muscat city and can be reached by a beautifully paved road that runs through the mountains and partly along the coast.
4. The Royal Opera House
The Royal Opera House is impressive both from the outside and from the inside. The opera house is particularly atmospheric in the evening when the indirect lighting is switched on. World stars of opera, ballet, folklore, dance groups and musicians come here on tour.
5. Oman Avenues Mall
Oman Avenues Mall is one of the largest shopping centers in Oman, which opened in Muscat in May 2015. Located on Sultan Qaboos Street, it is a shopping center owned by the renowned Abu Dhabi-based LuLu Group International and has quickly established itself as one of the most impressive and modern shopping centers in the region.
Where to stay in Muscat, Oman
The strategic location of Al Falah Hotel is very convenient for me as a travel blogger. It is in the center of the city and is close to the most popular tourist attractions. I’m so glad we were able to check into one of the best business hotels in Oman before starting our travel adventure in the country!
Accommodation at Al Falaj Hotel
Thank you very much Mr. Praveen for welcoming us to the hotel! We felt at home as soon as we arrived at the hotel!
At Al Falaj Hotel you can choose from different types of rooms; Deluxe rooms, Classic rooms, suites and Standard rooms. All rooms are spacious and offer a great atmosphere! Our first nights in Oman were already unforgettable thanks to Al Falah Hotel!
Restaurant at Al Falaj Hotel
Middle Eastern cuisine and other Asian dishes are the main menu of restaurants in Al Falaj!
Al Falaj Restaurant
Al Falaj Restaurant is the only restaurant in Oman that pays tribute to the popular and traditional Omani soups (you must try them!) Of course, in addition to soups, you can eat steaks, lobsters, kebabs and other dishes from all over the world here. My heart was so happy!
Tokyo Taro Restaurant
The name itself suggests that the cuisines you should expect here are those from Japan! We all know that Japanese cuisine is very much loved by everyone around the world (including me! Haha!) From Sushi and Sashimi to Tepanyaki and Tempura, you can find it here!
Stassen Tea Room
A lounge that offers peace and relaxation. Sip your delicious tea and relax in the hotel lounge away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Tea lovers will find something here!
Overall experience at Al Falaj Hotel
After our stay at the hotel, we left happy and satisfied with everything we experienced. We were so excited about all the tours we were going to do in Oman and Al Falaj helped us relax and enjoy the Omani hospitality. I will never forget how people treated us with warm welcome and smiling faces. After my quest to visit all the countries of the world, Oman is one of the countries I would return to and Al Falaj is the hotel I wanted to make my home again!