It’s my first time in Oman! My 172nd country! On my first few days in Muscat I stayed at the Al Falaj Hotel.
I was so excited to finally set foot in Oman! It’s my 172nd country (152nd UN), so I was all set 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 such a great start as we have done a lot of traveling around 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 below.
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Things to Do in Muscat, Omani
1. Admire the Magnificence of Mosques
There are a few mosques to see and admire in Muscat. All these stands 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 should especially wear clothing that covers them. The prayer room for women is relatively small, while the main hall for men is distinctly different and very finely designed.
- Mohammed Al Ameen Mosque – The Mohammed Al Ameen Mosque is also only a few years old and sits in an exposed hilltop location. Since the mosque has not yet been commercialized, you can expect few visitors during your visit. The mosque is beautiful and the interior is well worth a visit, so be sure to visit!
2. Visit museums after museums!
In Muscat there are many museums for you to explore! This way you will learn more about this historic city. Even if you’re not a fan of museums, there are literally plenty to choose from that could pique your interest.
- The National Museum – A modern and spacious museum. The various departments show the development of Oman from prehistoric times to the present day. The exhibits are well lit and labeled (in both English and Arabic). Some exhibits even invite you directly to touch (or grab) them. In a movie theater, Oman’s history is summarized in a 15-20 minute film (alternately in English and Arabic) – totally worth watching.
- The Sultan’s Armed Forces Museum – A very interesting exhibit telling the history of Oman’s military achievements from ancient times to the present day. The museum’s exhibits are very well laid out with their historical layout.
- Ghalya’s Museum of Modern Art – A small museum that gives an insight into Omani life in the 50’s/60’s/70’s. Living rooms and other rooms occupied in summer or winter are shown. The Art Gallery also displays works by Omani artists.
- Natural History Museum – This small museum gives an overview of the wildlife and geological history of Oman. The botanical garden is also interesting, with some specimens of Boswellia Sacramento, the Frankincense tree and more!
- Oman Children’s Museum – A very well done museum for coming up with such scientific entertainment for child development. Even older than 11 years, the game here will be like an extra 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, a garden with a range of traditional features, a cafe and gift shop. Unfortunately it is forbidden to take pictures in the museum.
3. Discover natural wonders – beaches and wadis
If you like swimming under the sun, Muscat is also a perfect place to freshen up! 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 nice and long beach right on the street. It is clean and the water is very clear. There are also a few cafes and restaurants near the beach.
- Wadi Bani Khalid – Arguably the most visited wadi in the country, it takes a bit of luck to breathe in the full beauty of the terrain. Just enjoying nature like a dream and if you have the right swimwear you can also get into the water or let the fish nibble at your feet.
- Bimmah Sinkhole – This gap between the sea and the mountains is really impressive. About 120 meters in diameter and 30 meters deep. Below you can swim in the clear water and refresh yourself. There are also picnic options at the summit.
- Wadi Al Arbeien – A beautiful wadi with deep blue pools and a great environment. This Wadi is one of the highlights. You should take two to three hours to explore it extensively. If the all-terrain vehicle is absolutely necessary, you will be rewarded with a special landscape. The contrasts of the steep mountain sides and the versatile greenery create a special atmosphere.
- Qantab Beach – Must definitely be visited. Like everything in Oman, this beach is best reached by renting your own car. Since it is a bit far away, 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 via a beautifully paved road that runs through the mountains and partly along the coast.
4. Royal Opera House
The Royal Opera House is impressive both outside and inside. The opera house is especially atmospheric in the evening when the indirect lighting is 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 malls in Oman, which opened in Muscat in May 2015. Located on Sultan Qaboos Street, it is a shopping center of the famous Abu Dhabi 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 the Al Falah Hotel is very convenient for me as a travel blogger. It is located in the heart of the city and near the most popular tourist attractions. I am so glad we stayed in one of the best business hotels in Oman before we could start our travel adventure in the country!
Accommodation at the Al Falaj Hotel
Thank you so much to Mr Praveen for welcoming us to the hotel! We felt at home the moment we arrived at the hotel!
There are different types of rooms to choose from at the Al Falaj Hotel; Deluxe rooms, classic rooms, suites and standard rooms. All rooms are spacious and offer a great atmosphere! Our first few nights in Oman were already unforgettable because of Al Falah Hotel!
Restaurants near Al Falaj Hotel
Middle Eastern dishes and other Asian dishes are the main offerings of the restaurants in Al Falaj!
The Al Falaj restaurant
The Al Falaj Restaurant is the only restaurant in Oman that pays tribute to the popular and traditional Oman soups (you MUST try them!) Of course, besides soups, steak, lobster, kebab and more dishes from all over the world can be eaten here. My heart was so happy!
Tokyo Taro Restaurant
From the name itself, the cuisines you can expect here are those from Japan! We all know that Japanese cuisine is much loved by everyone around the world (including me! Haha!) From Sushi and Sashimi to Tepanyaki and Tempura, you’ll find it here!
Stassen Tea Lounge
A lounge that offers tranquility and peace of mind. Enjoy your delicious tea while relaxing in the hotel lounge, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Tea lovers will love their time here!
Overall experience at the Al Falaj Hotel?
After our stay at the hotel we left happy and satisfied with everything we experienced. We were so happy with all the tours we went on in Oman and Al Falaj helped us to relax and enjoy the Omani hospitality. I will never forget how the people treated us with a warm welcome and smiling faces. After my quest to visit all countries in the world, Oman is one of the countries I would go back to and Al Falaj is the hotel where I wanted to be my home again!