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  >  Type of Travel   >  Budget Travel   >  Free Things You Can Do in the Sultanate of Oman.

The Sultanate of Oman is a country in the Middle East located in the south of the Arabian Peninsula and overlooking the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea. Its capital is Muscat and it has common borders with the Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. When you think of tourism in Oman, you might imagine deserts, bazaars, camel rides, and a wonderful sunset. Indeed, all of that can be found here but this is a misleadingly narrow view of the many amazing things to do here Oman was also recently featured on Travel Lemming’s 2019 list of the best emerging travel destinations as well as featured in Vogue and perhaps this is a question Only time until Oman turns into a busy paradise. There are many free things that you can do here without spending your money, and the most prominent of these things:


1. Muttrah Fort:

This towering sand-coloured Portuguese fort rises above the low-key white Omani houses and port city. It provides insight into how the city developed in the late 16th century as a maritime state when the fort was built; Heavy cannons jutting out to sea protrude on the structure’s multi-tiered walls to block potential invaders from years past. The fort is more than just a historical symbol. It is also the best place in town to see the countless traditional houses, stunning modern mosques, cruise ships and traditional dhows sailing in the harbor while watching local men in white dishdasha and colorful hats go about their business and local bagpipers gathering nearby to wake you up. Their tunes are in the air, and it’s all for free.


2. Muttrah Market:

If there is one iconic image of Oman it would be the narrow, winding alleyways inside the Muttrah Souq, a traditional Arab market. Walking through the market is completely free and you are expected to haggle so the prices of Omani souvenirs and handicrafts do not have to cost the world. As you walk through the dimly lit alleys of the market you will be called by shopkeepers to enter their shops. You will have different kinds of oud perfumes and oils sprayed and rolled on your wrists and push incense sticks in your hands and Omani daggers and wooden carvings, metalwork, vases and lamps in your hands in the hope that you will buy them. This is a shopping tradition that hasn’t changed one bit over the centuries and even if you decide not to buy anything you will come out at the other end and if you find your way out of the enchanting maze you will smell the finest Arabic scents.


3. Qantab Beach:

There are many free, secluded beaches and gorgeous mountains to explore in Oman, many of which are known only to locals and long-term expats, but Qantab Beach is very special. The beach is located only 30 minutes’ drive from the center of Muscat and is hidden away in a small cove surrounded by sandy cliffs and the sea open to wide open. It has towering sandstone cliffs and exotic bushes or trees growing from their crevices that cast shadows on the beach ensuring many shaded areas to escape the scorching midday sun in Oman. Very few people know about this secluded beach so taking a dip in the shallow turquoise waters or sunbathing is not a problem. Moreover, there is no danger of them bothering you while you are relaxing on the beach.


4. Opera Forum:

One of the most impressive modern buildings in the city, the Royal Opera House in Muscat is a colossal white marble architectural symbol that expresses Sultan Qaboos’ love of music and opera. Tickets for world-famous shows are also impressive, with the best ones costing hundreds of riyals. If buying tickets is more than your budget, next door to the Opera House is the Opera Galleria, an equally luxurious and luxurious shopping mall that takes its inspiration from its big brother. Works that are scheduled to perform at the Opera House often offer free luncheon performances for shoppers and music lovers alike. Performances including “Eine Nacht in Venedig” and “La Traviata” draw audiences from all over the city. There are regular free art exhibitions and family entertainment events held in the same building throughout the year as well.


5. Al-Alam Palace:

Although you can’t actually enter the Al Alam Palace, the ceremonial residence of Sultan Qaboos, its Islamic architecture and arched walls colored in blue and white are still impressive from the outside. The manicured lawns surrounding the mansion are in great condition and are worth a peek through the gates for free. The palace is located within the government district, where huge ministries of white stone and marble cast a shadow over the marble corridors, and luxury cars pass in front of the National Museum of the Sultanate of Oman, which is worth a visit in itself. If you do not want to pay 5 riyals, you can see the palace from the outside, so there is no problem with that at all.


6. The Wave Zone:

The Wave is a foreign investment project that includes a group of residences, hotels and restaurants. The boardwalk at Al Mouj is the tourist part of this establishment. Although you will not encounter any history, it is an important part of the emerging Omani culture. The Walk showcases the luxury side of Muscat that the locals enjoy and you are more likely to meet locals here than anywhere else during the day. This is an important part of the journey because it humanizes the Arab perception in line with the modern era as opposed to romantic Orientalism.


7. Muttrah Corniche:

The Corniche has a special place in the hearts of the Omani people, but due to the rapid development witnessed by Oman, it was known that “Muttrah” is the economic center where trade is active. It also hosts the first port in the Sultanate of Oman, where the sultan’s yacht stops. While strolling along the Corniche, whichever side of the beach, you will pass the Frankincense Tower, which is an iconic monument in Muscat. Along the promenade you will find a staircase leading to an old watchtower. Check out the view from the observation tower during the day to see the turquoise blue waters on the other side. Although there is a market in Muttrah, I wouldn’t recommend spending too much time there. The current market is full of products coming from China and fewer Omani things actually. If you are looking for a more authentic market, then the market in Nizwa is the best.


8. Sifah Beach:

If you are looking for a cheap getaway not far from Muscat that does not cost you a lot of petrol, then Sifah Beach is the place for you. Oman is a country that allows free camping. You can set up a tent anywhere in the country as long as it is not near a private or government commercial establishment. As Sifah Beach is 45 minutes from the center of Muscat and you will find many cars parked all around the coast. You can drive on the beach and if you are in the mood for a bit of fun and dining head to The Bank which is the newest beach club in Oman.


9. Pima Lake:

Lake “Bima” is considered the most beautiful natural area in the Sultanate of Oman. Some visitors say that it occurred with the intervention of foreigners, while the locals claim that it was formed as a result of a meteor falling on Oman, hence the Arabic name, which means “falling star.” Whatever you may think, the basin opening is a formation most likely created by the collapse of limestone underneath. It is 50 by 70 meters wide and 20 meters deep and to preserve this treasure the government built a garden around it with a staircase leading to the pit. You can go swimming in the early morning hours as it is crowded with tourists and locals alike.


10. Nizwa State:

The Wilayat of Nizwa is located in the Al Dakhiliyah Governorate in Oman, and is 164 km away from the capital, Muscat. Nizwa is distinguished by a great history, as it was the capital of the Sultanate in the early ages of Islam, and it was distinguished by its scientific activity and the large number of jurists and scholars, and it was called the “Egg of Islam.” Nizwa is the cultural center of Omani tourism and unlike the market in Muscat, Nizwa market preserves its heritage and culture as the art of Omani pottery still lives on today. Explore Omani history while visiting the city’s famous Nizwa Fort. Nizwa is suitable for a stopover due to its proximity to many tourist attractions in the Ad Dakhiliyah region.


11. Wahiba Sands:

In fact, Oman is not entirely a desert! It is a mixture of beaches, deserts, mountains, islands, and forests but this is the best places to visit in Oman to enjoy those famous desert landscapes that define travel to the Middle East. Wahiba Sands offers pristine dunes and luxury pre-built camps. You can immerse yourself in the sand dunes, which is an activity in which you can hire a local person to lead you through the large and wonderful sand formations. This charming place is one of the most important features that you cannot miss the opportunity to explore and visit.


12. Mount Hajjar:

Al Jabal Al Sharqi is distinguished by the Wilayat of Al Hamra, which contains several mountains and valleys, with its rocky formations and breezy climate, which formed a picturesque tourist nature. These mountains reach 3 thousand meters above sea level. It is spread between the desert and semi-desert, and it forms a green rocky island on the sandy sea. It is amazing to ride these mountains and do the one day jaunts into the deep canyons are amazing. I don’t know if you can go there for a few days trip if so it would be nice to come there. Definitely a must see Hajjar mountains.


13. Al Qurum Park:

Al Qurum Natural Park in Muscat is the largest and most famous natural park in the Sultanate. It is located in the Qurum area, which was named by this name, attributed to the important mangrove trees in the Omani wildlife. The park is a natural reserve for mangroves and birds, and it is part of the Wetlands Agreement. The garden is a natural outlet for families and to spend beautiful times in the open air. With its beautiful design, paths and dancing fountains, the garden receives visitors from morning to evening. In the middle of it is a water lake where visitors enjoy riding small boats. On the side of the park, there is Marah Land for electric and acrobatic games, and on the other side there is an extension with a large skating rink, video games, billiards and snooker games. There are restaurants, cafes and street vendors inside the park. Qurum Park is a meeting place for families and children.


14. Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque:

One of the largest mosques in the Sultanate of Oman in terms of area and the number of worshipers that the mosque accommodates. From the first time you enter the mosque until you leave it, you feel confused and reassured. The place is very quiet and wonderful. The mosque is distinguished by its inscriptions and its tall crystal dome. The mosque, which was built in the Uzbek style and is similar to the Bibi Khanum Mosque, is one of the most beautiful mosques in Oman. The mosque is really an architectural masterpiece, and a different historical era lives inside it
Visits to the main hall of the mosque are only from 8 am to 11 am to allow room for prayer. Outside the main hall, it is an open museum. There is also an Islamic center and a library equipped with a computer center for research.


15. Muhammad Al-Amin Mosque:

The Muhammad Al-Amin Mosque is one of the most important landmarks of the capital, Muscat, since its construction was completed on a hill. It attracts attention with its high location, golden lighting, white marble, and inscriptions with Arabic and Islamic designs that highlight the beauty of the designs and decorations. Muhammad Al-Amin Mosque was built on an area of 20 thousand and 300 square meters in the state of Bausher, and its cost amounted to about 45 million Omani riyals, or more than a hundred million dollars. He adds that the mosque was opened in 2014 at personal expense. The mosque is characterized by two minarets, each 84 meters high, and three domes of equal size and different heights. The mosque can accommodate about 2,100 worshippers, and 570 female worshipers in a special chapel for women. The mosque has a two-storey library that can accommodate about 19,000 volumes of Omani books and encyclopedias and others in the fields of language, jurisprudence, religions and literature. It also has an events council that can accommodate sixty people. The mosque is very distinctive and its location is wonderful. It can be seen from afar, especially at night, due to the high location and the distinctive lighting.


16. Bait Al Zubair Museum:

Do not let your attraction to one of the exhibits distract you from exploring all the museum halls, so I advise you first to take a tour around the place to get acquainted with all the museum halls and their exhibits. Before coming to the Beit Al-Zir Museum in Muscat, you may wonder if you can take pictures of some of the exhibits that will attract your attention, so we will answer that that the museum administration permits photography in specific places. The museum has allocated part of its spaces to display all the marine archaeological collections that were collected with the aim of introducing visitors to the country’s maritime history. There are various exhibits such as old ships, fishing boats, old navigation tools and boats. A part of the area of Bait Al Zubair Muscat has been allocated to display the country’s military heritage in the form of groups that include weapons Assorted guns, swords and daggers. This museum has sought to collect some artistic holdings of heritage value and display them in an attractive way, as there are paintings, artifacts and Islamic arts. Ancient civilizations have a long history to talk about to include all aspects of daily life and various cultures and traditions, and this is what the museum emphasized its importance by displaying jewellery, household utensils, old agricultural equipment, traditional clothing and old pieces of furniture. There are exhibits that the museum is famous for, and we remind you of the importance of exploring them, the most important of which is the old photographic equipment. The Beit Al-Zir Muscat Museum is considered a bridge between the country’s ancient past and its rich present, as you will find models of ancient forts and towers inside it.


17. Mirani Castle:

You can visit Al-Mirani Castle to see the wonderful gardens and trees with stunning views, and do not leave the place before you take some memorial photos in it in order to encourage you to return again, as you have to wander around the castle to see the high towers that were painted with lime beautifully, so you can climb to the tower and take pictures in order It remains a souvenir for you. You can also visit the church, which takes a circular shape with a small dome attached to the eastern wall, which was built in a wonderful way. Do not leave the castle before you enjoy watching the narrow bastion, which is located on the northern side and includes a staircase that takes you to the cannon platform, which takes a semi-circular shape. The shape will dazzle you when you see it through the privileged location, as it is located at sea level.


18. Al Jalali Fort:

It is considered one of the most important places of tourism in Muscat due to its great archaeological and historical value. Al-Jalali Fort is located in the northeastern part of the city of Muscat in the Sultanate of Oman, and rises from the sea by a distance of 45 meters, and the most important thing that distinguishes it is its wonderful view of the charming Gulf of Oman. When you reach the castle, you will find two wonderful towers connected by a large wall containing 8 openings. You can stand a little at the wall and enjoy this beautiful architectural edifice. You can also reach these wonderful openings and take some pictures of the landmarks around the castle. There is a small bridge in the castle through which you can reach the direction leading to its stone facade, and you have to climb the stairs carved into the rock in order to reach one of the strongholds. You can see the wonderful monuments and beautiful decorations contained in the castle, which were specially made during the reign of Qaboos bin Said, with the aim of converting it and making it a museum.


19. Bait Al Baranda Museum:

Here the museum’s historical collections are embodied in a number of artifacts dating back to different eras and many generations have passed over them to remain as they are today. The exhibits that will attract your attention and you will then like to take some memorial photos of such important pieces, and this is something that the museum management allows in all departments. You will also have the opportunity to explore many aspects of the country’s maritime history, through the museum’s exhibits, such as exhibits on pearl extraction and ancient navigation tools. The museum includes collections of various works of art that are worth exploring, including fine arts, folk arts, paintings and Islamic arts. In the Bait Al Baranda Museum, there are exhibits dating back to Islamic civilization that will be the focus of your attention, just as it was the focus of a number of visitors. This museum tells the history and glories of the country and glimpses of the former rulers through some distinctive exhibits. The museum features exhibits and collections related to the culture of the country and the way of life of the people in the past. If you are interested in this aspect, you will enjoy watching various pieces, including old coins, household utensils, traditional clothing and old furniture.


20. Garden of Awakening:

Start with a tour during which you will explore all parts of the garden and enjoy your eyes with what you see of the beautiful scenery around you, such as those large trees and wide green spaces. whenever you want. You can imagine the fun you will have when practicing some movement activities in the charming natural atmosphere, as the Awakening Garden in Muscat offers walking paths. There is no need to worry about the little ones, as you only have to let them discover on their own the play area designated for them in the Awakening Garden Muscat, as it will guarantee them a time saturated with pleasure. In addition to the activities that we have mentioned previously, the Awakening Park in Muscat provides other activities that you can do if you have time for that, including horseback riding.


It is nice to explore various tourist attractions in a particular country without spending a single riyal, but this does not apply to all destinations, and fortunately this equation applies here in the Sultanate of Oman, especially Muscat. You can discover some of the tourist attractions of Oman without paying any money for free, so do not miss the opportunity to discover this charming country and see its attractive features. I hope the article was useful and you have benefited from it.


Translated By: Nasser Al Turk

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