May 17, 2023

Top Places to Visit in Oman

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Oman is a hidden treasure in the Middle East that has so much to offer. You can pack so many memorable experiences into such a short time. So to help you plan your epic Omani adventure, here’s our list of the Top Places to Visit in Oman, from the most famous landmarks in Oman, to hidden gems and beautiful places in nature. 

We’ll share staying in a luxury desert camp in Oman, visiting incredible mosques, swimming in oasis wadis, exploring ancient cities and free diving around pristine islands. There is so much natural diversity and culture to soak up with a trip to Oman!

Check out our full Oman Travel Guide for everything you need to know for your trip to Oman. 

Why you should visit Oman

Before we share our list of the specific places to visit and the best things to do in Oman, here’s just a few reasons to travel to Oman:

  • Stunning variety of landscapes – there are sandy deserts, steep mountain ranges, grand mosques, old fortress towns, turquoise water beaches and oasis wadis. Oman has it all!
  • Perfect for a road trip – safe roads and short distances mean some of the best places to visit in Oman by car can be easily reached without having to drive more than a few hours at any time.
  • Amazingly warm, modest and generous people – I can’t say enough about this!
  • Authentic cultural experience – there’s minimal development like neighbouring Dubai and the country is very proud of their culture.
A woman in a pink full body covering stands on cream coloured tile beneath the large decorative stone archways of the Grand Mosque
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque courtyard

The Best Places to Visit in Oman

Now we’ll share with you our absolute top places to visit when travelling to Oman.


Nizwa is an ancient city surrounded by date palm plantations and set against dramatic jagged mountains. Inside the old part of town you can wander the narrow streets and explore the pastel coloured fortress castle at Nizwa Fort. This was our trip highlight and is undoubtedly one of the top places to visit in Oman! We visited several times and the sunset here is something that I’d highly recommend.

Travel Tip: Dress code is not as conservative as visiting a mosque but as it’s a public place, be sure to dress moderately. Entry is 5 OMR for a day pass.

A woman in a blue dress twirls in on the sand coloured stone rooftop of the Nizwa Fort
Nizwa Fort

Besides the fort, the old town of Nizwa has charming coffee shops and traditional restaurants to enjoy. There’s also the Nizwa Souq that you must visit. Largely an artisanal market you can expect terracotta vases, silverware and antiques as well as a huge selection of dates, spices and coffee. Just check out opening hours before you plan your visit as it closes in the afternoon (I recommend going early morning). 

Nizwa is also home to one of the five UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Oman: Falaj Al-Khatmeen which is part of the country’s ancient irrigation system. 

A woman in a pink skirt shopping for vases in Nizwa Souq. She is surrounded by many shelfs of decorative red clay vases
Souqs in Nizwa
A ceramic shop in Nizwa Souq with many colourful vases stacked on the ground and hanging from the archways.
Nizwa Souq

We stayed in Nizwa for a few nights and from here we could also access the nearby Jabreen Castle. The castle comprises stone walls and intricate wooden detailing. It was definitely worth a visit and we couldn’t believe how few tourists were visiting. Again, try to get there early for less people.

A woman in a white patterned dress on the tan stone stairs of the fort walls of Jabreen Castle.

Wahiba Sands

Wahiba Sands is a region of endless silken sand desert beyond the mountain regions. One of the best things to do in Oman is stay in canvas tents here overnight for a unique desert stay. We chose to stay one night at Desert Nights Camp

Arriving to the camp was totally surreal. Passing through an ocean of sand dunes in our 4WD we saw nothing but wild camels, eventually laying eyes on the camp nestled between the massive dunes. Terracotta sand baked dunes as far as the eye can see. 

At sunset, 4WDs take you to the top of the dunes to watch the golden sky and matte sands. This was followed by dinner and music back at the camp. A totally memorable experience from start to finish and one of the most beautiful places in Oman to include on your trip.

A woman in a yellow patterned dress looks out over endless rolling sand dunes
Wahiba Sands
A woman in a yellow patterned dress walking on the sand with a camel wearing red in the desert
Camel rides through Wahiba Sands
Many scattered white canvas tents nestled together in between large sand dunes at the Desert Night Camp
Our Desert Nights Camp
Many white canvas tents surrounded by orange sand at the Desert Nights Camp
Beautiful tent accommodation at Wahiba Sands Desert Nights Camp

Daymaniyat Islands

It’s hard to believe that this place exists in Oman. Daymaniyat Islands are a cluster of uninhabited rocky islands surrounded by turquoise waters which need to be on your Oman itinerary. These islands are part of a nature reserve for diving and snorkelling. And we’ve never seen so many turtles in one place!

We chose to take an excursion from nearby the Shangri-La Al Husn (where we were staying), however tours also leave from Muscat. The boat trip takes around 40 minutes to reach the islands. Swimming in clear warm waters was a totally unexpected highlight from our Oman travels.

The islands are also one of the top places to visit in Oman if you’re planning on scuba diving in Oman – it’s one of the best places to see Green Turtles in the world.


An Oman wadi is a freshwater stream or pool found in rocky ravines and are some of the most beautiful places in Oman. They are little oases that can be found dotted throughout the rocky desert scapes of Oman. There are few wadis which are popular tourist destinations in Oman, but our favourite was Wadi Shab

Wadi Shab is reached via a very short boat ride which costs 1 OMR (cash), followed by a 45 minute hike. At the end of your hot and dusty hike you’ll reach a refreshing clear crystal-clear pool, which is perfect to cool down and wash away the desert dust. 

For the slightly more adventurous, there’s a waterfall further upstream that is reached by a swim through a narrow cave! I would recommend getting to the start of the hike early (around 7am) to make sure you claim a parking spot and avoid the crowds! 

A woman smiles and swims in a natural wadi swimming pool surrounded by tall green grass and a rocky ravine in the distance
Swimming in Wadi Shab

The other popular wadis are Wadi Bani Khalid and Bimmah Sinkhole. We didn’t try Wadi Bani Khalid as we were worried it’d be too busy. Instead our second wadi choice was Bimmah Sinkhole. This is nearby to Wadi Shab and much easier to access the sinkhole right next to the car park. We much preferred Wadi Shab so if you can only do one, this has to be on your list for the best things to do in Oman!

Bandar Khayran

This area of rugged coastline boasts spectacular views and beautiful little beaches. It’s also where you’ll find the Shangri-La Al Husn, the perfect luxury escape just outside of Muscat.

Here at the Shangri-La you can soak in ornate Omani architecture with incredible comfort & service. Swim and relax on daybeds on the hotel’s private beach, or watch the sunset from a private cliff top dinner – one of the top places to visit in Oman even if you aren’t staying at the hotel. Bliss!

An ornate oourtyard with orange tiles, many outdoor seats, tall green palm trees and two small pools at the centre at Shangri-La Al Husn hotel. The sea can be seen through an archway is in the distance
Shangri-La Al Husn

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque Muscat 

The clean and bustling capital city of Muscat is where you’ll likely arrive when flying into Oman. As well as some of the best things to do in Oman being right here in the capital, it’s also here you’ll find the incredible Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque.

This mosque is the largest in the country and is exquisitely grand with massive sandstone arches and towers – it’s one of the best places to visit in Muscat to get an insight into the culture, religion and history of the city.

Non-Muslims are allowed to visit the mosque every day, except Friday, from 8:30am until 11:00 am. This is one of the top things to see in Oman, but it is still a religion site. So visitors are asked to dress modestly and in a way befitting places of worship. This means long sleeves, pants & closed shoes for men, and full covering including the hair for women.

Travel Tip: For women that are concerned your clothing is not 100% appropriate for this site, there is a small shop next to the entrance of the mosque where you can rent an abaya with head covering.


The ancient seaside port town of Sur is full of white washed architecture and traditional sailing boats and it’s definitely one of the more hidden gems when it come to Oman tourist attractions! 

Close to Sur is the ancient city of Qalhat, another UNESCO World Heritage site.

We chose to stay in Sur to access the wadis in the area, and loved exploring the town in between our adventures. We stayed at Sur Plaza Hotel at it suited our needs perfectly.

Oman is such an underrated country and with so much beauty, history and culture – we hope this inspires you to explore these must visit places in Oman!


Pinnable image with three images of places to visit in Oman, the text reads Best Places to go in Oman.

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