Travel to Oman without any tourist traps: Here you will find the top 10 sights in Oman. Read which highlights and attractions you should not miss on your holiday in Oman!
Despite its impressive sights, peaceful and tradition-conscious Oman is still sparsely populated and spared from mass tourism. This has allowed many rare animals and plants to survive in this fascinating land from the Thousand and One Nights until today.
The best way to explore the sights of Oman is on your own - and spend the night under the open sky in the stunning 1000-star hotel.
Table of contents
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat
The Grand Mosque in the capital of Oman, is one of the largest Islamic places of worship in the world. For every visitor to Muscat, the capital of Oman, the majestic Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is a must-see. The splendour behind the majestic walls is definitely worth a visit!
Visiting the Sultan Qaboos Mosque is possible for non-Muslims Saturday to Thursday from 8:00 to 11:00. The mosque cannot be visited on Fridays!
Article: Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat
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Old Town of Muscat
The old city of Muscat is located in a bay enclosed by rock walls and has magnificent buildings to offer (Sultan's Palace, Bait Garaiza, Al Khor Mosque, Mirani Fortress, Jalali Fortress). The old town is relatively easy to survey, and it is recommended to explore it on foot.
Article: Old Town of Muscat
Photo gallery: Old Town of Muscat
Nizwa is located in northern Oman, just under 200km from the capital Muscat. There are several sights in the city that are worth visiting (Suoq, Fort Nizwa, the animal market every Friday). Nizwa is also an ideal starting point for day trips to the surrounding area.
Photo gallery: Nizwa
Hisn Tamah Fortress in Bahla
Towering over the Omani town of Bahla in the north of the country is the mighty Hisn Tamah, one of our 10 most beautiful forts in Oman. It probably dates back to the 17th century and has been completely renovated. The imposing Hisn Tamah fortress has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987 as the only Omani fortress.
Article: Fortress Hisn Tamah in Bahla
Photo gallery: Hisn Tamah Fortress in Bahla
Wadi Nakhar - the Grand Canyon of Oman
The 1,000m deep Wadi Nakhar Gorge, also called the "Grand Canyon of Oman", offers visitors magnificent views. From a high plateau at about 2,000m above sea level, you can admire the gorge and at the same time have a magnificent panoramic view of the surrounding mountain landscape and also the peak of Djebel Shams.
Sporty visitors can also take an adventurous approx. 4km hike along the edge of the gorge's western flank.
Article: Wadi Nakhar
Photo gallery: Wadi Nakhar
Saiq Plateau at Jebel Akhdar
The Saiq Plateau is located in the centre of the Jebel Akhdar mountain region, one of the most spectacular landscapes in Oman. In a breathtaking setting with spectacular views, you can enjoy a pleasant coolness and fresh fruit in Oman here at 2,000m above sea level, even in the height of summer.
One of the most beautiful viewpoints is "Diana's Viewpoint", named after the English Princess Lady Diana, who visited the Saiq Plateau by helicopter in 1990.
Recommended accommodations: Oman
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Article: Saiq Plateau at Jebel Akhdar
Photo gallery: Saiq Plateau at Jebel Akhdar
The 17th century Jabrin Palace is one of the most beautiful and picturesque buildings in Oman and is also one of our 10 most beautiful forts in Oman. One feels transported back to 17th century Arabia. The palace was lavishly renovated in 1984 and offers an enchanting glimpse into the former life at the courts of Oman.
From the roof of the Jabrin Palace you have a beautiful view of the surrounding area.
Article: Jabrin Palace
Photo gallery: Jabrin Palace
Beehive Tombs of Al Ayn and Bat
The beehive tombs in Al Ayn and Bat were built around 3500 BC. Since 1988, the beehive tombs have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
For those with little time: The beehive tombs of Al Ayn are the much more impressive burial site, built on a ridge of hills in front of the Jebel Misht towering 1,000 metres behind.
Article: Beehive tombs of Al Ayn and Bat
Photo gallery: Beehive tombs of Al Ayn and Bat
Wadi bani Khalid Oasis
The Wadi bani Khalid is the most famous oasis in Oman and is one of our most beautiful wadis in Oman. The heart of the wadi is a huge, turquoise-blue pond whose banks are lined with palm trees. Behind it, several natural rock pools invite you to swim in crystal-clear water.
Article: Wadi Bani Khalid Oasis
Photo gallery: Wadi Bani Khalid Oasis
Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve
The Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve is a nature reserve in Oman for the protection of sea turtles. There is a visitor centre in Ras Al Jinz with a restaurant, gift shop and also the possibility to stay overnight. The guided tours with trained guides to observe the sea turtles are conducted from here.
Oman plays a special role in the protection of sea turtles, as most of the sea turtles prefer to visit the coasts and beaches of Oman to lay their eggs.
Article: Ras al Jinz Turtle Reserve
Particularly worth seeing in Oman are also ...
Ramlat al Wahiba Desert (Wahiba Sands)
The breathtaking Ramlat al Wahiba desert, also called "Wahiba Sands", is a fantastic sand desert and one of the highlights of an Oman trip. In the east, the sand dunes of the Wahiba Sands extend to the coast of the Indian Ocean at the village of Al-Ruways.
You can cross the desert with a four-wheel drive vehicle, but also stay overnight in one of the tourist camps in the desert. A crossing of the Ramlat al Wahiba by camel is also offered.
Article: Ramlat al Wahiba desert
Photo gallery: Ramlat al Wahiba desert
The Wadi Shuwaymiyah in Oman is an absolute insider tip and is one of the most beautiful wadis in Oman. The wild beauty of the Wadi Shuwaymiyah can be explored by off-road vehicle.
A detour into the impressive gorge is rewarded with spectacular scenery - steep walls, overhanging cliffs and bizarre rocks. The wadi is little visited because of its secluded location.
Article: Wadi Shuwaymiyah
Photo gallery: Wadi Shuwaymiyah
Shisr (Ubar) excavation site
The excavation site of the legendary trading city of Shisr (Ubar) on the edge of the Rub al-Khali, the largest sand desert in the world, is surrounded by numerous legends. The most famous one dubs Shisr the legendary city of Ubar, which has been known worldwide at least since the book by the British adventurer and explorer Ranulph Fiennes "Atlantis of the Sands".
Ubar was only discovered in 1992. Under the name "Land of Frankincense", Shisr is a UNESCO World HeritageSite along with other sites on the Frankincense Route.
Article: Excavation site Shisr (Ubar)
Rub al-Khali (Empty Quarter)
The Rub al-Khali in the south of the Arabian Peninsula is the largest sand desert in the world. The Rub al-Khali stretches across the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Oman. It is also called the "Empty Quarter" and lives up to its name, because hardly a soul actually lives in the Rub al-Khali.
The seemingly endless sand dunes of the Rub al-Khali reach a height of over 200 metres. However, excursions into the spectacular sea of sand should only be undertaken with a local guide!
Article: Rub al-Khali (Empty Quarter)
Photo gallery: Rub al-Khali (Empty Quarter)
Musandam - Peninsula and exclave
At the northernmost tip of the Arabian Peninsula lies the Omani exclave of Musandam. It is part of the Sultanate of Oman, but geographically cut off from Oman by the United Arab Emirates. Its wild, untouched peaks, adventurous tracks, breathtaking bays and fantastic diving spots make a trip to Musandam an unforgettable experience.
Highlights for visitors to Musandam include a drive into the rugged and largely completely deserted mountains and a tour of Musandam's breathtaking fjords.
Article: Musandam - Peninsula and exclave
Photo gallery: Musandam - Peninsula and exclave
Holidays in Oman - travel tips and places of interest
Oman - the name already sounds like a fairy tale from the Arabian Nights. Probably the most peaceful and open-minded country on the Arabian peninsula, Oman beckons with dreamlike beaches, monumental clay fortresses, rugged mountains and seemingly endless sandy deserts.
Despite its impressive sights, tradition-conscious Oman is still sparsely populated and spared from mass tourism. This has allowed many rare animals and plants to survive in this fascinating country until today. The best way to explore Oman's sights is on your own - and spend the night under the open sky in a stunning 1000-star hotel.
Oman: A holiday like a fairytale
Oman, in the south-eastern corner of the Arabian Peninsula, is a proud country where, despite its increasingly western orientation, tradition is still held in high regard. Unlike the metropolises of the UAE, such as Dubai or Abu Dhabi, Oman does not flaunt its wealth through pomp and ostentation, but values more subtle charms.
Life in Oman is not characterised by struggle and hardship, which is clearly evident from the relaxed hospitality of the Omanis. The country owes much of its prosperity to the still reigning Sultan Qaboos, who pays attention to the well-being of his citizens and invests in culture, infrastructure and education. Nevertheless, the population remains true to its traditions - status symbols such as the sabre and the scimitar are still a matter of course for the proud Omanis.
Oman: Best time to travel
The best time to travel to Oman is between October and March. Then the temperatures during the day are bearable, the nights pleasantly cool and the water temperature ideal for swimming. From April to September, temperatures rise to a desert-like 40°C and it is then too hot for many activities.
Exception: on the bathing and surfing island of Masirah, in the south near Salalah, which turns idyllically green in July and August, and in the northern Hajar Mountains, Oman is also worth a trip in the summer months.
Where is the most beautiful place in Oman?
Holidays in Oman are becoming more and more interesting around the globe and so tourism is also increasingly gaining a foothold in Oman. Oman tours offer unimaginable luxury, for example in the 6-star Al Bustan Palace Hotel east of the capital Muscat, or idyllic simplicity in the desert camp.
Oman tours are also difficult to squeeze into a temporal concept. As a holidaymaker in Oman, it is best to let yourself drift and be enchanted by the exotic sensations at your leisure.
Deserts and wadis
Both scenically and culturally, Oman has a multitude of sights to offer. The inaccessibility of the rocky fjords in the exclave of Musandam, the rugged peaks of the Hajar Mountains and the untouched dunes of the Rub-al-Khali, incidentally the world's largest sand desert, are contrasted by paradisiacal wadis full of lush greenery and the vibrant metropolis of Muscat.
The fact that the country was hotly contested during its 5,000-year history can still be seen today in the numerous forts, some of which are furnished as museums and tell of earlier battles. The most beautiful forts in Oman are the excellently renovated bastions in Bahla, Nakhl and Rustaq. The lovingly designed Jabrin Palace also brings back to life the life of the rulers of yesteryear.
Cradle of incense
The south of the country is filled with the scent of incense. The Wadi Dawkah on the Incense Route has been considered the cradle of incense since ancient times and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the nearby city of Salalah, a frankincense museum and the ancient frankincense port of Sumhuram tell the story of the precious resin.
Tip: Every summer from June to September, the South East Asian monsoon transforms the south of Oman into a fantastic flowering garden!
Beach holiday in Oman
On its nearly 2,100 kilometres of coastline, Oman offers dreamy beaches for a beach holiday like in paradise. The capital Muscat in the north, the island of Masirah off the coast or the beaches near Salalah in the south make every holidaymaker's heart beat faster. Especially recommended are the picturesque Yiti Beach, the turtle beach near Mughsayl or the sandy beach at the deserted Wadi Shuwaymiyah, still a real insider tip.
Along the white picture-book beaches are rows of colourful coral reefs consisting of 100 different coral species. Some of them only thrive here. In order to preserve this diversity, the entire coastline is under nature conservation, and bed castles don't stand a chance on the Omani coast.
Active holiday in Oman
Oman tours are also possible on your own. On 10,000 kilometres of asphalt and 25,000 kilometres of roads, this fascinating country can be explored to the remotest corners. Arabic- and English-language signs facilitate navigation and over 40 excellently marked trekking trails invite you to hike and discover.
The paradisiacal wadis of the Hajar Mountains are particularly attractive, but a walk along the yawning abyss of the Omani Grand Canyon is also guaranteed to be unforgettable! Camel trekking through the desert, climbing in rugged gorges or surfing on Masirah Island are guaranteed not to leave you bored on your Oman holiday.
Tip: Excursions into the Rub al-Khali or the Wahiba are not recommended with only one vehicle. Tourists should not venture into this deserted area without a local guide.