If you are looking for the best things to do in Oman you have come to the right place! Oman is one of the most fantastic and diverse countries on the Arabian peninsula and if you have never visited before, you are in for a real treat. There are so many places to visit in Oman that there is truly something for everyone. Love long walks on the beach and relaxing in the warm water? Oman has you covered? Interested in hiking and being active? Don’t worry? Want to escape from it all and wander cities and go shopping? You are in luck!
There are so many things to do in Oman we could write a book. But for the sake of this article, we have narrowed it down to some of the most epic and unique things to do in Oman. Within moments of stepping foot in the country, Oman shot to the top of the list of our favorite places to travel. This diverse, safe, unique, and easy-to-travel country will surely not disappoint you either!
When planning your trip, check out our list of places to visit in Oman below. We have included a map of where all of these places are located at the end so that you can see how near or far they are from one another. This is something we wish we had when planning our trip to Oman. Knowing where each of these Oman tourist places is located from the other will help you understand how you should map out your trip and route. We can’t wait to show you some of the most epic things to do in Oman that you absolutely must see!
10 Completely Epic Things To Do In Oman
Hike To Wadi Shab For One Of The Most Epic Things To Do In Oman
When we were planning our list of things to do in Oman, we knew that hiking and swimming in Wadi Shab was on top of that list. And we are here to say that it did not disappoint. If you are looking for one of the best Oman tourist places, add Wadi Shab to your list! First off, we want to share that in Oman, a “Wadi” is another word for a gorge or canyon. A Wadi is NOT the crystalline pools but is instead the actual canyon itself. There are tons of Wadis in Oman without any water in them at all. Thankfully, this is not the case at Wadi Shab and it is truly one of the most epic places to visit in Oman!
Click To Read Our Post On Everything You Need To Know About Visiting Wadi Shab
In order to get to Wadi Shab, you have to take a super short boat ride for 1 Omani Rial [about $2.80 USD] and then hike for 45 minutes. Every other article we came across talks about a “walk” to Wadi Shab but we are here to tell you it was more of a moderate hike. We passed someone doing it in crutches and a few fit elderly folks too so the hike is for everyone, just keep in mind to wear proper shoes and change into flip flops when you arrive at Wadi Shab itself.
Wadi Shab is one of the best things to do in Oman because you get the best of both worlds. You get to hike, and then you get to swim in perfectly clear pools of warm fresh water. There are three sets of pools and the third set of pools is the deepest and there is a cave to swim to at the end. The area of Wadi Shab for swimming is smaller than you may think but there is still plenty to explore. We ended up spending over 5 hours at Wadi Shab and it the views are so stunning it just had to top our list of things to do in Oman!
If you plan to visit the nearby Wadi Tiwi [very close to Wadi Shab] make sure to read up on our post about Narrowly Avoiding Being Scammed At Wadi Tiwi.
Explore Bahla Fort, One Of The Lesser-Known Oman Tourist Places
Bahla Fort is Oman’s only UNESCO heritage fort but it is one of the lesser-visited Oman tourist places. We visited Bahla Fort at the peak of the high season and we literally wandered this fort for an hour and only saw two other tourists. If you are a history lover and looking to experience one of the more unique things to do in Oman, put Bahla Fort on the top of your list.
What we loved about Bahla Fort is that it is much more affordable than other forts in the area. The cost of entry only rang in at 1 rial for both of us! We thought this was an incredibly cheap entry for such a fantastic place. Bahla Fort was constructed in the 13th century and you can explore the grounds at will. How many other places in the world can you go to where you can wander a UNESCO World Heritage Site for $3 for two people and hardly ever come across another tourist? This just adds to the magic of Bahla Fort and it should certainly top your list of places to visit in Oman.
Click Here To Read Everything You Need To Know Before Visiting Bahla Fort
Watch The Sunset Over Wadi Dayqah Dam
We went back to watch the sunset to Wadi Dayqah Dam 2-3 times during our time in Oman. Since we enjoyed it so much and it is such a unique experience, we think it should be added to your list of things to do in Oman. Wadi Dayqah Dam is located on the east coast of Oman and offers stunning and unexpected views. In fact, when we were sharing photos and videos from Wadi Dayqah Dam to our friends and followers during our visit, this was the place that most people had questions and comments about because no one had heard of it before.
The views at Wadi Dayqah Dam are truly stunning and it is one of the best places to visit in Oman because it is so easy to access yet so beautiful. Locals frequent Wadi Dayqah Dam as there is a park right on the lake for picnicking and playing with children. The park faces the lake and the sun sets behind the lake and the mountains which make for a simply wonderful dinner view. You can get to Wadi Dayqah Dam with any type of car, but if you are coming from the south your GPS may recommend a dirt road that can only be accessed by 4×4.
We highly recommend ensuring you are driving a 4×4 when coming up from the south as it is necessary to go the back way. Otherwise, the road from the main highway is completely paved and easy to drive on and takes you right to the Wadi Dayqah Dam complex. Even if you can’t be at Wadi Dayqah Dam for sunset, it is worth a spot on your list of things to do in Oman as it isn’t very famous or well-known.
Marvel At Muscat’s Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is one of the most stunning religious establishments we have ever visited and one of the must-see places to visit in Oman. Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is open to the public from Saturday-Thursday from 8am-11am. Many mosques do not allow non-Muslim visitors to enter the prayer area and that is one of the reasons Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque should top your list of things to do in Oman. The mosque is easily accessible and located in the heart of Muscat.
If you are planning to visit Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, keep in mind that a strict dress code is enforced. Everyone should have arms and legs completely covered and women are required to cover their heads and hair completely. If you aren’t into dresses, a simple pair of long pants and a long sleeve top and a scarf over your head is completely fine. All that is asked when visiting this beautiful location is that you dress respectfully for visiting a religious establishment.
If Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is on your list of things to do in Oman, make sure to budget enough time. We were there from 8:30am-11am when it was time to leave. There are so many nooks and crannies to explore and so much stunning architecture that you are going to want to have enough time and not rush. We didn’t feel rushed when experiencing one of the most famous places in Oman and it was well worth it.
Keep in mind that Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is one of the more well-known and easily accessible things to do in Oman so it can get crowded. When we arrived at 8:30 am there were already over 50 tour buses in the parking lot. Thankfully, all the tours move quickly and the mosque property is huge so you never really feel too crowded! This mosque is one of the best things to do in Oman because of its religious and cultural significance and stunning architecture and design.
Go Camping In The Wahiba Sands Desert For One Of The Most Memorable Things To Do In Oman
Oman is home to a stretch of pristine sand dunes that stretch as far as the eye can see. The Wahiba Sands [also known formally as the Sharqiya Sands] is one of the top things to do in Oman because they are so easily accessible and memorable. If you are planning a trip to Oman, we highly recommend camping out in the Wahiba Sands Desert for at least one night. If you are like us and hate traditional camping, don’t worry! There are plenty of glamping sites in the Wahiba Sands so those of you who enjoy a real toilet, shower, and bed can enjoy one of the best places to visit in Oman as well!
When we visited the Wahiba Sands, we spent two nights and glamped in a traditional Omani tent. There are tons of options online for booking your Wahiba Sands accommodations and there are camps for every budget. If traditional camping tops your list of things to do in Oman, don’t worry! Wild camping is legal everywhere in Oman and there is no better place to exercise that right than in the Wahiba Sands.
If you plan to visit the Wahiba Sands you must ensure that you have a large 4×4 vehicle or take a guide. There are many guides in the local cities nearby the Wahiba Sands Desert entrance points whom you can hire. It is totally possible to go it on your own, but you should be an experienced 4×4 driver.
We drove our own vehicle but followed the owners of our camping facility so we would not get lost. If you want to just experience the Wahiba Sands and then leave without camping, you can drive in, see some sand dunes, and then leave before it gets dark. That being said, if you want to visit Wahiba Sands without a 4×4 this post may help you plan!
Keep in mind that you need to allow A LOT of air out of your tires. Our tires required 35 psi and for the desert driving, we were on 12-15 psi. Be safe and have fun exploring the vast landscape of one of the most epic things to do in Oman.
Step Back In Time At The Abandoned Al Hamra Ruins
Oman’s Al Hamra Ruins are easily one of the best things to do in Oman because they are ancient and you can explore at will. Al Hamra Ruins are estimated to be between 700-1000 years old, but no one really knows for sure! The ruins are located right in the heart of the city of Al Hamra. Your first question may be how the ruins became abandoned.
Click Here To Read: Tips For Finding And Exploring The Abandoned Al Hamra Ruins
We searched the web far and wide and couldn’t find any answers until we asked a few locals in the area who were guides. They said there is no dire reason why the Al Hamra Ruins are abandoned It was as simple as the inhabitants wanted to go live somewhere with better infrastructure and more modern facilities. They up and left and settled somewhere else leaving the beautiful Al Hamra Ruins as one of the best Oman tourist places to discover.
During our visit to the abandoned Al Hamra Ruins, we didn’t come across a single other tourist. These ruins are not one of the most well-known things to do in Oman, so if you are looking for history and love being alone, the Al Hamra Ruins are one of the best places to visit in Oman for you. We did see a few locals who walked through the abandoned village en route to their destination, but otherwise, that was it!
When visiting Al Hamra Ruins, we highly recommend budgeting at least 1-2 hours for exploration. This was one of our favorite things to do in Oman and it was well worth the time we spent. Walking through the Al Hamra Ruins will transport you back to ancient times and you will be able to wander and explore crumbling ruins that are hundreds of years old!
GPS location of Al Hamra ruins N23º 07’ 14.542” E57º 16’ 59.048. This will take you to a great entry point for exploring the ruins. It looks like any other random road but right beyond the first house, you will be transported hundreds of years into the past. Simply park your car and walk downhill through one of the small streets and you will arrive!
Get A Spa Treatment At Bimmah Sinkhole For One Of The Best Free Things To Do In Oman
Bimmah Sinkhole is located just 90 minutes from Muscat and was easily one of our top things to do in Oman. Why? Because it is easily accessible from Muscat and the main road, didn’t require hiking and was one of the prettiest and most magical places we have ever seen. You can also get a completely free spa treatment! What do we mean by this? The fish in Bimmah Sinkhole will come nibble at the dead skin on your feet [or anywhere else on your body if you let them] leaving them perfectly smooth and soft when you remove your feet from the water.
In malls around the world [including the USA!] and in many countries, especially in Asia, fish pedicures are extremely popular. The fish are usually kept in tanks and you sit in a chair with your feet in the tank and the fish eat your dead skin off your feet. At Bimmah Sinkhole, you can experience this for free as the wild fish make your feet smooth as silk.
We thought Bimmah Sinkhole was one of the best places to visit in Oman because the swimming and cliff jumping was so much fun! If you visit Bimmah Sinkhole make sure to spend some time swimming in the perfectly blue waters. The waters range from very shallow to hundreds of feet deep at the deepest part. Bimmah Sinkhole is the epitome of epic things to do in Oman and will not disappoint.
Explore The Grand Canyon Of The Middle East At Jebel Shams
If there was one thing that convinced us to visit Oman, it was seeing photos of the Jebel Shams. Jebel Shams is the highest point in the Hajar Mountain Range at almost 10,000 feet. The Jebel Shams is called the Grand Canyon Of The Middle East and as soon as you arrive it is easy to see why. We have visited the actual Grand Canyon multiple times and this was just as epic and easily one of the most memorable things to do in Oman.
If you want to visit the Jebel Shams for photography purposes, make sure to go for sunrise or sunset for the best lighting. For anyone else looking to add Jebel Shams to their list of places to visit in Oman, any time of day is fine for a visit. Many people take guides up to Jebel Shams but it isn’t necessary at all. We recommend a 4×4 car as the last 10K is a dirt road, but it isn’t 100% necessary if you drive very slow in a regular car. We saw loads of regular cars at the top of the mountain but just make sure to go very slow.
The drive up to the top of Jebel Shams takes about an hour so make sure to budget that time as the road is very windy. Jebel Shams is also one of the best things to do in Oman for those of you that love hiking. From the very end of the road [drive until you reach a few houses at the very end of the road] you can begin a hike into the Jebel Shams gorge and along the middle of the rim of the canyon. It is pretty spectacular and was one of the more popular Oman Tourist places with multiple people hiking while we were there.
Go Shopping At Mutrah Souq In Muscat
Mutrah Souq is one of the longest and oldest souqs in the Middle East and it should 100% be on your list of things to do in Oman. When we visited Mutrah Souq it was the day after we arrived and we were very tired. The Souq was very busy, hot, and overwhelming, so if you want to visit Mutrah Souq make sure to go when you are NOT jet lagged for a better experience. Mutrah Souq is one of the best places to visit in Oman because you can go shopping where the locals go. The souq is open very late at night so you can easily visit after dinner.
If you want to add Mutrah Souq to your list of things to do in Oman, make sure to bring cash as not every vendor takes card. There are many ATMs right outside of the souq so you can easily withdraw some. We took out enough money for the entire trip at Mutrah Souq. If you are looking for a deal, wander into the back alleyways of Mutrah Souq where it is less busy. The vendors are more likely to give you a deal and the goods are much more affordable. If you just stick to the front part of the souq that is popular you will pay the highest price. If you head towards the less-busy parts you will find some great deals!
Swim In The Crystal Clear Waters Of Wadi Bani Khalid
Wadi Bani Khalid is the most built up of all the Wadis in Oman. We had low expectations when visiting and were completely blown away. Even if you don’t generally want to visit all the main Oman tourist places, you are going to want toadd Wadi Bani Khalid to your list of things to do in Oman. Wadi Bani Khalid is also very popular with the locals on weekends [Friday and Saturday] so be sure to keep that in mind when visiting. We visited on a Friday and it was very crowded in the main pool area, but as soon as you went back into the gorge it was much less busy.
Wadi Bani Khalid is comprised of two parts. The first part is a huge lake/lagoon with more fish to eat the dead skin on your feet and is very crowded and popular on the weekend. The second part is a perfect gorge of white rock surrounding crystal-clear blue pools of water. This area is much less crowded than the lake part and the water is warm and the views are stunning.
We loved Wadi Bani Khalid more than Wadi Shab as it is a larger area and there isn’t a 45-minute hike to get to the swimming area. Do not write off Wadi Bani Khalid from your list of things to do in Oman because you think it is one of the more crowded Oman tourist places. Although it can get busy [by Oman standards] it is more with locals on the weekend and even then it isn’t that crowded. We only spent a few hours at Wadi Bani Khalid and are disappointed we didn’t spend an entire day exploring the perfect pools and caves.
There are truly so many epic things to do in Oman that we couldn’t possibly name them all on this list. Oman is one of the most incredible countries we have ever visited and there is truly something for everyone and every type of traveler. We highly recommend making a list of places to visit in Oman so that you can be prepared with your bucket list before you arrive! From popular Oman tourist places to lesser-known spots, Oman will surprise and excite you during your visit.
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