See the historic, splendid capital of Oman by booking a holiday in Muscat. One of its most stunning sights is the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, one of the largest in the world. Another must-see is the Al Jalali Fort, once a military stronghold and now a grand museum. One of the most lavish landmarks of recent times is the Royal Opera House, which opened in 2011, while if you're seeking natural grandeur then head for Wadi Shab, an epic gorge which looks like something from a fantasy movie.
You can get direct flights to Muscat from London Heathrow, courtesy of Oman Air. The average flight time is around seven and a half hours, but if you're fine with a longer journey you can also enjoy a broader range of airport options by opting to take an indirect flight from departure points including Manchester, Birmingham and Newcastle. You'll land at Muscat International Airport, which is located around 32 kilometres from the city itself.
Getting around during your holiday in Muscat is inexpensive thanks to the number of shared minivans, or "baisa buses" available. You could also make use of the taxis, but be sure to agree the full fare before setting off on your journey, and don't be timid about haggling the price down. The other alternative is to arrange to hire a car in Muscat - yes, it takes a good bit of bravery to negotiate some of the roads, but having your own vehicle will come in very handy, particularly if you're looking to go out beyond Muscat and see some of the gorgeous Oman landscape.
Whether you're looking to stay in basic accommodation or fancy spending a bit more on a plusher pad, there are hotels in Muscat to suit every budget. Just make sure you do your homework and look around online to find the best possible deals.
The good news is that you eat well during a holiday in Muscat without spending a lot. Whether you want to feast on curries, Chinese food or proper Middle Eastern grub, there are restaurants everywhere offering cheap menus. When it comes to shopping for souvenirs, avoid the mainstream shops and head for the Mutrah Souk, which is one of the best of its kind in the region, and where you'll be able to buy traditional Arabic handicrafts, jewellery and food at low prices.
Updated 15th May 2013
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posted by qratcliffThis is the oldest district in Matrah and has a very traditional feel to it. It is the walled district established by the Lawatiya tribe several centuries ago. It has lots of ornate stone and wood work, arabesques and elegant little balconies. It's certainly a change from the noisy modernity of most
posted by flaufferThere are a number of diving operators in Muscat, I chose to go with GoDiveOman. I can't compare them to the competition but can comfortably say that they offered a great service. Muscat is a great place to dive with lots of reef and very diverse underwater life. There's also some excellent visibili