I first started thinking about Oman as a potentially awesome travel destination when on one wintery, grey and rainy Australian day, my brother oh so lovingly sent us numerous photos of him in the sun in Muscat, relaxing by an amazing pool overlooking a beautiful coastline.
Amazing sunsets, warm sand, and beautiful waters greeted us on our phones as we waited inside slightly glumly, on the other side of the world, for the rain to stop. Alhamdulillah of course but it definitely made us want to travel there and experience it ourselves 🙂
Lovely Natasha from lifestyle blog Dreaming in Dubai recently travelled to Muscat, Oman, and shares her experience here with us today!
– Marryam x
I should start off this post by saying that my husband and I are both afflicted with a serious case of wanderlust and never waste an opportunity to travel. After hearing that we would have 4 days off for Eid we wanted to plan a trip somewhere that would be easy to get to and small enough to explore in a few days.
We finally decided on Muscat, the capital city of Oman. Muscat certainly isn’t a destination that’s on the top of many people’s travel lists but we wanted to see what it had to offer.
We left around noon on Eid day unsure of what to expect. Although we had made a detailed list of places to see there’s always a sense of anticipation when travelling to a new country for the first time.
By the time we arrived at our hotel we were exhausted from our drive; five hours with very little to see along the way except for the occasional house and car repair shops. The drive made us nervous for what to expect when we got there but as soon as we arrived at our hotel we were relieved.
We stayed at the Holiday Inn – Al Seeb and I can’t recommend it enough. Not only was it reasonably priced, the service, facilities, and rooms were amazing!
We were greeted with mocktails and warm hand towels which were a welcomed relief after our long drive. When we got up to our room we decided to stay in, order room service, rest up and prepare for a day of exploration ahead.
The next day we were up bright and early ready to take on Muscat! We got ready, had breakfast, and headed out to our first destination which was Mattrah Souq. Souqs are one of my favorite things about Middle Eastern cities and I couldn’t wait to explore Mattrah.
It was about a 20 minute drive from where we were staying. Since we didn’t have Wi-Fi in Muscat we were worried about finding our way around but with the help of the boards on the road we were able to figure out directions relatively easily.
Mattrah Souq holds the same charm that are found in traditional souqs. Small shops were filled to the brim with colorful trinkets of all kinds. There were bright pashminas, jewelry, and sparkly keepsakes everywhere we looked. The prices were high though, even more expensive that the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul so we skipped the shopping and headed straight to the sultan’s palace.
By this point in the day the weather had begun to get extremely hot and humid. We walked around the exteriors of the palace which are aligned with gorgeous marble corridors. Right next to it was a beautiful wall filled with bright pink begonias. Despite the heat we couldn’t help to stop and take some pictures there.
After finishing up at the palace our next stop was D’arcy’s Kitchen, Muscat’s most famous restaurant. We were so excited to try this place after reading such rave reviews about it online. When we left the palace we thought we would be able to locate the restaurant relatively easily but this was not the case. We got very, very lost and it took us about 2 hours to get there because every time we asked for directions we were pointed in a different direction.
When we finally arrived at D’arcy’s we were taken aback at how cute the interior was. It felt like walking into a British Tea Room. The service was friendly and quick and we were very pleased with the food. We’d highly recommend it to anyone visiting Muscat. After D’arcy’s we headed back to the area around the Souq, watched the sunset and called it a night.
The next day we explored an area of the city called Qurum Beach. This was easily our favorite part of the city. There were palm trees, gorgeous turquoise waters, and white cafes lining the streets. We spent some time on the beach but the humid weather made it very difficult to walk around. We then made a quick stop at the Opera House which was gorgeous.
After that it was time to head back home already. Muscat was the perfect getaway for us. 2 days are more than enough to see everything this quaint, laid back and charming city has to offer!