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Muscat is the capital city of Oman, the oldest independent state in the Arab world. It may not be as flashy as other similar cities, but this can actually be a huge plus – quite a bit of the history and several cultural landmarks have been preserved and you can visit many of them today. Muscat has proudly retained it’s historic charm and when you visit you can see it for yourself.
The weather in Muscat (and in Oman in general) is quite hot and dry. The region sees less than four inches of rain every year, but if you venture outside of Muscat into the mountain regions you may encounter a more lush climate.
Muscat is beautiful throughout the year, but the best time to visit is between the months of November and March. This part of the year has the most moderate weather and you likely won’t have to deal with extreme heat.
For a spectacular glimpse at the architecture of Muscat, visit the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. This incredible structure is not only elegant on the outside, but the beautifully designed and colorful interior is something you’ll want to see in person. For more history, visit the Al Jalali Fort. This stronghold was built by the Portuguese in the 14th century. The interior museum may not be open to the public, but you’ll be able to see the exterior perched on a cliff above a harbor of the Gulf of Oman.
For an authentic shopping experience, head to Muttrah Souq. This market has many vendors selling handmade wares and it’s a great place to pick up some new accessories, souvenirs, or items for your home.
The National Museum of Oman is another great place to visit. You can browse the collections and see over 5,400 artifacts and immerse yourself in any of the multiple digital experiences to learn more about the cultural heritage of the region. This museum also educates visitors about the earliest people in the area who came to the Oman Peninsula nearly two million years ago.
Muscat also has some delicious food that you’ll want to try when you’re there. Shuwa is an incredible dish you can try throughout Oman, and is made with lamb that has been slowly cooked with spices and served with rice. Mishkak is a type of Omani street food that’s quite popular. It consists of marinated meat that is skewered and grilled. It can be eaten alone or served with rice or a type of flatbread.
The Muscat International Airport (MCT) is a hub for Oman Air and SalamAir. It consists of two terminals and you can catch a flight here to many European and Asian countries.