Meet your private guide at the Port of Muscat, and then hop aboard your air-conditioned minibus to discover the city’s delights. Pass the city’s imposing foreign embassy buildings while traveling to the Grand Mosque – an ornate place of worship that was given to the nation by the ruling Sultan Qaboos on the 30th year of his reign. Head inside to learn about the mosque’s Islamic architecture and marvel at the richly decadent interiors, complete with Persian carpets and gilded walls.
After exploring the mosque return to your minibus and travel to Muttrah, the quarter where most of Muscat’s top attractions are found. Visit Muttrah Fish Market, a colourfully chaotic Arabic market, and then stroll along the corniche, a scenic area lined with attractive mosques and latticed merchant houses.
Head inside Muttrah Souk and discover a dazzling selection of stalls hawking Omani handicrafts and silverware. Get tips for successful haggling, and then browse the market’s wares for keepsakes to take home.
Step back inside your minibus and travel to Muscat Old Town to explore on foot. The handsome gated neighborhood is home to the diwan (ruler’s office) as well as several Portuguese fortresses. Pass two magnificent ones – Al-Jalali Fort and Al-Mirani Fort – and admire the opulence of Sultan’s Palace (Qasr Al Alam) – the palace of Sultan Qaboos.
Finally, visit Bait Al Zubair Museum to learn about Omani heritage and history, seeing an expansive display of traditional handicrafts, photos and other artifacts. Finish your Muscat shore excursion with a drop-off at the port or Muscat hotel.