24 hours in Muscat
Written by Sarah MacDonald Illustration by Patrick Hruby
Stretched over 70 km between the magnificent Hajar Mountains and the turquoise Indian Ocean, Muscat is a picturesque city that has stayed true to its Arabian heritage.
Low-rise pale buildings with arches and decorative gates reflect the desert heat and give Omans capital a unique charm, making it a jewel on the Arabian Peninsula. For centuries Muscat has been a meeting place between India and Africa, so its multicultural population has a rich history and an openness to the world. Yet its mystique can still be felt in its old markets, stunning mosques, and world-class opera house.
If you're feeling adventurous, rent a car, check a map, and brave the fast and aggressive traffic. Advice: go with the flow!
White and orange taxis can be flagged down throughout the city. They aren't metered, so make sure you negotiate a fair price first.
Head to Muttrah Corniche and borrow a bicycle from O'Bike, a service offered by Muscat Municipality, to explore Old Muscat and the picturesque bay.
Big Bus Muscat's hop-on-hop-off sightseeing tour visits the most scenic areas, and its audio guide is full of interesting facts from mangroves to marinas