The capital of Oman and the largest metropolis in the country, Muscat is often referred to as the walled city due to the stone boundaries that still surround it and date back more than two millennia.
Its past can be traced as far back as the first century BC, when it was an important trading point between the eastern world and the west.
Muscat has been ruled by numerous other countries including Persia and Portugal since then, but it is now an independent country in its own right.
Since the 1970s, much construction work was undertaken to allow Muscat and Oman as a whole to develop their infrastructure, which boosted the economy and resulted in a diverse, multi-cultural population.
People who travel to Muscat will see that the city lies in the shadow of the Western Al Hajar Mountains, which make for an impressive backdrop for guests at the Millennium Resort Mussanah, Oman.
Muscat Travel Tips
Muscat International Airport is the main hub for the city and is well-served by a number of different airlines. Connections will be available from other cities where direct routes are not available, but travellers from locations including London may find they can fly straight there.
You should easily be able to get a taxi from outside the terminal to take you to the Millennium Resort Mussanah, Oman, which is around 45 minutes' drive away.
It is possible to rent a car to get you to your Muscat hotel, although you will need an international driving licence and an induction on driving in Oman. However, it may be too much for those accustomed only to western roads, as Omani road signs can be difficult to understand and other motorists do not always follow the rules.
There is no rail or metro system in Muscat, but you can get to most of the main attractions by bus if you prefer public transport.
Most visitors to Muscat take taxis, commonly known as Baiza buses, which you can hail from almost anywhere. However, you should be prepared to haggle and it is a good idea to find out acceptable fares from your Muscat hotel staff in order to avoid being singled out as a tourist and charged too much.
What to pack:
Muscat is very hot and arid, so most people will find it pretty inhospitable in the summer. Winters are still warm but much more pleasant, so this would be a better time to book a stay there.
Since rainfall averages less than ten centimetres a year you are unlikely to need an umbrella, but it is a good idea to pack plenty of light cotton clothing to help you cope with the heat.
As with most Middle Eastern countries, Oman is quite conservative, so you should cover up whenever possible, especially if you are a woman.
What to do and where to go?
Due to Muscat's melting pot of cultures, there are some fascinating religious buildings to see here, including large mosques. However, history buffs will also be impressed with ancient forts and adventurous souls will enjoy wadi bashing, so there really is something for everyone.
If you find you want to travel further afield, it is also possible to visit Oman's neighbouring United Arab Emirates including Dubai without too much trouble.
The Muscat travel guide below will help you get started with an itinerary.
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
Qasr Al Alam Royal Palace
Arts and Culture:
Sohar Fort Museum & Fish Markets
Bait az-Zubair Museum
Bait Muzna Gallery
Al Jalali Fort and Al Mirani fort
Omani halwah factory
Parks and Recreation:
Rustaq Dunes & Mountains
Wadi Ban Khalid
Area: 1,500 sq km
Currency: Omani Rial