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A 10-Day Oman Itinerary: The Ultimate Road Trip Guide

March 20, 2020
woman wearing a flowy dress standing on wahiba sands desert during her oman itinerary

Oman is one of the most versatile travel destinations out there – it has just about something to offer to all kinds of travelers. On this Middle Eastern peninsula, you’ll not only see stunning wadis, mountains and deserts, but also ancient fortresses, modern mosques and quiet beaches. It’s the perfect holiday spot if you’re interested in a wide variety of experiences! This 10-day Oman itinerary + road trip guide will provide you with all the essential tips you need to have a pleasant time in this beautifully unique country.

Why You Should Visit Oman

Oman really has something for every kind of traveler. If you’re looking for an adventure, you can swim inside the country’s numerous wadis or trek its majestic mountains. If you’re after relaxation, you can watch turtles nest on a beach or gaze at a sunset horizon in the desert. If you’re a history and architecture buff, you’re in luck too – you’ll find some really stunning fortresses and mosques in Oman. In short – it’s the perfect vacation spot if you’re interested in a wide range of activities!

Some Interesting Facts about Oman

  • Oman is one of the oldest places on earth; humans have been here for over 106,000 years!
  • This country is an absolute monarchy ruled by Sultan Haitham.
  • The total population here is 4.6 million.
  • Oman boasts an incredibly low crime rate and is one of the safest countries to travel to.
  • Its vast oil reserve covers all state expenses, which means no income tax for citizens!
  • The top-selling beverage here is Mountain Dew – often hailed as the “alcohol of Oman”.
  • Honking is prohibited in this country (unless the situation is absolutely dire)!

Getting Into Oman

BY AIR

The easiest way to reach Oman is to fly into Muscat International Airport (MCT). There are many international connections going there from all over the world, and you’re likely to transit in Doha or Dubai. I also recommend checking flights into Dubai, and then either booking a separate flight from Dubai to Muscat or taking a bus between those two cities – it might just be the cheaper option depending on where you’re coming from!

landscape of jabal akhdar mountains

BY ROAD

Car: You can drive from the United Arab Emirates into Oman through several border crossings. The most common route is to go from Abu Dhabi to Muscat, through any of the following 3 border posts: Khatam Al Shukla, Hilli or Al Ain – Buraimi (the last one is reserved for GCC residents only). Crossing the border is easy and the roads are in great condition. Remember that you’ll have to pay for the visa to enter Oman at the border, and the car needs to be insured in Oman too.

road trip through the mountains

Bus: There’s also a daily bus service from Dubai to Muscat running at 7:30 am, 3:30 pm and 11:00 pm. It’s a 6-hour journey and you can board the bus from 3 stops in Dubai: Rashidiya Metro Station, Abu Hail Metro Station or Dubai Airport Terminal 2. A one-way ticket costs DH55 ($15 USD) while a return ticket costs DH90 ($25 USD).

car driving through muscat corniche

Getting Around Oman – Road Trip

I highly recommend renting a car – specifically a 4WD – and discovering this country by road. Public transportation in Oman is very limited. Buses can get you between the main cities, but in order to see the places that are most worth exploring, you’d need a car. Hiring a guide or joining a tour can be very expensive, but renting a car is a lot more affordable. The roads in Oman are in excellent condition and it’s very safe and easy to drive around on your own there.

CAR RENTAL IN OMAN

You can pick up your rented car directly at Muscat International Airport or in other parts of Muscat. Car rental usually starts at 9 OMR (~$25 USD) per day for a normal car and 20 OMR (~$55 USD) per day for a 4WD. I highly recommend you to rent a 4WD if you’re planning to visit Wahiba Sands Desert or the mountains in Jebel Akhdar. The road to both places would be unsafe to do in a normal car. You have to be at least 21 for most car-rental companies to accept your booking.

road trip through wahiba sands desert in a 4wd with camels walking by

The Ultimate 10-Day Oman Itinerary

10 days is an ideal amount of time to discover the most important attractions of Oman while also allowing you to relax and soak it all in. However, if you’re short on time, there’s an alternative 5-day itinerary later on this guide. If, on the other hand, you’re looking to spend more than 10 days in Oman, there’s also a 2-week itinerary further down.

DAY 1 – 2: MUSCAT

Muscat is the bustling capital of Oman and also the largest city in the country. I recommend starting your road trip here. Spend the first 2 days enjoying this city’s beautiful architecture, souqs, food and beach! Below is a list of top things to do during your time here.

the mutrah corniche in muscat oman

WHAT TO DO IN MUSCAT

1. ADMIRE THE SULTAN QABOOS GRAND MOSQUE

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is the largest mosque in Oman and a remarkable example of modern Islamic architecture. Its beautifully symmetrical architecture and smooth marble floors make it one of the biggest highlights of Muscat. Opened in 2001, the mosque can house up to 20,000 worshippers and is one of the only mosques in Muscat that’s open to non-Muslim visitors. It took 6 years to complete and the chandelier inside the mosque holds 600,000 Swarovski crystals with 24-karat gold plating!


Top Tip: Get here as soon as it opens (8:00 am) because it starts to get very crowded starting around 9:30 am, and it’s much more enjoyable to explore this place in peace and quiet. Also, bring a wide-angle lens if you’re into photography! The architecture here is super majestic and a normal lens simply wouldn’t do it justice. I used my Tokina 16-28mm f/2.8 to capture this place.


Opening hours: For non-Muslim visitors - from 8:00 am to 11:00 am, every day except for Friday.
Dress code: You must be covered from head to toe - including wrists and ankles. Women must wear headscarves too.
2. CLIMB THE MUTRAH FORT & STROLL ALONG THE MUTRAH CORNICHE

Mutrah Fort stands on top of a rocky hill and offers beautiful views of Muscat and the surrounding sea. It has 3 towers and was built by the Portuguese in the 1580s as a defense against the Ottoman army. I recommend climbing up to this fort to get some stunning panoramas of the city, and then taking a walk along the Mutrah Corniche, where on one side you’ll see a row of white buildings against the backdrop of mountains, and on the other side – the peaceful view of the ocean.

Opening hours: Saturdays to Thursdays: 9:00 am - 6:30 pm / Fridays: 9 - 11:00 am, 2 - 6:30 pm
Entrance fees: Free
3. SHOP FOR SOUVENIRS AT MUTRAH SOUQ

While you’re at Mutrah Corniche, make sure to drop by Mutrah Souq – one of the oldest markets in the world. You can find all kinds of souvenirs here, from hand-made jewelry and purses to Afghan war hats and furniture. You’ll also see stylish lanterns, rugs and perfumes, as well as items made with pure Omani silver.

souvenirs in mutrah souq muscat
Opening hours: 9 am - 1 pm, 4 pm - 9 pm daily
4. CATCH A PERFORMANCE AT THE ROYAL OPERA HOUSE

The Royal Opera House of Muscat is Oman’s main cultural and musical venue. Its performances range from jazz, opera and world music to ballet and dance. Even if you don’t plan on watching a concert here, this place is worth visiting for its architecture alone! The shiny white marbles of the buildings create gorgeous reflections that’ll make you want to take out your camera for sure!

royal opera house in muscat

Top Tip: If you plan on just visiting the Royal Opera House without watching a performance, I highly recommend booking a guided tour because without one, you won’t be allowed to enter the Opera House and see its captivating interiors!


Opening hours: Saturdays to Thursdays: 8:30 am - 5:30 pm
Guided tour fees: Adults - 3 OMR ($8 USD) / Children - 1 OMR ($2.50 USD) / Groups - 2 OMR ($5 USD) per person
To book the tour: Click here
5. ENJOY A DELICIOUS MEAL AT KARGEEN

Kargeen is one of the most splendidly decorated restaurants I’ve stepped foot in. It has a very authentic vibe and the traditional Omani dishes they serve are a must-try! If there’s one place you have to eat at during your time in Oman, it has to be here. They also serve shisha with fresh coconut and pineapple flavors – it’s a great way to relax after a long day of sightseeing!

Opening hours: Saturdays to Thursdays: 8 am - 12 am / Fridays: 12 pm - 12 am
Price range: 4 - 6 OMR ($10 - 15 USD) per person
6. TAKE A SWIM AT SHATTI AL QURUM BEACH

If you want to relax even more during your time in Muscat, head over to Shatti Al Qurum Beach (also known as ‘Shatti Beach’) for a swim in the Gulf of Oman! It’s also an amazing place to watch sunset and get some shade under the palm trees. There are many restaurants nearby too!

shatti al qurum beach in muscat

WHERE TO STAY IN MUSCAT

THE CHEDI MUSCAT

The Chedi Muscat is the ultimate beachfront resort for zen and relaxation. Lines of palm trees fill the complex, and the soothing sound of chirping birds and water streaming from fountains accompany you pretty much everywhere you go. You can also swim in the Long Pool here, which at 103 meters is the longest pool in the Middle East (twice as long as an Olympics pool!). There are also yoga & pilates classes and an award-winning spa for you to indulge in.

AL BUSTAN PALACE

If you’re dreaming of a room that opens up to a gorgeous pool or swimming next to palm trees with a view of the ocean in front of you, this Ritz-Carlton hotel will make your wishes come true! This resort was absolutely breathtaking. Aside from its many pools, it also has its own private beach and beachfront restaurants. I can’t recommend it enough if you want to treat yourself to some pure relaxation!


There’s also a range of other accommodations in Muscat if you’re looking for more budget-friendly options.

DAY 3: DAY TRIP TO WADI SHAB

It’s time to go deep into Oman’s nature! Wadi Shab is one of the country’s most visited outdoor attractions and it’s definitely worth the hype. This wadi consists of 3 natural pools that you can swim in; a mystical waterfall inside a cave which you can also swim in, and a gorgeous hiking trail leading up to it all. Overall, the experience here felt like being inside a natural water park – one with stunning views of canyons all around you!

canyons and water at wadi shab

GETTING INTO WADI SHAB

STEP 1: DRIVE TO THE CAR PARK

The drive from Muscat to Wadi Shab is around 1.5 hours, making it an easy day trip. To get there, you’ll have to drive to the wadi’s parking lot first. Simply type in “Wadi Shab Parking” into your Google Maps / GPS and it’ll be easy to find – there are clear road directions along the way too.

wadi shab street sign
STEP 2: TAKE A BOAT TO THE HIKING TRAIL

Once you arrive at the car park, make sure to use the bathroom there (open from 7 am – 7 pm) because there won’t be any inside the wadi. Then, to get to the wadi’s hiking trail, you’ll need to take a boat. The boat ride is around 2 minutes and costs 1 OMR per person for a return trip. It operates from 8 am to 5 pm – make note of that so you don’t miss the last boat back!

man on a boat in wadi shab
STEP 3: HIKE TO THE WADI POOLS

Once you get off the boat, you’ll be at the beginning of Wadi Shab’s hiking trail. It takes around 45 minutes to hike to the pools, and you’ll be passing by some truly remarkable sights of canyons and blue waters of the wadi. Enjoy it! Make sure to wear comfortable hiking shoes too because you’ll be going through some uneven and slippery surfaces.

WHAT TO DO IN WADI SHAB

SWIM IN THE 3 POOLS

At the end of your hike, you’ll reach Wadi Shab’s 3 natural pools! The views you get from the water are simply breathtaking. The first pool is the most shallow one and is suitable for non-swimmers, beginners and children. The second pool starts to get deeper the further you swim, so if you don’t feel confident in your swimming abilities, I recommend staying in the shallower section. The third pool is the deepest of them all – you won’t be able to touch the bottom of the pool with your feet, so I only recommend this pool for excellent swimmers.

Please note: Water levels can change depending on whether or not it rained the day before, so make sure to check the weather forecast.
SWIM TO A WATERFALL INSIDE A HIDDEN CAVE

At the end of the third pool, you’ll see a very thin gap between the rocks. It may look like a dead-end, but if you swim through that narrow gap, you’ll end up in a mystical cave with a waterfall inside of it! Swimming in the cave was truly a magical experience and I really recommend it if you’re a good swimmer. However, please note that you shouldn’t go into this cave if it rained the day before – it would be very unsafe and the gap between the rocks would be submerged anyway.

Disclaimer: This experience is only safe for excellent swimmers. If you can't swim and keep afloat for at least 10 minutes straight, don't go inside this cave.
water inside wadi shab cave

IMPORTANT TIPS FOR VISITING WADI SHAB

  • Bring a waterproof dry bag
    Before you get into the pools, you’d have to leave your backpack on the rocks by the first pool, which is quite far from the other pools. A waterproof bag not only allows you to keep your essentials with you as you swim, but it also acts as a floaty if you get tired of swimming and just want to rest a bit! I highly recommend this as it really made a big difference on my experience in Wadi Shab.
  • Bring a waterproof phone case
    If you’d like to take pictures while you’re in the water or simply don’t want to leave your phone unattended outside the pools, I highly recommend getting a waterproof phone case that you can wear around your neck, or keep inside your waterproof bag.
man hiking in wadi shab
  • Wear your swimsuit underneath your normal clothes
    There are no changing rooms in the wadi as you are out in nature, so make sure to have your swimsuit on you before you start your hike to the wadi!
  • Bring flip flops for walking in shallow pools
    The second pool in the wadi has a lot of pebbles at the bottom, so having flip flops on can avoid hurting your feet!
  • Wear comfortable hiking shoes
    The hike to the wadi will take you through tough surfaces and you’ll be climbing up rocks at times too. Please don’t do this hike in flip flops!
  • Pack the following essentials and leave the rest in your car
    Put your goggles, towel, water, snacks and sunscreen in your waterproof bag and leave the rest of your stuff in the car – you don’t want to be swimming with too much on you!
  • Avoid visiting Wadi Shab during rain
    Rain can bring flash floods with them so it won’t be safe nor enjoyable for your visit. Be sure to check the weather before you go. It’s also worth mentioning again that if it rained the day before, the water level inside the pools can be higher than usual and you won’t be able to access the cave either.
  • Don’t hike off the trails
    There are signs all over the wadi that point out where it’s safe and where it’s prohibited to hike. Please follow these signs for your own safety, as during my time in Wadi Shab, I actually witnessed a man who was hiking off-trail fall from a cliff.
wadi shab boats by the river

DAY 4: BIMMAH SINKHOLE – SUR – RAS AL JINZ TURTLE RESERVE

BIMMAH SINKHOLE

Get ready: the next stop on your road trip is Bimmah Sinkhole, one of the most beautiful natural wonders of Oman! Many locals believe this sinkhole was created by a meteorite, although that remains a myth. Reaching Bimmah Sinkhole is easy: it’s a 1.5-hour drive from Muscat and you won’t have trouble finding it. The sinkhole is approximately 20 m deep, and when you’re inside its clear turquoise water, you’ll be surrounded by tons of fishes! Swimming here is a unique experience that you absolutely can’t miss.

people swimming inside bimmah sinkhole

Top tips for your visit: There are bathrooms at the entrance where you can change into your swimsuit. Because the water is 20 m deep, you can also cliff jump from around the sinkhole! You can choose from how high you want to dive – ranging from 1.5 m (5 ft) to 6 m (20 ft) – but please remember to stay safe!


Opening hours: 8 am - 8 pm daily
Entrance fees: Free

SUR

After you’re done swimming in Bimmah Sinkhole, make your way to the seaside city of Sur, which is 1 hour away by car. Sur is famous for its port, which is one of the oldest ports in the world. It played a big role in international trade between Arabia, South East Asia and Africa in the 18th and 19th centuries. The city is also known for its excellent ship-building craft – particularly wooden ships.

The top thing to do inside the city of Sur is to visit the charming Al Ayjah Lighthouse. Although you can’t go inside nor climb it, it’s located right by the sea – making it a great spot to take a stroll and relax by the water. You also get a really cool city view of Sur from there – a row of white houses and mosques standing against a misty backdrop of mountains! If you have extra time, take a walk from the lighthouse alongside the Sur Corniche to enjoy the calming waterfront during sunset.

girl walking in sur next to sea and boats

RAS AL JINZ TURTLE RESERVE

Ready to see some turtles? One of the most special experiences you can have in Oman is watching sea turtles dig their nests and lay their eggs on a sandy bay! A 45 mins drive from Sur, the Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve protects thousands of turtles that migrate to Oman’s beaches every year. The turtles won’t appear during the day, but they make their way to the shore at night and then slide back into the ocean during sunrise! That’s why I recommend getting to Ras Al Jinz in the evening after visiting Sur.

turtle on a beach at ras al jinz reserve

To see the turtles on this beach, you’ll have to join a group tour. In the evening tour, you can watch the turtles walk out of the ocean and onto the beach, dig holes into the sand and lay their eggs. You can also join a sunrise tour to see them make their journey back into the water. You can book both tours in advance and I highly recommend doing so because spots can fill up quite quickly! The eggs usually hatch after 55 days, so if you’re lucky, you might also spot some baby turtles make their way into the ocean!

turtle walking back to ocean at ras al jinz reserve during sunrise
Tour hours: Evening tours - 9 pm / Sunrise tours - 5 am
Peak turtle hatching season: May to September, although the turtles come all year-round.

You can spend the night here, right at the turtle reserve!

DAY 5 – 6: WAHIBA SANDS DESERT

Now it’s time to discover another side of Oman’s nature – its magical desert dunes! Wahiba Sands Desert is definitely one of the highlights of Oman, and I really recommend spending 2 days amongst the sand here after all the water-filled activities from the previous days. I suggest staying in a desert camp – my top two recommendations are Safari Dunes Camp and Desert Nights Camp. From Ras Al Jinz, it takes roughly 3 hours by car to get to your desert camp.

Please note: I highly recommend using a 4WD to reach and drive around the desert. It's very easy for normal cars to get stuck in the sand! You should also deflate your tires at a local shop right before entering the desert roads.

TOP THINGS TO DO IN WAHIBA SANDS DESERT

There’s so much you can do to fill up your two days here! From watching sunrise on the dunes to camel riding; from dune bashing to driving ATVs and stargazing, there are plenty of activities that’ll enrich your time here. Many desert camps can arrange dune bashing, camel riding and ATV driving for you!

camel at wahiba sands desert

Top Tip: Make sure to pack lots of water, a flashlight for walking around at night, warm clothes as it gets cooler in the evening, and sandals/flip flops because otherwise, the sand will burn your feet!


DAY 7: WADI BANI KHALID – IBRA – NIZWA

WADI BANI KHALID

Next stop on your Oman itinerary is Wadi Bani Khalid – a family-friendly deep-water wadi that offers absolutely stunning views. From Wahiba Sands Desert, it’ll take you 1 hour to reach the parking lot of this wadi. The first pool is an easy 10-minute hike from the parking lot. Take a nice refreshing swim there, but don’t stop there! Follow the sign at the bridge and make your way to Muqal Cave afterwards. The walk is simply breathtaking, and you’ll also pass by the upper pools, which were my favorite swim spots in Oman!

IMPORTANT TIPS FOR VISITING WADI BANI KHALID
  • There’s a modest dressing code at this wadi because a lot of locals and kids come here. Women must wear a t-shirt over their swimsuits and their upper thighs should be covered too, even inside the pools. Please respect the local culture!
  • Wear sandals or water shoes: you’ll be walking on rocks and boulders and crossing shallow streams as well. So make sure to have comfortable waterproof shoes!
  • Pack some goggles, towels, snacks and water in a waterproof bag, which you can use as a floaty inside the pools too! Put your phone inside a waterproof phone case.
  • To avoid crowds, come here on a weekday!
the view of a pool and mountains in wadi bani khalid
Please note: The pools in this wadi can be up to 9 m (30 ft) deep. There are edges you can hold onto in most of the pools, but please take precautions and stay safe!

PASS BY IBRA ON YOUR WAY TO NIZWA

After taking a dip in Wadi Bani Khalid, it’s time to make your way to Nizwa, where you’ll be spending the night. I recommend passing through the ancient town of Ibra on your way there. This city is roughly a 1-hour drive from Wadi Bani Khalid, and it has a souq (market) and an Old Quarter filled with historic ruins, both of which are worth seeing! From Ibra, it’s a 2-hour drive to Nizwa, which is a good city to stop in for the night.

ancient ruins in the city of ibra

You’ll be spending the night in Nizwa. Here are some accommodation options!

DAY 8: NIZWA

NIZWA FORT

Nizwa’s main attraction is Nizwa Fort, which showcases various defense mechanisms that Omanis have used in the past – including pitfalls, honey traps and gun shooting windows. Built in the 17th century, the fort took 12 years to complete and also comprises of a castle, which was built in the 9th century. Inside the castle, you’ll find the Imam and his family’s rooms. I suggest spending a few hours walking around the fort and the castle, and make sure to take in the stunning view of the city from the fort!


Top tip: There’s a traditional Omani sword dance performance that takes place inside the fort, right by the entrance, every Friday, Saturday and Tuesday! I really recommend you to catch it because it’s truly a fantastic display of the local culture and traditions!


Opening hours: Saturdays to Thursdays: 8 am - 8 pm / Fridays: 8 am - 11:30 am, 1:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Entrance fees: 5 OMR ($13 USD) for adults / 3 OMR ($8 USD) for children

NIZWA SOUQ

Just outside the fort, you’ll see the colorful Nizwa Souq. It’s one of the oldest markets in Oman and mostly sells authentic Omani antiques, pottery and textiles. There’s a section of it dedicated to fruits, meat and sweets as well. Definitely have a stroll around here as it’s a great place to get a taste of local life!

pottery and antique at nizwa souq
Opening hours: Saturdays to Thursdays: 6 am - 1 pm, 4 pm - 10 pm / Fridays: 5 am - 11 am

DAY 9 – 10: JEBEL AKHDAR

The last two days of your road trip in Oman will be spent in the mountains of Jebel Akhdar. This region is a 2-hour drive from Nizwa, and the temperatures here are a lot cooler than the other places mentioned in this article, so make sure to bring warm clothes! Some of the top activities you can do here include trekking in the gorgeous canyons, touring the three local villages nearby, and climbing via ferrata!

Please note: In order to drive to Jebel Akhdar, you're required to have a 4WD (the road is very steep so only 4WDs are allowed to pass). Make sure to rent the right car!

WHERE TO STAY IN JEBEL AKHDAR

I really recommend staying in Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort as it has a splendid outdoor pool with an epic view of the mountains, rooms with equally spectacular views, a top-notch spa, and offers a lot of fun activities such as rock wall climbing and via ferrata. The famous Diana’s Point is also inside this hotel – it’s the perfect spot to watch sunset (and it’s where Princess Diana once watched it)! There are also many other accommodation options in the area if you prefer more budget-friendly hotels.

Prolong Your Trip – 2 Weeks Oman Itinerary

If you have extra time in this country and would prefer a 2-week itinerary, here’s how you can spend the next 4 days.

Day 11: Drive from Jebel Akhdar to the jaw-dropping Masirah Island – it’s an 8-hour drive so will take you most of the day
Day 12: Relax in Masirah Island‘s beautiful stretch of white sandy beaches
Day 13: Make your way to the colorful subtropical city of Salalah (it’s an 11-hour drive from Masirah Island so please take that into account)
Day 14: Explore Salalah‘s captivating waterfalls, beaches, castles and caves!

salalah waterfall and mountains seen on oman itinerary

Alternative 5-Day Oman Itinerary

If you’d prefer a shorter 5-day itinerary with the best highlights of Oman, here’s what I would suggest:

Day 1: Arrive in Muscat & explore the city
Day 2: Day trip to Wadi Shab from Muscat
Day 3: Get to Bimmah Sinkhole early in the morning and go straight to Wahiba Sands Desert (around a 3-hour drive) afterwards; watch sunset there!
Day 4: Spend half a day in Wahiba Sands Desert and the other half in Wadi Bani Khalid. Then drive to Nizwa in the evening and spend the night there.
Day 5: Explore Nizwa (it’s 1.5 hours away from Muscat if you need to catch a flight from there!)

Do I Need a Visa to Travel to Oman?

Oman offers an eVisa to citizens of many countries including the US, Canada and most nations in the EU. The eVisa is easy to get and you can apply for it here. It costs 20 OMR ($50 USD) and will let you stay in the country for 30 days.

Currency & ATMs in Oman

The currency in Oman is the Omani Rial (OMR) and 1 OMR = roughly $2.60 USD. This country is very modern and there are ATMs everywhere – at the airport, hotels, banks, etc. You don’t need to carry huge amounts of cash with you; Visa and Mastercard are both accepted here.

flowers at sultan qaboos grand mosque in muscat

Costs of Traveling in Oman

Accommodations: $50 – $70 USD per night for a double room in a 3 star / 4 star hotel
Food: $10 – $15 USD per meal (per person)
Car rental: $550 USD for 10 days (for a 4WD)
Fuel: $35 USD for a full tank (65L)
SIM card: $13 USD (2 GB + unlimited WhatsApp for 10 days) with Omantel

Food in Oman

There are lots of delicious traditional dishes and snacks to try in Oman. I recommend the following: shuwa (grilled meat marinated in Omani spices), majboos (a mix of rice, meat, veggies and spices), mashuai (grilled kingfish in lemon sauce), meshkak (curry kebab), harees (a mix of meat and wheat), halwa (a dessert made of rose water, sugar, eggs, honey, nuts and Omani spices), and dates!

man picking up dates at a market

Best Time to Visit Oman

For best weather: October to March (between 17° – 30°C) 
For less crowds but hotter temperatures: April & May (between 25° – 39°C)
Avoid traveling to Oman from June to September as it gets uncomfortably hot (between 29° – 40°C)

Is English Spoken in Oman?

Oman’s main language is Arabic, but many locals speak English too as it’s the unofficial second language of the country. So don’t worry, you shouldn’t have any major language barrier issues!

man sitting on the ground by his market

What to Wear in Oman (Are Headscarves Required?)

You don’t need to cover your shoulders and knees at all times in Oman. If you plan on visiting mosques and other religious sites, you need to wear a headscarf (if you’re a woman) and clothes that cover your whole body, including ankles and wrists. But in other places and when you’re out and about, you can technically wear whatever you want. With that said, it’s always nice to respect the local culture and cover your knees and shoulders when you can. Do also bring a hat to protect yourself from the sun!

Safety in Oman (For Solo Female Travelers Too)

Oman is one of the safest countries on earth to travel to, for solo female travelers as well! It has an extremely low crime rate thanks to very strict Sharia laws that have been put in place. The threat of terrorism in this country is also non-existent; there have been no occurrences of it in the last few decades and the Global Terrorism Index gave the “impact of terrorism” in Oman a score of “0”.

Internet & SIM Cards in Oman

The Wifi in Omani hotels is generally very fast and reliable. You can use it to download offline maps from Google Maps so that you can use them on the road. If you prefer having a SIM card though, Omantel is the best provider in the country and they have a booth right inside Muscat International Airport. They offer a Tourist Pack for 5 OMR ($13 USD) which includes 2GB of data, 50 domestic minutes + texts and unlimited WhatsApp usage, all valid for 10 days.

people playing on wahiba sands desert

Conclusion

I hope this Oman itinerary and road trip guide has been helpful and provided you with lots of useful information! Oman has definitely been one of the most spectacular and remarkable countries I’ve visited, and I hope you’ll feel the same way about it after your trip. Enjoy! 🙂

view of mountains and sea in the middle east

If you’re interested in other less-visited destinations, check out my complete Uzbekistan travel guide and Lahore city guide!

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Special thanks to @thestrollingshutter for contributing his beautiful photography to this article.

42 Comments

  • Erin April 18, 2020 at 4:08 pm

    A couple years go I road-tripped across the United Arab Emirates and it was an INCREDIBLE experience. We’d heard while we were there that Oman was amazing as well, and your pics confirm that! Pinning this because it sounds like we need to road trip Oman as well. Thanks for sharing!

    • The Diary of a Nomad April 18, 2020 at 5:45 pm

      I’m happy you liked this Erin! Thanks so much for the kind words. Sounds like I need to road trip across UAE too – sounds amazing!

  • Bliss April 18, 2020 at 4:10 pm

    Your photos are so pretty. I’d love to visit Oman.

    • The Diary of a Nomad April 18, 2020 at 5:44 pm

      Thank you Bliss!

  • Sharon April 18, 2020 at 5:33 pm

    What lovely photos! Going to Oman looks like quite the adventure (even getting there!).

    • The Diary of a Nomad April 18, 2020 at 5:43 pm

      Thanks Sharon! It totally is a cool adventure 🙂

  • Taylor April 18, 2020 at 7:36 pm

    Wow! This is an amazing itinerary Jiayi! I totally want to go to Oman at some point, so I’m keeping this post handy. 🙂

    • The Diary of a Nomad April 19, 2020 at 12:31 pm

      Aw thanks Taylor! Happy you liked this! 🙂

  • Vicky April 18, 2020 at 7:46 pm

    I’ve never even thought of visiting but now it is definitely on my bucket list! Thank you for helping me learn about new places 🙂

    • The Diary of a Nomad April 19, 2020 at 12:31 pm

      Thanks for reading Vicky! Happy it’s on your list now 🙂

  • Katie April 18, 2020 at 11:26 pm

    Absolutely stunning photos – the photos alone have bumped Oman up my list of places to go. The wadis in particular look so inviting!

    • The Diary of a Nomad April 19, 2020 at 12:32 pm

      The wadis were totally a dream! Swimming in there was beyond awesome. Thanks for the kind words! <3

  • Josy A April 18, 2020 at 11:48 pm

    You are such a fantastic photographer. I have wanted to visit Oman for a while but wowza, you make it look more beautiful than I could have imagined.

    I would love love loooove to go trekking in the mountains of Oman.

    • The Diary of a Nomad April 19, 2020 at 12:33 pm

      Thank you so much Josy! So kind of you! Yesss so many beautiful mountains to trek there! You’d love it 🙂

  • Ashley April 19, 2020 at 3:57 am

    This place looks unbelievable! I would love to visit there.

    • The Diary of a Nomad April 19, 2020 at 12:33 pm

      Happy to hear that Ashley! 🙂

  • Bettina April 19, 2020 at 5:17 am

    Wow, your photos are incredible!!! Seriously love this guide as it makes me want to go back to Oman! It’s such a great country!

    • The Diary of a Nomad April 19, 2020 at 12:34 pm

      Thanks so much Bettina! I’m happy you loved Oman too! 🙂

  • Jean-Marie April 19, 2020 at 7:22 am

    Your photos are incredible!!! Absolutely breathtaking! You have most certainly convinced of Oman as a must-see destination. It seems like an amazing experience.

    • The Diary of a Nomad April 19, 2020 at 12:34 pm

      Thank you so much for the kind words lovely!! And I’m happy to hear you want to go! 🙂

  • natalielaturno April 19, 2020 at 7:54 am

    Your photos are stunning! I honestly haven’t heard much of Oman, but am definitely going to do some research and save this for later as it looks like a must see.

    • The Diary of a Nomad April 19, 2020 at 12:35 pm

      Thank you Natalie! Yes, this country is a total must-see 🙂

  • Albi April 19, 2020 at 8:30 am

    That is a great guide! I wish to visit Oman and now I know where to go. Thank you for such a detailed post!

    • The Diary of a Nomad April 19, 2020 at 12:35 pm

      Aw thank you Albi! I’m glad this was helpful! <3

  • Suvarna Arora April 19, 2020 at 8:38 am

    I have been wanting to go Oman badly and this is so useful. Love you blog Jiayi.

    • The Diary of a Nomad April 19, 2020 at 12:36 pm

      Thank you Suvarna 🙂 Glad it was helpful!

  • Tammy - Travelling Tam April 19, 2020 at 9:57 am

    Oman has been on my bucketlist for years and the way i’ve always wanted to do it is via road trip! This is so inspiring and your pictures absolutely capture so much detail and beauty. I have pinned this to refer back to when I manage to make it over there!

    • The Diary of a Nomad April 19, 2020 at 12:40 pm

      Thanks so much Tammy! I’m really happy this was useful and I’m sure you will love this incredible country! 🙂

  • Hannah April 19, 2020 at 10:15 am

    Oman looks beautiful! It’s never really registered as a destination I wanted to visit before but your photographs are stunning! This guide is fantastic, I think Oman has been bumped up my bucket list! Thanks for the inspiration!

    Hannah | https://getlost.blog/

    • The Diary of a Nomad April 19, 2020 at 12:37 pm

      Thanks so much for the kind words, Hannah! <3 I'm really happy Oman's on your list! 🙂

  • Francesca April 19, 2020 at 10:52 am

    Oman has been on my bucket list for ages – what a fascinating place! Also, your photographs are gorgeous.

    • The Diary of a Nomad April 19, 2020 at 12:38 pm

      Thank you so much Francesca!

  • Chrissy K April 19, 2020 at 4:04 pm

    Such an informative post! I have been wanting to visit Oman. The architecture looks stunning! Loved your photos and the desert there looks amazing!

    • The Diary of a Nomad April 19, 2020 at 4:07 pm

      Thanks Chrissy, I’m happy you liked this post! The desert there is definitely stunning 🙂

  • Kriszti April 19, 2020 at 7:26 pm

    Omg your pictures are absolutely beautiful, wow! I love the Middle-East in general and it looks like I have to add Oman to my bucket list as well. Gosh, I can’t wait to travel again! 🙂

    • The Diary of a Nomad April 20, 2020 at 9:29 am

      Thanks so much Kriszti! 🙂 Yes, you would love Oman! Can’t wait to travel again either!

  • Roshni April 19, 2020 at 10:20 pm

    Was hoping to visit Oman this year 🙁 but at least I feel better prepared for next years trip after reading this post! thanks so much

    • The Diary of a Nomad April 20, 2020 at 9:30 am

      I’m happy this helped! I’m sure the trip will be worth the wait 🙂

  • Helga April 21, 2020 at 1:35 pm

    Such a great article! So happy I came through this itinerary, as it’s really great and detailed and I made a ton of notes for myself for my trip to Oman. Thanks! 🙂

    • The Diary of a Nomad April 21, 2020 at 2:38 pm

      I’m so happy it’s helpful, Helga! I’m sure you’ll love your time in Oman 🙂

  • Scribbling Geek May 16, 2020 at 5:16 am

    Thanks for sharing this information and all these lovely photos. Oman is a country I’ve read a lot about but have not had the chance to visit. I hope to do so some day.

    • The Diary of a Nomad May 16, 2020 at 8:28 am

      Thanks for reading! I’m happy it was helpful! 🙂

    Leave a Reply

    Welcome to my travel blog!

    I'm Jiayi, a Chinese-Italian photographer, writer and content creator who has no idea where to call home. What I do know is I'm most in my element when I'm in a new country, immersed in a new culture. To me, it's one of the most humbling, educational and valuable experiences one can have! I've lived in 5 continents, visited 60 countries, and plan to never stop. I hope this blog will be useful in helping you plan your next big trip! Make sure to subscribe if you don't want to miss my new articles. Happy travels! :)

    x Jiayi

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