I love writing mini-city guides for you guys. So the fact that it’s taken me like 4 months to do one on Muscat may be a bit telling….
After my post on the struggle of being an expat here in Muscat, I received quite a bit of umm feedback?
A few other female expat readers loved it and found the piece totally relatable. Whereas, I had Muscat locals take a bit of offense to what I had said. I reread it and could maybe see that first-time readers might not understand my extremely truthful and sarcastic (rude) sense of humor.
Muscat has its charms and I do see and appreciate that. if you are a nature lover or someone who craves adventure than YES, by all means, Oman is welcoming you with open arms.
However, if you are anything like me. A city girl whose sense of adventure is most tested when trying a new sushi restaurant that only has a 3 on YELP welllll…. Muscat might not be for you.
That being said, I have searched high and lo. Looking for things to do here. Things that appeal to the woman, whose biggest aspiration in life is finding the hottest spot for people watching.
And don’t worry if you are one of those rare species who like the outdoors I have some tips for you too!
Food + Drink in Muscat
Of course, I would start out with the only reason I wake up in the morning.
Get your coffee fix at Arabica (all over my Instagram) the concept is minimalist chic and the coffee/cookies are damn good. I go every weekend. WITHOUT FAIL.
Breakfast – Manis. Always Manis. There are a few locations in Muscat but the one at Al Mouj is my favorite. Get the Banoffee, scones, papaya chia bowl, eggs benny.… Trust me.
Authentic Food – I am kinda over Arab food to be honest. Like chicken and rice is what I’d eat if I was prepping for a bikini competition. Kargeen is a favorite to bring visitors, it’s nicely decorated and very “authentic” with some fun looking shisha!
Higher End Eats – No Michelin star worthy restaurants in Muscat but there are a few places that deliver a good ambiance and yummy/ pricy food. Check out Caramel at the Royal Opera House for a sexy atmosphere. Their Sashimi flatbread with truffle is amazing.
The Pool Bar at the Chedi has some of the food I’ve had here and the vibe is gorgeous.
The Hyatt has a few great restaurants and I personally loved John Barry Bar for crafted cocktails!
Ladies nights are Tuesdays at most places and usually entail paying about $30 for all you can drink. I’m not against getting lit on a Tuesday …. but let’s just say the Muscat crowd usually isn’t worth the hangover.
Those are the places I eat most often and bring visitors.
Shopping in Muscat
…. don’t get me started.
Muscat is not a place to shop. Okay, sure pop down to the Souq for obligatory souvenirs but if you are expecting crazy lavish mall shopping… you best book a flight to Dubai and take out a second mortgage.
If you are lucky enough to visit in the fall/winter months a really lovely market is open on Saturdays at Al Mouj. Here you will find local artisans and small business owners selling yummy food and pretty clothing,crafts… all that jazz.
Things to See in Muscat
I’m not into landmarks by any means but if you are, then go here.
Royal Opera House
Let’s Get Physical
Alright, I promised you. Many locals, expats, tourists love Oman because of the unique landscape. You can find mountains, beaches, desert all in one country and I suppose that interests some people.
Wadi Shaab – a gorgeous hike that leads you to a crystal blue pool/waterfall. I have not done this because I am waiting for a friend to visit, and there’s no way in hell I’m doing this twice. (edit: I went this weekend!! and I actually didn’t hate it)
Jabal Akhdar – gorgeous mountain views with luxury properties. I want to visit and stay here soooo badly but the cost is insane.
Turtle Reserve – this is super sweet and apparently a MUST SEE. The best time to visit is early fall to ensure you see the babies.
Boating? Hiking? I think that’s the kind of stuff that people fill their weekends with… good for them! I’ll applaud you from Arabica sipping on my low-fat cappuccino planning my next adventure.
And there you have it. If you are visiting Muscat for a short time, you might love it. You can pack lots in over a weekend and see some really cool things.
However, as someone who lives here, it can be a challenge to find new and exciting things happening in the city. But, I do like a challenge.