Asya Collins, 25, an avid reader and crocheter/knitter, enjoys wandering and dancing for no reason wherever she may be. Scottish born, Omani raised, Asya lived in Muscat age 3-17; she has had the privelage and pleasure to call various other countries her home since then, such as: Canada, Argentina, and Spain.
While visiting Muscat, Asya reminds everyone that Oman is a muslim country, and “while it’s not as conservative as it’s neighbours, it is important ti respect the customs and culture of the place you are.” Asya also suggests visitors to rent a car as “there is no real public transport, and you’ll really be limited” if you stick to walking from wherever you’re staying! She also recommends visiting between October and March as the summer months are too hot to be able to enjoy the beach and daytime activities.
Asya’s top 10 favorite spots in Muscat –
1. Kargeen restaurant and shisha bar: The Kargeen special bread, and lemon/mint drink need special mention. Any of the Arabic food options are amazing. Outdoor seating options, including some‘majlis’ which is where you sit with cushions on the floor instead of a table.
2. THE BEACH: Oman has many public beaches, where swimmers are required to wear conservative swimming clothes ( a one piece swim suit would suffice) as respect for the local people, religion and culture. For those looking to tan, I suggest the Oman Dive Centre beach, which also has a restaurant and bar to enjoy as well.
photos by: thebeachfrontclub.com
3. Left Bank: A bar with views of the city, good food, and drink. Monday is ladies night! 3 free cocktails each!
4. Walk around the Muscat Souk, corniche, and take in the views of the port, and two old forts (Milani and Jalali) which are remnants from the countries Portuguese colonial past. On the way, stop at the Royal Palace (you can’t go in it, but it looks cool from the outside!).
photo by: photographersdirect.com
photo by: worldofstock.com
5. Bin Ateeq: eat traditional Omani food, in the traditional way – off a common plate. Make sure to order shiwa, which is slow cooked lamb, which traditionally is wrapped in banana leaves and buried in a deep whole on the beach. It’s so tender it’s like heaven in your mouth.
6. The Sultan Qaboos Mosque, one of the largest in the region, surrounded by beautiful gardens.
photo by: albumislam.com
7. Shawarma from al Khuwair (which is a neighbourhood). Shawarma’s are like donairs but way more delicious, chicken or beef, cost about 50 euro cents each. It’s amazing. There are many places to go, my favourite is a place called Bait Al Turky. Also I recommend fatyir (Arabic style pizza) Cheese and Honey is amazing! Be sure to end the meal with a nice Chai Karak (a very sweet Indian tea that is so common in Oman, it may as well be Omani!)
8. Samak Seafood Restaurant: an hour’s drive from Muscat, along the cliffs on the coast. Amazing views of the Arabian Sea. The restaurant is on the beach called Sifah, all outdoor, and even some tents where you can eat and smoke. They have an amazing cardamom tea, and everything on the menu is to die for.
photos by: agoda.com
9. Bait al Zubair: a privately funded museum of cultural history located near the souk, home to a collection of Omani historical artefacts.
photo by: baitalzubairmuseum.com
10. Dukes Bar and Restaurant: weekly trivia night, terrance with views of the ocean.