Muscat is certainly a beautiful city to look at, full of wonderful views of the surrounding mountains, and, of course, the amazing sea. But while it is gorgeous to look at, the geography doesn’t make Muscat the ideal location for a walking vacation. The land is quite narrow, and many suburbs are easily reached only by car or public transportation. If you are planning a trip to this beautiful city, it is helpful to know a bit about the public transportation ahead of time so you can get right out and enjoy the richness of Muscat. And don’t worry, you can still get your walking in. Old Muscat and Mutrah are ideal places to stroll around and soak up some atmosphere.
By car is a convenient way to see the city of Muscat and its environs, and most signs are clearly written in both Arabic and English. Attractions commonly visited by tourists are also clearly marked, so this is certainly a viable option during your visit. Major car rental companies, such as Avis (24.400.888), Budget (24.510.816), Hertz (24.566.208), and the local Mark Tours (24.562.444), are located within Muscat, and you can book these in advance to ensure they are waiting for you upon arrival.
Oman’s roads are modern and generally well-kept, even after a 2007 hurricane swept through the country. There may still be unrepaired damaged to byways, but major highways and arteries are in working order. The speed limit on highways is 120 kilometers per hour (74 miles per hour), and within the city it is 100 kilometers per hour (62 miles per hour). This is enforced with speed cameras, and you should always stay cautious as accidents are not uncommon in Muscat. From Muscat, you can travel anywhere in Oman relatively easily via car. If you plan on going into more remote areas, make sure you request a four wheel drive vehicle from your rental agency. They can easily accommodate this request, and you won’t get stuck on mountainous roads.
Most visitors to Muscat, and many residents, choose to travel through the city by taxi. The fares are typically low and service is fast. There are several taxi companies from which to choose, but visitors may want to use Comfort Line (24.702.191) and Hello Taxis (24.607.011) as they are considered two of the most reliable in the city. The key to riding in a taxi in Muscat is to appear like a seasoned traveler. Taxis often wait around hotels frequented by tourists, hoping to pick up fares who do not know where they are going or have any idea about what they should pay. Some drivers will charge 8 Rials for a trip to the airport, but you can negotiate – haggle – this down to about 5 Rials. Settle on a price before you get in the cab. They may try to hurry you, but be firm. Also be aware that they are likely giving you the highest price they think you will pay, so there is room to haggle.
If you are traveling within Muscat, your fare should not be more than 300 Baisa. You can, however, give the driver 200 Baisa instead, and if you appear confident and experienced, this is usually accepted with no problem. In general, be prepared to bargain your fare down ahead of time and have a general idea of where you are going so you aren’t “treated” to the scenic route.
While there is (at the time of writing) no public transport in the form of a train or metro system, the Oman National Transport Company operates the buses that service Muscat and other regions of the country.
Buses: Oman National Transport Company (ONTC)
Daily buses connect Muscat to Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and ONTC also offers intercity travel within Muscat. The main station is located on Al-Jaame Street in Ruwi. For information on fares and routes, you can visit the ONTC website. In general, these buses are clean and well-run, offering a comfortable way to get around the city and beyond. There are two private transport companies that offer service to Salalah; Malatan Trading (24.702.091) and Bin Qasim Transport (24.785.059) deliver passengers to Salalah at 4:30pm and 3:30pm respectively. Both of these companies are located near the ONTC station. Buses are often less of a hassle – especially for foreign visitors – than taxis, and ONTC provides excellent service to the city.
A helpful resource for those planning a trip to the beautiful city of Muscat is Oman: The Bradt Travel Guide. You will find thorough and valuable information on all aspects of your visit, from food to safety to customs. iGuide has a great interactive map and travel guide for Muscat that will help you become a bit more familiar with the city before you arrive. You can never have too many maps: Maps2Anywhere has a variety of maps for Oman and detailed street maps for Muscat. This will be helpful when you are planning a taxi ride so you can determine the most direct route for yourself before haggling with a driver.
| || |
PO Box 1998,Postal Code 114,Muttrah,Sultanate of Oman
Recently refurbished, this superb hotel enjoys a lovely beachside location on the edge of the delightful city of Muscat. Although it is conveniently close to the financial and business district, the hotel is an oasis of charm with stunning views of Al Bustan Bay. French,...
| || |
PO Box 398 Muscat 114 Sultanate of Oman
The InterContinental Muscat encapsulates perfectly all that is Oman with its seamless blend of Arabian hospitality and modern facilities. Situated in 35 acres of luscious palm gardens between the imposing Hajjar Mountains and the flawless pale sand of the Gulf coast,...
| || |
Shatti Al Qurm PO Box 951 Postal Code 133 Muscat Sultanate of Oman
| || |
P.O. BOX 1455,MUSCAT,112 OMAN
The Crowne Plaza Muscat Hotel is both a leisure tourist’s paradise and a premier Muscat hotel accommodation spot for business travellers. The Crowne Plaza Muscat Hotel’s unique location - on top of a cliff and overlooking stunning beaches – is unlike any other in...
Exhibition Street, PC111, Muscat
The Golden Tulip Seeb Muscat Oman is just 1.5 km. from the Seeb International Airport and adjacent to the Oman International Exhibition Centre. Ideally located for all interior tours.All residents have access to private beach facilities, which is just across the road,... more