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Top Cities in Oman

Top cities in Oman, based on popularity among TravBuddy members.


This capital city of Oman lies in the northeast of the country and is the seat of government. Landscape is dominated by the Western Al Hajar mountains and sits on the coast of the Gulf of Oman. The city has played an important role in history as a seaport for vessels sailing through the Straits of Hormuz. Today, the city has a vibrant street life that rivals that of neighboring countries with the economy centered on trade, petrol, and more recently tourism.


Salalah is the capital city of southern Oman's Dhofar province. It's known for its banana plantations, Arabian Sea beaches and waters teeming with sea life. The Khareef, an annual monsoon, transforms the desert terrain into a lush, green landscape and creates seasonal waterfalls. The Frankincense Land Museum, part of the Al Balid Archaeological Site, recounts the city’s maritime history and role in the spice trade.


Sur is one of the primary cities of Oman, and a city of historical importance. Sur is located at the coast, next to a bay that serves as a natural harbor. Sur is well known for the wooden boats named dhows, which are still made by hand. 

From this windy spot, Omani traders have sailed from India to Eastern Africa.


Despite having a population of only perhaps 70,000 people, Nizwa is clearly the "major" inland city of Oman. Formerly the capital of Oman (several times) this leading city of the Dakhiliyah region is an oasis famed for its dates.

Nizwa has been a crossroads between Muscat and the mountains for centuries and boasts several magnificent mosques in addition to its well known souk, anchored by a large fort. The countries largest falaj (the ancient irrigation systems), the Falaj Daris is here and Nizwa typically serves as a base for exploring Oman's interior (i.e., plenty of hotels and restaurants can be found here!).


Sohar is the capital and largest city of the Al Batinah North Governorate in the Sultanate of Oman. An ancient capital of the country that once served as an important Islamic port town, Sohar has also been credited as the mythical birthplace of Sinbad the Sailor


Khasab is an incredible small village located in the wee province of Oman completely separate from the rest of the nation by a swath of the United Arab Emirates. There are only two paved roads in the province, but it is a popular destination to catch a dhow ride to enjoy the waters of Musandam.

Only modern accommodations here are the Golden Tulip, but it is a recommended visit as the entire landscape is other-wordly!

Jabal Shams

Jabal Shams (also Jebel Shams) is a mountain in the Hajar range and the highest point in Oman at 10,000 feet / 3,050 meters. Rather appropriately, Jabal Shams translates to "mountain of the sun" and the peak is frequently doused in sunlight and rich blue skies.

Located in the Dakhiliyah region of Oman, one should be respectful of the elevation and not be persuaded by allusions to sunlight that Jabal Shams is warm. Even in the summer the nights get chilly and if you overnight it is advisable to pack along some warm clothes. The area has many splendid hiking trails and it is wonderful place to explore, but population is sparse and amenities exceedingly limited, so remember to pack along whatever you might require during your time here.


Though fairly remote, Ibri is the largest town in the Al Dhahirah region of Oman. The village has experienced rapid growth in recent times due to its proximity to Oman's limited oil fields and being the first real town after the border crossing at Al Ain (UAE) / Buraimi (Oman).

Further growth may be in store as there are plans to construct a road from Ibri into Saudi Arabia. It would still be quite a haul as Ibri rests on the cusp of the Empty Quarter, just beyond the Hajar mountains of Oman.

The village is known for its goat hair rugs (identified by black and red stripes) as well as traditional dancing, though the latter is waning. Facilities and attractions are both limited in this way station to Oman, but it is the home of a decent souk, a camel racetrack and the Al Sulaif ruins.


Bahla is a village in the mountainous Ad Dakhiliyah region of Oman. The major attraction to Bahla (about 40km from Nizwa; 200 km from Muscat), is the massive Bahla Fort - the only Omani fort that is on the UNESCO World Heritage Site List. The other ancient aspect of the town is the extensive wall that encircled the entire oasis. Although it is no longer intact, the wall originally ran seven miles in length and boasted no less than fifteen gates and 132 watchtowers!

The extensive protective measures speak to Bahla's historical relevance: this was the capital of Oman for almost five hundred years between 1100-1600AD. Distinctive pottery has been a hallmark of Bahla for eons and continues to be a significant part of its economy today.

Wadi Shab

A wadi is a valley with a riverbed that is seasonally flooded or permanently wet. All along the eastern coast of Oman, rivers exit the mountain ridges and form wadis where people live in quiet villages. 

Wadi Shab is a canyon along the road between Muscat and Sur with steep cliffs that go all the way to the ocean, and offers an extremely dramatic view as an entrance into Oman from the ocean. The motorway now crosses in front of the canyon. You can enter the wadi by boat.

Source: travbuddy

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