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Ultimate Guide to Oman: 8 Things to see & Budget Calculator

Ultimate guide to Oman, Camels
Written by Town & Tourist

8 Epic things to see in Oman!? + Budget Calculator

Oman is one of my favourite countries in the middle east! Bordering with both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (Dubai)

It is a country rich in culture & traditions, while also being a showcase of nature!  Omans economy developed fast thanks to its vast oil reserves similar to its neighbour (UAE).

However, unlike the UAE it is held on to its traditions while just improving its infrastructure,

which makes transport to the deserts, coastline and oasis very easy!

Oman is a very laid back, relaxed country and Is not chaotic like Egypt. 

In this post I will answer the following frequently asked questions about Oman, chosen by the readers of Town&Tourist , these include:

  1. What should I see in Oman? 
  2. Do the Oman people speak English? 
  3. Do I need a Visa? 
  4. How much does it cost to Travel Oman?  
  5. Is Oman Safe? 
  6. What to wear in Oman?
  7. When is the Best time to visit Oman?
  8. Where to stay in Oman? 
  9. Best Tours in Oman?
  10. 4 Essential Tips before traveling to Oman?

A. 8 Epic Things to see in Oman!?

1. Muscat

Muscat, is Omans port capital and most popular city!  It’s a real mix of modern development and ancient architecture.

Its modern side offers everything from high end shopping malls & restaurants to the marble cladded Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque,

which has a 50m dome and creates a vast space which can house up to 20,000 people!

This is a great place to base yourself before before spring boarding off into the wondrous nature surrounding, from deserts to mountains.

Popular clifftop landmarks such as the 16th-century Portuguese forts, Al Jalali and Mirani, looming over Muscat Harbor.

Muscat Oman travel budget calculator

Muscat Oman

Getting here?

The Main airport in Oman, is the Muscat International Airport.

this offers many well priced regular flights from Dubai airport (1 hour away) , Europe and around the world.

2. Old Muscat

Muscat is actually made up of many small towns which are merges together. The old town is Muttrah, be sure to check out Muttrah Souk which is a market area offering many traditional items from textiles to spices. 

The port is a scenic area to people watch and relax.

muscat-Oman-Travel Budget Calculator

muscat-Oman-Travel Budget Calculator

3. Wahiba Sands

The vast desert of Wahiba Sands is spread across the northern part of Oman, which is a 2 hour drive from Muscat.

Here you will find sand dunes which are as high as 150meters and many luxury desert camps.

Wahiba_Sands_Oman

Wahiba_Sands_Oman

The road is well paved and offers easy access, via a car rental or tour

This was one of my favourite places to visit in Oman! 

4. Bahla Fort

This UNESCO World Heritage Site was a real memorable place to visit! Bahla Fort is an ancient fort built in pre islamic times and restored in 1987. 

The fort now offers captivating sandstone towers which rise up over 165 feet high!

Bahla Fort is less touristic & more authentic than the Nizwa fort. 

Bahla Fort Oman

Bahla Fort Oman

5. Wadi Bani Khalid

Oman has many deep valleys with many natural spring pools! Wadi Bani Khalid is the most famous and easily accessible! 

Here you will discover several natural pools which are ideal for a relaxing swim to cool off!

The canyon is incredible and it even offers changing areas and restaurants nearby!

Wadi Bani Khalid Oman

Wadi Bani Khalid Oman. Source: tripadvisor

6. Bimmah Sinkhole (Falling Star well!) 

Bimmah Sinkhole is naturally formed sinkhole not far from Muscat. Here you will find turquoise waters which are great to swim in after a hard days hiking!

Fun Fact: The sinkhole was caused by collapse of the surface layer due to limestone dissolving underneath.

However, local legends believe the sinkhole was created by a meteorite!

Hence the Arabic name Hawiyyat Najm which means ‘the deep well of the (falling) star.

Bimmah Sinkhole Oman

The crystal clear waters were the perfect way to cool off at the Bimmah Sinkhole in Oman

7. Jebel Shams Mountain

Jebel Shams is a Mountain area just 2 hours from Muscat. Many call it the “Grand Canyon of Oman”. This is a great spot for trekking. 

You can also drive up, but this can be challenging without a 4×4.

Jebel Shams Mountain

Jebel Shams Mountain.

8. Wadi Tiwi

Wadi Tiwi is a more nature and untouched area. Here you will discover everything from mountain villages to cascading waterfalls.

Wadi Tiwi oman

Wadi Tiwi oman

B. Do the Oman people speak English?

Yes (Mostly!) Most people in Oman speak enough English, to get by especially in Muscat.  Oman also has a large international population with many from India and the Philippines which also speak great english. 

C. Do I need a Visa?

Yes but its easy! Most nationalities (Europeans, Canadians, Americans, and Australians) just require an Evisa before arrival. 

Some nationalities can even get a visa on a arrival, check your visa requirements for Oman.

How much does a Visa for Oman cost?

A tourist visa for 10 days in Oman costs five rials (US$12) , for a month that cost rise to 20 rials ($52).

A multiple-entry visa costs 50 rials (US$130) and is valid for one year.

This is a similar system to Saudi Arabia.

Loop hole from Dubai?

If you are planning to visit Oman from Dubai or Qatar and have a tourist stamp from those countries then you DO NOT REQUIRE a visa for Oman!

As long as you travel directly from Dubai or Doha to Oman.

We visited Oman after stopping in Dubai for 24 hours, it was an easy process once we arrived in Oman.

Oman sunset

Oman sunset

D. How much does it cost to travel Oman?

Oman is definitely one of the more expensive places to travel in the world, its cheaper than other middle eastern countries such Dubai but more expensive then Saudi Arabia.

A budget traveller should budget $75-80 per day, while a mid range traveller should budget $120-150 per day. 

This includes the cost of accommodation, food and transport! 

One week in Oman which set you back approximately: $560 per person if your on a budget solo adventure and $1540 total for a couple traveling in mid range luxury.

Fun Fact: A mid-range three-star hotel costs around US$80 a night.

Prices here are similar to western Europe, places such as UKBelgium,  FranceGermany, Italy

but its much cheaper than Scandinavian countries such as NorwayDenmark or Sweden.

Budget Tip: If you really want to save money then you can camp!

Wild camping is allowed all over Oman so just be sure to bring some high quality camping gear

Di. Oman: Travel Budget Calculator

To help you budget your next adventure to Oman,

Dive into our interactive Travel Budget Calculator below

User Guide: Simply select your “Travel Style”,  ” Number of Persons” and Number of Days Traveling.

Top Tip: “Group” travel budget gives the total budget for 4 people! To find out how much that is each simply divide by 4.

Family Budgets:

Families would be best using the Group selector, or those with small children should select “Couple” if the children are young enough to share a room.

We have compiled the data in the table above from our vast travel experience & other reliable sources.

Dii. What is the Currency in Oman?

The Omani Rial is the currency in Oman.

1 USD =0.38 Omani Riyal

1 GBP = 0.50 Omani Riyal

1 EURO = 0.43 Omani Riyal

Diii. Oman Travel Cost Tables:

i. Budget Backpacker Travel Costs:

Budget Oman Travel Costs
Budget DataCost (USD)
Average Daily cost:$75
Accommodation (Single Occupancy, Hostel)$36
Accommodation (Double Occupancy, Hotel)$60
Local Transport (Taxis, Buses, Subway)$5
Food & Water$10
Entertainment$7
Intercity Transport (Transport between neighbouring cities)$8

ii. Mid Range Travel Costs:

Mid Range Budget:Oman Travel Costs
Budget DataCost (USD)
Average Daily cost:$120
Accommodation (Single Occupancy, Hostel)$85
Accommodation (Double Occupancy, Hotel)$155
Local Transport (Taxis, Buses, Subway)$8
Food & Water$15
Entertainment$9
Intercity Transport (Transport between neighbouring cities)$10

iii. Luxury Vacation Travel Costs:

Oman Luxury Travel Costs
Budget DataCost (USD)
Average Daily cost:$200
Accommodation (Single Occupancy)$150
Accommodation (Double Occupancy, Hotel)$350
Local Transport (Taxis, Buses, Subway)$10
Food & Water$20
Entertainment$10
Intercity Transport (Transport between neighbouring cities)$10

E. Is Oman safe for tourists?

Oman is a safe country for tourists, violent crime against tourists is extremely rare.

However, Oman is a religious muslim country, thus it’s encouraged to be respectful of local rules and customs.

Such as dressing conservatively (Especially for women).

In the cities be sure to not carry too much cash and exercise caution in crowded areas such as train and bus stations,

airports to avoid pickpockets. I recommend purchasing a hidden money belt, I take mine everywhere. See: Travel Accessories

Due to its oil reserves, Oman is relatively rich and offers reliable infrastructure and many high end hotels. 

According the US Government: It is advised that you Do not travel to the Yemen border area due to potential for terrorism and armed conflict.

Sultan Palace Oman

Sultan Palace Oman

F. What to wear in Oman?

Oman is a conservative Muslim country, so it can cause offence if you expose too much flesh!

With high daytime temperatures it can be a struggle to cover up for some westerners!

In shopping areas, restaurants and tourist hotels things are more relaxed.

8 Tips for how to Dress in Oman: 

1. Pack Lightweight loose fitting clothes

Such as those made from Linen or cotton, as these will help to keep you cool.

2. Pack Long sleeved tops and long pants

These will protect you from the harsh sun & mosquitos at night.

3. Bring UV protected sunglasses & a sunhat. 

Locals always carry something to cover there head.

4. A T shirt is advised when swimming in the sea

To protect against poisonous jellyfish.

what to wear in Oman

Try to shock the locals while in Oman! Source: what to wear in Oman

5. Women should bring a Pashmia (Long scarf) 

This is a great way to dress up an outfit while still keeping modest.

6. When visiting religious sites cover shoulders & bare legs. 

7. Topless sunbathing is illegal 

I would suggest brining a one piece swimsuit, biknis are only allowed at private hotel pools.

8. If your unsure, ask! 

If you unsure about etiquette in an area, ask a local and they will be happy to help

G. When is the Best time to visit Oman?

The best time to visit Oman is during the winter months, between October – March. This is when the weather is pleasant and cool.

April and May are the shoulder seasons, when the weather is still nice, but warmer than in the winter months.

wahiba sands Oman

wahiba sands Oman

H. Where to Stay in Oman?

Our 2 Favourite Hotels in Oman:

In Muscat:

1. Ascott Somerset Panorama:

This is the best priced high-end hotels we stayed in!

It is located in the embassy area close to the biggest mosque in Oman (Sultan Taboos Grand Mosque)…you can even see it from the Hotel Swimming pool!

Ascott Somerset Panorama Hotel Muscat Oman

Ascott Somerset Panorama Hotel Muscat Oman

This hotel has great reviews on trip advisor and is ideal for families due tot he apartment style which have cooking facilities.

To check the latest prices follow the link HERE

In Wahiba Sands: 

2. Bidiyah desert camp:

When you visit the Wahiba Sands you have to stay in a Desert Camp!

This is great one with actual beds, concrete walls, air conditioning, on site restaurant and even an airport shuttle!

Oman Safari Camp

Oman Safari Camp

To check the latest prices follow the link HERE

Not found something you like?

For a complete list of our other recommend hotels in Oman, follow the link HERE

I. Which are the best tours in Oman?

My Favourite tour in Oman was the Wadi Shab and Bimmah Sinkhole Private Full Day Tour. 

Bimmah Sinkhole Oman Travel Budget Calculator

Bimmah Sinkhole Oman Travel Budget Calculator

To check prices & availability for the tour, follow the link HERE

J. 4 Tips before traveling to Oman!?

1. Invest in a quality Travel Camera! 

Capturing the Memories of your adventure is essential!

You will be able to show your friends, family and even grand kids all the wonderful photos captured.

For more info see, our recommend Travel Photography Gear

Photography Gear

Make sure you are equip with some great Photography Gear!

2. Get Travel Insurance

Be aware that you will need separate travel insurance if you are traveling to Oman!

If you get ill or have an accident it will be a very costly experience!

All travellers to Oman should have a robust travel insurance to avoid paying out thousands of dollars.

I always recommend World Nomads, I’ve used these for years,

they are the best and most reliable insurance, they also provides an unlimited medical budget!

Travel Insurance

Getting hit with a large hospital bill after getting sick or injured, could really add to your worries! Get some Travel Insurance

CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR FREE QUOTE FROM WORLD NOMADS

For more info see: Why you NEED Travel Insurance?

3. Rent a Car

Renting a car is a great investment in Oman, as it saves you having to book multiple tours to the sand dunes and mountains.

The roads are well paved and modern, which makes it easy to get around.

For more info check out: Ultimate Car Rental Travel Hacks!

4. Be sure you have all your Travel Essentials  

(Things You can’t travel without!)

A high quality Tent & backpack can also be great investments,  these can help you cut costs & have more of an adventure while traveling!

To learn about our secret Hotel Hacks check out: How to find the Best Hotel Deals??

If you would like help booking a trip or tour, follow the link: Which are the Best travel Tours?

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