Oman provides travelers a fusion of charms, including architecture, culture, and natural beauties that combine desert, crystal clear beaches, and mountains.
And to top it all, perfect roads make road trips the ideal travel style to experience the country’s highlights.
This article will give you the best tips to plan a trip to Oman, including the best time to visit, what to eat, places to stay, and more.
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Citizens of almost all nationalities, including those of North American countries and European Union ones, need a visa to visit Oman. It can be obtained online, with a stay permit of 10 or 30 days, and the cost starts from 5 OMR. At the time of application, it is necessary to attach a copy of the passport and a photo; after that, just wait to receive the email with the approval of the visa (mine took 24 hours) and then print it to present to immigration on arrival.
Along with the visa, all travelers arriving in Oman are required to present a COVID-19 vaccine certificate stating that they have received two doses of any COVID-19 vaccine approved in Oman (Pfizer BioNTech, Oxford Astrazeneca, Covishield AstraZeneca, Sputnik, Sinovac, Moderna, and Sinopharm), or a single dose of Johnson & Johnson. The last dose must have been received not less than fourteen (14) days ahead of the estimated arrival time.
Additionally, having international health insurance is one of the latest requirements for entering Oman. My recommended and used travel insurance resource is SquareMouth is a platform for searching for the best option amongst travel insurance companies. It allows travelers to instantly purchase a travel insurance policy from every major provider in the US and it also makes clear each policy’s COVID-related coverage.
Also, all Oman visitors on long international flights (that take 8 hours or more ) must present a negative PCR test taken within 96 hours before arrival. For shorter flights (with less than 8 hours), the PCR test can be taken within 72 hours before arrival.
Read the updated travel restrictions to Oman related to Covid-19.
Language in Oman
The language spoken is Arabic, but English is widely used, including restaurants and souqs (local markets) found throughout the country.
Oman Travel Tips – Currency in Oman
The currency used in Oman is the Omani rial (OMR) and it is more valued than the US dollar and Euro – the currencies you will probably take to change upon arrival in the country. 1 OMR is approximately US$ 2,7.
You can check the latest exchange rate on Google.
Best time to visit Oman
The best time to visit Oman is from October to April when temperatures are milder.
Though you can visit the country year-round, plan your trip during the best time to visit Oman since from May to September the thermometers can reach 50 °C.
Regardless of the season, be prepared for low temperatures in the mountains of Jebel Akhdar and in the desert Wahiba Sands, where you will need to wear a nice sweater and/or a windbreaker jacket.
Religion in Oman
Islam is the main religion in Oman. The other religions found in the country, such as Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism, are found primarily in immigrant communities.
Safety in Oman
The Sultanate of Oman has a very strict moral, religious, and legal code, and the punishment for crimes is severe. Therefore, traveling around the country is extremely safe, but – as with everywhere – precautions with personal objects such as wallets, electronics, and documents are advised.
Oman Travel Tips – How to dress in Oman
Men and women in Oman dress conservatively – with the men usually wearing an ankle-length dress called dishdasha and the women wearing black and long garments known as abayas. For this reason, tourists should respect local customs: for both women and men, the recommendation is to cover the shoulders and wear clothes below the knee.
Oman Travel Tips – How to get around
If you only want to stay in the capital, Muscat, you can use the taxi service that is widely available. However, if you want to visit other areas or cities in the country, renting a car is the best option; you will have the flexibility to make plan your own route, stopping whenever you want. The roads are excellent, with no tolls. We did not pay for parking during the whole trip (we would have paid in Muscat, but we were in town on a weekend, when it was free), and fuel costs around 0,30 OMR per liter.
Please note: if you plan to visit the Wahiba Sands Desert and the Jebel Akhdar Mountains, you will need to rent a four-wheel-drive vehicle.
Also, if you prefer to set up a base in Muscat and explore the main attractions of Oman with a tour, here are some of the best tours in the country:
- Wadi Shab and Bimmah Sinkhole Private Full-Day Tour: see two of the best natural attractions of the country on the same day and without worrying about driving to and from.
- Cruises to Daymaniyat & Snorkeling: one of the best experiences to have in the country – the Daymaniyat Islands are an idyllic getaway from Muscat and a must-do day trip.
- Full-Day Private Wahiba Sands Desert and Wadi Bani Khalid Tour: are you short on time to visit the country’s highlights? This tour allows you to explore two wonders – the ochre dunes of the Wahiba Sands desert and the raw, unspoiled nature of Wadi Bani Khalid.
To get easily around the country, download the mapps.me app – which saves places and has an offline version, and provides suitable routes to all places whereas some areas Google Maps cannot find. To access the internet and find places easily, buy a SIM card with internet upon arrival at the airport (with prices starting at 7 OMR).
Where to stay in Oman
The best way to see the highlights of Oman is by staying in different cities, that is, forming different bases. My suggestion for cities to stay in the country are Muscat, Sur, Nizwa, Wahiba Sands, and Jebel Akhdar.
BEST HOTELS IN OMAN
- Muscat – Shangri-la Al Husn and The Chedi Muscat
- Sur – Sur Plaza Hotel
- Wahiba Sands desert – Desert Nights Camp
- Nizwa – Golden Tulip Nizwa Hotel
- Jebel Akhdar – Alila Jabal Akhdar and Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort
Oman Travel Tips – Eating and drinking
Omani cuisine is full of flavors, and one of the best travel tips I can give you is to try the local food.
When visiting the country, you must try the Omani coffee (made with rose water, cardamom, and saffron), dates, hummus (paste of chickpeas with olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, and other items), moutabel (a paste made with eggplant, tahini, and other ingredients), halwa (a dessert made with toasted sesame seeds mixed with melted sugar), pita bread, seafood, fattoush (Arab salad) and mint lemon juice.
Make sure to check out other posts about Oman to plan your trip:
- What to do in Muscat: the essentials for visiting Oman’s capital
- What to do in Nizwa, the historical city of Oman
- What to do in Sur, Oman
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