The complete guide to visiting Oman

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This article is a complete guide to visiting Oman. Here you’ll find information about visas, how to get to the country, how long to stay in Oman, the best time to visit, and other useful tips to plan your trip.

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The complete guide to visiting Oman: visa, how to get here, how long to stay, the best time to go, and other useful tips to plan your trip

The Sultanate of Oman is a country in the Middle East, bordering the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. Despite having an area almost 4 times larger than its most famous neighbor – the United Arab Emirates – the country still receives few Western tourists. However, don’t be fooled: Oman is a true spectacle, whether due to its iconic nature (including orange dunes in the desert and the beautiful Wadis) or for its remarkable, light-colored architecture.

If the country is your next travel destination, this complete guide to visiting Oman is for you!

Guide to visiting Oman

Do I need a visa to enter Oman?

Citizens of almost all nationalities, including North American and European countries, need a visa to enter Oman. A permit for stays of 10 or 30 days can be obtained online, with the cost starting at 5 OMR.

When applying for a visa to enter Oman online, you must attach a copy of the passport and a photo. After that, just wait to receive the e-mail with the visa approval (mine took 24 hours) and be sure to print it to present at immigration.

Nizwa-Fort-Oman

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.

How long should I stay in Oman?

Oman has many natural wonders that can take a long time to fully explore. I recommend staying here for at least one week, mainly because it’s not a close destination. To do everything calmly, the ideal would be 10 days.

How to get to Oman?

Muscat is the main city and capital of Oman and is the gateway for many tourists to the country. Muscat International Airport is connected to major countries with Qatar Airways, Emirates, and Oman Air.

When you arrive at the airport, you should rent a car right away and buy a SIM card (before leaving the airport) to stay connected during your road trip through the country.

Wahiba-Sands-Desert-Oman

Do I need a rental car in Oman?

There’s no denying it: having a car is practical and you can do everything at your own pace. Of course, there are some tour companies that make it possible to visit the main attractions of Oman without a car, but the distances aren’t so bad, the roads are excellent, and the fuel is cheap. So, car rental remains the best option for traveling throughout Oman.

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. I recommend using RentalCars for searching and booking a rental car.

Muscat-Oman

Are international credit cards accepted in Oman?

Most places do accept international credit cards in Oman, but it is always good to have a cash reserve with you. You can go to an ATM when you arrive at Muscat airport and, if you need more along the way, pharmacies usually have ATMs for use.

Do I need a tour guide when visiting Oman?

Not necessarily. However, for some attractions, it’s recommended to take guided tours, such as the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque (they offer free guided tours). If possible, get a guided tour at the Nizwa Fort, Bahla Fort, and Jabreen Castle to fully understand their history (in the latter we used an audio guide, which gave us more flexibility to explore at our own pace).

To visit Bimmah Sinkhole, as well as Wadi Shab and Wadi Bani Khalid, you can visit on your own, without a problem; just make sure to have the coordinates saved in an offline map.

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:

Where to stay in Oman?

To see the highlights of Oman, you should set base in at least 3 cities: Muscat, Sur, and Nizwa. Some people visit all the main attractions from Muscat, but the daily commute can be exhausting.

Apart from Muscat, Nizwa, and Sur, I also recommend spending a night in a tent in the Wahiba Sands desert and staying in a hotel in the mountains of Jebel Akhdar, a region known as the Grand Canyon of Oman.

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Where to stay in Oman – Hotels

What is the best time to travel to Oman?

The best time to visit Oman is from October to April when temperatures are milder. From May to September, thermometers can reach 50 ° C. Regardless of the time of year, be prepared, with a good sweater and a windbreaker jacket, for low temperatures in the mountains of Jebel Akhdar and in the Wahiba Sands desert.

Let me plan your trip to Oman!

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I am Elen, and I help 9-5ers plan their next getaway. I curate travel experiences, from places to sip a coffee to stays in boutique hotels, so you can save time when planning your next vacation. Here you will find travel guides, tips, and the best itineraries for your next trip.

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