Travel In Pictures: 7 Must-sees in Muscat – 6. Old Muscat

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If you’ve got just 2 days in Muscat, there are 7 places I recommend you must see. Number 6 is Old Muscat city.

From Mutrah Corniche, the main road leads out of the modern town to the original city of Old Muscat, with city walls built in 1625. Protected by a natural harbour, the jagged, rocky hills surrounding Old Muscat create a stunning contrast to the clean, simple and imposing lines of its unmistakably Arabic buildings and historic forts.

Sultan Qaboos of Oman’s Al Alam (‘Flag’) Palace – an unusual and flamboyant blue and gold building with mushroom pillars built in 1972 – is a natural place to head for in the centre of Old Muscat. It’s the most important of the Sultan’s six royal residences around the country.

You can walk right up to the iron gates at the front, although you cannot enter beyond that. The imposing approach to the palace is along a long pedestrianized boulevard with arcaded colonnades of highly polished marble on either side, and flanked by beautiful, modern white government buildings.

Old Muscat also contains a cluster of museums, including the new National Museum. It gives a good overview of Omani history from the earliest human settlem.ent until the present day, and the lives, traditions and culture of desert and city dwellers and seafarers in different regions.

However, Bait al Zubair remains possibly the most popular museum in Old Muscat. Owned by the Zubair family, the collection is a diverse and fascinating array of exhibits that reflect the culture and traditions of Oman.

Click individual photos to enlarge & scroll

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