All about Muttrah in Muscat, Oman

With evidence of settlements from as early as 3,000 BC, Muttrah (مطرح) is definitely one of the most ancient and historically significant cities in Oman. This tightly packed port market is surrounded by majestic mountains and is home to Souq Muttrah – the capital’s must-visit traditional vibrant market as well as the fish market and a variety of unique experiences in close proximity of each other. This post highlights the main attractions to be seen in Muttrah.

Souq Muttrah

You cannot possibly visit Muscat and not go to Souq Muttrah (سوق مطرح). This is undeniably the most magnificent traditional market in the Sultanate. It is at least 200 years old and is made up of a complex maze of narrow walkways leading to hundreds of small shops that sell everything from Omani khanjers, halwa, and frankincense to kummahs and spices. It was historically known as the Souq of Darkness, due to its closed off ceiling and dimly lit interior, but thanks to the wonder of electricity, it is now lit and bright anytime you go visit. Unlike stereotypical markets in the Middle East and Asia, Souq Muttrah is laid back and the shopkeepers are not aggressive, they will of course overcharge tourists, but that’s how things work everywhere. It is also extremely safe and coming across a pickpocket or a con-artist is basically unheard-of. You can read our guide for the unique items to look for in Souq Muttrah and make sure that you enjoy the bargaining culture!

Fish Market

The fish market is towards the end of Muttrah corniche heading towards Sultan Qaboos Port. It is not technically a tourist hot-spot, although it seems lots of tourists end up visiting, but it is worth a visit if you’d like to have an idea the kind of fish caught off the Gulf of Oman or what are some of the local delicacies (sharks anyone?). The new fancy Muttrah Fish Market building designed by a Norwegian architecture firm has opened in 2017, as a new home to the fishermen to sell their early morning hauls, and Muscat locals looking for fresh fish.

Muttrah Fort

Muttrah Fort dates back to the 1500s, and offers stunning panoramic views of Muttrah harbor and corniche!


There are two museums in Muttrah: Bait Al Baranda and Ghalya’s Museum of Modern Art. Bait Al Baranda museum has many exhibits about the archaeological and maritime history of Oman and it is open Saturday to Thursday from 9:00am to 1:00pm then 4:00pm to 6:00 pm, with 1 rial entry fee for adults and half a rial for children. On the other hand, Ghalya’s Museum of Modern Art has a misleading name as it is not really a modern art museum, instead it is a museum showcasing what life in Oman looked like between the years 1950 and 1975. The museum is small and worth visiting due to the authentic way in which it replicates the experience of being inside an old Omani house.


Muttrah offers adventure experiences for those willing to climb up the mountains surrounding it. The Muttrah Geo-Trek is an easy hiking trail right in the heart of the capital that takes you through the mountain range encircling Muttrah. This shouldn’t take you more than 2 hours to complete, and provides numerous breathtaking opportunities and stunning views of Muttrah corniche and Sultan Qaboos Port. You do not need to necessary take your hiking boots, and can easily do it with your sports shoes.


Muttrah is also home to Al Riyam Park, one of the oldest parks in Oman. It is more of an activity that locals do to enjoy a relaxing afternoon or weekend and not really a touristy activity, but it does offer green spaces and a children playground with a few rides. Unfortunately, the area leading up the iconic white frankincense burner is closed off and nobody is allowed to go up to it.


In addition to the little coffeeshops in and around Souq Muttrah, Muttrah offers a number of restaurants. The restaurant to visit is probably Bait Al Luban (بيت اللبان), which offers an authentic Omani cuisine menu and has breathtaking views of the corniche and His Majesty’s yacht. Some additional options are:

  • Aroos Al Bahar Restaurant (عروس البحر) – serves delicious seafood, located right next to Bait Al Luban.
  • Kurkum – a high end Indian restaurant with an exquisite service and beautiful setting.
  • La Brasserie Restaurant – Cozy French restaurant, an old Muscat favorite.

One reply on “Muttrah”

Hi thanks for this great info. What other hotels besides Muttrah Hotel is available near the souq area?

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