6 best places to visit in QATAR
Qatar is a small country in the Qatar Peninsula on the northeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula.
The most popular and the most populous city of Qatar is Doha. And it’s where most of the places of interest are located.
As Qatar is such a small country, it’s very easy to travel around it — everything is within reach. Thanks to its size, Qatar is also the perfect place for a short getaway, or the perfect stopover before heading further.
Are you interested in visiting Qatar, and are wondering what to see in Qatar?
To help you with the task of planning, we have created this list of 6 best places to visit in Qatar.
6 best places to visit in Qatar
1. Al Dafna, Doha
Al Dafna is a business district in Doha. It is a seaside district which is developing rapidly. It already boasts several shiny skyscrapers.
Al Dafna is also home to the City Center mall, one of the Middle East’s largest malls.
Other iconic buildings in Al Dafna are:
- The Torch (Aspire Tower) — with a height of 300 metres, currently it is the tallest structure in Qatar. The Torch houses a luxurious five-star hotel.
- Burj Qatar — a unique building with a distinctive design. With a height of 238 metres, it is one of the tallest buildings in Qatar.
- Palm Towers — two cutting-edge skyscrapers with a height of 245 metres.
Doha Corniche is a promenade located in Al Dafna. It extends for seven kilometres along Doha Bay, and is a popular tourist attraction.
Katara is a waterfront cultural village that is home to an amphitheater, art galleries and museums, heritage centres and an opera house, as well as shops, cafes and a beach.
Katara is a purpose-made complex, built for educational and recreational purposes.
The buildings in the complex may not be ancient, but they still will take your breath away.
Katara’s amphitheater is inspired by ancient Greece, but its design contains traditional Islamic features and elements.
One of the most beautiful mosques in Qatar, Katara mosque, is also located in Katara Cultural Village. It may not be one of those grand mosques, but still it will take your breath away. Its intricate design and beautiful patterned tiles make the mosque so beautiful.
3. The Museum of Islamic Art
The Museum of Islamic Art in Doha boasts one of the largest collections of Islamic art in the world, and it is one of the world’s most complete collections of Islamic artefacts.
The museum represents Islamic art from three continents dating from the 7th to the 19th century. Its collection includes manuscripts, textiles, metal work, ceramics, jewellery, wood work, and glass.
Built on an island off an artificial peninsula near the traditional dhow harbour, the museum building itself is an interesting site.
The museum building is the perfect example of the blend of modern and traditional — the modern museum is influenced by ancient Islamic architecture.
4. Khor Al Udeid Beach & Desert safari
Exploring the desert of Qatar and visiting the beaches of Khor Al Udeid (also called the “Inland Sea”) are among the best things to do in Qatar.
Khor Al Udeid is a beautiful area surrounded by large golden sand dunes which descend gradually into the the blue waters of the Inland Sea.
Khor Al Udeid is the largest nature reserve in Qatar.
Dune bashing (driving at increasing and decreasing speeds over sand dunes) in the desert is one of the most unforgettable experiences we’ve ever had.
5. The Pearl Qatar
The Pearl is an artificial island and a residential area in Doha. It is the first land in Qatar to be available for ownership by foreign nationals.
The Pearl Qatar is great for walking around. Strolling along nicely manicured lanes and among pretty townhouses is a delight.
Or, come here to shop in the many high-end shops, or simply wander along the boardwalk overlooking the marina filled with plenty of cafes and restaurants.
6. Souq Waqif & Falcon Souq
A souk is a traditional Arab market; a bazaar. And just like in the Emirates, the souks of Qatar are among the most favourite sites for tourists.
When traveling to Qatar, definitely take your time and visit the legendary souks in Doha. Wander in the narrow lanes that are lined with hundreds of little colourful traditional stores.
Souq Waqif is Qatar’s oldest market and one of the best places to visit in Qatar. Although it dates back at least a hundred years, it was renovated in the early 2000s to conserve its traditional Qatari architectural style.
In Souq Waqif you can buy just about everything. Shop for traditional garments, spices, authentic crafts, perfumes, oils, pashminas, and unique souvenirs. Things you cannot buy at home!
In Souq Waqif you’ll also find restaurants and food stalls selling traditional food and snacks.
Located just next to Souq Waqif, the Falcon Souq is a great place to see falcons up close, meet local people, and learn more about Arabic traditions and Qatari heritage. Next door to the Falcon Souq is the Souq Waqif Falcon Hospital, which is also open for visitors.
Qatar travel tips
- Visa. You don’t need a visa to travel to Qatar. You can stay 90 days in any 180-day period.
- Dress modestly. Qatar is a Muslim country, and its visitors are required to follow a certain dress code. Both men and women are expected to cover shoulders, upper arms and knees. So, pack appropriate clothing. Lightweight loose-fitting trousers and shirts are the best, both for male and female travellers.
- Transport. Qatar metro is a delight! It became operational very recently — only in May 2019. Qatar metro has 3 lines with an overall length of 76 km and 37 stations.
- Taxi. Another good option is Uber car services. Or a regular taxi. Taxis are affordable and easy to find.
- Avoid travelling to Qatar in summer. The temperatures in summer are stifling.
- When to go? The best time to visit Qatar is November to early April.
Experience Qatar during your stopover. Qatar Airways offer great hotel deals for those who have a stopover in Qatar (up to 4 nights). You can book a 4 or 5-star hotels cheaper, and enjoy beautiful Qatar. Read more about this offer on the official webpage of Qatar Airways