From beaches to museums, here are the top 10 placed to visit when in Qatar.
If you’re preparing to visit Qatar during the upcoming World Cup later this year, you may be interested in sorting out your itinerary from now.
With the weather now cooling down, there are plenty of options for exciting experiences in Qatar, both indoor and outdoor.
Without further ado, check out our list of 10 places worth visiting.
Souq Waqif, Souq Al Wakrah
For those looking to explore Qatar’s rich cultural heritage, there is no better place than the Souqs, or traditional markets.
Standing in true glory surrounded by the modern streets of Doha, Souq Waqif has long been a tourist hotspot.
The traditional landmark has stood for more than 100 years, offering stores to explore and stories to hear from locals.
A stroll through the market will introduce visitors to traditional items, antique pieces, and plenty of restaurants to explore.
Most of the restaurants present traditional Qatari food while others provide international cuisines, mainly from the Middle East region.
Another souq worth visiting in Qatar is located just 15-to-20 minutes away in Al Wakrah.
Souq Waqif Al Wakrah is yet another perfect place to visit, featuring similar stores and restaurants, except it is right by the beach where you can spend hours on the cold sand accompanied with the sound of waves.
Looking for a calm place to spend time in nature? The Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) Park is an ideal place to visit.
Located in front of Qatar’s MIA, just across the street from Souq Waqif, the park is a spacious place for a picnic, a family outing, or for spending quality time with a friend.
While it is also located in the busy capital Doha, the greenery provides visitors with a break from the bustle and hustle of the city. The area also boasts a pier that offers breathtaking views of the Doha skyline.
For history enthusiasts, the museum is also an ideal stop off before enjoying your time at the park.
For travellers, the Doha Corniche is likely the first interaction with Qatar upon arrival from the airport.
Those wanting to unwind and get their steps in can enjoy a long walk by the Corniche, a scenic stretch of coastline that embraces by Qatar’s evolving skyline and the city’s vibrant lights.
For an extra beautiful experience, consider taking a half hour ride in the water on one of Qatar’s traditional dhow boats, where you can sail along while enjoying the sounds of your own playlist.
Located right by the Corniche, Souq Waqif, and MIA Park, Msheireb Downtown is always a place worth exploring.
Built at the heart of Doha, Msheireb Downtown merges modernity and culture with its intricate architecture designs that fill up the entire area.
Each street at Msheireb Downtown offers a unique glimpse of Qatar’s rich architecture that constantly incorporates the past and the present.
The area provides plenty of options for coffee and dessert, especially during the early morning hours, with all the breakfast options for early birds.
For parents, you can keep your little ones entertained with some of the playgrounds located in different parts of Msheireb, where they can spend hours playing under the breezy weather.
National Museum of Qatar
If you are looking for an immersive experience, the National Museum of Qatar (NOMQ) will always be a clear option.
Inaugurated in 2019, the NOMQ stands as a cultural symbol that intrigues all those who pass by. The building has the complex design of the desert rose, commonly found in Qatar’s desert.
The museum tells the story of Qatar through multiple chapters, each of which are broken down as part of the tour.
The first gallery takes you back more than 700 million years ago, when the peninsula was first shaped through geological forces. In a single section, extinct life forms are on display for all visitors, along with real life images projected onto the many walls of the area.
Further on, visitors are introduced to Qatar’s wildlife, the people of Qatar, the pearl diving industry, the country’s modern day innovation, as well as society and politics in modern-day Qatar.
After concluding your trip, you can enjoy a relaxing time at the Desert Rose cafe, operated by Chef Nouf Al Marri, one of the most prominent chefs in Qatar specialising in Qatari cuisine.
Those fancying a more luxurious experience can head to Jiwan, which translates to “the perfect pearl” in Qatari dialect. The restaurant provides a contemporary dining experience outdoors in dining pods inspired by the country’s sand dunes.
Entry into NMOQ is free for all of Qatar’s residents and QAR 50 for adults above the age of 16.
3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum
Sports enthusiasts, this one’s for you.
The brand new 3-2-1 museum is a whole time travel experience that is sure to take you through the history of sports.
Equipped with the most advanced technologies, the museum offers unique storytelling methods to tell the story of sports through time.
The new museum is filled with activity spaces for all visitors that help provide an engaging experience for curious sports fans.
The sports museum is also part of the Olympic Museum Network, consisting of 22 Olympic museums throughout the world.
Sealine Desert and Inland Sea
Adventure seekers, congratulations, you have arrived at the right place.
Located an hour away by car from Doha, Sealine Beach has a wide range of options to get your adrenaline pumping.
The desert attraction has various resorts available for rental by the beach, with travel agencies offering entire plans for you, your friends or family.
If you’re booking through a local travel and tourism agency, you’re likely to experience the golden sand dunes at Qatar’s Sealine desert before reaching the beach.
For thrill seekers, dune bashing is a perfect option to explore the desert with a little excitement.
If dune bashing sounds like too much of a risk, you can rent out dune buggies in different parts of the area, where you can drive by the Sealine Beach and the Qatar desert.
Camping packages that include food and a tent can also be found through tourism agencies, which usually take visitors 40 minutes into the desert to view the beautiful landmark Inland Sea.
The best thing about Qatar is all of the beaches you can visit and spend different days at. Some of the local favourites include Dukhan beach, an hour drive from the capital by car, or even Azerbaijan beach as you drive north along the coastline.
These beaches are ideal for those looking for a more laid back experience than Sealine, whether you enjoy swimming, having a tanning session, or read a book by the water.
Families can also go to the beach and enjoy a barbecue session—but make sure you leave no litter behind as you could harm the environment and your pocket.
Littering in Qatar could cost you QAR 10,000, so make sure you clean up behind you.
Beyond the city and the desert, Qatar’s biodiversity is always there to welcome visitors.
You can explore the country’s diverse environment, meet flamingos, and see mangroves at Qatar’s Purple Island.
Purple Island was selected last month among the top 50 best islands in the world, according to the Global travel site Big 7 Travel’s recent annual list.
Located in Al Khor, it is a great destination for a family picnic or for those who like to kayak around nature.
Identified by Al Zubarah Fort – built in 1938 – the site provides a glimpse into Qatar’s history and offers visitors with the opportunity to see archaeological remains that date back to the 1760’s.
Residential palaces, mosques, courtyard houses, fishermen’s huts, streets and even cemeteries remain present for all to see today.
The fort is also known by its thick walls, scarred by decades of tribal battles from as far as the 18th century to secure dominance over the strategic site.
With its close proximity to the sea, Al Zubarah also served as a trade hub and was home to many of the country’s pearl divers.