Doha modern skyline pictured from Museum of Islamic Arts

Things to do in  Doha

Qatar’s past, present, and future

Unlike some of its counterparts along the Persian Gulf, Doha is a rapidly modernizing city wrapped around a core of culture and tradition. While brand new skyscrapers light up West Bay and Pearl-Qatar, the capital of Qatar showcases its culture proudly at institutions such as the National Museum of Qatar and Katara Cultural Village. Then there are Doha attractions like Souq Waqif, which offers a bit of both past and present with its traditional market, center that highlights the national pastime of falconry, and modern restaurants.

Top 7 attractions in Doha

Souq Waqif

One of the oldest markets in the city of Doha, Souq Waqif is a covered market place with stalls selling everything from textiles, clothing, and spices. The souq is located in Al Souq in the heart of central Doha, and is housed inside the 19th-century building that’s been renovated for modern use.More

The Pearl-Qatar

An elaborate artificial island north of Doha’s West Bay, the Pearl-Qatar is home to luxury apartment towers, villas, marinas, and shopping boutiques,—it’s the city’s very own riviera. At the center of the Pearl-Qatar is the Qanat Quartier, which combines sheltered beaches with a Venetian-inspired look.More

Katara Cultural Village

“Katara” was the ancient name given to the Qatar Peninsula — a fitting name for this collection of Qatari-style buildings that comprise the Katara Cultural Village. The venue seeks to connect Qatar’s ancient heritage with its modern status as a cultural hub through this cluster of theaters, performance venues, galleries and restaurants serving Qatari and international cuisine.The Katara Cultural Village also maintains its own private beach — a mile-long (1.5-km) strip of sand complete with a children’s play area. For an extra fee, visitors can water ski, kneeboard, parasail or take a boat ride from the beach.More

Museum of Islamic Art (MIA)

The collection within the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha (MIA) spans three continents and more than 1,400 years, making it the largest collection of Islamic art on the planet. Built on reclaimed land just of Doha’s Corniche, the MIA structure was designed by Pritzker Prize winning architect I.M. Pei, who took inspiration from ancient Islamic architecture in crafting this postmodern masterpiece.The collection—ceramics, metalwork, textiles, glass and manuscripts, among others—are spread across three floors; the ground floor houses a museum shop and a cafe with a stellar view of Doha Bay, where visitors can take a break over some French Arabic cuisine.The neighboring MIA Park is free and open 24 hours a day.More

Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum (FBQ Museum)

Founded in 1998 and housed within a grand Qatari fort just outside of Doha, the Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum (FBQ Museum or Sheikh Faisal Museum for short), showcases items from the private collection of the Sheikh after whom it was named. As a boy, Sheikh Faisal began collecting documents and artifacts from his travels with his father throughout the Gulf region. Today, the collection includes more than 15,000 pieces from four different continents.The Faisal museum is divided into four themed areas: Islamic art, Qatar heritage, vehicles and coins and currency. Visitors to the museum can explore one of the most eclectic collections of any Doha museum, including the world’s largest private collection of armory. A highlight of the museum collection is the assortment of vintage cars, many of which once belonged to the Qatari royal family.More

Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art

Founded in 2010, Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art occupies a former school building in Doha’s Education City. The collection encompasses more than 9,000 pieces, making it the largest collection of modern and contemporary Arab art in the world.These paintings, sculptures, films and other installations come from throughout the Arab Peninsula, as well as areas like India, Turkey and Iran. Works span the period between the mid nineteenth century and today, with highlights like Baghdadiat by Jewad Selim and The Nile by Mahmoud Moukhtar. The museum also operates a gift shop and a coffee bar.More

Aspire Zone (Doha Sports City)

Aspire Zone, also known as Doha Sports City, was founded in 2003 in anticipation of the 2006 Asian Games as an international sports destination featuring state-of-the-art training facilities and sporting venues.At the heart of the complex stands Khalifa Stadium, a 50,000 capacity sporting venue used for the biggest sporting events (particularly soccer matches). The Hamad Aquatic Centre houses five floors of facilities for swimming, water polo, diving and other aquatic sports, while the Aspire Dome boasts the distinction of being the world’s largest multi-purpose dome. The Ladies Sports Hall provides additional multi-use facilities for women’s sports.The Torch Doha Hotel offers luxury accommodations within the Aspire Zone, while Villaggio, Doha’s most popular shopping mall, houses international brand shopping. At Aspire Park, visitors and locals alike will find recreational paths, green spaces, playgrounds and a cafe set at the edge of a lake.More

Top activities in Doha

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All about Doha

When to visit

Doha swelters under the summer sun thanks to its desert climate. At its hottest in July, the city experiences an average temperature of 99°F (37°C) and average highs of 105°F (41°C). Summer is also when sand storms are most likely to occur.

For this reason, the winter months of October to March are generally seen as the best time to visit Doha, with far more agreeable temperatures for daytime sightseeing. Winter also holds some of Doha’s most celebrated festivals, such as the Qatar International Food Festival in late March and the Katara Dhow Festival in early December.

Getting around

The relatively new Doha Metro makes it easy for travelers to explore the city independently. It currently has three lines that connect many of the city’s main attractions across Downtown Doha, West Bay, and Katara, with the Red Line terminating at Doha’s Hamad International Airport for easier airport connections. To reach other parts of Doha, you’ll need to rely on taxis or Uber (the main rideshare service in Qatar), as Doha isn’t the most pedestrian-friendly city.

Traveler tips

When planning your sightseeing in Doha, remember that weekends in Qatar take place on Friday and Saturday. Many businesses and some attractions such as museums won’t open until Friday afternoon due to the Friday midday prayer, or Jummah.


People Also Ask

Is Doha worth visiting?

Yes, Doha is worth visiting. The city is a great choice if you’d like to visit a very safe Middle Eastern city and are interested in learning about Qatar’s culture, visiting an ultra-modern city, or upscale shopping with a lot of range. Doha also serves as a less busy alternative to other Persian Gulf cities.

What do tourists mainly do in Qatar?

Tourists in Doha have a broad range of entertaining activities to choose from. Walk the city’s waterfront for sweeping views of the Corniche and modern West Bay skyline. Learn more about the culture of Qatar and the Middle East at world-class museums such as the Museum of Islamic Art, or experience it in person at Souq Waqif.

How can I have fun in Doha?

There are many fun things to do in Doha, depending on what your interests are. Shop a storm at the upscale boutiques at the Villaggio Mall (where you can even go on an indoor gondola ride) or look for fine jewelry at the Gold Souq. Get a crazy photo and trick your senses at the Museum of Illusions Doha.

Can you drink alcohol in Doha?

Yes, although there are very specific rules around drinking in Doha as Qatar is an Islamic country. The legal drinking age in Qatar is 21 years old and a photo ID is required to be shown. Alcohol is only to be consumed in designated places such as hotels and bars, and it is illegal to be publicly intoxicated.

Is Doha a walkable city?

No, not really. Doha is a sprawling city and places of interest can be several miles apart, such as Downtown Doha and West Bay. Aside from the distance, you also have to contend with crossing major roadways where car traffic is prioritized and limited shade from the hot weather.

How many days in Doha is enough?

Two days in Doha is enough time to visit the main places of interest around Downtown Doha—including its museums and markets—see the Corniche waterfront, and visit outer attractions such as the Katara Cultural Village. Visit Doha for longer, though, and you’ll have time for day trips to see other parts of Qatar as well.

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