The National Museum of Qatar with people walking by, Doha

Things to do in  Qatar

A qat above the rest

Covering a peninsula in the Persian Gulf, Qatar is one of the Middle East’s smallest countries, but it is increasingly finding its way onto travelers' radar. Capital Doha is where you’ll discover the most well-known things to do in Qatar, including traditional cultural landmarks, modern museums, and spectacular modern developments. These attractions are usually more than enough for layover visitors. Still, travelers with more time have some intriguing opportunities, from desert safaris in the south to historic forts and remote art installations in the north.

Top 7 attractions in Qatar

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

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

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

Top activities in Qatar

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All about Qatar

When to visit

Like many destinations in the Middle East, Qatar is best to visit in the country’s winter from December to February. Winters in Qatar are still relatively warm, although it may be too cool for swimming. Most people don't visit Qatar from late May to late September as temperatures skyrocket, especially in summer (June, July, August), when you won’t want to be outside in the daytime.

Getting around

Tourists spend most of their time in Doha, and they can get around the city using the Doha Metro, rideshare services, and taxis. You can also get to neighboring cities such as Al Rayyan and Lusail on the metro, but you may need a vehicle for parts of these cities. You will need a private vehicle or tour for most everywhere else in Qatar, such as the Inland Sea and Al Zubara Fort.

Traveler tips

Sightseeing in Qatar and Doha is common in the evening and at night, as outdoor places and attractions are usually quiet in the daytime. Many attractions have later opening hours, so you don’t need to contend with the afternoon heat just to visit places. When planning your sightseeing, remember that most attractions are closed on Friday mornings, as this is when Friday Prayer or Jumu'ah prayer at mosques takes place.


People Also Ask

What are the top attractions in Qatar?

The top attractions in Qatar include the covered market at the Souq Waqif, cultural treasures inside the Museum of Islamic Art, and skyline views from the Corniche. These attractions and highlights, such as the Katara Cultural Village and the National Museum of Qatar, are found in the capital, Doha.

How many days should I spend in Qatar?

Two days in Qatar can work. On the first day, you can experience the highlights of Doha, and on the second, you can either continue exploring the city or head to the desert or attractions in northern Qatar. Many visitors see Qatar as a stopover on a longer flight.

What is Qatar best known for?

Qatar is a Middle Eastern country known for Qatar Airways, its national airline, and for hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The country is a stopover for Qatar Airways flights. Like other Arabian Peninsula countries, such as the UAE, the country’s development has been propelled by its fossil fuel resources.

How do I dress appropriately in Qatar?

Qatar is a Muslim country with expectations of conservative dress. It's recommended that women wear a long skirt or trousers that cover their legs and a top that covers their shoulders. Men should wear trousers or shorts that cover their knees and a shirt or T-shirt that covers their shoulders.

Is Qatar expensive to visit?

Yes, but there are ways to save. Qatar can be an expensive destination, and you can spend big if you stay in 5-star hotels, go to high-end restaurants, and shop at designer boutiques. Budget travelers in Qatar can save money by going to free attractions and traveling by metro.

Why do tourists visit Qatar?

Tourists visit Qatar for several reasons, but commonly, they’re flying through the country on a layover. Qatar offers insight into the culture of the Arabian Peninsula and the Muslim world. It's also the place for over-the-top attractions such as luxury man-made islands and shopping malls with indoor canals.

Frequently Asked Questions
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