Qatar, officially called the State of Qatar, is one of the most majestic holiday destinations in the world. The country is located on the northeastern coast of the Peninsula of Arabia, sharing it's only land border with the country of Saudi Arabia. Its capital city, Doha, is home to over 80% of the country’s inhabitants. Surrounded by the Persian Gulf for the most part, Qatar is home to several unique historical, natural, cultural and man-made architectural wonders. It is one of the most developed countries in the world, attracting massive international tourist crowds. From soaring high skyscrapers and luxurious malls to unruly desert terrain and beautiful beaches, it offers the complete holiday experience to its visitors.
When you visit Qatar, you can check out the museums and the various historical sites to learn more about the region’s past. On the other hand, if you are interested in the country’s rich culture and religion, you can check out the beautiful mosques in the region, like the Imam Abdul Wahhab Mosque, Katara Masjid, Education City Mosque, etc. Apart from the usual sightseeing experience, Qatar is also known for offering a wide variety of exciting adventure activities, like kayaking, dune bashing, parasailing, etc. Shopping in Qatar is also one of its main tourist highlights, with several world-class malls and markets. In addition, the availability of quality food and luxurious entertainment options make its nightlife phenomenal. This is why a Qatar trip is considered a unique and remarkable experience.
From beautiful private beaches with their tranquil atmosphere to grand museums showcasing the region’s vivid history, there are many popular places to visit in the country. Here are some examples of popular Qatar tourist places and attractions you can check out:
Located at the heart of the capital city, the Msheireb Museums is among the top tourist attractions in Qatar. It is a project by Msheireb Properties which showcases the region’s history through the four restored heritage houses, Bin Jelmood House, Mohammed Bin Jassim House, Company House and Radwani House. Each house has been transformed into a museum which vividly recalls certain aspects of Qatar’s history.
Another must-visit place for history buffs during their trip is the National Museum of Qatar. Located in Doha, the iconic architecture of the museum building, designed by Jean Nouvel, is a massive tourist attraction in itself. The place features 11 galleries, exploring the aspects of beginnings, life in Qatar and the modern history of Qatar.
The Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art is one of the best places to visit in Qatar. It has a massive collection of more than 9000 art pieces on display. These magnificent exhibits have been collected over the course of 25 years, and you can learn more about each of them during the guided tour. Located in the Education City of Doha, this museum is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Qatar.
It is a significant historical landmark in the country. Located in Umm Salal Mohammed town, the Barzan Towers are believed to be watchtowers built during the later part of the 18th century. Initially constructed with limestone cementing and coral rock, they have a height of 16 metres and offer beautiful views from the top.
Al Jassaiya Rock Art Site is one of the most visited tourist landmarks in Qatar. Located roughly 60 kilometres from Doha, the site features around 900 rock carvings, called “petroglyphs,” in well-preserved conditions. These carvings are believed to date back as early as the Neolithic period and were discovered around 1957. Some of these carvings depict shapes of cup marks, fishes, boats, etc.
The Al Koot Fort, also known as the Doha Fort, is a prominent historical landmark of the region. Located at the centre of the capital city, it is one of the most famous places to visit in Qatar. It was built during the later part of the 19th century and was used for military purposes in the region. It has been converted into a museum and features exhibits like old photographs, wooden ornaments, oil paintings, fishing equipment, etc.
The Pearl is an artificial island on the coast of Qatar, covering a total area of about 4 million square metres. It is home to some of the finest residential buildings, hotels, restaurants, cafes, shopping malls, branded showrooms, etc., in Doha. In addition, the stunning waterfront view at The Pearl makes it a major tourist attraction in Qatar.
The Film City is a fascinating place you can visit during your Qatar trip. It offers a glimpse into a traditional Arabic village amidst a beautiful desert setting. The most interesting part about Film City Qatar is the mystery behind its origin. Many believe that it was built as a set for a TV show and was abandoned, leaving the site isolated. Its tranquil atmosphere and charm draw in tons of visitors around the calendar.
Recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Al Zubarah Archaeological Site is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Qatar. It is regarded as the largest archaeological site in Qatar, covering an area of about 60 hectares. The remnants at this location are mostly in pristine condition, offering a look into the 18th-19th century history of the region. The site’s main attractions are the ruins of houses, large buildings, markets, mosques, madabis, etc.
The Museum of Islamic Art is one of the best Qatar places to visit during your holidays. Situated in Doha, it houses thousands of antique items collected from various nations, like India, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Egypt, etc. The museum building also helps showcase the exceptional architectural brilliance of the region.
The Falcon Souq is one of the most prominent Qatar tourist places you can visit to catch a glimpse of Arabian cultural heritage. Located in Souq Waqif, it is one of the most unique and thrilling tourist attractions in the region. At this location, individuals can encounter, photograph and learn more about Falcons, the national bird of Qatar. You can also find accessories, food and other items for Falcon at this place.
Aspire Park in Doha is one of the largest parks in the country. In contrast to the regional desert terrain, this massive green space and its serene atmosphere offer a breath of fresh air for tourists and locals alike. Apart from its beautiful green setting, the 300 metres tall Torch Tower at the park is another prominent tourist attraction. The park is one of the best places to visit in Qatar to spend some quality time with your travel buddies.
Located just a few kilometres from the centre of Doha, the Al Khor Tower is one of the best Qatar places to visit. They were used as watchtowers to keep an eye on the city, the shoreline and the access to the Ain Hleetan Well during the 1900s. The historical significance and architectural beauty of the site attract visitors from around the globe.
It is the only fort located in the western region of Qatar, believed to have been constructed around the 1810s. The Zekreet Fort was originally built using faroush stones and used for defence purposes. The ruins of the fort provide a vivid insight into the architecture of that era. During your visit, make sure to check out the beautiful Zekreet Mosque nearby.
Located in the southeastern region of Qatar, the Khor Al Adaid area is one of the most iconic Qatar tourist places you can visit. It is a natural reserve with a unique landscape composed of ever-changing sand dunes and a clear sea. Popularly known among the locals as “Inland Sea”, its natural beauty makes it a highly sought-after location.
The Qatar State Grand Mosque is one of the most beautiful religious landmarks in the country. Also known as Imam Abdul Wahhab, the gorgeous architecture and calming atmosphere of the mosque draws in visitors from all over the world. It is one of the best Qatar places to visit for a closer look into the religious side of the region.
While you stay in Qatar, make sure to avail yourself of the fun adventures and activities it has to offer. Here are some of the best things you can do during your vacation in Qatar:
Parasailing is a fun recreational activity that you can do in Qatar. It involves gliding and flying through the air in an open but secured parachute while a fast speedboat is towing you. This adventure activity will surely get your adrenaline rushing and fill you with joy. Katara Beach is one of the best places to visit in Qatar for parasailing activities.
Jet skiing is a fast-paced water sport that you can consider doing in Qatar. The Doha Corniche is a great place for this adventure activity. You can easily rent a jet ski at an affordable price and get some magnificent views of the blue waters and the phenomenal skyline.
Kayaking is one of the most fun things you can do in Qatar. It is suitable for individuals who are looking for a relaxing activity to do during their holidays. Al Thakira Mangroves Forest is one of the best places to visit in Qatar for kayaking, thanks to its serene atmosphere and beautiful scenic visuals. Individuals may also find a variety of migratory birds in the area.
Kitesurfing is one of the unique things to do in Qatar. It is a watersport that involves surfing on a specialised board while holding a large power kite and using the wind thrust for propulsion. Fuwairit beach and Zekreet beach are considered the best places for kitesurfing in Qatar.
Dune bashing is an incredibly fun adventure activity exclusive to desert terrain. It involves driving over the unruly desert dunes at alternative speeds in an SUV or desert buggy. One of the best places to go dune bashing in Qatar is the Khor Al Adaid region.
Going on a camel ride can offer individuals the ultimate desert experience during their holidays. It is a major tourist attraction in Qatar, ideal for exploring and admiring the desert terrain. Multiple places in Qatar offer camel ride tours, and it is best to go through an operator for a hassle-free experience.
With the availability of multiple shopping malls and prominent market areas, shopping in Qatar is truly a luxurious experience. Here are some best shopping areas you can visit in Qatar:
Located in Lusail, the Place Vendome Mall is one of the newest and most luxurious shopping malls in Qatar. Its elegant French architecture and interior design add to the shopping experience. The place offers several shops, cafes, restaurants and entertainment facilities. It is a great place to buy branded products in Qatar.
The City Centre Mall is a prominent shopping spot in Qatar’s capital city. Located at the centre of the West Bay Area, it features around 300 renowned retail outlets, cafes, restaurants, a cinema complex, a children’s play area, and lots more. It is an ideal location to shop for fashion, beauty products, jewellery and sports accessories.
Located in downtown Doha, the Gold Souq is the best place to shop for gold items in Qatar. The market area is home to several shops offering gold jewellery in all budget ranges. With immaculate craftsmanship and stunning designs, you can browse from a massive collection. Some of the must-shop items at this location include bangles, chains, bridal jewellery, rings, etc.
The Mall of Qatar is another major attraction for shopaholics during their Qatar trip. The place features well over 480 retail stores, offering quality products like top-of-the-line gadgets, accessories, clothing, footwear, etc. The mall also features several entertainment options, restaurants and world-renowned events, making your shopping experience unparalleled.
The Souq Waqif is one of the oldest markets in the country. It features several traditional-built shops that sell products like spices, regional handicrafts, clothing, jewellery, etc. It is located on Al Souq Street in Qatar’s capital city, Doha.
Traditional Qatari cuisine and the availability of high-end restaurants make Qatar’s fine dining experience a remarkable one. Here are some prominent places and dishes you can consider during your holidays in Qatar:
Located in Doha, The Cellar is one of Qatar’s must-visit restaurants. It is a Spanish restaurant that offers international, European and Spanish cuisines. Its main highlights are its drinks menu, dessert buffet, wine cellar and alfresco seating. The remarkable ambience and delicious food make it one of the best places to dine in the city.
The Nozomi Restaurant in Doha is another popular place you visit for an amazing dining experience fused with entertainment. Its classy ambience, contemporary Japanese cuisine and spectacular views of the Arabian Gulf are some of its main highlights. Its must-try dishes include Rock Shrimp, Sushi, Miso Marinated Chicken and Mushroom Takikomi-Gohan.
If you are looking to try regional dishes in Qatar, consider visiting Seasonal Tastes on Salwa Road in Doha. The place offers regional as well as international cuisine alongside a tranquil atmosphere and indoor and outdoor seating options. The quality of food and service at this location truly justifies its price tag.
If you are looking to try out delicious regional cuisine, make sure to consider Qatari Machboos. It is a traditional dish that is prepared with rice, meat, tomatoes, onions and some other regional spices. It offers a rich burst of flavour with every bite, ideal for lunch or dinner during your trip.
Khabees is an iconic sweet dish in the region and is a must-try item for tourists. This popular dessert is made with flour, saffron, oil and cardamom and brings a flavourful conclusion to a rich dining experience in Qatar. It is also a popular breakfast item during the festivals.
Madrouba is another traditional Qatari dish that you must try during your holidays. It is a porridge made with rice, chicken and a wide range of spices to add flavour. The dish is garnished with fresh lime and served hot. Its delectable taste will make you fall in love with Qatari cuisine all over again.
When it comes to nightlife, there are a lot of options you can consider in Qatar. Here are some examples:
The Irish Harp is a renowned Pub and Sports Bar located in Doha. The traditional Irish pub-style interior and relaxed seating arrangement offer a unique ambience. With high-definition TV screens, DJ music, a variety of drinks options and live performances, the Irish Harp is a great place to hang out with friends or meet new people in the city.
Orion is another famous place where you can enjoy the vibrant nightlife in Qatar. Located in Doha on the 9th floor of Radisson Blu, the bar is known for its reasonable pricing, upbeat music, live performances, and phenomenal ambience. The place usually operates from 6 PM to 1 AM.
The Sky View at the La Cigale Hotel is one of the most luxurious bars in the city of Doha. Its outdoor rooftop seating offers some of the best views of the city during the evening. The place is also known for its indoor double-floor section, upbeat DJ music, snacks, sushi and cocktails. It operates from 6 PM to 1 AM, except for Sundays.
The Society Lounge is an award-winning nightclub located in Qatar’s capital city. The rooftop setting of the lounge offers brilliant views of the city. It also features great lighting and DJ music. The drinks menu of the place is exceptional, offering cocktails, beers, wines, and so on. The finger foods and desserts at this place are also a must-try.