Top Places to Visit in Qatar in 2021
You need to see Qatar to believe it! It is a land of true wonders that will fascinate even the most experienced travelers.
Besides a plethora of architectural gems and landscapes that are out of this world, there is a long list of adventures you need to embark on as well.
So what are you waiting for? Discover Top Places to Visit in Qatar in 2021.
Pack your bags and book your ticket to Doha – don’t forget to bring our list of things to do and places to go for an unforgettable vacation and great photo opportunities!
Buckle up and enjoy the ride!
A few words about Qatar
Qatar is an Arab state located in the Persian Gulf. This peninsula nation is considered to be one of the safest and most hospitable countries in the world for tourists.
Awaiting the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the government has dedicated all its resources to creating tourist facilities. It is not a large country, but its fast-growing tourism industry is threatening to take over the world.
What is the best time of the year to visit Qatar? Any! It has a near-perfect summer-like climate all year long.
The Best Places to Go when in Qatar
Qatar might be a small country, but it is overflowing with interesting places that should be on your bucket`s list.
1. The Capital City of Doha
While in Doha be sure to visit Souq Waqif and get a sense of the old world. In the maze of shops, you will find spices and sweets that will tackle your taste buds, as well as unique souvenirs and art you can take back home.
You can stop by the Al Wakrah Souq as well. It is located near the airport and characterized by charming beachfront restaurants.
In the late afternoon, take a walk along the Doha Corniche – a seven-kilometer long promenade that stretches across the Persian Gulf. At its end, you’ll find the Museum of Islamic Art designed by architect I.M. Pei. It might look like it’s floating on the water but do not be afraid to step in and marvel the vast collection of items that date from the 7th to 19th century.
2. World-Class Museums
Qatar has more than a few extraordinary world-class museums, most of which are located in the capital city. The National Museum of Qatar is an excellent way to learn about Qatar. A true architectural marvel, the National Museum offers an immersive and informational insight into the country’s history.
It tells Qatar’s story in 3 separate parts – Beginnings, Life in Qatar, and The Modern History of Qatar. For all plant enthusiasts, the museum features a fully landscaped park filled with Qatar’s indigenous flora, and if you want to see a real masterpiece, check out the incredible Pearl Carpet of Baroda, an art piece made up of 1.5 million hand-embroidered pearls, diamonds, and sapphires.
After you gaze at the wonder that is the National Museum, take a trip to the MIA, or Museum of Islamic Art, an iconic monument in the Doha waterfront. This awe-inspiring limestone structure is where tradition meets modernity.
Tourists from around the world come to MIA to experience art’s connection to Islam. Each piece of this museum’s rich collection tells a story of Qatar’s history. Besides pieces that tell a visual narrative, you can explore the library that holds more than 15,000 rare manuscripts from around the world, including a 7th century Quran.
Not a huge fan of history?
No problem, there’s something else you can enjoy! The incredible Mathaf. This is a museum of modern and contemporary Arabian art. The Mathaf’s collection features 9,000 pieces collected over the previous decades, making it the most extensive collection of Arab art in the region.
Another not-to-be-missed museum would be the Museum of Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani. You will find this surprisingly interesting museum about 23 kilometers west of Doha. It boasts a private collection of items collected by Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani.
Among 15,000 artifacts, there is something for everyone – from an 18th-century Ottoman bomb to a collection of vintage US cars or ancient religious books. Be careful not to miss something!
3. East-West/West-East Artwork
Qatar is all about art and culture – the East-West/West-East installation by sculptor Richard Serra is there to prove this notion. It stands on the sand in the Brouq nature reserve located 60 kilometers northwest of Doha, and represents a perfect photo-opportunity!
4. Al Zubarah Fort and the Abandoned Village
The restored Al Zubarah Fort is Qatar’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site and an excellent place for you to get acquainted with Qatar’s cultural history. The fort was built in 1938, but there are archaeological remains that date as far as the 1700s.
The abandoned fishing town of Al Zubarah looks like a ghost town (but a charming one, not that from the horror movies) and paints a picture of the times long gone.
5. Al Thakira Mangroves
You probably expect to see a lot of scorching desert sand in Qatar, but you’ll surely be surprised at the sight of greenery and water you’ll find in the mangroves of Al Thakira.
This area is overflowing with green plants and pink flamingos. The unique ecosystem bursting with birdlife will make you forget you are in the desert.
6. The Pearl
Do you want to taste the life of the elite and royalty? If you answered “Yes”, you must pay a visit to The Pearl. It is a 4 million square meters large man-made island built on reclaimed land.
While there, don`t miss the scenic Qanat Quartier, inspired by the Mediterranean. A tour around its picturesque canals, bridges, and squares with romantic cafés will take your breath away!
7. Katara Cultural Village
When heading back from the Pearl, you’ll stumble upon a true gem of Qatar`s art scene – Katara Cultural Village. It is a place that gathers artists from all around the world and inspires them.
You can visit the breathtaking mosque covered with colorful mosaics or the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra any time, but you should best come during the Traditional Dhow Festival or the Palestinian Heritage Festival.
8. Al Shaqab Equestrian Center
Qatar is a nation that loves horses, and that is most evident when you visit the Al Shaqab equestrian center. It is an ultramodern luxurious complex where the noblest pure-breed Arabian horses are raised and groomed to become competition winners.
If you are lucky, you might come across a newborn foal too! That is the cutest thing ever!
9. Night Market of Lusail
If you enjoy excellent nightlife, you’re going to love the Lusail night market. Here, you’ll find a medley of cafes, restaurants, and shops, with excellent cuisine and everything you need for a memorable night on the town.
Visit the night market of Lusail and experience some of the best shops and food courts Qatar has to offer in one place!
10. World Cup Stadiums
Use the incredible chance to visit the stadiums that will host the matches during the 2022 World Cup.
Start with the Khalifa International Stadium. First built in 1976, this stadium has been the cornerstone of Qatar’s sporting tradition. With its unique location and a super-advanced transportation system, Khalifa Stadium will ensure Qatar hosts the best-connected football championship ever. Get an early taste of the excitement that the World Cup brings and visit the stadium that plays a pivotal role in the upcoming events.
After Khalifa, take a trip to the breathtaking Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah. Its futuristic design was inspired by the traditional dhow boats used in the area for pearl diving and fishing. You don’t have to be a football fanatic to enjoy the delights of Al Janoub – take a stroll around the arena’s beautiful parklands and the waterfront, discover the area’s rich history at numerous museums, or simply take a moment to appreciate Al Janoub’s modern and elegant architecture.
The next on the map would be the Al Bayt. With a capacity of 60,000 seats, the Al Bayt Stadium is one of the largest in Qatar. The entire stadium is covered with a giant tent structure, and it’s located in the northern city of Al Khor. Al Bayt is designed to honor Qatar’s past and present, with one eye on the future of the community.
The concept of this unique stadium is built around sustainability and low energy usage, which makes it a staple in Qatar’s efforts to host the most environmentally friendly World Cup ever.
Its visitors will enjoy not only the football matches but also the amenities surrounding the stadium, which include parks and lakes where you can relax and enjoy Qatar’s pleasant, warm climate.
Besides these three, tourists can also opt to visit the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium located at Al Rayyan, one of Qatar’s most historic cities, not far from Doha. It is the home of the immensely popular football team, Al Rayyan Sports Club.
Al Thumama, Education City, Lusail, and Ras Abu Aboud are also monumental Qatar stadiums that will be a part of the 2022 Cup.
11. Camel Racing Track
Camel racing has been a part of Qatar’s culture for decades, and it’s something you definitely shouldn’t miss out on while in Qatar. It truly is a unique Qatar experience.
Al Shahaniya, a camel race track near Doha, is one of the most exclusive sports venues and a place where you can best experience the so-called “sports of the sheiks” firsthand. Witness the races as they are happening by watching it from a 4×4 that zooms alongside the track.
12. Singing Sand Dunes of Mesaieed
Just a 30-minute drive from Doha are the singing sand dunes of Mesaieed. The crescent-shaped dunes make a singing sound triggered by the wind or people walking, running, or sliding down the dune.
You can spend hours enjoying this natural sound phenomenon with your family – just make sure to equip yourself with enough sunscreen and water, especially if you visit during summertime!
The Best Things to Do when in Qatar
1. Hop on a dhow
You must not miss out on a dhow cruise by any means! That is the best way to enjoy the city’s skyline at night. You can haggle with the boatmen; it is amusing even if you don’t succeed in getting the price down.
2. Drive across the desert
Dune bashing is another must when in Qatar – your visit would not be complete without it! If we had to choose only one thing to do when in Qatar, a thrilling ride across the desert dunes would be our definite choice.
You can stay overnight and sleep in luxury Arabian tents. If you cannot afford that, you can sleep under the stars too- it might end up being a far more satisfying experience!
3. Visit a sports event of your choice
You don’t have to wait for the 2022 FIFA World Cup to enjoy sports in Qatar. The tennis fans can get a kick out of the ATP World Tour and watch tennis legends such as Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic do their magic.
If you are in need for speed, you can rejoice in The Qatar Moto Grand Prix and World Superbikes. For more relaxing entertainment, visit the annual Qatar Masters Golf Tournament.
If you want to see sports and tradition merge together, pay a visit to Arabian falconry and horse or camel racing events.
4. Do some shopping
From the grand Doha Festival City to the Villaggio Mall inspired by Venice, excellent shopping is always just a step away when in Qatar. Luxurious goods you can buy in Qatar can hardly be found all in one place anywhere else in the world!
You should also:
- Sunbathe on some of the Gulf’s most affluent beaches;
- Enjoy water sports such as surfing, kayaking or wakeboarding at the Pearl;
- Ride a camel in the morning;
- Have brunch in the Sheraton Grand Doha;
- Go clubbing at some of the world’s most exclusive nightclubs.
Discover Qatar – A final word of advice
Qatar awaits you, and we are sure that this text has already sent you packing. We have a final word of advice for you – don`t forget to bring your smile and good mood, everything else is already covered for in Qatar!
We hope our list of things to do and places to go for an unforgettable vacation in Qatar has helped you plan your visit. Feel free to ask any additional questions you might have, 365 Adventures is here for you!