Qatar has been our home for the last 16 years and whenever we have family or friends visiting on a short trip, below are my Top 10 places to take them to, within the city. If you have more time, there is a lot of stuff to do outside of the main city like camping in the Desert, Zekreet, Film City, Purple Island, Souq Wakra, etc.These, however, are my top 10 places to take my guests to show them my city of Doha.
(Qatar National Day Abaya – Aadima by Gills Manju Lakshmi)
1. Museum of Islamic Art
Museum of Islamic Art is a modern architectural masterpiece designed by IM Pei, winner of the 1983 Pritzker Architecture Prize and is also the architect of the Le Grand Louvre, Paris. The museum holds 14 centuries of Islamic art, which is one of the leading collections of the Islamic art in the world. They have permanent exhibits and some new temporary exhibits that makes us residents go back again and again. You can read more details about the exhibits, timings etc on their website.
2. MIA Park
Just walking distance away from the Museum of Islamic art, is the one of my favorite parks in Doha with the best panoramic views of the city’s skyline from the MIA park hills.There are a few food stalls around the park and a MIA Park Cafe, which is one of my favorite places to chill.
3. National Museum of Qatar
The recently re-opened National Museum of Qatar is an architectural master peice and is constructed in the complex form of a desert rose by the French Artchitect Jean Nouvel. The National Museum of Qatar tells the story of Qatar, its heritgae, culture and people in a way that would leave you speechless!
You can read more details about the exhbitis, timings etc on their website.
4. Souq Waqif
Another gem in Doha that is an ABOSULTE must visit is Souq Waqif. This traditional street market is the place to shop for souvenirs, spices or even falcons!Souq Waqif gives u a taste of the Qatari tradition, architecture and culture. With an art gallery, numerous resturants and cafes, a cinema etc. – Souq Waqif has it all!
5. The Pearl Qatar
The Pearl Qatar is a beautiful man-made island off the West Bay coast featuring Mediterranean-style yacht-lined marinas, residential towers, villas and hotels, as well as lots of shopping, dining and entertainment outlets. The Pearl Qatar has different areas like Porto Arabia with the boardwalk along the marina, or Medina Centrale which is like a town square or the commercial center of the island and always busy or Qanat Quartier – our very own little Venice in Qatar.
You could spend a whole day exploring different areas of the Pearl Qatar. You can read more details about the island on their website.
Katara is called the cultural village of Qatar and is the hub of art and cultural exchange. It is a place where people come together to experience the diversity of the cultures of the world. With beautiful theatres, concert halls & exhibition galleries, Katara is always hosting some international, regional and local festivals, workshops, performances and exhibitions.However, a trip to Katara would not be complete without the famous Chapati and Karak.To know more about Katara and what’s on visit their website
7. State Mosque
Imam Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab Mosque (also called the Qatar State Mosque) is the national mosque of Qatar. Built in a traditional style, the mosque has all modern facilities. The grand entrance of the mosque over looks the stunning skyline of the city.
8. Qatar National Library
A heaven for book lovers, this gorgeous state of the art library is one of a kind and must be on the list of every book lover!To know more about the library , visit their website
9. Dhow Trip
Visit to Qatar would be incomplete without a taste of a trip on a traditional dhow, whether you take a one available at corniche or rent for a day trip, it is definitely worth it.
10. Banana Island
Last but definitely not the least, is a trip to Banana Island, which is about 30 minute away from Doha on a luxury boat transfer. It’s a piece of paradise in the middle of the desert. You can spend the entire day there, using their day pass with access to their beach, pool, spa and amenities and enjoy a day relaxing on this beautiful island. You can check the deals they have at their website
This list is in no way exhaustive and there is a LOT more to do and see in Qatar. Do check out the official tourism website of Qatar – Visit Qatar for more details.