The best places to visit in Doha and Qatar

20 Enchanting Places To Discover In Qatar

20 mins read

Qatar, a peninsular Arab country, is a potent mix of the traditional, the artificial, and the uber-glamourous. It is home to futuristic skyscrapers, ultra-modern architecture, and burgeoning arts and culinary scenes.

I spent a few years teaching English and watched it grow into a unique and special world-class travel destination, especially its now world-class capital, Doha. From souqs to shiny malls, here are the places I’d love to share with you…

1. Souq Waqif

Souq Waqif Doha

Souq Waqif is a popular marketplace built on the old-century trading market. Set against the backdrop of Doha’s dramatic skyline, it offers a unique experience for visitors and locals alike.

The Souq is a buzzing center of commerce, packed with various vendors selling traditional garments, spices, handicrafts, and souvenirs. This area is also home to dozens of authentic restaurants and Shisha lounges.

I personally think a trip to Souq Waqif is incomplete without a visit to the gorgeous Al Bidda Boutique Hotel! This iconic hotel is a collection of 9 beautifully designed buildings that showcase the city’s best at its doorsteps.

The hotel has exquisite interiors, and its in-house dining menus include gourmet goodies and traditional Arabian feasts.

2. Khor al Adaid

Khor al Adaid Qatar

Desert Glamping Doha

Dune bashing is the more adventurous, fun, and exotic version of driving cars over dunes. Dune bashing is typically done in an SUV with four-wheel drive and extra-wide tyres to stabilize the vehicle as it slides across the sand. You can enjoy a thrilling experience in Khor al Adaid.

For anyone who visits the ultra-modern, skyscraper-filled Gulf city, a day spent riding SUVs in the desert is a can’t-miss activity! Another exhilarating desert experience is Glamping.

This is essentially ‘glamorous camping’ or the option to camp without forgoing any of life’s little luxuries. Glampers stay in luxurious, spacious tents with modern facilities like double debs, well-maintained bathrooms, coffee machines, and more.

These modern Bedouin-style tents are set up in the desert, amongst the dunes and under the stars. A romantic bonfire night under the stars is truly an unforgettable experience, and I highly recommend it to anyone! Other desert activities include visiting the inland sea or a UNESCO World Heritage site.

3. Pearl-Qatar

Pearl-Qatar Doha

Pearl Qatar is an artificial island covering 14 km in Doha. This marvelous artificial island is one of the city’s most luxurious and developed areas, with over 45,000 residents.

The island offers an integrated luxury experience with beautiful marinas, shopping boutiques, entertainment centers, and scenic backdrops. In my opinion, its unrivalled architectural beauty makes this place a true gem!

Marsala Kempinski Hotel in Pearl is one of the best 5-star hotels in the country. It offers guests impeccable hospitality and relaxing spa services.

4. Boutique Restaurant ‘Boho’ Social’

Boutique Restaurant Boho Social Doha

Boutique Restaurant ‘Boho’ Social

Boho Social is a boutique restaurant located above Katara Beach Club. The foodies. This Bohemian-inspired joint consists of a chic restaurant, a vibrant lounge, and a terrace that offers spectacular seaside views of the Arabian Gulf.

The menu comprises global cuisines and exquisite dishes from the Americas, Southern Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

The restaurant serves impeccable food, has an espresso bar with specialty coffee, a laidback atmosphere, and an overall sublime dining experience! I love this place! 

5. Qanat Quartier

Qanat Quartier Doha

Qanat Quartier is a private precinct where Arabian charm intertwines with Venetian style. The community comprises low-rise buildings painted in pretty pastel colors, pedestrian-friendly bridges, piazzas, and waterways of canals. This lovely area is popularly known as the Venice of Qatar.

Qanat has many shops, boutiques and outlets, restaurants and cafes, and a world-class beachfront with outstanding waterfront views. The chic architecture, intricate canals, and stunning views make Qanat Quartier perfect for romance and relaxation.

6. The W Hotel

The W Hotel Doha

W hotel in Doha

The W Hotel is a luxury designer hotel with beautiful, vibrant rooms. Each room is remarkably designed with stylish interiors and tech-savvy amenities such as air-conditioning, an iPod docking station, a hairdryer, a tea and coffee machine, a minibar, etc.

The hotel also offers several amenities, including an outdoor pool, spa center, and gourmet restaurants. Award-winning restaurants include the Market by Jean-Georges or Spice Market by the 3 Michelin star celebrity Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

Enjoy fancy cocktails, shisha, and mesmerizing beats at the hotel’s in-house outdoor lounge, Wahm, or the Crystal Lounge. Located in the heart of Doha’s West Bay, the W Hotel offers guests celebrity treatment with world-class service.

7. Banana Island

Banana Island Qatar

Known to be one of the most scenic and exotic islands in the world, Banana Island is a resort getaway that offers luxurious facilities in idyllic atmospheres. The island has a beautiful crescent shape spread over 12 hectares of land and comprises unique marine biodiversity and reefs.

A stay on this island includes limitless water activities and adventures, relaxing wellness and spa treatments, and romantic dinners on private beaches. Snorkeling and scuba diving are great ways to explore the island’s exotic underwater life.

Above water, hotels on this island offer world-class spa facilities like indoor and outdoor pools, hammam rooms, ice wells, saunas, Jacuzzis and steam rooms, salons for manicures, pedicures and facials, and relaxation gardens.

The resort also includes gourmet restaurants, tennis courts, and golf courses for guests to indulge in, relax, and enjoy. Located only a short distance from Doha, this paradise island is a top pick for those looking for the perfect holiday haven.

8. Mall of Qatar

Mall of Qatar Doha

The Mall of Qatar opened its doors in 2016 and quickly became one of the city’s most popular shopping centers. With over 500 stores and designer boutiques, the Mall of Qatar prides itself on offering domestic and international brands to its visitors.

The mall comprises over 100 dining options and outlets like 5-star restaurants, outstanding gourmet cafes, and food courts. Spread over a vast 5.4 million sq. ft., the mall provides world-class entertainment with its first-ever resident troupe of the world.

This center is known for live shows on the multi-lift rotating stage, with animated water and lighting features.

9. State Grand Mosque

State Grand Mosque

State Grand Mosque Qatar

Located in the Jubailat district of Doha, the State Grand Mosque features a building with multiple domes. The mosque has been built using a mix of modern and traditional Arabic architecture.

With distinguished elements from Islamic architecture, the mosque has three main doors and 17 side entrances.

The founder of Qatar Mosque Boualaqbib, Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani, is behind the construction of The State Grand Mosque, which was built in memory of the constructor’s father.

The landmark monument’s rich heritage is worth for its witnessing religious influence.

10. Villaggio Mall
Villaggio Mall Doha

Doha is globally known for its abundant and luxury shopping experience. Experience this global shopping experience at the ‘Villaggio Mall,’ commonly known as Villaggio.

The Villaggio hosts some of the world’s most luxurious and sought-after brands, such as Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, etc.

Besides the haute fashion, the mall is known for its elegant yet exotic interiors. The main highlight at the Villaggio is the indoor canal gondola boat rides, which offer an exclusive and romantic experience.

Within this high-end mall sits the most advanced cinema screen in the world, IMAX Cinemandas, the ‘Gandolania’ Theme Pa, which includes an Olympic-sized ice skating rink, bowling alleys, roller coaster rides, and more.

Enjoy a surreal cinematic experience, get your adrenaline going at the in-house amusement park, or splurge on a well-deserved shopping spree!

11. KataraKatara Qatar

The Katara Cultural Village is a hub for exploring art, theater, music, literature, exhibition, and culture. It is the largest multi-cultural project and offers a unique once-in-a-lifetime experience.

People from different walks of life, diverse cultures, and religions come together to experience and explore other cultures and learn about them.

Katara offers fantastic views and incredible amenities, such as beautiful amphitheaters inspired by Islamic architecture. It also has a private 1.5 km beach where visitors can enjoy water activities.

The beauty of Katara lies in the fact that people who come here forget their differences and overcome preconceived notions and boundaries.

12. La Mar Doha by Gastón AcurioBest places to eat in Doha

Gorgeous restaurant in Doha

La Mar is a Peruvian restaurant in one of Doha’s finest hotels. Located in the Intercontinental Hotel, La Mer is a lovely, contemporary restaurant that features authentic Peruvian cuisine by renowned chef Gastón Acurio.

Popular dishes are known for their rich flavors and exotic ingredients, including authentic cebiches. Don’t miss out on the delicious cocktail menu, which includes a hand-crafted ‘Classic Pisco Sour’!

Besides incredible food and fantastic service, the restaurant offers a stunning panoramic view of the entire Doha skyline.

13. Mia Park

Mia Park Doha Qatar

Situated adjacent to the Museum of Islamic Art, Mia Park is a picturesque park with a beautiful waterfront promenade lined with Arabian palm trees, small hills and green lawns, and children’s play areas.

The park is known for its unique hilly terrain and stunning city views. It is also surrounded by beautiful nature and a peaceful atmosphere and offers many activities.

Children’s playgrounds include a carousel and a mini toy train. Mia Park also has hammocks, bicycles, walking paths, and cafes. Visit the park during sunset for breathtaking views of the Doha skyline.

14. The National Museum of Qatar

The National Museum of Qatar

The National Museum of Qatar was opened in 2019. It was constructed in place of the original Qatar National Museum. The famous architect Jean Nouvel designed this excellent museum, which was inspired by ‘The Desert Rose Crystal’ in Qatar.

Through its 11 remarkable galleries, the museum offers a multifaceted and immersive experience. It showcases the nation’s rich heritage and culture and demonstrates its extensive network with other countries and cultures worldwide.

In addition to its unique architecture and stunning gallery spaces, the museum comprises a 220-seat auditorium and two restaurants or cafés that serve traditional food. It also includes the Palace of Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani, the heart of Qatar’s national identity.

15. MIA Museum

MIA Museum Qatar

The Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) is a center of knowledge that showcases the world of Islamic art. The museum represents Islamic art dating back over 1400 years from three continents. MIA is known as the flagship of all the Qatar Museums.

MIA’s vision is to illuminate Islamic art and open people’s creative minds for a better future. It aims to transform Qatar’s art state into the cultural capital of the Middle East.

Visiting the Museum of Islamic Art left me feeling creative and joyous! It’s a gem!

16. Nobu

Nobu Doha - best places to visit in Qatar

Nobu Doha is the world’s largest Nobu restaurant. This renowned restaurant is uniquely perched above the Arabian Gulf, serving acclaimed Chef Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matsuhisa’s signature style of Japanese cuisine. The gourmet chain restaurant is famous for its Friday brunch, which was designed by a celebrity chef. I love this place!

This fine dining establishment offers a one-of-a-kind experience because of its incredible menu, fantastic location, and breathtaking sea views.

The restaurant’s interiors are gorgeous, designed with utmost detail, and inspired by Islamic architecture. The restaurant owner, Robert De Niro, has passionately built this place to ensure guests leave with the most memorable dining experience.

17. Festival City Mall

Festival City Mall Doha

Festival City Mall is a favorite shopping spot for locals and tourists. Home to over 200 international brands, the mall is a one-stop solution for everything from clothing, jewelry, and accessories to makeup, gadgets, and home furnishings. The mall also offers unlimited dining and entertainment options.

It comprises the world’s first-ever Angry Birds World, a winter Theme Park, and an e-gaming hub, Virtuosity. Currently one of the largest malls in Qatar, its 600,000 sq. mt. of shopping space is pure paradise for all the shopaholics out there!


EAST-WEST / WEST-EAST by Richard Serra

EAST-WEST / WEST-EAST by Richard Serra is a breathtaking sculpture located at the Brouq Natural Reserve. Since its installation in 2014, it has become a known landmark and a celebrated living statue.

The sculpture comprises four steel plants, each one over 14 inches in height. Located amidst a vast area in the desert’s heart, this is a sight to see. The location symbolizes how Richard Serra was so mesmerized by the desert that it made a place in his heart.

19. Porto Arabia

Porto Arabia Qatar

Porto Arabia Qatar

Porto Arabia is a modern Mediterranean district with outdoor and indoor retail stores. Its stores offer an extensive range of local and international brands.

This luxury destination also offers a range of fantastic dining options, a five-star hotel and resort, and other amenities and services like an open-air boardwalk, valet parking, buggy transport, and more.

Residential apartments in this district include four-bedroom apartments, penthouses, and 1 to 3-bedroom townhouses. Porto Arabia exudes luxury with a waterfront setting, warm hospitality, and luxury services. 

20. The Sheraton Hotel

The Sheraton Hotel Doha

Chic Hotel in Doha

When visitors look for the ultimate hotel in Qatar, one name that shines bright is The Sheraton Hotel. As one of the most luxurious global hotel chains, it guarantees guests a world-class experience.

I love the picturesque views from the spacious designer rooms. Rooms are elegantly decorated, well-lit, and have lavish balconies. Bathrooms are well-maintained and come with plush bathrobes and expensive bath products.

The hotel also offers exclusive amenities such as a private pool, state-of-the-art gym, sauna, spa, indoor games, etc. Its well-manicured lawn and private beach add to its allure.

With beautiful interiors, a prime location, and excellent guest services, it is no wonder that The Sheraton Hotel is sought-after.

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