Having lived in Doha, Qatar for almost four years we have got to know it pretty well! I know there are a lot of misconceptions about Qatar and people think there aren’t many things to do in Doha, Qatar but there are lots to of things to see and things to do in Doha Qatar if you know where to look for them. So here I have compiled all my years of local knowledge into the ultimate A-Z Guide of Things to See in Doha and Things to Do in Qatar!
Things to See and Things to Do in Doha Qatar
A is for Visiting al Khor & Purple Island Qatar
One of my favourite places to go outside of the city is Purple Island. Purple Island is located in al Khor and is called Purple Island because of the small snails found there which are said to create the color of the Qatar national flag when crushed.
You can read our post about why Purple Island is the perfect desert experience for kids here! In the winter you can see flamingoes but it is a great spot for bird watchers all year round.
It’s also worth remembering that Al Khor has a great public park for children.
Purple Island is proof that there are plenty of things to see and do in Qatar outside of Doha City!
B is for Barzan Towers
I love history and historical sites and Qatar has some great forts located in the north but for those unwilling to travel Barzan is even closer – right near IKEA in fact! It should be definitely on your list of things to see and do in Doha.
C is for the Walking the Doha Corniche in Qatar
Anyone who visits Doha has to visit the Corniche! You can walk around the whole corniche from the Museum of Islamic Arts to West Bay with great views of each. Al mourjan is a good place to stop to have lunch right on the water front. I love walking by night where you can get great views of the city.
D is for taking a Dhow Cruise Qatar
Dhows are a great way to see the skyline and catch some rays. There are some great trips from the dhow port opposite the souq. You can do a day or night trip and have a BBQ on the boat. We even enjoyed jumping in the salty sea to cool down. Taking a Dhow Cruise in Qatar is a must do for tourists and residents alike..
E is for East meets West, Richard Serra Qatar desert artwork
East Meets West is the famous Richard Serra sculpture in the desert at Zekreet. It’s size in such a barren landscape is an awe striking scene. Nb you will require a 4×4 to visit! If you don’t have a 4×4 or access to your own vehicle you can take this tour out to see the sculptures and Zekreet!
Nearby you can enjoy a beach day at zekreet and see the amazing mushroom rocks.
There is also a film city with a reconstructed village which is worth a look.
F is for Fuwairit Beach Qatar
Fuwarit Beach Qatar is a beach just to the north of Doha. One of the few powdery beaches in Qatar it offers a great place for a weekend day trip. It also is a breeding site for turtles.
G is for the Grand Mosque Qatar
A beautiful structure in the center of Doha. It’s worth a drive past at night to see it in its full splendor.
H is for al Hazm mall
The newest mall opening in Doha. The mall is a great architectural nod to the malls of Milan and Naples. Located near West Bay, al hazm mall is really easy to get to and offers great outdoor dining options.
I is for the Inland Sea Qatar
A remarkable geological feat. The inland sea is a great place to go dune bashing. It is really important to go with a good company for desert safaris as you need to have a good driver to navigate the dunes! We recommend using this company!
J is for al Jassasiya rock carvings
The al Jassasiya rock carvings comprise of 874 petroglyphs, you can see carvings showing boats, stars and rosettes amongst others. A great site for the archaeology lover!
K is for Katara Cultural Village Doha
Katara cultural village Doha has lots of great restaurants, (one is on my list of dohas best restaurants from a-z), is a great space for art with and exhibition space run by Qatar museums, and performance space. There is also a stamp museum specializing in stamps from the region and is a lovely place to go for a walk. In the winter, katara hosts a series of festivals the most well known is the show festival which takes place in November. It is a must for any cultural visit to Qatar!
L is for lusail
The must see for sports enthusiasts. At the moment it is a city under dvelopment but it is worthwhile to try and get an event at the lusail arena.
One of the most iconic buildings in Doha. The Museum of Islamic Art was designed by I.M. Pei. It has a great collection of Islamic Art comprising of jewelry, astrolabes and carpets amongst others and home to great temporary exhibitions such as the recent Treasures of China exhibition containing five terra-cotta army.
The park is also a beautiful place to go for a walk and has the cafe with the best views in Doha.
The park also has the al Riwaq exhibition space which houses exhibitions such as the Damien Hurst retrospective. Check the QM website for current exhibition details.
The museum is a must visit see cultural attraction in Qatar!
N is for the Qatar National museum
Although not open yet it is worth driving by the Qatar National Museum. An architectural gem in the making. Designed to resemble a desert rose, a geological feature of a Qatar, it will reopen to show the history of the country.
O is for Oryx
Qatar’s national animal. Unfortunately I’ve only seen as statues at the st Regis or on the tail of a Qatar Airways plane but there are apparently some in the wild. I would love to see one.
P is for Visiting the Pearl Doha
Doha’s answer to the Palm. The Pearl Doha has Great shopping and even better restaurants (see my a-z of Doha’s best restaurants for more information). We love strolling around the marina and looking at all the boats.
Q is for the qanat quarter
A largely residential area of the Pearl made to look like Venice. It even has its own Rialto bridge. A great place to walk around especially now more shops and restaurants are opening. I personally can’t wait to try the Breakfast Club.
R is for al ruwais
A town in northern Qatar. Known for its port, it has a lovely park and is a great jumping off point to see the forts of northern Qatar. You can read about our experience of al ruwais and forts here.
S is for Souq Waqif
Meaning standing market Souq Waqif is Doha’s main souq. It is a great place to experience local culture. Don’t miss the gold Souq and handicraft market. It is a great place to walk around! If you want a guided tour CLICK HERE
Why not check out our Souq waqif series to find out more about visiting with a baby and our favourite restaurants in the Souq!
T is for the Torch
A striking building in the aspire zone. You can have dinner and view the city from above. Then why not take a stroll around the aspire zone park!
U is for under the stars kayaking
Kayaking under the stars is definitely one for any Doha bucket list! This sunset Kayak is the absolutely perfect way to see the best of Qatar’s natural environment!
V is for villagio
A mall modelled on Venice with gondolas running through the center. Can be visited at the same time as the torch.
W is for al wakra
The old pearling center of Qatar. Today, it is known for having the second souq of Qatar, located on the waterfront.
Z is zubarah
Qatar’s only UNESCO world heritage site. A fort and museum that is worth the drive out of Doha to visiti! You can read all about how to get there and out experience here.
If you want to visit the forts of Northern Qatar and don’t have a vehicle we recommend taking this tour – CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS
How many have you done? What do you think are the best things to see and best things to do in Qatar?