12 Amazing Things To Do In Doha, Qatar

Touring around Doha is a sight for sore eyes! 

Just a few decades ago, Qatar was a quiet desert. Since 2007, Doha, its capital city, has risen to become one of the most exciting places on the Persian Gulf with modern architectures and throwbacks to heritage. For architecture fans, this city boasts some of the most unique and stellar buildings in the world. Making a trip to Doha an artistic haven for cultural seekers and design connoisseurs. Here are some of the best things to do in Doha.

 

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Souq Waqif

Doha, Qatar

A stop at Souq Waqif is a must when visiting Doha, with its labyrinth of market stalls brimming with textiles, jewelry, spices and local handicrafts. As one of Qatar’s oldest markets, Souq Waqif was once a busy trading center for the Bedouins who came here to trade camels and essential goods for their nomadic way of life.

It’s best to visit Souq Waqif early in the morning or in the evening to avoid daytime heat. Make sure to stop for a refreshing tea break before going for another round of discovery.

Souq Waqif, Doha, Qatar
Photo by Emre on Unsplash

Museum of Islamic Art

Doha, Qatar

To witness a masterpiece of stunning architecture right on the water, head on over to Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) where I. M. Pei’s incredible work is built on an artificial peninsula overlooking Doha Bay. The design of the museum derives from Islamic influences with beautiful geometric lines. It’s also the first museum to feature more than 14 centuries of Islamic art in Arab State of the Persian Gulf.

In order to have Pei be involved in the project, he had to be convinced out of retirement since the famous architect was already 91 years old at the time. Once Pei agreed, he traveled for six months throughout countries in the Arab World to learn more about Islamic art and design.

Museum of Islamic Art Doha, Qatar
Photo by Tom kitto on Unsplash

Mina District

19 Street No : 200, New Doha Port, الدوحة،, Qatar

Mina District is the perfect example of Doha transforming its city, a massive makeover from Old Doha Port to a neighborhood of pastel-painted buildings full of restaurants and cafés. In addition to taking numerous photos while you’re here, make sure to stop by Chabrat Al Mina and browse through a vibrant seafood market. Besides food and coffee, Mina District is also fantastic for shopping where you can browse through clothing, accessories, home decor, and art.

The Pearl-Qatar

The Pearl

For one of the most luxurious areas in Doha, check out The Pearl. The man-made island in West Bay District features high-rises, yachts lined along the marina, and endless shops for those who love designer brands. The island sits on four million square meters of real estate that includes 25,000 residences – home to 52,000 residents. It has grown to be one of the biggest developments in the Middle East at $15 billion once completed. The impressive Porto Arabia Towers, for example, houses 4,700 premium apartments. Meanwhile, Viva Bahriya Towers, encompasses 29 state-of-the-art towers. 

Education City Mosque

7GPQ+62Q, Ibn Malik St, Doha, Qatar

Education City Mosque is a breathtaking architecture, designed by Iraqi architect Taha al-Hiti whose calligraphy vision is showcased on the exterior of the mosque covered in Arabic calligraphy. Particularly the minarets that feature calligraphy in the direction of the sky, drawing the visitor’s eye toward heaven. Situated in Minaretein Center, the mosque is also part of Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s College of Islamic Studies (CIS.) Hence Education City Mosque symbolizes both faith and knowledge.

Education City Mosque
Photo by 拜耳 闫 on Unsplash

National Museum of Qatar

Museum Pk St, Doha, Qatar

The National Museum of Qatar displays 11 galleries where travelers can further understand beyond history and natural landscape of the Persian Gulf, but also the country’s heritage in pearl diving and bedouin tribes. The museum’s structure is an enormous wonder, designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, who drew inspiration from a captivating resource in Qatar: desert rose crystal. The museum also encompasses Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani’s Palace which is the core of Qatari pride.

Katara Mosque

9G5F+PWF, Doha, Qatar

Inside Katara Cultural Village is also the magnificent Katara Mosque, or the Blue Mosque of Katara. The exterior of the mosque is made up of purple and blue glass mosaic art, designed by Zainab Fadil Oglu who drew ideas from major mosques in other countries. The hand-painted ceramics were uniquely created for Katara Mosque, while the mosaics were designed by restoration experts from Istanbul.

Katara Mosque
Photo by Visit Qatar on Unsplash

Msheireb Downtown

Msheireb Downtown is the new face of the city, where the former home to Doha’s first bank has now been altered into the first sustainable downtown in the globe. Make sure to have a meal in Barahat Msheireb square which is open-air, enjoy a cup of coffee on Al Kahraba Street, visit several ivory mosques or learn about Qatar’s history inside several museums. Don’t miss Radwani House where travelers can peek inside a local Qatari’s life with families and traditions.

Msheireb Downtown
Photo by Rowen Smith on Unsplash

Doha Fire Station

Fire Station, Mohammed Bin Thani, Doha, Qatar

Another intriguing architecture is the Fire Station originally constructed in 1982, it used to house Qatari Civil Defense Authority. Since 2014, it has been renovated into Artists in Residence Program of Qatar Museums. Emblematic of a honeycomb; the Fire Station is now used as an art gallery, ateliers and a gathering place for artists as well as curators. In addition, there’s a laser cutter lab, the Fire Station Cinema, an art supply store and an artistic Café 999. If you’re curious about Qatar’s art scene, this is the place to be.

Doha Fire House
INSTAGRAM @gillesmasse

Box Park

8H22+QP6, Doha, Qatar

It’s hard to miss Box Park, due to its vivid colors and interesting architecture. Completely constructed from recycled shipping containers painted in bright and vibrant hues, Box Park houses a plethora of food trucks perfect for grabbing a quick bite. Head indoors, you’ll notice that the elevators are inside a shipping container. Near the exterior, there’s beautiful street art to photograph. Since it’s situated near Old Doha Port, it’s an easy walk from Mina District.

Iconic 2022

7C9X+9WC، Umm Leghab St, Doha, Qatar

The fascinating Iconic 2022 Building is the first structure in the world to resemble a year. Four blocks of edifice span over 60,000 square meter of space, filled with restaurants, shops and cafés. Located in Aspire Zone, it’s close to several other landmarks as well, making it easy to check off your bucket list. With numerous coffee shops inside, it’s the perfect spot to enjoy a nice cup of Arabian coffee.

Iconic 2022
FACEBOOK Iconic 2022

Qatar National Library

District of Freedom, Education City, Al Luqta St, Doha, Qatar

For architecture fans and book lovers, stop by Qatar National Library. Designed by Rem Koolhaas, the stunning building is in the shape of two pieces of paper diagonally folded, with glass panels that permit natural light to illuminate the interior of the library. Despite that only members can check out books, travelers should enter the building simply to admire the gorgeous structure. The library hosts events on a monthly basis that are free-entry, even with outstanding performances by the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra.

Wendy Hung

CEO, FOUNDER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

As the founder of Jetset Times, Wendy is an avid traveler and fluent in five languages. When she's not traveling, Wendy calls Paris and Taipei home. Her favorite countries so far from her travels have been: Bhutan, Iran, and St. Bart's because they were all so different!