Located in the Persian Gulf, Qatar is one of the Arab states and is a fascinating destination for travellers. Doha, the nation's capital city, offers a vibrant mix of ancient culture and modern attractions to suit any interest and inclination. Here are the top 10 things to do in Doha.
1. Doha Corniche
The Doha Corniche is a waterfront promenade along Doha Bay. You could spend hours strolling along the promenade and taking in views of the futuristic buildings in the central business district or the spectacular old-world architecture. Along the bay, you'll see traditional dhows that stand as a reminder of the pearling and seafaring past of Qatar. You'll find numerous restaurants and cafes in the area to enjoy local fare in between sightseeing.
2. Katara Cultural Village
The Katara Cultural Village was designed to celebrate the region's culture and heritage. It's filled with world-class restaurants with diverse global cuisine, as well as galleries and theatres with shows, exhibitions and concerts. The cultural village is home to the Doha Film Institute, which hosts screenings of popular and art-house films during the year. If you want some outdoor adventure, you can visit Katara Beach for fun water sports or an afternoon of sunbathing and swimming.
3. Barzan Towers
Known as the 'High Place', the Barzan Towers are dramatic watchtowers from the 19th century that were built to stand guard over the valley. Many believe the towers may have been constructed to watch for ships and pearl divers or to track the cycles of the moon. Originally built from limestone and coral, the towers have been restored for tours. You can visit the towers themselves to see spectacular views of the landscape, or you can explore the landmarks that surround the area.
4. Souq Waqif
Souq Waqif is a must-visit destination for a traditional experience. Constructed on an ancient market site, Souq Waqif was once vital to Bedouin trade, but it's now home to an array of stalls selling Middle Eastern artisan goods. You can find everything from homegrown and homemade delicacies and spices to handcrafted traditional jewellery and clothing, as well as some unique souvenirs. The souq hosts shows on a regular basis to celebrate the region's traditional music and art, and there are numerous restaurants and art galleries to explore during your stay.
5. Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art
Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art is one of the most important cultural attractions in the country. The museum is home to modern and contemporary art that's designed to preserve and celebrate Arab culture. It has a massive collection of over 9,000 works spanning hundreds of years and many milestones and trends. Temporary collections highlight important works in modern and contemporary art that play a role in dialogue and socio-political shifts in the local and regional culture.
6. National Museum of Qatar
The National Museum of Qatar is a valuable feature of the nation and a must-see during your visit. The architecture alone is astounding and is comprised of multiple interlocking discs that you travel through to view exhibits and to stay out of the sun. Inside, you'll find a long loop of exhibits and galleries that celebrate the natural history of the Persian Gulf region, Bedouin culture, and tribal wars through artefacts, textiles, artwork, documents and books. The museum has numerous exhibits on Qatar's heritage and the pearling and oil boom.
7. Msheireb Museums
Located in the downtown area, the Msheireb Museums are dedicated to the history of 4 heritage houses and the importance to national history. Together, the Bin Jelmood House, Company House, Radwani House and Mohammed Bin Jassim House form a massive museum that chronicles important aspects of the cultural and social development in Qatar. In the Bin Jelmood House, you can see artefacts and exhibits on the global slave trade and its abolishment, while the Company House focuses on the petroleum industry and its impact on the lives and history of the Qatari people. The Radwani House is a historic home and archaeological site that represents traditional domestic life in Qatar throughout history. The Mohammed Bin Jassim House celebrates the past and present of the downtown Doha area, including the Echo Memory Art Project, which is found art from excavation work.
8. Al Koot Fort
Located in the heart of the city, Al Koot Fort is a fascinating military fortress that's been transformed into a cultural museum. The fort was built to act a police station, though it later served as a jail. Throughout the museum, you can see traditional handicrafts, photography, artwork, fishing equipment and boats, gold work, weaponry, gypsum work, wooden ornaments and other cultural artefacts. The exterior of the fort has a courtyard and dramatic walls with ramparts and fortifications, and you can see the doors to the cells that once held criminals.
9. Al Bidda Park
Al Bidda Park is the city's first pet-friendly park and a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle. It has an array of green spaces and recreation areas for biking, skating, football and picnics. There's also a human maze, horse and camel trails, a large gymnasium, open-air playgrounds and water areas for a fun day of adventure with the whole family.
Gondolania is a spectacular theme park and entertainment destination within the Villaggio Mall. Fun for the whole family, Gondolania boasts many classic rides and attractions, such as the Ferris wheel, bumper cars and an old-fashioned carousel, as well as go-karts, roller coasters, bowling, video games and an ice-skating rink. The highlight of the park is the gondola boat ride through the centre of the mall, which is an educational experience inspired by the famous Venetian gondolas.
Ready for your trip to Doha?
From its vibrant museums and historic sites to its futuristic attractions and modern theme parks, Doha is the perfect place for a holiday with friends or family. If you're ready to plan your trip, visit Expedia to get great deals on holidays to Doha and enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience!