Qatar Travel

Doha, Qatar: 10 Free Things To Do

Doha Qatar Free things to do

Doha, Qatar – The capital of one of the richest countries in the world is certainly popular among business and transit travelers as well as expats. And with the rapid growth the city is undertaking especially for its preparation for World Cup 2022, now is a good time to travel to this city-in-the-making. Here are my top 10 free things to do in Doha, Qatar:

  1. Explore the alleyways of Souq Waqif

One of Doha’s must-see is Souq Waqif found in downtown Doha. It literally translates to “standing market” and has been around for at least a hundred years, although recently renovated last 2006 to fix drainage problems.

Get lost among the maze-like alleyways of Qatari architecture whileΒ having a taste and feel of Qatari culture.

Middle eastern marvels you can find in the souq includeΒ spices, jewelry, clothing, food, souvenirs, animals, perfume, antiques, and handicrafts. It is a popular destination especially at night, for both the locals and expats. It gets even busier during festivals and concerts, as music, cultural shows, and other entertainment abound.

Inside the souq, one can also find the Gold Souq, Falcon Souq, Animal Souq, Spice Souq, Fabriq Souq, and Art Centre.

2. Learn about Qatar history and culture at Msheireb Museums and Enrichment Centre

If you are pressed for time, head by the barge near Costa and Sheraton to check out Msheireb Enrichment Centre where you can learn about Qatar’s evolution from its Bedouin pastΒ to its modern and bustling future. It only takes an hour to go around.

For those who have more time, book a tour with Msheireb Museums near Souq Waqif, to see the four heritage houses. For more information and to book a guided tour, click here.

3. Museum of Islamic Art

One of Qatar’s iconic landmarks is designed by world-renowned architect, I. M. Pei. Made from limestone, Museum of Islamic Art’s geometric building stands tall at the Persian Gulf along Doha’s Corniche.

The lines and symmetry inside and outside is a wonder to behold, along with the Islamic art treasures that it hides within.

READ: Museum of Islamic Art | Doha, Qatar

4. MIA Park

Adjacent to the Museum of Islamic Art is one of Doha’s favorite parks which stretches to a crescent-shape ending in Richard Serra’s sculpture. A playground, trampoline, and cafe can also be found in the park. A small mound serves as the perfect viewpoint for Doha’s skyline.

5. Doha Corniche

In front of the Persian Gulf is the seven kilometer stretch of promenade in crescent shape famous in most of Doha’s photographs. Dotted by traditional dhows moored in its sandy waters, the palm-fringed boulevard is perfect for walking and discovering the modern side of Doha. Children play areas are also available as well as charging stations. It could get crowded on Fridays as this is a popular spot for expats and locals alike.

6. Katara Cultural Village

Also known as the Valley of Cultures, Katara Cultural Village aims to showcase and nurture Qatari history, traditions, art, and culture. Through festivals, exhibitions, and showcases, they also promote a multi-cultural exchange. The amphiteatre and the Opera house is a must see. The restaurant area offers a beachfront view and the view of Doha skyline.

7. The Pearl

Watch the sunset from Porto Arabia or feel like you’re in Venice at Qanat Quartier. These are just two of the things you can do for free in the luxury, man-made island off West Bay.Β Dubbed as the “Arabian Riviera“, The Pearl rivals Dubai’s Palm Islands.

8. Have a taste of Venice at Villaggio Mall

One thing that Doha doesn’t have a shortage of are malls. But one mall stands out because inside is a man-made canal inspired by Venice, complete with gondola rides. Like the Venetian Hotels, the mall’s ceiling is also painted in the likeness of the blue sky on a sunny day.

Inside the mall. 😊

A post shared by Haze (@apinchofhaze) on

Photo credit to Hazel of apinchofhaze

9. Feel the magic come alive at Magical Festival Village

Although it’s only open during the winter/spring season, Magical Festival Village is a must-see destination for those visiting Qatar. It is a popular attraction not just for families, but for everyone who wants to bring out their inner child. Entertainment and food options are aplenty inside, as well as Instagram-worthy spots!

10. Get sporty at Aspire Park

The biggest green space in the city lies near Villaggio Mall and the famous Torch Tower, previously used in the 15th Asian Games and now a modern hotel. Like MIA Park, it also boasts of different facilities and amenities like playground, football pitches, jogging track, and exercise equipment. You can also find here the only lake in Doha, complete with fishes and ducks. A perfect view while walking, chilling, or having coffee and drinks.

Aspire Park is inside Aspire Zone, the sporting destination of Qatar, that used to host the 2006 Asian Games. It boasts of world-class sporting facilities, including sports education, medicine, and research. Hamad Aquatic Centre, Khalifa Stadium, and Aspire Dome are the other notable buildings you will see here to name a few.

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Β Are you planning to stop by or go to Doha? Which free activity would you like to try? πŸ™‚

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  • Teesh
    May 1, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    I never knew there were this much you can do in Doha!

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  • stacey veikalas
    April 26, 2017 at 3:20 am

    Wow what a beautiful place – I love it all and it looks so modern. I would love to see the 100 yr old market and the Katara Cultural Village looks wonderful! Thanks for sharing!

  • Elisa
    April 26, 2017 at 12:32 am

    I would never travel to Qatar “on purpose” but I would not mind a long stop over to discover some of sights Doha has to offer. i think I would visit the Museum of Islamic Arts (the architecture is amazing!) and would finish my day with a stroll along the corniche

    • Darlene
      May 10, 2017 at 7:22 pm

      Qatar Airways is now offering free transit! πŸ™‚

  • Punita Malhotra
    April 24, 2017 at 11:54 am

    That is a long list..I had no idea about any of these, since I haven’t researched much on Qatar. The pigeon towers are so lovely.

  • Christine Rogador
    April 23, 2017 at 11:10 pm

    I’ll make sure to choose Doha as my transit place going to Ireland πŸ˜‰

    • Darlene
      May 10, 2017 at 7:27 pm

      Yeahhh. Qatar Airways offers free transit. Hamad International Airport is one of the best too! πŸ™‚

  • Megan Jerrard
    April 23, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    Wow so much stunning history and architecture – I would love to visit Souq Waqif and explore the many different souks within. I haven’t really traveled any of the Middle East yet but am thinking Qatar would be a great place to start!

    • Darlene
      May 10, 2017 at 7:28 pm

      A lot of Middle east is becoming modern and trying to attract more visitors. So it would be a good place for you guys to visit next πŸ™‚

  • Marcus and Mel
    April 23, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    Great ideas for things to do for free. Exploring the alleyways sounds interesting.

  • noel
    April 23, 2017 at 2:25 am

    Wow, all these are free – that is pretty amazing. I have never thought about visiting this place but it does really look fascinating and free is hard to beat

  • Nouhaila
    April 23, 2017 at 1:22 am

    Such a beautiful article! Cant wait for more!!!

  • Christina Pfeiffer
    April 22, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    The short time in which many of the Middle Eastern cities have sprung up continues to amaze me. Doha looks like it’s well on its way to becoming a main hub. Or perhaps it already it?

    • Darlene
      April 23, 2017 at 7:11 pm

      Still up and coming city. It will be on its prime by the World Cup in 2022. πŸ™‚

  • Indrani
    April 22, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    Wow! Quite a lot of places to see and experience. The Venice recreation looks interesting.
    The Gondola ride may not be free I guess. πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚

  • Kavey at Kavey Eats
    April 22, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    Wow, there’s some amazing architecture to explore, loving the lines of the Museum of Islamic Art! And Katara Cultural Village also catches my eye.

  • Haze Tolentino
    April 22, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    Guuuurl! I wish we met when I was still in Qatar! but will take note of these and let’s go around if ever I come back! πŸ™‚

  • Anna Faustino
    April 22, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    Awesome!! Looking forward to reading more on your escapades there. Bookmarking this for future reference if we ever do make it to Doha.