Doha is the capital city of Qatar. Encased within the city is an abundance of cultural, historical, and fun things to see.
- Souq Waqif
- Museum of Islamic Art
- MIA park
- 7 by Richard Serra
- Qatar National library
- Banana Island
- Katara Beach
- Aspire Park
- Pearl Monument
- Golden Mosque
Souq Waqif is the social heart of Doha. It’s built on an ancient market site where, centuries ago, sheep, goat, and wool were traded. Nowadays, the market site has been redeveloped to look like that same 19th-century souq, complete with mud-rendered shops and exposed timber beams. The shops you will find here are like museums. You will find swords, shipping memorabilia, and jewellery from the Arab world.
Many of the stalls at Souq Waqif close at 1 pm and re-open at 4 pm, however, if you want to stay in the area, there are many restaurants and cafes that are open all day.
Museum of Islamic Art
The Museum of Islamic Art has the largest collection of Islamic art in the world. Spread over the first and second floors of the museum are the permanent collections, including textiles, ceramics, and enamel work. Downstairs, you will find a café and museum shop, and on the top floor you can dine in the IDAM restaurant.
The museum itself was designed by IM Pei, the same architect of the Louvre in Paris. It is shaped like a post-modern fortress, with minimal windows that reduce energy use, and incredible views across the water.
After you have visited the Museum of Islamic Art, head to the MIA Park. It is one of the most beautiful parks in Doha, with breath-taking views of the Doha waterfront. Within the park, you can find food trucks to feast from, a child’s play area, and a 1km pathway around the park. As well as enjoying the general splendour of the park, there are an abundance of events that are put on seasonally, including weekend markets, an outdoor cinema, and fitness sessions.
7 by Richard Serra
Nestled within MIA Park you can find 7 by Richard Serra. 7 is a steel sculpture, made from 7 steel plates that stand 24 meters high. Visitors can walk through the sculpture, and gaze up at the Doha skyline from inside. 7 is the first of 2 installations by Richard Serra to be commissioned by the Qatar Museums Authority.
Qatar National Library
If you’re looking for a quiet space amongst the hustle and bustle of Doha, you will find it at the Qatar National Library. Nestled within a spaceship-like building, you will find 2 million books, some dating back to as early as the 15th century. Choose a book of your liking, and relax in one of the many egg chairs dotted around the library. Alternatively, you can work at any of the workstations available, or relax in the cafeteria-style restaurant. If you are visiting the library with children, there is a children’s library that is guaranteed to keep them entertained.
Banana Island is a tropical paradise. The crescent shape of the island is covered with 800m of golden sand, tropical plants and greenery, and is surrounded by crystal waters. Asides from the beautiful beach of Banana Island, there are six restaurants to dine at. After you’ve fuelled your body, you can enjoy one of the many activities on offer, including Segway rides, beach diving, and bowling. You can reach the island via catamaran.
Katara Beach is a 1.5km beach that is a stone’s throw away from the city of Doha. You can wander across soft sand, swim in the crystal blue water, or take part in the variety of water sports on offer, including parasailing and wakeboarding. If you are enjoying the beach with children, there is an inflatable play structure that will offer endless hours of entertainment.
Be aware that women will not be allowed to swim unless completely covered, and men must not wear speedos.
Covering 88 hectares, Aspire Park is Doha’s largest park. It is home to extensive fields, running tracks, a children’s play park, and exercise equipment. You will also find the only lake in Doha nestled within the park, where you can see many birds, ducks, and geese cooling off. Throughout the year there are festivals, fun runs, and exercise classes put on.
Before Qatar found oil, pearling was one of the countries most profitable industries. Today, pearls are a significant emblem for the country. You can find the Pearl Monument at the entrance to the dhow harbour. The statue and fountain is a very popular spot for tourist photos, and comes complete with a spectacular view of the city.
Doha’s Golden Mosque is one of the most striking things you will see on your trip. It is an Ottoman-style Mosque that is covered in thousands of golden tiles that shimmer in the sun. Only practicing Muslims can venture inside, however, even if you can’t go indoors, it is worth seeing from the outside.
Doha has an array of beautiful things to see, and you wouldn’t want to miss out on any of it because of your laundry. Book your Laundryheap service by heading to the Laundryheap website or downloading the free Laundryheap app.