My year in Qatar turned out to be an unforgettable experience. I made memories, long-term friendships, and an itch to travel more….of all places, right?
This is going to be the top places worth seeing when you visit Qatar. This is in no particular order, just the places I loved when I was there.
1. Museum of Islamic Art
The museum itself is ah-okay, but the cafe is the place you want to visit. There you are able to see the amazing view of the West Bay, and the beautiful lights at night while relaxing with food, and drinks (non-alcoholic of course). They also have nice festivals, and events on the lawn during the day.
2. Villagio Mall
When you step into Villagio it feels like you have stepped into Italy. From the architecture style of little homes to the Venetian canal in the middle of the mall. You can take a Gondola ride on the water. As this is the go to spot for the locals and expats, be prepared for large crowds.
Let’s just say this mall has everything you can think of. Once you get to the food court, there is an ice skating rink right in the middle!
Gondola ride cost: 4 persons per ride – QR 10 per person or QR 20 for a single-person ride
3. BBQ Donut
This is a great choice if you want to be on the water, see a better view of Qatar, listen to music, and also get some great food. I would advise scheduling reservations in advance if you plan to go. The location is at Diplomatic Club, amazing place by the Pearl.
1 hour – QR450 ($ 124)
2 hours – QR800 ($220) and QR200 ($55) for an extra 30 minutes
4. THE SOUQ
It would not be the Middle East if it did not have a souq, let’s be real. If you have not been to the souq, this is where you can find anything you want for cheap…well if your bargaining skills are sharp. From pets for sell, clothes to buy, toys to get and food to eat. This is one of the top places to go for Expats.
5. The W Hotel in West Bay
Where to start with this hotel. It is beyond beautiful! They have this little cafe called Living Room that has the cutest tea cups and appetizers. Then you can make your way upstairs to the Wahm bar to grab a drink or downstairs to the W Cafe for some desserts. The only downside is if you want to get into Crystal lounge, you have to be a member. 9 times out of 10 you won’t go back,since there are other lounges that you don’t have to be a member for. So why waste the money but a plus side is, memberships are valid for 6 months.
Male: QR 200; Female: QR 100; Airline Crew: 50% discount.
6. The Pearl
When you enter into the pearl, it is like you have traveled to a different country. It is all about glitz and glam, very expensive places, but is a must see. Best thing to do is to find someone who lives in that area. So you are able to get a better experience of how it’s like living there! You can also use couch-surf (yes they use that there) and see if any places in Pearl are available.
7. Saffron Lounge
For me, this was one of the best Indian restaurants on the island. Plus it had an amazing view of the water if you sat outside. I would recommend the butter chicken with naan bread, it was to die for. After filling up your stomach you can take walk around the beautiful and historical ground they call Katara.
Cost for 2 – QR300
8. Quad Bikes in Sealine
If you want go ride around in the sand with either a quad bike which you can rent for an hour or take your own car- go here! I would advise to get a tour guide to come with you, because the chances of you getting lost is high. Try to stay to watch the sunset, when the sun hits the sand dunes – the view is amazing, trust me!
One hour– QR 100-300
9. Al Khor Island (Purple Island)
Why is it called the purple island?
A species of sea snail lived on the island which was used to produce an extremely rare purple dye. Hence, how it got the name purple island.
I joined a club on meetup.com where I went camping in the purple island. When I went I thought it was going to be something magical since the drive was about 1.5 hours. But it wasn’t! That being said, it’s still a great place to get away and view the night sky. You aren’t able to take your car too close so you have to walk about 15-20 minutes to get to a good spot. It will be worth it.
10. Liquid Brunch – Grand Hyatt
If you are looking for a place to pre-game before hitting the bars/ lounges, I would go here first. The place has great music, good crowd, and a nice dance floor. Best time to go is on Fridays from 5pm-8pm. I would recommend doing the regular package for QR 199. It is unlimited flow of Heineken or house wine by the glass.