Top 10 free places to visit in Doha, Qatar - skyline view point

Top 10 Free Places To Visit In Doha, Qatar

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With the highest per capita income in the world and with FIFA 2022, the architecture and infrastructure have advanced beyond imagination over the years. Qatar is a perfect destination for a weekend or a week trip as most of the tourist spots are located nearby. To attract tourists and develop the tourism industry, it offers almost every entrance for FREE!

Offering visa-free entry to over 85 countries, Qatar calls itself the “most open” in the Middle East. Qatar offers an on-arrival visa which is free for Indians. For more information on visas, check the official website.

I love Qatar in Villagio mall
I Love Qatar – Villagio Mall

Places To Visit In Qatar For Free

Best Time To Visit

From December to May, the average temperature is below 78 ℉ with the daylight of 10-12 hours, and from May to September, the average temperature is above 100 ℉  with the daylight of around 12-14 hours. Considering the temperature, humidity, and daylight, the best time to visit Qatar is from October to March when the sun is enjoyable.

Related: 50 interesting things you should know before visiting Qatar

Getting Around

Getting around Qatar - transportation

The most cost-effective way to explore various tourist attractions is to use public transportation. Driverless Metro offers free feeder buses to move around flexibly with fares starting from 2 QAR. The bus network connects various destinations for which the fare has to be paid with a Karwa smartcard, available at HIA help desks near baggage claim belts 5 and 6.

Metered Karwa taxis accept payments only in QAR. Uber and Careem are also popular here.

Network Availability

Ooredoo and Vodafone are the two widely used networks. Good coverage and speed are provided by both operators. Buy a sim card by showing valid proof on arrival at the airport terminal exit and in shops with Ooredoo/ Vodafone posters on the storefront.

 

Free Places To Visit In Qatar

Souq Waqif

Colorful Souq Wakif at the heart of the city

Located in the heart of the city, this marketplace has got everything from traditional lamps, garments, spices, and handicrafts, to souvenirs. It is the most popular authentic Arabic market and has a collection of 9 uniquely styled hotels that highlight local aesthetics, courtyard houses, and an indoor theatre named Al Rayyan. At night, the colorful lamps light up the place bringing it to life.

East Mound – Skyline Viewpoint

West bay or skyline of Qatar

Beyond the blue horizon of the West Bay is the picturesque Qatar skyline. The best place in Doha is opposite the Souq Waqif, where you can stretch your legs, aimlessly gaze at the sunset and also catch the illuminated skyline at night. With a pearl monument at the entrance, this place is a harbor that also houses a park and a pedestrian walk where you can take a stroll during the evenings.

Also read: Top 10 Free Things To Do In Dubai, UAE

Doha Corniche

Doha corniche - west mound skyline view

The Corniche is a waterfront promenade stretching for about 7 Km with a view of the West Bay. Starting from the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) the Doha Corniche has all amenities such as restrooms, benches, a children’s park, exercise equipment, mobile phone charging stations, water vending machines at 1 QAR per bottle, and free wifi near the Sheraton Garden where it ends. You can also take a cruise through the corniche at an extra cost by approaching the locals at the harbor. To reach the Banana Islands by dhows (Persian Gulf ships), you can book tickets online or near the Pearl Monument.

Katara Cultural Village

Katara cultural village mosque

Qatar’s cultural hub and a space for art and culture. This village has several places of attractions that can keep you engaged throughout the day and leave you amused. The three pigeon clay towers, Katara beach, a mosque, an amphitheater, an opera house, art and stamp galleries, and halls that host various shows/exhibitions throughout the year, are some of the places you can visit. It also has a variety of dining options that include both high-end restaurants and kiosks, thus catering to all tastes and budgets. Free electric vehicles are available for you to commute around in this region. Check online for events during your time of visit.

The Pearl Qatar

Pearl Qatar bird eye view

A man-made island that consists of 10 distinct precincts, that are for sale to foreign nationals. The architecture of this place will leave you awestruck! You can take a stroll through Porto Arabia and catch umpteen luxury yachts. In the evenings you can go to the dancing fountain in Souq Al Medina’s courtyard that lights up after sundown. And if you are a car enthusiast then don’t forget to check out Marsha Arabia and Viva Bahriya, two circular lagoons that are surrounded by towers and high-end showrooms such as Rolls Royce and Ferrari.

Pearl Qatar - Qanat Quartier venice view

The Venice of Qatar, Qanat Quartier is a picturesque place where Venetian charm meets Arabian chic. Flanked by candy-colored buildings and water-front restaurants, the turquoise blue water never leaves your sight. 

Tourists can hitchhike around the island in free tuk-tuks, usually parked outside Qanat Quantier’s main gate, and are available daily from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM. You can call +97450664834 and ask to be picked up within the pearl. Waiting time is typically less than 15 minutes.

Catch the water taxi that connects Porto Arabia to the canals of Qanat Quartier at only 25 QAR (two-way). The water taxi runs daily from Porto Arabia (Gate 11) to Qanat Quartier (by Evergreen Organics cafe) and back, every 20 minutes.

Related: 50 fascinating things to know about Qatar

Villagio Mall, The Mini Venice

Villagio Mall Gondola ride

Situated next to Aspire Park, the Torch, and Khalifa football stadium, enjoy the most romantic indoor Gondola ride in the Venetic Canals, overlooking the man-made sky for 10 QAR per person. Ranging from budget to luxury designer brands and restaurants, this near fantasyland has a food court, Olympic-sized hockey ice rink, bowling, Go-karting, IMAX movie theatre, and Gondolania indoor theme park. Although located on the outskirts of the main city, visiting this mall is worth every dime and penny.

  • Timings: On Saturday to Thursday, from 9 AM to 10 PM | On Fridays, from 9 AM to 11 AM and from 12:30 PM to 11 PM

The Inland Sea

Inland sea - dessert safari
Source: viator.com

One of Qatar’s awe-inspiring marvels is the Khor Al Udeid beach, near the Saudi Arabia border. A body of seawater that stretches up to 6 miles and spans across 3 miles is located 80 km away, in the middle of the desert. There are two routes to reach the destination. One is a flat terrain that is free of cost and the other is by treading over the bumpy sand dunes. The latter needs a good off-road 4*4 vehicle with an expert driver. Or you can also book a day tour. A drive through the natural sand dunes leads you to the place where you can take a dip in the crystal-clear water. Besides this, there are several adventure activities including camel rides, cruising, ATV, camping, bonfires, and BBQs that attract tourists and locals for a day’s picnic.

Al Maroona, Simaisa, Al Wakrah, and Fuwairit are the other beaches located in the center of the city.

The National Museum of Qatar

National museum of Qatar

Resembling the blossoming crystals of the desert rose, this museum takes visitors on an impressive journey through Qatar’s past, present, and future. The museum also offers tours, events, and workshops that may require prior booking. It houses two cafes, a rooftop restaurant, two beautifully designed gift shops, and a museum park themed “The Cave of Wonders”, “The Adventure Ship Playground”, and “The Oil Refinery Playground” inside the museum.

  • Timings: Saturday to Thursday, from 9:00 AM to 7:00 AM | On Fridays from 1:30 PM to 7:00 PM
  • Entry fee: Free for Qatari nationals, residents with a valid Qatar ID, cultural pass holders, and children under 16. 50 QAR for adults and 25 QAR for children.
  • WiFi: Free
  • Restroom and cloakroom: Available

Other notable museums include the Museum of Islamic Art and the Museum of Illusions.

Qatar National Library

National library of Qatar
Source: unifor.org

With an abode to a million books, this state-of-the-art library has a 72-foot-tall ceiling made entirely of glass. With facilities such as collaborative and individual learning spaces, a children’s library, a teen and young adult collection, computer labs, performance spaces, a restaurant, a café, an assistive technology area, and a writing center, this place engages and amuses you in several ways. It has its very own educational programs such as book clubs, language-learning classes, musical events, and craft workshops, as well as events for children and their families, such as storytelling, crafts, and science exhibitions.

You have to register before 24 hours for a free tour that highlights library services and resources. Library visitors are allowed by appointment only. Membership is free for anyone holding a Qatar ID.

  • Timings: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM, Closed on Fridays and Saturdays
  • For more information or assistance, contact: +974 4454 0100

The Parks of Qatar

Parks of Qatar

Qatar is home to beautiful parks that offer a rejuvenating experience for every age group. Pet-friendly public parks with bicycle paths, running tracks, playsets such as slides, seesaws, merry-go-round, outdoor exercise equipment, and even zip lines and free WiFi, are all at your disposal! Families can spend quality time surrounded by lakes, fountains, palm, and olive trees relaxing and absorbing the scenery. Football, basketball, tennis courts, and skateboarding pitches are also available in some of these parks. Among these Al Bidda, Aspire, Al Khor, and Barzan Olympic Park are the most popular ones.

Also read: 50 things to know that will help you travel in Qatar more easily

If you have time, visit Al Zubarah, the only UNESCO world heritage site in the country. We skipped this as it is located about 100 Km from the main city.

How many of these places have you been to? Which place did you love the most? We would love to hear from you. Tell us in the comments below.

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