1. Museum of Islamic Art
Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect I.M. Pei, and on its own purpose-built island adjoining the Corniche (Doha’s waterfront), the MIA houses one of the richest collections of Islamic art in the world. Its galleries span three continents and cover 1,400 years of cultural heritage. Exhibits, both secular and religious, incorporate ancient ceramics, intricate jewelry, rare books, and exemplary examples of Islamic art. Another highlight is on the top floor, where Alain Ducasse’s fine-dining restaurant, IDAM, overlooks the Doha skyline and serves modern French-Mediterranean dishes with Arabic influences.
2. National Museum of Qatar
A stunning wonder whose design was inspired by the curves and folds of the desert rose, the National Museum of Qatar is one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. It’s also where you’ll learn all about Qatar’s eventful history, from ancient times to modern times. Immersive installations and stunning exhibits await in its galleries – look out for the dazzling Baruda rug, encrusted with more than 1.5 million shimmering pearls. Kids will also love exploring the “wreck” that takes center stage in the NMoQ park playground.
3. Msheireb Downtown
Msheireb Downtown Doha is where the past and the future meet. Formerly the former commercial hub of Doha and now the world’s first sustainable downtown regeneration project, in this walkable district of sleek white limestone buildings cool tree-lined pedestrian paths lead to colorful boutiques and bustling artisan workshops. Be in awe as you visit the Msheireb Museums, four heritage houses that convey the charm and spirit of old Qatar, and as you explore spectacular large-scale temporary exhibitions that often pay homage to the titans of high fashion, from Valentino to Dior .
4. Katara Cultural Village
Deriving its name from the old spelling of ‘Qatar’, this is one of Doha’s most diverse cultural districts: wander its shady alleyways and you’ll find attractions ranging from the Qatar Visual Arts Center to the Arab Postage Stamp Museum . Add to that the waterfront amphitheater, which holds up to 5,000 spectators for theatrical and opera performances; the shimmering Golden Mosque; Al Thuraya Planetarium; a variety of shops and restaurants; and a leisurely walk along the beach gently scented with a touch of sea salt. On Tasty Street, where affordable food stalls are open from late afternoon until late at night, the air is deliciously charged with the aroma of hot chocolate, sizzling falafel, and freshly baked pastries.
5. East West/West East
A surreal sight an hour from Doha, East-West/West-East is a modern masterpiece. Conceived by American artist Richard Serra, this gigantic kilometer-long work comprises a series of 14-meter-tall metal slabs wedged between lunar rock formations. Completely unique, undeniably impressive and unexpectedly moving, it is perhaps the most ambitious of Qatar’s many public works of art, and is particularly special at dusk when the soft honey-pink light of the setting sun casts long, dramatic shadows across this otherworldly terrain. .
6. Souq Waqif
Located on the site of Doha’s old commercial market, Souq Waqif is an intriguing window into Qatar’s past and present fused: a maze of traditional low-rise buildings backed by Doha’s dramatic modern skyline and decorated with modern art installations. like Le Pouce, a giant golden thumb. This is the traditional heart of the city, with herds of camels grazing on its fringes, a falcon hospital in the center, and friends and families feasting together on platters of mezze, fresh falafel and sizzling shawarma. And everywhere you look there are stalls selling fragrant spices, bright fabrics, and distinctive housewares.