Top Attractions and Places to Visit in Qatar With Family in 2024

Are you looking at making a stopover vacation in Qatar with your family? We’ve gathered all the top highlights of things to see and do in this small but fascinating Gulf nation.

Qatar Things to Do - City Skyline View

Qatar is a tiny country compared to most, the third smallest in the Middle East, but it also has one of the world’s most rapidly developing cities in Doha.

If you are only in Qatar for a short stopover between flights (over 5 hours but under a day), we recommend you check out our Doha Stopover guide.  This will help you decide if it’s worth leaving the airport or if you should squeeze in some sightseeing during your short stay.

If you are visiting with children, we also recommend checking out our Doha with Kids guide, which goes much deeper into the specifics of indoors and outdoors for families.

Now, on to the fun stuff—what can you see and do in Doha and the rest of Qatar?

Doha Attractions – Places to Visit in Doha

Let’s start with the big city, as this is where you will most likely be based and where most of the country’s modern attractions can be found. It also has cultural sites that will give you some insights into Qatari heritage.

Katara Cultural Village

The “Valley of Cultures” is home to the city’s cultural events, traditional handicrafts, restaurants, and plenty of green areas to run around. The perfect place to start your Qatar journey, it also features an opera house, library, amphitheatre, planetarium, art galleries, and the beautiful Katara Mosque.

Free Entry, best to visit 11 am to 2 pm and 5 pm to 11 pm

Learn more at katara.net

Mosque in Katara Village
The Masjid of Katara – Katara Mosque

Museum of Islamic Art

The building alone is a masterpiece. Inside, you will find one of the finest collections of art from the 7th to 19th centuries, beautifully displayed and explained.

Free entry Sat to Thu 9 am to 7 pm, Fri 1.30 pm to 7 pm

Learn more at mia.org.qa

Museum of Islamic Art with West Bay backdrop

Souq Waqif 

Beautifully restored from the original markets that stood for over a century, this is the city’s hub of trade and entertainment. Get lost in the maze of stalls, from spices and sweets to tailors, jewellers, and woodcarvers. Don’t miss the Falcon Souq, but you can probably skip the pets.

There is also a large number of eateries within the souq if you are looking for a dinner stop.

Open Daily, best visited in the evening 4 pm to 10 pm; most restaurants open throughout the day


Stay: There is a collection of luxury boutique hotels attached to the Souq for a truly unique Qatar experience – learn more about these 9 hotels here


The Pearl

A man-made island, dubbed “the Arabian Riviera”, this luxury development of residents and boutique shops intertwined by canals needs to be seen to be believed! From luxury yachts to popular dining spots, here’s where you come to see and be seen.

Learn more at thepearlqatar.com

Corniche & Traditional Dhow Cruise

Take a traditional Dhow cruise from the Corniche with stunning skyline views of the West Bay to one side with its skyscrapers and MIA, and the beautiful parks and corniche to the other.

Along the Doha corniche, you can pack a picnic, fly a kite, use exercise equipment, or attend the weekend pop-up souq.

You might be surprised just how many parks and outdoor spaces you will find in Doha. Pop over to our family guide to Doha to find plenty more parks to enjoy, especially in the cooler winter months.

A dhow cruise perfectly blends old and modern Doha

National Museum of Qatar

This dramatic and beautiful new building tells the story of the nation. Its 11 galleries offer a journey through three chapters: the Beginning, Life in Qatar, and the Modern History of Qatar.

You can see a detailed guide around the National Museum of Qatar here.

Tourist entry fees apply. Sat to Thu 9 am to 7 pm, Fri 1.30 pm to 7 pm

Learn more at qm.org.qa

What is the easiest way to tackle all these sites in Doha?

If you have several days stopped in Doha, you can take your time to explore all these sites, as well as add on day trips and evening tours, as we’ll touch on below.

With only a short day or two, though, you may find it worthwhile joining a small tour group for the convenience of having a driver and English-speaking guide and getting to the highlights quickly.  Why not try some of these options:

Transport in Doha is otherwise largely by taxi. In the winter months, you can get between some of the sites by foot, but a taxi or driver will really be essential beyond the centre of Doha.

Qatar Day Trips and further afield attractions

Note that we have relied upon third-party sources for some of these attractions for the GPS nav details! Please check this information as you set off, as fuel, food and toilet facilities beyond the city can be scarce.

Alternatively, we suggest you arrange an organised tour which will help you track down some of these lesser-known places.

Heading West & North in Qatar

Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum

Certainly a more unusual experience! An eclectic collection of artefacts bound to delight culture and history buffs, this is one of the biggest private collection museums in the world – over 15,000 items are exhibited.

Established in 1998 in the Watari fort Al Samriya Farm (around 20km from the city), the collection represents items that Sheikh Faisal has collected from around the world for the last 50 years. The museum is divided into Qatar Heritage, Islamic Art and Vehicles.

Ne entry fee, open Sun-Thu 9 am to 4.30 pm, Fri 2 pm to 7 pm, Sat 10 am to 6pm

Learn more at fbqmuseum.org

Al-Zubarah Fort

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is now a museum in the ancient town of Zubarah, in the north of Qatar. The village itself is now a ghost town, but the museum is a great place to learn more about Bedouin life and Arabian trade from centuries past. It is one of the best-preserved examples from 18th-19th-century settlement in Qatar.

Open Sat to Thu 8 am to 6 pm

Al Zubarah Fort
Beautiful restored Al-Zubarah Fort

Art in the Desert

A slightly more unusual one, East-West/West-East, is a desert sculpture by Richard Serra. About 90 minutes drive away from Doha, four enormous steel plates jut from the desert plains.

No road markings to get you there, of course! But try N2531.019’E050o51.948.

If this interests you, check it out as part of a west-coast Qatar half-day tour from Doha including Zekreet Fort.

This tour includes “Film City” – a replica desert Arabian village. The truth behind its existence is a bit of a mystery, but here’s a pretty good explanation with directions to this eerie place!

Film City Qatar
The eeerie and mysterious Film City at Zekreet

Umm Salal Muhammad Fortress & Barzan Towers

A series of fortified buildings are now mostly in ruins, but two towers and a mosque remain. They were built in the late 19th century to protect against a possible Ottoman invasion. The Umm Salal Fortress is still inhabited, so it can only be viewed from the outside. Just 15km north of Doha, it is one of the easier historic sites to reach. Free Entry.

Al Khor Museum

This is a small museum in Al Khor town, around 60km north of Doha. It has an anthropological section that examines local marine life and the traditional fishing and shipbuilding industry, followed by artefacts and ancient industry from the region. Entry is Free.

It’s probably not worth a standalone visit, but it is an interesting stop on a North Qatar road trip.

This guided tour of North Qatar will take you to the fort as well as the Umm Salal Fortress and Al Khor Museum.

Zekreet Fort
Zekreet in the north of Oman

Al-Jassasiya Rock Carvings

As you’ll find, it is quite typical of Qatar’s lesser-known attractions. There are no signposts to get here, but this is a fascinating part of history in the country’s north. There are around 900 well-preserved Petroglyphs to be discovered. It’s found about one hour north on the Doha expressway, and then take Al Shamal Rd, exit 66.

Heading south & west in Qatar

The Singing Sand Dunes

Covering a space of about 100 square kilometres as you head toward Saudi Arabia, about 40kms from Doha. These crescent-shaped dunes are about 60m high and create a magical vibrating sound when the sand dunes move.

You can access the area in a 2-wheeled car and hike in for your pictures or even take a BBQ dinner (make sure to take everything home with you!). But be warned: during the slightly cooler months, there tend to be lots of flies.

This is a natural phenomenon so, of course, no guarantee. They are at their finest on a windy day, and it is best to come early in the day or around sunset to avoid the peak heat. They will not sing when the ground has been wet.

Found at 25.03803, 51.40733

The Inland Sea – Khor al-Udeid

Khor Al-Udeid is an inland sea area on the Saudi border about 80kms southeast of Doha. It combines the best of enjoying the desert dunes with beachfront access and is a UNESCO-recognised natural reserve.

Dune bashing and desertscape in the South West of Qatar

Many desert camp providers set up shop here, so activities are quite varied, from dune bashing to camel rides and camping.

You can head as far as the island sea on a full-day tour into the desert, which will include lunch and dinner as well as desert activities, or try these options:

A note on desert safaris: These usually involve an element of dune bashing, so they are not recommended for small children, pregnant women, those with heart conditions, or those suffering from motion sickness. When booking desert tours with family, see if there are alternative routes to the desert camp experience.

Combine City & Desert attractions in Qatar

If you would like to combine the best of both Doha and the desert dunes, this Qatar Tour will take you to both:


We hope you have enjoyed our tour through Qatar. Don’t forget to check out these additional Qatar resources we have for family travellers


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Best things for visitors to see and attractions to experience in Qatar
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Information on entry and timings are correct as of our last update, April 2024.  None of the hotels or tour companies mentioned have sponsored this post; all opinions are our own. This page contains affiliate links, which may earn us a small commission at no additional cost to you. Our full terms of use can be found here. 

Family Travel Middle East
Family Travel Middle East

The Family Travel in the Middle East team of travel writers are all parents based in the Middle East, sharing first hand experiences and reviews from across the region to help you plan your next family adventure.

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1 Comment

  1. joe
    16/10/2019 / 1:30 pm

    Thanks for the great info which you have shared about Qatar!