The ultimate solo traveller guide for Qatar

From desert bashing and camel rides to cultural tours and shopping in a Vienna-inspired mall, Qatar has a lot to offer solo travellers.

Qatar is rich in history, culture and hospitality. The young destination offers visitors a unique holiday. From museums, world-class shopping malls and traditional open-air souqs, to pristine beaches and a sea of sand dunes.

Ranked in the top 30 safest countries in the world, Qatar is a great destination for solo travellers to explore. Buckle up – here are the best things to do in Qatar for the modern-day solivagant.

Travel tips: Wear clothes that cover your shoulders and knees in public. Western swimmers can be worn at private beaches or outside the city. However, they can’t be worn on public beaches. Invest in a shawl or scarf – it’s not required but handy to have on hand.

Get adventurous in Qatar

With a wealth of rugged, untouched wilderness, Qatar is an adventurer’s dream playground. For everything from scuba diving and kitesurfing to quad biking over the desert landscape. If you want to experience the desert like a Bedouin, there’s no better place for it.

Head south of Doha to the UNESCO site, Khor Al Adaid. Also known as the Inland Sea, it’s where the sea encroaches deep into the heart of the desert. The best way to experience the untethered beauty of the scape is by booking a desert tour. Spend a half or a whole day in a 4×4 vehicle, enjoy a relaxing camel ride or try your hand at sandboarding. Also, by booking a tour, you’ll be picked up from your hotel or another location in Doha.

Katara Cultural Village
Katara Cultural Village

Explore the Katara Cultural Village

Katara Cultural Village is a place where people come together to experience the cultures of the world. With beautiful theatres, concert halls, exhibition galleries and cutting-edge facilities, it’s considered the go-to destination for art, culture and cuisine.

Visit the Katara Mosque, and the Gold Mosque, explore the Amphitheatre and the Al Thuraya Planetarium, as well as 21 High Street and copious art galleries.

Taste local and international flavours with the 22 restaurants and cafes scattered throughout. With everything from Indian to Turkish, Arabic and European, you can taste your way across the globe without leaving the village.

Qanat Quarter, The Pearl Qatar
Qanat Quarter, The Pearl Qatar

Dive into The Pearl Qatar

Described as the ‘Arabian Riviera’, The Pearl Qatar is a man-made island that features Mediterranean-style yacht-lined marinas. As well as, luxurious shopping experiences, modern dining spots and beautifully landscaped gardens and pedestrian-friendly plazas.

Skip to the beat of your own steps as you climb the Piano Stars, a 30-step staircase that plays 10 classical melodies. Or relish in the arctic atmosphere of the Subzero Ice Lounge in Porto Arabia.

Jump onboard Doha’s first and only water taxi to get around the island. It’s not only fun but an excellent way to see the sights.

Doha Corniche

Stroll along the capital’s fabled 7-kilometre crescent

It’s an Instagramable location stretching from Doha bay to the city. Waterfront promenade, The Corniche, is a popular strip bursting with restaurants, clubs, parks and cultural attractions.

The crescent-shaped walkway offers the best views of the city’s skyline, making it the epicentre for significant occasions such as the National Day and the National Sports Day celebrations.

Rent a bicycle and enjoy the sea breeze as you coast along the strand. From sculptures, the Museum of Islamic Art to the unmissable National Museum of Qatar, stop off and tour the grand culture and histories of these establishments at a leisurely pace.

Visit the Museum of Illusions

Ready to enter a world of wonder? Buckle up for a captivating adventure through the Museum of Illusions where you’ll be subject to weird and wacky tricks to the eye. The interactive activities with the visual, sensory and educational elements make this trippy tour a quirky Qatar must-do.

Be sure to book ahead and get ready to have your mind blown.

Villagio Mall, Qatar

Discover a unique shopping experience at Villagio Mall

From Gondola rides to Go Karting, the Villagio Mall is not your everyday, run-of-the-mill kind of mall. Jam-packed with exciting rides, boujee to basic fashion stores, an ice rink, as well as an IMAX cinema, all neatly tied into a Venetian-inspired setting.

Hop aboard and cruise down the mall’s indoor canal on a gondola. You’ll be delivered to the doorsteps of the likes of Dior and Louis Vuitton.

Wander through an authentic market

Trading traditional garments, spices, hand-crafted goods, gold and everything in between, the Souq Waqif is a hub of activity.

Visit the Souq Waqif Art centre and watch artists at work, or join an art class. Follow your nose to the rainbow of spices on offer. Swim in the exotic Arabic aromas of saffron, tea leaves, sumac, dried flowers, coffee beans and more.

From street performers, Falconry, camels and horses, to restaurants and street vendors, it’s a blend of tradition and culture with so much richness to devour.

Tour Al Zubarah Fort

Once a thriving pearl fishing and trading port, Al Zurabah is one of the best examples of an 18th to 19th-century Gulf merchant town. The World UNESCO site features the youngest and most prominent 20th-century fort, Al Zubarah, which has been turned into a museum with a wide array of artefacts to explore.

Zulal Wellness Resort and Banana Island Resort
Zulal Wellness Resort and Banana Island Resort

Hit refresh in Qatar

Qatar is an idyllic destination for a relaxing getaway. It offers sun, sea and sand, as well as world-class wellness resorts and facilities. Zulal Wellness Resort is a fully immersive retreat located in the north of Qatar, with programmes available from three to 14 nights. The resort has an emphasis on stress resistance and enhancing sleep quality. Solo travellers can also visit Banana Island Resort set on a private island surrounded by turquoise lagoons.

Parisa Souq Waqif
Parisa Souq Waqif

Eat, drink and be merry

Foodies are catered to at any budget in Qatar from authentic street food to high-end modern dining.

One of the oldest BBQ establishments, Turkey Central is abuzz with people coming for the famous kebabs and kofte on tomato bread.

Favoured by locals, Parisa Souq Waqif offers a combination of delicious, Middle Eastern dishes coupled with some of the most striking interiors, including hand-painted artworks of myths and legends, intricate mosaics and thousands of tiny mirrors.

Boho Social Qatar serves a Bohemian High Tea. Think brilliantly-bright colours, florals, and decadent dishes that will whisk you away on a culinary journey through the Americas, Asia, Southern Europe and the Middle East.

For exquisite views of the azure sea, dine at the Al Mourjan for an Arabic culinary experience.

The seven restaurants, bars and lounges on offer at the Sheraton Grand Doha will delight food connoisseurs. From the Jewel of Indian cuisine to the toe-tapping slice of Ireland.

Nobu Doha will dish up a blend of traditional Japanese dishes with Peruvian ingredients. Try Nobu’s signature dish, the black cod in miso, or the foie gras shiitake dumplings and whitefish sashimi.

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