Ultimate Guide to Gap Year Travel: Tips,...
Location:Middle East, peninsula bordering the Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia
Currency:Qatari rials (QAR)
Area:11,586 sq km
Population:2,479,995 (July 2021 est.)
Languages:Arabic (official), English commonly used as a second language
Religion:Muslim 65.2%, Christian 13.7%, Hindu 15.9%, Buddhist 3.8%, folk religion <0.1%, Jewish <0.1%, other <1%, unaffiliated <1% (2020 est.)
Things to Do
1. Visit the Museum of Islamic Art
Explore the stunning collection of Islamic art from around the world at the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha. The museum showcases artworks spanning 1,400 years, including textiles, ceramics, manuscripts, and metalwork.
2. Take a Desert Safari
Embark on an exciting desert safari in Qatar's vast sand dunes. Experience thrilling activities such as dune bashing, camel riding, and sandboarding. Enjoy a traditional Arabian meal under the stars while being entertained by local performers.
3. Visit the Souq Waqif
Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Souq Waqif, Doha's oldest traditional market. Browse through a variety of shops selling spices, textiles, jewelry, and traditional Qatari handicrafts. Enjoy a meal at one of the many restaurants offering traditional Qatari cuisine.
4. Explore The Pearl-Qatar
Discover the manmade island of The Pearl-Qatar, a luxurious residential and commercial development. Stroll along the marina promenade, shop at high-end boutiques, dine at waterfront restaurants, and enjoy the stunning views of the Arabian Gulf.
5. Visit the Aspire Park
Escape the city and relax in the serene surroundings of Aspire Park located in Al Waab. This expansive park features beautiful landscaped gardens, walking paths, playgrounds, and a lake, making it the perfect spot for a picnic or leisurely stroll.
6. Explore the Al Zubarah Archaeological Site
Step back in time at the Al Zubarah Archaeological Site, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Explore the ruins of the abandoned town and learn about Qatar's rich history and heritage. The site includes a museum with artifacts and exhibits.
7. Visit the Katara Cultural Village
Experience Qatar's vibrant arts and culture scene at the Katara Cultural Village. This waterfront complex hosts various events, performances, and exhibitions showcasing local and international talent in music, dance, theater, and visual arts.
8. Take a Dhow Cruise
Embark on a traditional dhow cruise along the picturesque coastline of Qatar. Enjoy panoramic views of the city skyline, indulge in a delicious dinner onboard, and experience Qatari hospitality while sailing on a traditional wooden sailing vessel.
9. Visit the Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum
Discover a vast collection of artifacts, Islamic art, vintage cars, and historic manuscripts at the Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum. This private museum provides insights into Qatari culture, history, and heritage.
10. Explore the Qatar National Museum
Get a glimpse into Qatar's past, present, and future at the Qatar National Museum. Located in a historic palace, the museum showcases the country's rich heritage through interactive exhibits, archaeological artifacts, and contemporary artworks.
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Qatar has a hot desert climate, with temperatures that can reach as high as 50°C (122°F) in the summer months (June to September). Winter months (December to February) are more pleasant, with temperatures averaging around 25°C (77°F).
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Qatar is during the winter months, from November to April, when temperatures are more comfortable and outdoor activities can be enjoyed.
Qatar offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit every traveler's budget and preferences. Some of the most popular options include:
Qatar is home to some of the world's most luxurious hotels, such as the St. Regis Doha, The Ritz-Carlton, Doha, and the Four Seasons Hotel Doha. These hotels offer premium amenities, high-end dining options, and world-class service.
For travelers looking for a comfortable stay at an affordable price, there are many mid-range hotels in Qatar, such as the Hilton Doha, the Crowne Plaza Doha - The Business Park, and the Marriott Marquis City Center Doha Hotel.
Budget-friendly options include hotels like the Doha Oasis Hotel, the Grand Heritage Doha Hotel & Spa, and the Al Najada Doha Hotel by Tivoli. These hotels offer basic amenities and comfortable rooms at lower prices.
For those looking for more space and the comforts of home, serviced apartments in Qatar are a great option. Some popular choices include the Fraser Suites Doha, the Al Mourjan Business Centre & Serviced Apartments, and the Al Jazi Garden Hotel & Apartments.
Visitors to Qatar have several options for getting around, including:
Taxis are readily available and are a convenient way to get around. Taxis in Qatar are metered, but it's a good idea to confirm the fare with the driver before starting the trip.
Qatar has a well-developed bus network, with routes covering most areas of the country. Buses are affordable and run frequently, making it an ideal option for budget-conscious travelers.
Renting a car is a convenient option for visitors who want to explore the country on their own. Several international car rental companies have branches in Qatar, and a valid driver's license is required.
The Doha Metro is a new and modern system that offers fast and efficient transportation within the city. The metro operates from 6 am to 11 pm and runs on several lines, making it easy to get around the city.
Private transportation, such as limousines or private cars, can be arranged through hotels or travel agents. This is a convenient option for travelers who prefer the comfort and privacy of their own vehicle.
- The currency of Qatar is the Qatari Riyal (QAR).
Cash And Cards
- Credit cards are widely accepted in Qatar, especially in larger establishments.
- It is advisable to carry some cash for smaller transactions and in more remote areas.
- ATMs are readily available in Qatar, particularly in major cities and tourist areas.
- Make sure to inform your bank about your travel plans to avoid any issues with using your card abroad.
- Tipping is not expected in Qatar, as a service charge is usually included in the bill.
- However, it is common to round up the bill or leave a small amount as a token of appreciation.
Cost Of Living
- The cost of living in Qatar is relatively high, especially in major cities like Doha.
- Accommodation, transportation, and dining out can be expensive.
- Be cautious of street vendors or unofficial tour guides who may try to overcharge or scam tourists.
- Avoid sharing personal or financial information with strangers.