New skyline of the West Bay central financial district of Doha, Qatar, Middle East

Getty Images/Robert Harding World Imagery



Doha makes full use of its attractive waterfront promenade, which stretches 7km along Doha Bay and was carefully constructed from landfill to make a pleasing crescent. The best views are from the water's edge close to the Museum of Islamic Art, with dhows (traditional cargo boats) in the foreground and the skyscrapers of West Bay across the water. The best time to come is late afternoon on Friday, when families of all nationalities throng here.

The 5km walk from the Museum of Islamic Art to the Sheraton on West Bay is a wonderful late-afternoon stroll in a city not known for its pedestrian-friendly streets. Allow a good hour and a half.

At the southern end of the Corniche is the National Museum of Qatar, a beautiful architectural feat shaped like a desert rose. The collection of whitewashed traditional-style buildings on the far right belongs to the exquisite five-star Sharq Village & Spa. A must-stop down this end is the traditional Halul Coffeehouse, a local-style cafe that has somehow escaped the modernisation of the area.

Further north is the ‘sea’ zone of the Corniche, with Doha’s busy port marked by the monumental anchors on the shore and the cream-coloured flour mills at the end of the jetty. Along the Corniche north of the Museum of Islamic Art, the entrance to the dhow harbour is marked by the famous pearl monument, a popular spot for photos. Enjoy the spectacular view of West Bay from the end of a jetty full of lobster pots and lazy dhows, moored between night-time fishing trips.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Doha attractions

1. Al Bidda Park

0.16 MILES

One of the best green spaces in the city, with lots of walkways and cycle lanes, plus manicured lawns, a children's play area and views of the Diwan, Doha…

2. Diwan

0.89 MILES

The grand white building of Qatar's national parliament marks the official workplace of the Emir of the State of Qatar, and is recognisable by the Qatari…

3. Horse Stables

1.13 MILES

Visitors can see well-groomed Arabian horses up close at these stables not far from the Falcon Souq. You can walk around the indoor stables during the…

4. Camel Pen

1.14 MILES

Pop over here from the Corniche for a photo op with a grazing camel. The animals are in their pen here most of the day and into the early evening.

5. Pearl Monument

1.17 MILES

The famous pearl monument and fountain, a popular spot for photos, marks the entrance to the dhow harbour at the northern end of the Corniche. Before…

6. Falcon Souq

1.18 MILES

For a glimpse of Qatari heritage, don't miss the Falcon Souq. You only have to see the scale of the market, afforded its own traditional arcaded building…

7. Souq Waqif

1.25 MILES

This vibrant complex is without doubt one of the most atmospheric places to explore in Qatar. Built on an ancient market site, the area remains the social…

8. Doha Fort

1.28 MILES

Previously used as both a prison and as an ethnographic museum, this fort was built during the 19th-century Turkish occupation but lost many of its…