Even though Qatar is known for its traditional customs, it has continued to explore the most controversial artwork. Being the world’s largest modern art buyer, it goes to show that the country loves its art. Qatari art, seen at the Qatar Museums is influenced by being exposed to foreign cultures, which is seen through Arabic calligraphy and spot and spin paintings to huge bronze sculptures.

The main idea of exposing the country to the world of art is to make it an artistic center and cultural capital of the Middle East. The Emir’s sister aims at achieving the goal by challenging the traditional notions through modern art. The world of art has flourished over the years with an increase in the number of art spaces.

19 Qatar Museums: Discover The Stunning And Rare Artifacts

Have you ever imagined going on a holiday just to explore its art? Maybe, you should give it a try. Over the years, Qatar has reinvented itself as a global artistic hub which goes beyond bricks and mortar to buying the best art pieces. Tourists will be dazzled with the collection of art and artifacts from around the world at the  museums of Qatar. With such stunning art work that tells a story of the history of the country, what more can anyone want when on a holiday discovering each corner of the street. Go ahead, pack those bags and have the best time of your life.

  • Msheireb Museums
  • National Museum of Qatar
  • Museum of Islamic Art
  • Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art
  • Katara Art Centre
  • Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum
  • Fire Station Museum
  • Anima Museum
  • Virginia Commonwealth University Qatar Museum
  • Albahie Auction House
  • Arab Postal Stamps Museum
  • Orientalist Museum
  • Barzan Towers
  • Souq Waqif Art Center
  • Museum Of Illusions Doha
  • 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum
  • Qatar Museums Gallery, Al Riwaq
  • East Wing Museum
  • Al Markhiya Gallery

1. Msheireb Museums

Msheireb Museums

Location: Msheireb Downtown Doha, Doha, Qatar

Opening Hours:

Monday–Thursday: 9 am to 5 pm

Friday: 3 pm to 9 pm

Saturday: 9 am to 5 pm

Entry Fees: Free

Time Required: 1-2 hours

The history of Doha is seen through the art displayed at the museum right from its humble start as a tiny fishing village. Bin Jelmood House, Company House, Mohammed Bin Jassim House, and Radwani House are one of the oldest museums that are  paid respect too, found nestled in the oldest part of the capital. Ancient slavery, the discovery of oil and gas, traditions, and the development of Arabian Gulf countries are the different aspects of Qatar's history that are focused upon in each section of the art museum in Qatar.

You can visit the gift shops and restaurants once the tour is over. Give your taste buds a treat to some of the most scrumptious Qatari cuisines. The museum ensures tourists will have the best time of their lives and will always come back for more.

2. National Museum Of Qatar

Location: Museum Park St, Doha, Qatar

Opening Hours:

Sunday–Wednesday: 9 am to 7 pm

Thursday and Saturday: 9 am to 9 pm

Friday: 1.30 pm to 9 pm

Entry Fees: QAR 50

Timing Required: 3 hours

The long-awaited museum was an absolute hit the minute it opened its doors in March 2019. Qatar's history right from its prehistoric times to the modern metropolis is discovered at the national museum of Qatar. Reflecting upon the quartz desert rose, Jean Nouvel designed the building, situated at the beginning of the Doha Corniche, and has inculcated the restoration of Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani's palace.

Pearl Carpet of Baroda, embroidered with 1.5 million pearls, sapphires, and diamonds, is a must-see exhibit. Apart from the museum, people should see the gift shop for its ceiling and walls of curved wood, modeled on Dahl Al Misfir, a popular natural landmark in the country.

3. Museum of Islamic Art

 Museum of Islamic Art

Location: Doha, Qatar

Opening Hours:

Saturday to Thursday: 9 am- 7pm

Friday: 1:30 -7pm

Entry Fees: QAR 50

Timing Required: 2 hours

People get to discover the blend of tradition with modernity at the museum of Islamic art. The limestone structure at the waterfront of Doha focuses on the art's connection to Islam without focusing on religious items. The Qatar Museum timing are 9 am- 7pm from Saturday to Thursday and 1:30 to 7 pm on Friday, during which the tourists can visit the place. It is a place that will transport tourists into a world of art and will leave them wanting more.

The ideal tourist attraction in Qatar accommodates Islamic craftsmanship for over 1400 years across 3 continents. Traditional styles and methods from the Middle East and Asia are seen through a visual narrative of Qatar throughout the centuries. The museum is home to a library filled with rare manuscripts and texts from around the world, including the 7th century Quran.

4. Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art

Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art

Location: Education City, Doha, Qatar

Opening Hours:

Saturday to Thursday: 9 am- 7pm

Friday: 1:30 -7pm

Entry Fees: 466 QR

Timing Required: 1-2 hours

Converted into a school building in Doha's education city, Mathaf, the Arab Museum of Modern Art is home to the biggest collection of Arab art in the region, boasting over 9,000 pieces collected over 25 years.

It is one of the best places to visit in Doha to discover the story behind its art collection. A notable exhibit on Horoufiyah (use of Arabic letters and calligraphy in art) is held at the museum. Tourists can get to the museum by their Mathaf bus easily. This vacation in Qatar is unique as people from around the world get to explore the artistic side of a country, unlike any other place.

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5. Katara Art Centre

Katara Art Centre

Location: Katara Cultural Village, Building 5, Doha, Qatar

Opening Hours:

Friday: 2–10pm

Thursday- Saturday: 10 am- 10 pm

Entry Fees: Free

Timing Required: 1-2 hours

Have you been to the art centre in Qatar? The cultural hub that explores art beyond its traditional form, Katara art centre is nestled in a developing art space of Katar Cultural village. It is home to some of the most modern and unconventional artwork where a transdisciplinary approach to showcasing art is used.

Tourists will discover art events and concepts that help budding artists build local and international networks. The art center has talks, classes, and workshops regularly, which include discussions on basic brush calligraphy and recycled art to caricature clay sculpture. With so much to explore in the art world, what more can anyone ask for?

6. Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum

Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum

Location: Al Samriya St, Doha, Qatar

Opening Hours:

Sunday-Thursday: 9 am- 4:30 pm

Friday: 2–7pm

Saturday: 10am–6pm

Entry Fees: Free

Timing Required: 2 hours

The private art collection of one of Qatar's eminent businessmen is displayed at Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum. The unique exterior made with local stone and traditional turrets is a stunning sight to see. The museum in Qatar preserves Islamic and Qatari customs dating back to the Jurassic age to the present day.

Islamic Art, Vehicles, Coins & Currency, and Qatar Heritage along with all kind's treasures, fossils, rare coins, manuscripts, and textiles are on display showcasing over 15,000 artifacts in 15 different halls. Apart from visiting museums, tourists can have a change of scenery and go shopping in Qatar.

7. Fire Station Museum

Fire Station Museum
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Location: Doha, Qatar

Opening Hours:

Saturday to Thursday: 9 am- 7pm

Friday: 1:30 -7pm

Entry Fees: QAR 50 for adults, QAR 25 for students and free for children under 16

Timing Required: 1 hour

One of the many things to do in Qatar is see the Fire station museum. The museum is a modern art space dedicated to supporting artists and engages with the locals in Qatar by hosting events, which include exhibitions and public programs. Back in 1982, the museum was home to the civil defense authorities till the end of 2012.

It was remolded in 2014 by Ibrahim Al- Jaida, an architect who preserved the original plans of the building and its tower. The Annex was added to the original structure. The museum is an interesting place to visit in Qatar with friends and family.

8. Anima Museum

Anima Gallery
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Location: 30 La Croisette, Porto Arabia, The Pearl Qatar

Opening Hours: 9 am – 11 pm

Entry Fees: Tourists are advised to check with the museum authorities and enquire about the entry fee

Timing Required: 2 hours

Have you been to the Anima Museum yet? It is not like any other museum you would have been to anywhere else in the world. If you haven’t yet, then what you waiting for?

Established in 2012, Anima Museum focuses on exhibitions and art consulting. Various artists working in various styles and mediums, paintings, and sculptures are some of the things the gallery represents. Contemporary art and represents local, regional, and international artists are certain things the museum focuses on. Tourists, visiting from around the world should attend the exhibitions that are accompanied by informal lectures and gallery talks. After spending time at the gallery, people can always grab a bite to eat at some of the restaurants in Qatar.

9. Virginia Commonwealth University Qatar Museum

Virginia Commonwealth University Qatar Gallery
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Location: 8095, Al Luqta Street, Education City, Doha, Qatar

Opening Hours:

Sunday to Thursday:9 am- 5 pm

Friday- Saturday: closed

Entry Fees: Tourists are advised to check with the museum authorities and enquire about the entry fee

Timing Required: 1 hour

Home to the best graphic and interior designs; and art history, VCU arts Qatar showcases artwork from various international artists and VCU students; and faculty. Sitting in Education city, a 12 sq km campus home to several educational institutions, the university is an attractive tourist destination people should explore when on vacation.

The paintings tackle art from an academic standpoint. With so much to learn and explore, people may just extend their holidays for a few more days. With planning a vacation in Qatar, tourists can stay at one of the hotels in Qatar, close by. The country has a lot to offer its tourists ensuring they have the best time of their lives.

10. AlBahie Auction House

AlBahie Auction House
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Location: Katara Cultural Village | Building 22C، Doha, Qatar

Opening Hours:

Sunday – Thursday: 10:30am – 8:30pm

Friday and Saturday: 4:00pm – 10:00pm

Entry Fees: Tourists are advised to check with the museum authorities and enquire about the entry fee

Timing Required: 1-2 hours

The Albahie auction house is one of its kind in Qatar, as it hosts auctions for a variety of items like Antiques, Paintings, Watches and Clocks, Motor Cars, and Jewelry. They have auctions for just about everything.

One of the main tourist attractions in Qatar, there is a range of sale categories like Modern and Contemporary Art, Arts of the Islamic Worlds, Rugs or Carpets, Orientalist Art, and even Banknotes or coins. The travelers visiting the auction house will be awestruck by some of the rare antiques and will want to buy a few. It is an interesting and unique place to visit as one will never find such a place anywhere else in the world.

11. Arab Postal Stamps Museum

Arab Postal Stamps Museum
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Location - Building 22, Katara Cultural Village, Doha - Qatar

Opening hours - Monday to Sunday – 7: 00 AM to 1: 30 PM, 4: 00 PM to 9: 00 PM

Entry fee – There is no entry fee for this museum

Time required – 1 – 2 hours

Nestled at the Katara Cultural Village, The Arab Postal Stamps Museum was first opened its gate to the public in 2010, and it holds a relishing collection of stamps from 22 different Arab nations, which specifically signify their cultures, civilizations and traditions. The motive of this museum is to show the generation of the modern world, who might not understand the importance of stamps, because, obviously they are not of much use now, how the history is documented through these stamps.

The stamps that are collected in this museum represent different themes and they cover different eras of the Arab world, and that dates back to years till date. The oldest stamp here is from Jordan and belongs to the year 1927. Visitors can also find stamps from other countries from around the globe which are showcased in the exhibitions and are on the display for the public. The Arab postal Stamps Museum takes pride in the boasting collection of stamps which when counted are more than 32000, and also, it is the first of its kind museum in the Arab area.

Suggested Read: Katara Cultural Village: Preserving the Art and Heritage of Qatar

12. Orientalist Museum

Orientalist Museum
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Location - Al Muthaf St, Doha, Qatar

Opening hours – Visitors are advised to consult the local authorities for the timings of the Orientalist Museum

Entry fee - Visitors are advised to consult the local authorities for the entry fees of the Orientalist Museum

Time required - 1–2 hours

Are you a fan of Orientalist art? Well then, this is just the right place for you. Orientalist Museum of Qatar stores the most significant collections of Orientalist art in the whole wide world. The collection of applied art, sculptures, paintings, watercolors, prints and drawings, and paintings can trace Orientalism and shows that it dated back to the 16th century.

As of now, this museum is not operating and thus is not open to the general public. But, if you are intrigued by the artwork and are interested in viewing some of the best ones, then you should know that significant collections are loaned to the international museums on regular basis. Some are also displayed in exhibitions hosted by the Orientalist Museum in Doha as well as the ones nestled abroad.

13. Barzan Towers

Barzan Towers

Location - Umm Salal Muhammed, Qatar

Opening hours – Open 24 hours

Entry fee – No entry fee is required

Time required - 1 hour

Barzaan Towers have phenomenal looks and they dominate the skyline of desert in the country. For more than a century, these towers have provided a viewpoint that is suitable for scanning the horizons and be prepared for the enemies, and also to track the world for the movements of the celestial world. These structures were built in the late 1800s and then were renovated again in the 19th century, during the rule of Sheikh Mohammed bin Jassim Al Thani. Barzaan towers served two main purposes, these structures stood erect as being the watchtowers, which were installed to ward off any possibility of another Ottoman invasion, plus they also used to be a site for astronomical observations. It was this place, where the astronomers used to study the moon during the month of Ramadan. This architecture’s compound consists of two towers, a reception room for guests, and a small mosque. Both towers have a rectangular base reinforced by buttresses at the corners.

The walls of these towers are three feet wide approximately and are made up of limestone and coral that are available locally, which are held together by mud and are covered in gypsum-based plaster. Barzan towers are counted in the list of museums as well as a heritage site because of their contribution to astronomical studies and also acted as a watchtower, as aforementioned. It is one of the must-visit historical places in Qatar and is also an astronomical museum. These towers were placed bear a rawdat, a very strategic move. Rawdat is an ecosystem that collects rainwater and also allows the indigenous fauna and flora to grow. It’s possible to enter the tower and climb the internal staircase to reach the top level. The thickness of the walls and the small windows ensure a cool temperature inside the towers all year round.

14. Souq Waqif Art Centre

Souq Waqif Art Centre
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Location - Souq Waqif, Doha, Qatar

Opening hours –

  • Saturday to Thursday - 8: 00 AM – 2: 00 PM. and 4: 00 PM – 10: 00 PM
  • Friday - 4: 00 PM – 9: 00 PM

Entry fee - Visitors are advised to consult the local authorities for the entry fees of the Souq Waqif Art Centre

Time required - 2 hours

Are willing to visit the artistic center of Qatar? Are you a cultural buff? Well then, you should definitely pay a visit to this Qatar Museum, Souq Waqif Art Center, it is the cultural landmark of the country in terms of artistic creations. This art Center draws inspiration from Middle Eastern and traditional Islamic art.

It is a beacon for artists who aspire to be known to the world and seek to learn the techniques and fundamentals of the various art forms that are used in different disciplines of art. Souq Waqif Art Center was first introduced to the public on 5th August 2013 and since this day, the center has successfully distinguished itself from the others and is known for its direct and embracing relationship with the general public in the form of various art forms such as exhibitions, public courses and presentations, that are offered throughout the year.

Souq Waqif Art Center is a way or passage of communication with the world in the form of contemporary art that is harmonized with the cultural heritage of the country and also, it follows the guidelines of Qatar Vision 2030.

15. Museum Of Illusions Doha

Museum Of Illusions Doha
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Location - The Gate Mall, Omar Al-Mukhtar St, Doha, Qatar

Opening hours –

  • Sunday to Wednesday - 9: 00 AM to 10: 00 PM
  • Friday - 1: 00 PM to 10: 00 PM
  • Saturday and Thursday - 9: 00 AM – 12: 00 AM

Entry fee -

  • For Adults: QAR 85
  • For children: QAR 60
  • For Family (With two adults and 2 kids): QAR 220
  • Special Needs: 40 QAR

Time required - 2 - 3 hours

The Museum of Illusions, nestled in Doha, is a place that offers you an environment that is suitable for both entertainment and social strides into a world of illusions that has left all the generations feeling awe-struck. It is a fascinating and unique place for fun with family and friends. This museum is a place for kids, who by the way adore the place, but it is also a place for parents, grandmothers, grandfathers and couples. This museum is amongst the finest places to visit in Qatar. Are you brave enough to tackle all the illusions? Well then, you should definitely enter the Vortex Tunnel.

As soon as you set foot here, you will realize that it is crazy in the tunnel, and believe me when I say that you will find it difficult to even take a step forward through the rotating cylinder which is on a surface that is super stable and flat. Well, this is just a trailer, there are several other illusion rooms in here, such as the Infinity Room, you can see yourself on the ceiling of the room, just let yourself free in this room, resist the laws of gravity and the ratio of size, all you have to do is set yourself free in the fun the place beholds for us.

Capture your pictures in every possible pose you know. Visitors can also stride along with the collection of holograms, every optical illusion at every installation is a masterpiece and depicts brilliance. All together it is just a playful reminder that whatever you assume about the world, whatever you perceive are more often than not, nothing but just a specter of illusions. The beautiful heritage of showpieces will definitely make your heart skip a beat.

With amazing and mind-boggling tricks, the Museum of Illusions Doha is a spot that will teach you all about vision, perception, science and the human brain, and will make you understand why your eyes see and perceive certain things that your brain can't understand. There is also a playroom for the visitors, where you can obviously pay a visit and you will be intriguing and educational games and puzzles. All the fun aside, at times it can get a little bit frustrating, but hey, what are illusions if they don't compel you into resisting all the laws of the world you know.

16. 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum

3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum
Image Credit

Location:  Doha, Qatar

Opening Hours: 9 am- 7 pm

Entry Fees: Free

Timing Required: 1 hour

Have you ever been to an Olympic and sports museum in the middle east? If not, you should explore the 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum. The national museum for sports history and heritage, one of the most unique museums in Doha aims to sustain, keep, explore and showcase sports along with the objects of the Arab world. The 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum is known to have been dealing with the international sports society.

Known to flaunt its stunning collection in various parts of the world, the museum is one of the best national and international places for sports history, heritage and knowledge. So? Why wait? Make plans with your friends and family, and explore the museum.

Qatar Museums Gallery, Al Riwaq
Image Credit

Location: Doha, Qatar

Opening Hours:

Sunday- Thursday: 9 am - 6:30 pm

Friday: 1:20- 7 pm

Entry Fees: Free

Timing Required: 2 hours

Qatar Museum Gallery, Al Riwaq is known for its exhibitions that include works of Takashi Murakami and Damien Hirst, international artists. So, if you are going towards the Museum of Islamic arts, make sure you visit the museum.

With its contribution to the colourful cultural world of Qatar, tourists from around the world come to explore the gallery every year. It is said to be one the best museums in Qatar that have always been talked about around the world. So, what’s holding you up?

18. East Wing Museum

East Wing Museum
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Location: Doha, Qatar

Opening Hours: Get in touch with the authorities to enquire about the timings

Entry Fees: NA

Timing Required: 2 Hours

With the notion of creating a platform for modern photography, the East wing museum was established in 2012. The museum moved its work onto a digital platform after it had a successful show in Dubai. It gave people from around the world the chance to explore some of the finest works of art online as well.

Modern photographic and lens-based projects are created from around the world. The gallery offers support in creating meaningful collections for those with a keen interest in photography and creating videos.  Doesn’t it sound interesting? So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and have the best museum vacation you’ve always wanted.

Al Markhiya Gallery
Image Credit

Location: Katara Art Centre Katara Art Center building, Qatar

Opening Hours: 10 am- 9 pm, Friday: closed

Entry Fees: NA

Timing Required: 1 Hour

Have you ever stopped to think about how you could spend your day or rather an entire vacation differently? It has crossed your mind, hasn’t it? Well, how about going to explore the Al Markhiya gallery?

Al Markhiya, back in 2008 introduced its first exhibition at the Souq Waqif. Later the gallery shifted to Katara Art center in 2014 and then opened its second place close to the Doha fire station studios.  The museum flaunts its permanent collection during the summers along with focusing on artists featured in the earlier months.  The museum focuses on developing the world of art and creating a network of regional and international Arab artists.

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Qatar is a country filled with surprises waiting for tourists from around the world to explore. Rich in art and culture, the Qatar museums narrate a story of the country’s history through its tradition and culture. It also narrates a story of the history of all the Arab countries from around the world. If you are a history buff, then the museums are worth visiting. Head over to the museums and explore the world of art for yourself. Have the best vacation of a lifetime and came back refreshed.

FAQs

Q1. Which are the best museums in Qatar?

Qatar houses several museums but there is no particular count to it. Also, the country plans on adding a dozen more to this list. When in Qatar you should definitely pay a visit to these museums, namely:

  • National Museum of Qatar
  • Museum of Islamic Art
  • Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art
  • Katara Art Centre
  • Souq Waqif Art Center
  • Museum Of Illusions Doha
Q2. Which is the biggest museum in Qatar?

Opened to the public in 2019, the National Museum of Qatar is one of the most popular and biggest museums in Qatar.

Q3. What should a tourist explore at the national museum of Qatar?

With a collection of over 8,000 objects and archaeological artefacts, architectural elements, heritage household and travelling objects, textiles and costumes, jewelry, decorative arts, books, and historical documents are some of the things tourists should explore at the museum.

Q4. Is Qatar worth visiting with family and friends?

Known for its rich culture and traditions seen through the mosques, museums, and other historical sites, Qatar is a country filled with surprises. It has so much to offer tourists from around the world, ensuring they will always come back for more. So, it is worth a visit and should be on your list of places to visit at least once.

Q5. When is it the best time to visit Qatar?

The best time to visit Qatar is between March and November as the weather is pleasant and tourists can enjoy a range of activities. So, plan your vacation accordingly.

Q6. Which are the best things to shop from Qatar?

Dalla Coffee Pots, Wooden Boxes, Pashminas Shawls and Scarves, Arabic Sweets, Decorated Shishas, Oud Wood, Al-Sadu Weavings and Gold and Pearl Jewelry are some of the things tourists can shop for after visiting the museums.

Q7. Is Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum any good?

Tourists get to see one of Qatar's eminent businessmen’s private art collection at the museum. The exterior of the museum made with local stones is a stunning sight to see. Themes like Islamic Art, Vehicles, Coins & Currency, and Qatar Heritage. Expect to see treasures, fossils, rare coins, manuscripts, and textiles are on display at the museum, something tourists should see. The museum is worth a visit.

Q8. What makes Museum of Islamic Art so special?

A combination of tradition and modernity is seen at the museum of Islamic art. The limestone structure at the waterfront of Doha focuses on the religious items of Islam. People are transported into a world of art that boasts over 1400 years of Islamic craftsmanship. Rare manuscripts and texts including the 7th century Quran are on display at the museum.

Q9. Is Qatar a safe country to visit?

Qatar is a country rich in culture and tradition, something tourists from around the world. It is a safe place to visit and have the ideal holiday of a long time. One of the ideal places' tourists should visit are the museums.

Q10. What makes Msheireb museums worth a visit?

The museum narrates the history of Doha, which was once a humble fishing village. It pays respect to Bin Jelmood House, Company House, Mohammed Bin Jassim House, and Radwani House, the oldest part of the capital. The different areas of Qatar's history include ancient slavery, the discovery of oil and gas, traditions, and the development of Arabian Gulf countries.