Instagrammable Spots Near Qatar's World Cup Stadiums Post 2022
The FIFA 2022 World Cup Qatar may be over but, having been one of the most memorable in recent history and the first Arab World Cup, flocks of visitors are still queuing up to catch a glimpse of the stadiums where all the action happened. And it’s no surprise, not only are the stadiums now icons of football history, they are also stunning and spectacular pieces of architecture and very instagrammable!
However, the stadiums aren’t the only striking, charming and scenic places in Qatar worthy of your Insta shots. There are a plethora of aesthetically and artistically pleasing venues to choose from, including some corkers around the World Cup stadiums. Luckily, we’ve got you covered with some of the most Instagrammable hotspots just a hop, skip and a jump away from Qatar's world-class 2022 tournament venues.
Rest assured, venturing a little further than the stadiums is pretty easy. Qatar is a small, well-connected country with an excellent transport system - from the new ultrafast Metro, light rail facilities and modern five-lane highways to energy-efficient buses and taxis. And so, in no particular order, here is our list of Instagrammable spots around the World Cup Stadiums.
Place Vendôme Mall
Image: Qatar Tourism
The newly opened Place Vendôme Mall in Lusail City is an Instagrammer's paradise. Just a 10-minute taxi ride from Lusail Stadium or a short tram ride, the mall, inspired by Paris's Rue de la Paix, is architecturally stunning inside and out. The canal that crosses the Vendôme interior and runs outdoors to the nearby ocean, the intricate French-inspired details on the facade, the luxury shopping area, the larger-than-life windows, archways and doors, and the colossal coloured glass domes that adorn the ceilings make for incredible photographs. If instead, cute cafes are your Instagram vibe, you can head to the Royal Cup Specialty Coffee Shop for photogenic food and surroundings. For the minimalist vibe, One Three One is a great spot. And, in the evening, check out the mall's dancing fountains in the middle of the central plaza. These fountains are lit at night and put on a spectacular 'dancing' show to music every hour from 7 pm to 11 pm.
If you visit just one mall in Qatar, the Palace Vendôme should be your first port of call. Spread over an area of 1,150,000 square metres, this mall has an incredible amount of instagrammable shots just waiting to be taken.
How To Get There: If you are heading to the Mall from Lusail Stadium (reached via the Doha Metro on the Red Line), jump on the Lusail Tram - Orange Line to Lusail Central, which will drop you right in front of the mall.
Location: Wadi Al Gaeya, Lusail City
Timing: Sunday to Saturday, 9 am - 12 am
Note: Every Friday is family day
Image: Fitria Ramli/Shutterstock.com
If you are heading to 974 Stadium* - made from brightly coloured shipping containers and an Instagrammers dream in itself - heading to nearby Box Park will seamlessly continue the thread for your gram. Box Park, a short taxi journey away from the stadium, is a new development at the Old Doha Port. The development includes a new marina, a park, a promenade and Box Park itself - an assemblage of colourful recycled shipping containers stacked playfully to create a small retail and dining area. The containers, stacked jauntily atop one another - lengthways, widthways, horizontally and even vertically, contrast beautifully with the blue skies above Doha and the glistening waters of the adjacent Gulf Sea, and the shots you can achieve here are positively delightful. For some really great snaps, head to the top floors of the containers (by stair or by lift, cunningly located in the vertical containers); there are some stunning views of the sea, the Westbay towers, the National Museum, and everything in between. Besides your gram-worthy shots, there are plenty of quirky cafes and stalls to check out - local favourites such as Chapati and Karak and Tea time.
The best time to head here is during the day or just before sunset to ensure you get all the colours of this vibrant place into your shots.
*Be warned, 974 Stadium is a fully demountable arena (the world’s first) and in the near future it will be disassembled and the area transformed into a waterfront leisure and entertainment venue. Though the waterfront development will be as equally as Instagrammable to be sure, if you want to get a shot of 974 Stadium, the time is now!
How To Get There: The closest metro station is the Souq Waqif Metro Station, which is half an hour’s walk away from Box Park. However, the easiest way to get there is via taxi. Box Park is about a 7-minute drive from the 974 Stadium.
Location: Old Doha Port, off Al Corniche, Doha
Timing: Open 24 hours
Education City Ceremonial Court
Image: Dan Tiego/Shutterstock.com
We all know how we feel about overcrowded, gram-worthy locales. If you want to avoid crowded places and get shots requiring minimal edits onto your feed, the Education City Ceremonial Court near Education City Stadium will not disappoint. The court, designed by the 2019 Pritzker prize-winning Japanese architect Arata Isozaki, is a photographer's dream. A delicate white lattice-style concrete pergola creates a semi-shaded walkway around the outskirts of the court. The pergola, patterned with Islamic-style geometric shapes, catches the light and dapples shade beautifully for some incredible images. And the shallow pool in the centre of the court perfectly reflects the grand staircase, the towering concrete and steel solar shades and the white pergola for some excellent mirror photography. Whether you are there in the morning, evening, or night, this place is photo-worthy all day. If we had to recommend just one time to go, the early morning light is truly the best. If you head there on the weekend, you could also get a chance to experience the Torba Market, where you get an opportunity to shop some seasonal produce, interact with local artisans, and do many more fun activities. The market is quite Instagrammable as well.
By the way, we want to tell you a little secret - photographs shot here have won many awards. Maybe your shot could be next?
How To Get There: The Education City Metro Station on the Green Line is the closest metro station to the stadium. If you’re heading to the stadium, jump on a tram, which will take you to the entrance. The stadium is a 15-minute walk away from the Ceremonial Court.
Location: Education City - Gate 8
Timing: Open 24 hours
Al Thakira Mangroves
Are you tired of city views? Then this recommendation is one for you. Qatar may be best known for its desert landscape, but it is also a country full of fascinating nature and wildlife. Indeed, hidden oases are waiting to be discovered all over the nation, especially along its coastal waters. Just a short drive from the magnificent Al Bayt Stadium is an area of native mangrove forest, Al Thakira. If you plan a visit to Al Bayt and can spare a few hours, visiting the mangroves is a must. The air is fresh, nature beautiful, and it is just the escape you need if you feel jaded by the city's hustle and bustle. Plus, the sunset and sunrise views are just incredible, the mangroves are curiously beautiful and make for great pictures, and during the cooler winter months, migratory birds, such as herons and flamingos, can be snapped.
A word of warning, while the water may look inviting, since mangroves are very delicate, the area is best experienced in kayaks. So, if you're after a National Geographic-worthy shot and a seabound adventure, Al Thakira is a great place to venture. Besides Kayaking, this place is also excellent for camping overnight.
How To Get There: Al Thakira mangroves are a 25-minute drive from Al Bayt Stadium, so it requires a taxi or car to visit.
Location: Al Dhakira
Timing: Open 24 hours
Where else would you commemorate your visit to the 2022 FIFA World Cup host country other than the Iconic 2022 building? Designed by Qatari Architect Ibrahim al Jaidah who is also the architect behind the Al Thumama stadium, this is the first building in the world in the numerical shape of a specific year. Whether you photograph on your phone or your drone, you can read the year '2022' from the ground or via an aerial shot. The building consists of a two-storey ground floor and mezzanine platform, over a basement level, with each of the five-floor individual letter blocks located above. As the 2022 building is literally just across the road from Khalifa International Stadium, this is a one-of-a-kind picture for the gram you shouldn't miss.
Visit here at the golden hour or when the night lights are on to get the best shots.
How To Get There: The Sports City Metro Station on the Green Line is the closest metro station. The best photo spot is just a 7-minute walk from Khalifa Stadium.
Location: Umm Leghab Street, Al Waab
Timing: Accessible 24 hours
Mall of Qatar
When you think of Instagram, a mall isn't the first place you'd think of for collecting unique and beautiful images. However, the Mall of Qatar, adjacent to the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, has plenty of photogenic spots that are Instagram-worthy, especially the illuminated artworks. The first, an almost 25 ft water wall inside the main entrance, with nine illuminated great egret sculptures positioned as though flying away from the water, is delightful. More illuminated artworks can be found inside the main thoroughfares of the shopping centre. Five acrobats hanging in suspended animation, a beautifully lit sculpture of cascading bow ties and crystal beads, a shoe of stiletto shoe of blue crystal balls lit from above, and much more hanging from the domed ceilings. Plus, there is also the green Oasis in the mall's central atrium. The Oasis is the backdrop for the mall's in-house entertainers, concerts and other such events, but it is beautiful on its own too. Three giant columns covered in growing plants dominate the atrium and encircle the main stage, itself circled by a pool with waterfalls and fountains lit up in varying colours. Cafes and restaurants surround the Oasis on two floors, and the open plan, double height and floor layout give plenty of scope for some impressive photos.
You could visit the Mall anytime, but the Oasis looks best when shot during the day. However, if you are heading into the Mall at night, the fantastic light installations come into their own too.
How To Get There: The closest metro station is the Al Riffa Metro Station on the Green Line and literally on the mall’s doorstep. The Mall of Qatar and the Metro station are just 10 minutes walk from Ahmad bin Ali Stadium.
Location: Al Jahhaniya Interchange, Ar-Rayyan
Timing: Saturday to Thursday, 10 am - 12 am
Souq Al Wakra
Image: Fitria Ramli/Shutterstock.com
For pictures in a traditional setting, head to Souq Al Wakra near Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah. This souq was once a fishing village in the distant past, but more recently, the area has been given a facelift to create a traditional market. The site has been transported back to the far-flung days when markets were held in small mud and limestone huts built around courtyards and in a maze of alleyways. With a network of passageways running between sand-coloured shops, a picturesque beach, a 3 km promenade lined with cafes and eateries, and traditional dhow boats painted blue and white pulled up onto the sand, there is everything you need to up your Instagram game. Head here at sunrise for the best light, avoid the crowds, and have the place to yourself.
While there are many photo opportunities here, the most Instagrammable place has to be when you walk from the iconic Pearl roundabout, along the promenade to the dhows, with the sparkling sea view beyond.
How To Get There: The closest metro station is the Al Wakra Metro Station on the Red Line. Once at the station, you can hop on a free Metrolink Shuttle Bus to the souq. From Al Wakra Metro Station, Souq Al Wakra is just 10 minutes by taxi or the free shuttle bus.
Location: Al Wakrah
Timing: Saturday to Thursday, 7:30 am - 12 am; Friday, 7:30 am - 11:15 am/12.30 pm - 12 am
Al Bidda Park
While Al Thumama Stadium is a stunning building in its own right (designed to resemble the 'gahfiya' - a woven cap - that Qatari and Arab men use as a base for the 'gutra' - the traditional male headdress), it is located in a predominantly residential area. So, if you want something more spectacular to upload to your gram (other than the stadium), you'll need to venture a little further. So, we've opted for one of the next most instagrammable spots: a short trip along the Metro Red Line - Al Thumama's nearest rail service.
Al Bidda Park is the largest open space along Doha's Corniche. Its green lawns span 174.5 hectares, intersected by two of the city's main roadways to create three distinct areas linked by beautiful garden bridges overflowing with plants, flowers and bushes. But the bridges aren't the only instagrammable locales in this park; a stunning water plaza surrounded by native trees and plants, with walkways covered by white pergolas, is another perfect place for gorgeous shots. Adorable barbeque stations built into grassy mounds resembling Hobbit houses provide unique pics. A pyramid of concrete steps leading to a flagpole topped with the Qatari flag allows you to show off your location. And the views from the park across the blue seas of the Gulf, all the way to West Bay's skyscrapers, are phenomenal and very gram-worthy.
However, Al Bidda Park is worth more than a few online photos. There is so much to do and so many different terrains and features to explore that you could easily spend a whole day here and not get bored. The park is full of walkways, running and cycling tracks, exercise equipment, sports courts and pitches, children's playgrounds and water features, as well as a green maze, cafes and restaurants, monuments, heritage sites and an amphitheatre. It's worth stopping here to spend a little extra time soaking up the atmosphere.
How to reach here: From Al Thumama Stadium, the nearest Metro station is Oqba Ibn Nafie. You will need to take a taxi to and from the stadium. Once at the Metro Station, head north on the Red Line to the Al Bidda Metro Station, which drops you at the south entrance to the park.
Location: Al Bidda, Al Corniche
Timing: Open 24 hours
If you are taking the time to visit each of the 2022 World Cup stadiums (which we heartily recommend), keep hunger at bay while you sightsee by checking out the following recommendations for some top eateries in the vicinity of each venue:
- Nutritious Nosh Near 974 Stadium
- Eating Out Around Ahmad bin Ali Stadium
- Best Restaurants to Visit Near Al Bayt Stadium
- Awesome Edibles Around Al Janoub Stadium
- Eateries Close to Education City Stadium
- Great Grub Close to Khalifa International Stadium
- Fabulous Food for Hungry Visitors to Lusail Stadium
- Discovering Sights Via The Metro Red Line From Al Thumama Stadium
Main image: Dan Tiego/Shutterstock.com
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