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24 July 2018 02:05 pm

Ten most Instagram-worthy places in Qatar

Sonkie
Sonkie
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Let's admit it. Despite its relatively small size and young age, Qatar is lucky to be sprinkled with some of the most gorgeous and awe-inspiring photography sites ever. May it be a natural tourist hot spot like the Musfur Sinkhole and the all-green Irkaya Farm or a man-made structure such as the Katara Cultural Village and the Doha skyline, there's just so much to see and of course, frame and click in a fast-developing country like Qatar. 

And because we live in the digital age when huge DSLRs are out of the picture and handy mobile phones are in, we've decided to list the 10 most Instagrammable places in Qatar—each for a recommended spot and specific reason!

And oh, if you're quite clueless to the meaning of the word 'Instagrammable,' then you might want to check out our article of the 25 widely-used social media terminologies that you may not have heard of yet! One tip: Jump to #8 if you want an instant definition of the word!

So, shall we make your Instagram feed look more follow-worthy with these 10 aesthetically-pleasing places? Trust us, they can all be found right here in Qatar!

1. Qatar National Library

Qatar National Library

Why it will be a great addition to your feed: Located inside the equally-Instagrammable Education City, the Qatar National Library (QNL) is now getting the upsurge of visitors that it deserves with the help of word of mouth and of course, those stunning posts on Instagram! With countless lines making up the venue's architectural perfection, it's easy to decipher why symmetry freaks can't get enough of the QNL! Once you set foot to see the humongous shelves of books scattered inside, your mobile phone's memory space will surely run out as every corner of the now more than one-year-old public library is downright uniform!
When's the best time to visit?: 
Since it's indoor and very well ventilated, we'd say anytime of day! Take note though that they're open only from 8am-8pm daily!
Any photography restrictions?: 
We visit the QNL at least once a month, and not a single staff has ever stopped us from capturing every corner and moment! But don't forget that you're still inside a library, so try to tone it down a bit!
Don't miss: 
The Gardens of Al-Andalus Exhibition, where you will get to learn about the importance of gardens in Islam with several plants, tools, and gardening methods used by Muslims in Andalusia strategically located in QNL's ground floor! For more info, click here.

2. Souq Al Wakrah

Souq Al Wakrah
(Source: asergeev.com)

Why it will be a great addition to your feed: Compared to its more well-known Doha counterpart, the Souq area in Al Wakrah municipality is more on the nostalgic side as most of the structures here are designed to bring impressions of a pseudo-aged architecture and style, a break from the whitewashed and grand-styled infrastructures emerging in Qatar. Can you imagine how gorgeous that will look like in real life?
When's the best time to visit?: This gem is located behind Al Wakrah Petrol station next to the port and is merely a two-minute drive away from the popular Family Beach, so the best time to pay a visit is of course—we can't stress this enough—once the weather gets better!
Any photography restrictions?: If you're an avid photowalker in Souq Waqif, then the same set of rules applies to Souq Al Wakrah.
Don't miss: ILQ's list of the five Souq Al Wakrah restaurants to suit every taste and budget! To know if your favorite makes the cut, click here.

3. Doha Fire Station

Doha Fire Station presents 'Dual Inspirations'

Why it will be a great addition to your feed: The Doha Fire Station (DFS) is proving itself as the most promising museum in Qatar through its 'Artist in Residence' program which provides local artists with a chance to delve into the world of aestheticism and be exposed to influential mentors that can help them challenge and develop their artistic skills. They've done quite a lot this year, with Ai Wei Wei's 'Laundromat' exhibition creating the most noise.
When's the best time to visit?: Just like every museum in Qatar, the DFS is indoor and is open 10 hours a day. Visit them anytime from 9am-7pm for FREE!
Any photography restrictions?: Qatar is bustling with museums of all sorts and we're happy to let you know that most of them allows visitors to bring cameras with them all the way inside! Just be a little mindful of using flash, the Museum of Islamic Art usually prohibits this feature but besides that, you're more than free to photograph whatever you want!
Don't miss: DFS' newest Artist in Residence program is now up! Formally named 'Dual Inspirations,' the exhibition's main narrative is based on the idea of 'reflection and inspiration', whereby two artists are matched in one section under a specific theme which describes their work. The line-up of burnt books you see above was taken from the exhibit's media opening night. For a sneak peek, click here.

4. Mondrian Doha's Walima restaurant

Mondrian Doha's Walima Restaurant

Why it will be a great addition to your feed: There's not a lot to expect in Mondrian Doha's signature and traditional restaurant so we won't be surprised if you get so surprised when you walk into Walima restaurant with your jaws locked upon the sight of the above-seen colorful lights dangling on the restaurant's ceiling which are just so hard not to take a photograph of!  
When's the best time to visit?: The restaurant is open daily from 10am-12mn, so it's a really good idea to reserve a dinner table with them now!
Any photography restrictions?: None at all. You can even take a groufie with its friendly and mostly-North African staff! 
Don't miss: The colossal round majlis is where you should head to to pose after finishing your meal!

5. Shangri-La Helipad

Shangri-La Helipad in Doha, Qatar

Why it will be a great addition to your feed: Your friends' Instagram posts are not lying! There really is an open-air helipad in Doha and it's on top of the Shangri-La hotel! Several companies book a dinner in this high-end place—literally!—and their Instagram posts say that if you want to see Qatar from a bird's eye view, then this is the place to be!
When's the best time to visit?: We'd say during the magic hours when it's the best time to make the most out of either the rising or setting sun!
Any photography restrictions?: As it's an open-air site, you're free to explore your photographic skills as much as you want! Our only advice would be to never cross the restricted line. Coz as we just said, you're subjected in free air!
Don't miss: To take a panoramic shot of Doha's epic and futuristic skyscrapers! It's not always that you see them in such an elevated angle! The ILQ team spent an unforgettable Iftar in the Shangri-La helipad and you can watch this video to have an idea of how fun the experience was!

6. Marsa Malaz Kempinski hotel

Marsa Malaz Kempinski Qatar

Why it will be a great addition to your feed: From the looks of it, Marsa Malaz Kempinski, which is located at The Pearl area, is situated on its own island. From the entrance, fountain area, lobby, to its almost unbelievable beach site, everything in the 5-star hotel seem to be molded with exquisiteness and grandiosity. The peach motif, which is fully represented in every corner, also adds a hippy vibe to the overall experience. 
When's the best time to visit?: When there are not lots of guests so that you can make the most out of posing in front of the—possibly—tallest glass window we've ever seen in Qatar!
Any photography restrictions?: None at all. But don't forget to respect the guests' privacy especially within the beach area.
Don't miss: To pose against the horse structure erected in front of the luxury hotel.

7. Torch Tea Garden restaurant

Torch Tea Garden Doha
(Source: The Torch Doha's website)

Why it will be a great addition to your feed: If you have an affinity for nature and everything green, then this little chill spot inside The Torch Hotel Doha might just satisfy your longing for the outdoor scene. It prides itself as the trendiest high-end tea lounge in Doha which is located on the 21st floor with an overlooking view of Aspire Park and Doha skyline.
When's the best time to visit?: Timings are from Tuesday to Sunday from 3pm until 10:30pm.
Any photography restrictions?: As long as you're a paying customer, then sky is the limit!
Don't miss: To food photograph their wide range of refreshment choices including Chinese tea, oolong tea, white tea, tea mocktails, and the house-famous Afternoon Tea which they serve from 3pm-6pm!

8. Al Hazm Mall

Al Hazm Mall, Doha, Qatar

Why it will be a great addition to your feed: Dubbed as the most ideal place to head to if you're in for a European atmosphere while enjoying Arabian hospitality, Al Hazm Mall is one of the plenty reasons that can testify Qatar's commitment towards its 2030 national vision. Al Hazm is without a doubt made for the future and we'll suggest you to bring extra batteries or power banks as a fully-charged device won't surely last once you attempt to marvel into the luxury mall's almost endless symmetrical madness!
When's the best time to visit?: We were just there last weekend. And despite the heat, there's no stopping us from taking as many shots as we can!
Any photography restrictions?: Some security staff may ask you to present a filming permit, but they won't do that if you will resort to just using your mobile phones or if you're really aiming for better quality shots, we suggest sticking to small cameras instead of the attention-seeking DLSRs.
Don't miss: Le Train Bleu, a one-of-a-kind luxury restaurant in Doha that takes inspiration from public trains in France. We had the exclusive chance of getting a glimpse of its glamorous interior and we can say that once the mall is fully-opened, this restaurant will be on every influencers' list of places to visit and dine in!

9. Yasmine Palace Restaurant

Yasmine Palace restaurant in The Pearl, Qatar

Why it will be a great addition to your feed: The restaurant, which looks like a hotel from the outside, is housed in its own block with a grand entrance, palm trees, and outdoor terraces. It serves Arabic, Qatari and Syrian cuisines. And while the food scene is worth-noting, Yasmine Palace's grand and opulent interior is another story. While inside, you can freely roam around and just take portraiture of yourself. But of course, it'll be a lot more convenient if you bring an official photographer along with you! With its warm and pleasant ambiance, you will find joy in every corner. Its magical beauty is engraved on the surface of the walls.
When's the best time to visit?: During one of the five weekday evenings we would say, when the crowd is so-so and the ambiance is acceptably lively. 
Any photography restrictions?: Feel free. But back off a bit once the place gets packed with ladies wearing abaya. You don't want to invade their privacy.
Don't miss: The pleasing smell of the jasmine flower (where the hotel's name was derived from) will transport you to historical places and through ages.

10. Qanat Quartier

Qanat Quartier in The Pearl, Qatar

Why it will be a great addition to your feed: There's nothing like The Pearl's Qanat Quartier in Qatar and the reasons are aplenty! First, it features a look that one can only get from travelling to Venice, Italy! Second, it's quite accessible from Doha. And lastly, it's our finale entry to this round-up—which makes the place extra special! Many Doha-based filmmakers throng this place to shoot 'Europe-looking' scenes and we won't be surprised if you will do too in the future!
When's the best time to visit?: Once the weather is cooler (for the ultimate Italian feel) and when the sun is about to set.
Any photography restrictions?: Just like in Al Hazm Mall, mobile photography is the most preferred excuse to hold a mini shoot in Qanat Quartier. You don't want to make the security personnel accuse you of shooting a high-budgeted Hollywood film without possessing any filming permit!
Don't miss: To enjoy Doha's 'Little Venice's' bustling activities to involve yourself into after taking all those Instagram-worthy shots! For the 10 unique ways on how to spend a day at the Qanat Quartier, click here.

How many of these Instagram hot spots have you been to in Qatar? And did we miss to add anything else worth snapping to this list? Let us know by dropping us a line in the comments below! Also, don't forget to like and share this article—it keeps us going!