10 Places To Visit in Sharjah

Types of Girl about the Globe (GatG) – Arty & Museum GatG, Heritage GatG 

You may not have heard of it, but less than 30km from the cosmopolitan city of Dubai is an Emirate known as the Cultural Capital of the Arab World. This lesser-known destination, compared to its neighbours Dubai and Abu Dhabi, is a beautiful coastal city in the Middle East where life continues in true Arabian tradition.

As the third largest Emirate, Sharjah is half the size of Dubai. It may be right next to Dubai, but it feels a world away from the cosmopolitan Emirate.

From magnificent architecture and mosques to cultural museums and light shows, and entertainment, there are many things to do in Sharjah and Sharjah attractions provide the perfect blend of Islamic culture and modernism. I spent 5 nights in Sharjah and was really surprised by the Emirate. If you are unsure what to do in Sharjah, here are my favourite places to visit in Sharjah to inspire you.

Tip – If you prefer to stay in Dubai which is only 30 minutes from Sharjah, I recommend this 4 hour city tour to see the best of Sharjah from Dubai. 

Places To Visit in Sharjah

1. Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilisation 

Places to visit in Sharjah

The Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilisation

What I love about Sharjah is that it has some fantastic museums to visit, and right in the heart of Sharjah stands the grand building of the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization. This defining landmark of Sharjah is an interesting museum, especially for cultural solos.

This large museum is one of the best places to visit in Sharjah. It has a fine collection of 5000 artefacts which includes ceramics, coins, sculptures, weapons and even swords. It gives you a detailed insight into the rich history of the United Arab Emirates and Islam’s contribution to both art and science.

2. Al Qasba 

Places to visit in Sharjah

See the skyline of Al Qasba 

Al Qasba is one of the best outdoor places to visit in Sharjah. Located on a canal, the Al Qasba Canal Sharjah is a waterfront community with something for everyone. 

Maraya Art Centre has some beautiful paintings on display by some international artists, or you can take a ride on the 60-metre-high Eye of the Emirates Ferris wheel located on the banks of the canal, which is visible from a distance.

Masrah Al Qasba is an auditorium in Al Qasba which hosts cultural events and even hosts the annual Sharjah Film Festival.

This location is dotted with cafes and restaurants offering an eclectic mix of local and international cuisine. There are musical fountains and an indoor play area where you can see kids playing. Al Qasba in Sharjah is a great place to come for the sunset and the cool evening breeze.

3. Blue Souk 

Places to visit in Sharjah

The Blue Souk is the city's main souk and is an ideal place to buy Arab products

The Blue Souk, also known as the city's Central Souk, is a good option among indoor places to visit in Sharjah, if you want a break from the sweltering Arabic sun. Literally translated ‘Souk’ means an Arab marketplace. Here you can find some amazing and wide range of Arabic products like jewellery, clothing, home decor items, crafts, carpets and much more.

With 600 shops within the complex, you will be spoilt for choice. The building in itself is regal and decorated with traditional blue mosaic tiles.

Not a shopper? It is a great place for window shopping too! 

4. Sharjah Heritage Area 

Places To Visit in Sharjah

The Sharjah Calligraphy Museum

Sharjah's heritage area is a medieval site and narrates a tale in itself. I love this area as it feels as though you’ve stepped back in time. The architecture here is traditional Arabic style, and you will also come across some old family houses and souks with Arabic goods to buy as an authentic souvenir.

Within this area, you’ll find the Bait Al Naboodah Museum, Sharjah Heritage Museum,  Al Midfaa House, Sharjah Fort (Hisn Fort), Sharjah Calligraphy Museum and Souk Al Arsah. If you want to understand Sharjah’s art and history, head to Sharjah’s Heritage area.

The actual Heritage Museum is located in a pearl merchant’s home, which dates back to the 18th century. You can learn about old folk tales and proverbs here too. Even the Calligraphy Museum is worth a look inside. 

Tip – If you are planning on visiting more than one ticket, you can buy a Heritage Joint Ticket to explore 5 of these museums. You may even get a friendly staff member who will direct you to the next museum to see. 

5. Sharjah Art Museum

Places to visit in Sharjah

The Sharjah Art Museum is one of the places to visit in Sharjah for free

Established in 1995, Sharjah Arts Museum is the largest Museum in the U.A.E. and is the main reason for Sharjah being declared as the ‘cultural capital of the Arab World’. It is one of the unmissable places to see in Sharjah.

The consistent theme of the Museum is the Arabic world. Mostly the displays are from the ancient or medieval period, but the museum hosts exhibitions featuring modern and contemporary art too.

Some of the artwork here is stunning, and the whole museum is well laid out. You can easily spend an hour walking along the floors admiring different styles of paintings and artwork. Plus, it is one of the free places to visit in Sharjah, so you can spend as long as you like for free!

6. Sharjah Rain Room 

Places to visit in Sharjah

Experience rain indoors in the Rain Room, one of the tourist spots in Sharjah

If you’re at the Art Museum, just a short walk away is the fun attraction of the Sharjah Rain Room. I haven’t come across this concept anywhere else, and where else would you think of experiencing rain except in a destination known for its dry desert?

As a new tourist attraction in Sharjah (it began as a temporary exhibit), this permanent art installation is definitely a first and there’s a reason why it’s popular among tourists and one of the Sharjah famous places to see. If you visit at peak times, you may have to wait a while as only a few people are allowed inside at a time. 

Once inside, rain falls from the ceiling onto the floor, and as you walk, sensors detect your movement enabling the water to stop, so you can walk through the rain and emerge dry at the other end.

You do need to walk slowly, though, to keep yourself dry. It will certainly put a smile on your face, and you can ask the guide to record you as you walk through the magical rain. Because Sharjah is in the desert, the Rain Room is a Sharjah tourist spot.

7. Sharjah Aquarium

Places To Visit in Sharjah

See marine life at the Sharjah Aquarium

For an indoor place to visit in Sharjah, the Sharjah Aquarium is spread over two floors with a wide range of marine life, including beautiful colourful corals.

The aim of this aquarium is to preserve the endangered species of the marine world, whose numbers are continuously plummeting due to the global increase in marine pollution. There are more than 100 species here, and the aquarium takes you on a journey into the deep blue sea.

Your ticket also includes the Sharjah Maritime Museum, which is next door, where you can learn about the Emirate’s coast, lagoons and ports. It's one of the ideal places to visit in Sharjah during summer, and you get 2 tourist attractions for the price of one!

8. Al Noor Island 

places to visit in Sharjah

Visit Al Noor Island with its own Sharjah beach

Sharjah really has a lot to offer and even has an island! Al Noor Island is a serene oasis right in the bustling city of Sharjah. Located in Khalid Lagoon, it has a playground, a book pavilion and a cafe, but it is the Butterfly House which is extremely popular. Butterfly House is a massive urban-style structure housing hundreds of rare species of butterflies.

All over the island, you can see contemporary art installations and landscaped gardens. At night you can experience the lights as they turn this island into a wonderland. As one of the Sharjah tourist attractions, it really is where technology meets nature. 

9. Al Majaz Waterfront 

Places to visit in Sharjah

The Al Majaz Waterfront is a wonderful place to stroll around

What I also love about Sharjah is the promenade. Al Majaz Waterfront is such a gorgeous place to walk or even jog along. Overlooking the Khalid Lagoon, it offers panoramic views of the city, and you can stop along the way at cafes and restaurants around the lagoon whilst admiring modern skyscrapers and beautiful mosques that make up its skyline. 

Al Majaz is free to visit, and there are various recreational activities to do here. See the coloured fountains, explore the stalls at the Lagoon Garden in Al Majaz Park or take a boat ride across the lagoon at Fun World for just 50 AED. 

Any time is good here to visit, but it is even more spectacular at night when the sun goes down. Throughout the year, Al Majaz waterfront hosts a variety of concerts and festivals, so if you are lucky, you might be able to attend one of them. 

Places to visit in Sharjah

Al Majaz Amphitheatre, one of the Sharjah beautiful places to see

Make sure to visit the Al Majaz Amphitheatre that’s here too. Not only is it one of the outdoor venues in the Emirate, but there’s a free running track around it, so you can extend your run around the promenade along here too.

The Palm Oasis also sits along the waterfront. This lush row of palm trees offers some shade from the sun, and you can find people just sitting here chilling under one of the many palms. 

Tip – I ran along the waterfront starting at Al Noor Island to the amphitheatre, which took me approximately 45 minutes. I recommend doing this before 7 am in the morning when the weather is cooler, and you also encounter others walking or jogging along it too.

10. Sharjah Desert Park 

Places to visit in Sharjah

You have to see the desert when you're in Sharjah

If you love wildlife, then one of Sharjah’s best places to visit to see animals and birds is Sharjah’s Desert Park. This park is set in a huge area of 1sq km and divided into various sections. It's not only one of the Sharjah places to visit but it's also one of the places to visit in UAE.

The main three attractions here are the Islamic Botanical Museum, the Sharjah Natural History Museum and a children’s farm where you can see kids feeding the farm animals.

Discover all about the flora and fauna of the Arabian world in the Arabian Wildlife Center and learn about endangered desert species which you might not know even exists! Especially the Arabian Oryx, the national animal of the U.A.E. 

Other Things To Do in Sharjah, UAE

Places To Visit in Sharjah

The waterfront is a great place to go for a jog

These are only a few of the best places in Sharjah to see including the most beautiful places in Sharjah. There are many more Sharjah tourist places to visit including these attractions. If you need more places to go in Sharjah, add these to your itinerary.

  • Relax at Sharjah National Park
  • Explore Sharjah Archaeology Museum
  • Visit Al-Noor Mosque
  • Day trip to Khor Fakkan
  • Learn more at the Sharjah Science Museum
  • See Sharjah classic cars at the Classic Cars Museum

Getting Around Sharjah

Places to visit in Sharjah

You can take a boat ride to get around Sharjah and see it from the waters edge

The Emirates are easier to visit if you have a car (you don’t find that many people walking within the Middle East). I enjoy walking, and most of the attractions were within an hour's walk of the Act Hotel, where I was staying, so I explored this Emirate on foot. 

The city is walkable, but if you prefer to see the attractions on a bus, the Sharjah hop-on hop-off bus gives you unlimited one-day access to 13 stops in Sharjah. See the Al Majaz Waterfront, the Sharjah Aquarium, Fish Market, Islamic Museum and more. * Check prices, dates and availability: Sharjah hop-on hop-off bus 

From Dubai to Sharjah

Places to visit in Sharjah

Take a city tour if you are short on time 

Sharjah is really easy to visit if you’re staying in Dubai. If you don’t have a car and prefer to see the sights on a tour, you can take a Sharjah City Tour from various central hotels in Dubai. The tour takes you to the Fort of Sharjah, King Faisal Mosque and the souks to explore the treasure trove of Arabian goods.

The tour takes 4 hours, so it’s easy to see if you have a spare day in Dubai and want to witness the contrast between this cosmopolitan Emirate and the Arabian coastal city of Sharjah. * Check prices, dates and availability for Sharjah City Tour 

Where To Stay in Sharjah

Places to visit in Sharjah

The Chedi is one of the places to stay in Sharjah

Sharjah has some fantastic accommodations, and there are plenty of 5-star hotels in Sharjah to choose from. The standard of accommodation and the service is fantastic value for what you pay. You may prefer to stay somewhere near the Corniche instead of inside of the city.

I stayed at the Act Hotel and I share my review below. Just a few minutes' walk from the Act Hotel on the corniche is the Marbella Resort Sharjah. And for a hotel close to Sharjah International Airport, choose the Rotana Hotel Sharjah.For all other places to stay in Sharjah, click on the link below and check the review. * Check prices, dates and availability for all Sharjah accommodation

The Act Hotel Sharjah

Places to visit in Sharjah

The pool at the Act Hotel where I stayed in Sharjah

My stay at the Act Hotel was amazing. I had a partial lagoon view from my room which was huge, and had a sofa area as well as a two-sided TV (which I had never seen before!)

The pool area had sun beds and a stunning view, and the wellness centre had a women’s only spa where I treated myself to a discounted massage and spent time in the sauna, steam room and plunge pool.

The breakfast selection was great, and there was also the option of room service. It is ideally located next to Al Majaz Waterfront too. * Check prices, dates and availability: The Act Hotel

Frequently Asked Questions About Sharjah

  • What is Sharjah best known for? Sharjah is famous for its Arabic and Islamic architecture and its cultural centres.
  • Is Sharjah cheaper than Dubai? Yes, Sharjah is much cheaper than Dubai.
  • Is it better to stay in Sharjah or Dubai? Sharjah is better for travellers who want to save money while travelling and prefer a quieter atmosphere. Dubai is busier and more lively.

My Verdict

Places To Visit in Sharjah

Me trying not to get wet in the Rain Room

Is Sharjah good for solos? You do need to prepare yourself for a few stares here. I kept myself covered up and still received some looks, but I never felt unsafe as a woman here alone.

The attractions definitely make up for any stares that you may encounter alone. Being a dry state, there is no alcohol served here, and you can’t bring any into the Emirate either. 

My Tip – I was in Sharjah during Ramadan, so cafes and restaurants were closed during daylight hours. I was still able to order breakfast within my hotel. Travelling during Ramadan does make it more challenging as you’re not permitted to eat or drink outside, so I recommend planning a trip to Sharjah outside of Ramadan, which takes place from 13th March 2024 for a month. 

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Places to visit in Sharjah

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