If you’re looking for the best things to do in Abu Dhabi, you’ve come to the right place.
This blog post will give you an overview of the top things to do in Abu Dhabi, so you can make the most out of your time in this amazing city. Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates and is one of the most modern and cosmopolitan cities in the world.
It’s home to amazing architecture, world-class museums, and stunning beaches. There’s also quite a bit for the adventure seekers too (from kayaking to skydiving!). There’s something for everyone in Abu Dhabi, so whether you’re looking for a cultural experience or a fun-filled vacation, you’ll find it here.
I’ve already put together a 5-day itinerary for Abu Dhabi, which you can check out here, but this list of the best things to do in Abu Dhabi could stretch to a 7-day and even 10-day trip! There’s that much you can do there, really! And many of the main attractions in Abu Dhabi aren’t as expensive as you’d expect them to be. I can even go far as saying that there is a selection of cheap things to do in Abu Dhabi, believe it or not.
If you want more information on where to stay and how to get to Abu Dhabi, you can find more information in this blog post. So if you’re looking for a lavish holiday or a more budget-friendly getaway, Abu Dhabi has got you covered.
Keep reading to find out what the best things to do in Abu Dhabi are!
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The Best 15 Things to do in Abu Dhabi
1. Visit the biggest mosque in the UAE: Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque
One of the best things to do in Abu Dhabi is to visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. This mosque is truly a work of art, and it is one of the largest in the world.
It can accommodate over 40,000 worshippers at any given time, and it features 82 domes, over 1000 columns, 24-karat gold chandeliers, and the world’s largest hand-woven carpet. If you want to learn more about Islamic culture, this is the perfect place to start.
The mosque is open to the public from Saturday to Thursday, and it is located in Abu Dhabi city centre. Admission is free, but you will need to dress modestly. This means covering your shoulders and knees, and wearing a headscarf if you are a woman.
If you’re big on travel photography, I would recommend going early. The first admission is at 9 am, and I promise you, it will be worth it. The mosque is absolutely breathtaking, especially when the sun hits it just right.
2. Rent a bike and cycle along the Corniche Promenade
One of the best ways to see Abu Dhabi is by bike. You can rent a bike from any of the many rental shops along Corniche road, and then you can explore at your own pace. There are plenty of things to see along the way, including parks, beaches, and restaurants.
This is a great activity for solo and group travellers alike who are looking for cheap things to do in Abu Dhabi. Bike rental prices start at around 20 AED per hour. You need a valid ID to get the bicycles, or you have to deposit 100 AED. If you want to avoid the heat, I recommend going early in the morning or later in the evening.
The best time to explore Corniche is during sunset when the temperatures are cooler, and the views are absolutely stunning. The Corniche is a symbol of Abu Dhabi and is one of the best places to visit in the UAE.
3. Visit the Louvre, the Abu Dhabi Louvre that is
The Louvre in Abu Dhabi is one of the best museums in the world. It is located on Saadiyat Island, and it features over 600 pieces of art from various cultures and time periods. The museum itself is a work of art, and it was designed by French architect Jean Nouvel.
If you love art, history, or culture, this is a must-see attraction and is one of the top things to do in Abu Dhabi. The museum is open from Saturday to Wednesday, and it is located on Saadiyat Island. Admission is 30 AED for adults.
It might seem nothing can compare to the Louvre in Paris, but I promise you it is well worth a visit, or it wouldn’t be one of the best things to do in Abu Dhabi.
4. Take in 360 views of Abu Dhabi at the Observation Deck at 300
For the best views of Abu Dhabi, you need to go to the Observation Deck at 300. It’s located on the 74th floor of Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, and it offers stunning 360-degree views of the city. The best time to visit the Observation Deck is during sunset when you can watch the city light up. Admission is 80 AED for adults, and it includes a complimentary drink.
The Observation Deck is open from 12pm – 12am. If you’re looking for things to do in Abu Dhabi that are unique and memorable, this is definitely one of the top things to do in Abu Dhabi.
5. Go on Safari! Have a day trip to Sir Bani Yas
Sir Bani Yas is an island off the coast of Abu Dhabi, and it’s home to a nature reserve. Many animals live on the island, including giraffes, oryxes, gazelles, and ostriches.
Many of those who visit Abu Dhabi rave about this trip in particular, so it’s definitely one of the top things to do in Abu Dhabi, as well as one of the best places to visit in the UAE.
Given the UAE is mostly desert, it’s definitely special if you can visit somewhere with some wildlife! You can book a day trip from Abu Dhabi that includes a safari tour of the island. Tickets cost around 500 AED per person.
6. Have a beach day at Saadiyat Island
If you’re looking for cheap things to do in Abu Dhabi that are fun and relaxing, I would recommend having a beach day at Saadiyat Island. It’s a beautiful island, and it’s home to some of the best beaches in Abu Dhabi.
There are plenty of restaurants and cafes on the island so you can make a day of it. For those who don’t fancy sitting on a lounger all day, there are plenty of activities to keep you busy. You can go for a swim, paddleboard, or even take a jet ski out.
To get to Saadiyat Island, you can take a bus from Abu Dhabi city centre. The journey takes around 30 minutes, and the buses run every 20 minutes. Tickets cost around 12 AED.
8. Go on an evening desert safari tour
One of the best things to do in Abu Dhabi is to go on a desert safari tour! You’ll get to experience the best of the UAE desert, and you’ll get to see some incredible sights.
Most desert safari tours include a pick-up and drop-off service, so you don’t have to worry about renting a car. You can book directly with tour companies, or you can book through your hotel. I booked with Emirates tours and would highly recommend them!
The tour experience includes a dune bash, sunset camel ride, sandboarding, and a BBQ dinner. The best time to go on a desert safari tour is in the winter months, as it’s not too hot. The tours run daily, and they start at around 12 pm and typically last for six hours.
Tickets cost around 250 AED per person. This is an adventure not to miss as it’s one of the best things to do in the UAE!
9. Have a day out in Ferrari world
Ferrari world is a must-visit for car lovers and thrill seekers! It’s located on Yas Island, and it’s home to the world’s fastest roller coaster; I’m talking going from 0km to 245km in seconds! You can explore all their rides and buy tickets on the Ferrari World website.
Tickets cost around 250 AED per person. F1 fans flock from all over the world to visit this park, so it has to be deemed as one of the best things to do in the UAE.
10. Take a tour of the presidential palace: Qasr Al Watan
Qasr Al Watan is the presidential palace in Abu Dhabi, and it’s one of the best places to visit in Abu Dhabi (with reason, look at the images below!). Tours to see Qasr Al Watan run daily, and they last for around one hour. Tickets cost 65 AED per person (you save 10% if you book directly via their website), and you can book directly on the Qasr Al Watan website.
The best part of the tour is getting to see the grandiose rooms and hallways of the palace, not to mention the entrance.
11. Take a sunset boat ride at the marina
One of the best ways to relax in Abu Dhabi is by taking a sunset boat ride at the Marina. You can just sit back, enjoy the views, and soak up the peaceful atmosphere. Boat rides start at around 250 AED per person, and they last for around two hours.
You can book directly with Marina via their website. They offer a variety of different boat rides, and they have experienced and friendly staff.
If you’re looking for things to do in Abu Dhabi that are romantic or relaxing, this is a great option. Boat rides are available daily, and they depart between 4-5 pm.
12. Shop til you drop at Marina Mall or Yas Mall
If you love to shop, then Marina Mall is the place for you. It’s one of the best shopping malls in Abu Dhabi, and it has over 400 stores. You can find everything from high-end designer brands to fast fashion retailers.
Shopping is genuinely one of the best things to do in the UAE. Marina Mall is located in the Marina area of Abu Dhabi, and it’s easy to get to by bus or taxi.
If you’re looking for a cheaper option, then Yas Mall is also a great choice. It has over 500 stores, and it’s located on Yas Island. I know readers in this blog are looking for more adventurous and cheap things to do in Abu Dhabi, but the malls are a big part of Abu Dhabi’s culture and are also a big part of their social life, so it’s interesting to experience this first hand!
13. Reach new heights at CLYMB
Another one for the thrill seekers. CLYMB is an indoor adventure centre, and it’s one of the best things to do in Abu Dhabi if you’re looking for an adrenaline rush! Home to the largest indoor skydiving centre and the UAE’s biggest indoor climbing wall, it’s the perfect place to challenge yourself.
Abu Dhabi attractions really like to lean into the extreme if you haven’t noticed yet. You can buy tickets for both skydiving and climbing on their website. Tickets cost around 400 AED per person.
Thrill seekers would definitely rate this as one of the top things to do in Abu Dhabi.
14. Go on a sunrise kayak tour through the mangroves
If you want to get away from the city, I recommend taking a kayak tour through the Eastern Mangrove National Park. It’s a great way to see wildlife and get some exercise! The Eastern Mangrove National Park is located on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi, and it is one of the best places to go for a nature hike or kayak trip.
Kayak tours start at around 150 AED, and they include all of the necessary equipment. The best company to book the kayak tour with is Sea-Hawks. They are the lead tour operator for kayaking tours and water activities in UAE.
The kayak tours last for around two hours, and they are suitable for all levels of fitness. When putting together your itinerary for Abu Dhabi, this is one thing not to miss as it’s one of the top things to do in Abu Dhabi, as well as one of the best things to do in the UAE.
15. Visit the National Aquarium
The National Aquarium is one of the best places to visit in Abu Dhabi, especially if you’re travelling with kids but not exclusively to those! I think we all have an inner child in us that craves a trip to the underwater wonders of the world!
The National Aquarium is located on Yas Island, and it’s home to over 140 different species of marine life. The best part of the aquarium is the underwater tunnel, where you can walk through and see the fish swimming all around you. Trust me; it’s a really cool experience! (Not if you don’t like sharks, though).
Tickets to the National Aquarium are sold on their website and cost around 95 AED for adults, and they include access to all of the exhibits. The aquarium is open from Sunday – Wednesday from 11 am.
16. See Abu Dhabi from above on a seaplane tour
Abu Dhabi is such a picturesque city that it’s definitely worth seeing from above. You can book a seaplane tour that takes off from Yas Marina, and you’ll get to see the city skyline and desert landscapes from a whole new perspective.
Tours typically last for around 30 minutes, and tickets cost around 700 AED per person. You can book directly with Seawings, or you can book through your hotel. The ticket price may be high for this one, but this is one of the best things to do in Abu Dhabi, especially if you’re into photography and adventure.
And that brings us to the end of the best things to do in Abu Dhabi! As one of the best places to visit in the UAE, this city definitely doesn’t disappoint and should be on your travel bucket list. From luxury experiences to natural adventures, there’s something for everyone in Abu Dhabi.
Did I miss anything? What are your top things to do in Abu Dhabi? Let us know in the comments below! And don’t forget to check out our other blog post with a 5-day itinerary to Abu Dhabi so you can plan your trip!
What are your favourite things to do in Abu Dhabi?
Where are your favourite places to visit in Abu Dhabi? Anything you’d add to this Abu Dhabi itinerary?
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