Sharjah, an emirate that is always bustling with activity and replete with unique attractions, is a treasure that can be explored without burning a hole in your pocket. The ultimate one-stop destination across all emirates in the UAE, Sharjah’s diversity attracts millions of tourists every year. The cultural capital of the UAE, as recognised by UNESCO, Sharjah is a treasure trove of serene sights and diverse experiences.
As myriad as the attractions in Sharjah may be, choosing a list of things to do from a sea of options is not an easy task. Including plenty of day trips, desert safaris, and gastronomical adventures. I’ve created a budget-friendly four-day itinerary custom-made for Indian families, friend groups or even for couples and solo travellers who wish to explore the best of Sharjah!
Brush up your history at the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization
Day 1 was all about exploring the cultural and traditional marvels of Sharjah.
The first day of our trip started with us diving into Emirati culture at the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization. Several scientific and Islamic manuscripts preserved here date from the 7th to the 19th century – an assemblage history lovers will swoon over.
Highlighting the great Islamic Civilization between 7 AD and 20 AD, the museum holds over 5000 rare Islamic artefacts! The collection here reflects the spectacular Islamic culture that has moulded the Sharjah that we know today. Since the museum opens at 9 am, you will get sufficient time to explore other places during the day.
Gaze at the stars at Sharjah Academy for Astronomy, Space Sciences & Technology
We booked our tickets to the Sharjah Academy for Astronomy, Space Sciences, & Technology to experience the vastness of the universe. It is an excellent place for you, your friends and your family to learn the secrets of the stars. My little sister absolutely loved the Planetarium on the first floor, so if you are travelling with children, this is the ideal location to introduce them to astronomy.
Stroll the alleys of Sharjah Heritage Area
We ended our first day with a visit to Sharjah Heritage Area. This quaint, restored area is located in downtown Sharjah, stretching from the waterfront to the Sharjah Fort. Exploring the Heritage Area is like walking through the history of Sharjah’s traditional establishments. Several age-old Emirati houses have been preserved in the district, which is now home to some of the most well-known museums in the UAE.
The Sharjah Heritage Museum hosts exhibits covering all facets of traditional Emirati life. The Calligraphy Museum explores this Arab art form, with galleries showcasing the work of the Arab world's finest calligraphy artists. Bait Al Naboodah is a finely restored traditional family villa worth a visit. The district closes at 8 pm after which you could explore the Central Souk, where you can now shop for silver and gold jewellery, spices, handicrafts and garments.
Explore the desert landscapes at Mleiha Archaeological Site
On this day, I explored Mleiha, a destination that offers adventures for all age groups. It is located approximately 60 km from Sharjah City and can be easily accessed by taxis or cars. Also, the bus line E-16 passes through the site.
The archaeological discovery of the Mleiha Archeology Site is a crucial link to understanding human history. The excavations at Mleiha have unearthed evidence that a Neolithic community once lived here in 8000 BC. This is a site that was consecutively a part of settlement during the Bronze, Iron and pre-Islamic eras.
The Mleiha Museum offers a thorough rundown of the site's history and heritage and offers tours in the desert. The visitor center of the museum is built around a massive tomb from the Bronze Age Umm An Nar and with the help of numerous multimedia formats tries to explain the importance of Mleiha's history.
Various archaeological discoveries are scattered across the desert that you could access with a 4X4 desert safari. Apart from this being a learning experience for any age group or the entire family, the safari across the dunes is a thrilling adventure. Children can experience a wild but safe adventure on mountain bikes or go on a horse riding trip with the family.
A spot worth a visit are the Faya caves, where the earliest human settlement outside of Africa was unearthed. The Wadi caves and springs (where the graveyards of the Neolithic community were discovered) and the circular Bronze Age Umm An Nar tombs are noteworthy attractions as well.
We signed up for a delightful Sunset Lounge experience and I would highly recommend it! Soak in the revelry as the sunset blossoms into red and gold giving you fiery visuals. You will also be introduced to the secrets of the universe aided by your guide with the help of a telescope. You could also go for an overnight safari to enhance your experience. This is highly recommended as it really is a once in a lifetime experience. To put it into perspective, you have the privilege of staying a night at the same location as the Neolithic man. What better way to teach history to the kids?
To know more, visit the official tourism website of Sharjah.
Get enchanted at the underwater Sharjah Aquarium and Maritime Museum
The importance the sea holds for the development of Sharjah cannot be emphasised enough, and the Aquarium and the Maritime Museum represent just that.
The Sharjah Aquarium is a dream destination for you and kids alike. It is a mesmerising underwater world home to more than 150 species of sea life, including reef sharks and stingrays.
The neighbouring Maritime Museum preserves a collection of glimmering pearls, including the oldest pearl to have ever been found in the world. Another interesting display in the museum are the wooden dhows, a traditional wooden two-masted Arab sailing vessel used in trade across the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.
Spend the rest of the day at Al Qasba, a gorgeous waterfront promenade
A favourite destination amongst tourists and locals alike, Al Qasba is packed with people promenading along the waterfront. The banks of the canal are lined by cafés and restaurants, shopping brands from all around the world, and an art centre to explore once you no longer wish to swipe your credit card. From delectable sushi and grilled fish to mouth-watering local delights, at Al Qasba your taste buds can travel the world. There are indoor and outdoor parks featuring a variety of activities for the little ones such as go-karting, various amusement rides and a dazzling fountain water display. No wonder, it is Sharjah’s top nighttime destination!
To enhance the fun-quotient of your night, take a boat ride from the canals out into Khalid Lagoon to see Sharjah's skyline lit up after dark.
Tour the Al Noor Mosque
We saved the last day of our trip to visit the Al Noor Mosque, which is open to people of all faiths. It boasts classical Ottoman-style architecture with slender, pointy minarets. A tour takes place every Monday at 10 am and includes a discussion on Islamic and Emirati history, culture, and traditions.
Enjoy a tranquil day at the beach
The 600 m stretch of Al Khan Beach is open to the public to enjoy a day on a sun bed or indulge in watersports. Kayaking, parasailing, kite surfing and banana boat rides are guaranteed to give you an adrenaline rush. And it doesn’t stop there. There are courts and grounds for sports such as volleyball and beach tennis as well.
This is how we spent our last day in Sharjah, but you could also visit the picturesque Khorfakkan. You could go snorkeling on the snoopy island, parasailing in the Gulf of Oman, kayaking in the Al Rasifah Dam or just wander around the Khorfakkan Heritage Village to learn about the deep roots of Emirati culture. End the day on the pristine white sand beach.
How to get around Sharjah?
Sharjah is well connected through public and private transport systems. Sharjah's buses are connected to all the popular destinations. For the MRT, one can buy a Sharjah Sayer smart card on the bus.
Another way to get around is by hailing a taxi or by booking it on the phone (600 52 52 52). Trips within Sharjah City generally cost between Rs 245 and Rs 950. You can also book a cab using Uber.
You can rent a car in Sharjah as multiple rental services operate here. Prices start at Rs 4,000 a day. Indians will need an international driving license to rent a self-drive car in Sharjah. This is the easiest option for getting around with family.
Sharjah Roads & Transport Authority Services offers rides from Sharjah to Ajman, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah and Umm Al Quwain. To and from rides to Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Kalba and Khorfakkan are also available.
Where to stay in Sharjah
Four Points by Sheraton Sharjah
If you are planning on a longer stay, then the Four Points by Sheraton Sharjah is the perfect mid-range hotel.
Price: Rs 5,000 per night for a superior king room
Location: King Faisal Street, Al Qasimia, 61387 Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
Al Hamra Hotel – BAITHANS
The Al Hamra Hotel – BAITHANS Hotel is located on the waterfront walkway and offers comfortable rooms at affordable prices.
Price: Rs 5,000 per night for a superior king room
Location: Street 14, Al Andalus Square, Al Majarrah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
Khorfakkan Hotel Apartments – Khorfakkan
If staying on the beach on a budget has been your dream, then look no further than the modest hotel apartments here.
Price: Rs 5,000 per night for a superior king room
Location: E99, Khorfakkan, United Arab Emirates
Located 3 km from the Fujairah Corniche, Ibis Fujairah is the perfect location to stay with kids.
Price: Rs 3,000 per night for a standard double room
Location: Hamad Bin Abdullah Road, 2751 Fujairah, United Arab Emirates
A cultural giant, Sharjah offers its visitors a truly unique experience. In just four days, I learned that a whole new world resides on the Arabian Peninsula. From lounging on its beaches to going on a desert safari, from learning about the history in its museums to experiencing the history in real life at the Mleiha Archaeological Site, Sharjah is a world that is waiting to be discovered. For me and my family, it was the perfect holiday destination. Now that you know everything about the Emirate, when are you visiting Sharjah?
Discover more about Sharjah on the official website (visitsharjah.com).
Earn credits and travel for free with Tripoto's weekend getaways, hotel stays and vacation packages!
Watch travel stories come to life with Tripoto on Youtube!