What to Do in Dubai in 3, 4, 5 Days: TOP 20 Places to Visit

What to do in Dubai in 3, 4 or 5 days? Dubai is a city of endless possibilities and a city of extravagance. Here, you can climb the world’s tallest tower, explore the desert, or discover some of the most fantastic amusement parks in the world. All are exceptional experiences and activities to live! So, how can you visit Dubai and experience an unforgettable trip? Find out what are the must-dos and see in Dubai, but also its hidden treasures, and the best places to stay: let’s go!

  • Must-dos and see in Dubai ?
  • Best neighborhoods in Dubai ?
  • What to do in Dubai for free? ?
  • Itinerary to visit Dubai in 3 days ?
  • What to do in Dubai in 4 days? ✨
  • Visit Dubai in 5 days ?
  • How to get from Dubai airport to downtown? ?
  • What to do in Dubai when it’s hot? ?
  • How to dress for visiting Dubai? ?
what to do in dubai top 20 must-see

1. TOP 20 Must-dos and the best activities in Dubai

What to do in Dubai for an extraordinary holiday? Check out our selection of the best activities in Dubai, from the must-dos to the less touristy activities.

Climbing the Burj Khalifa Tower

Dizzying heights! Of course, we cannot talk about Dubai without mentioning Burj Khalifa. In 2008, the Burj Khalifa Tower became the tallest structure ever built: its height is 828 meters. Climbing the Burj Khalifa Tower is an absolute must-do in Dubai. 

Three types of tickets. There are three types of tickets to climb the Burj Khalifa. From the least expensive to the most expensive: 

  • At the Top: access to the first platform, i.e., the 124th and 125th floors
  • At the Top Sky: access to the first platform + the 148th floor
  • The Lounge: access to the top of the tower, i.e., the 152nd, 153rd, and 154th floors.

Which ticket to choose? The “At the Top Sky” ticket is the best compromise. You can already enjoy an exceptional view without going to the tower’s top. And there are areas where you can sit quietly to admire the view. To make your own choice, read our article: Visiting the Burj Khalifa Tower in Dubai. Otherwise, “At the Top” is also very good.

Good to know! We recommend buying tickets to visit Burj Khalifa in advance (see rates to climb Burj Khalifa) to avoid any surprises and the disappointment of being unable to climb. Booking in advance is crucial, especially to enjoy the sunset, which is one of the best times to visit the tower.

climbing burj khalifa dubai price

Admiring the immense Dubai fountain and its incredible show

At night. The Dubai Fountain is located right next to Burj Khalifa. This fountain is just huge! But it’s in the evening that it becomes even more surprising and magnificent. Here, a beautiful sound and light show awaits you daily, with water jets over 140 meters high (every 30 minutes). Incredible! 

Admire the show from a boat! For an even better enjoyment of this show, you can take tickets for a boat ride directly in Burj Lake.

Neighborhood to visit? Burj Khalifa Tower is in the new area showcasing the United Arab Emirates, Downtown Dubai. Moreover, it is one of the most touristy neighborhoods in Dubai but also one of the most sought-after areas of the city for accommodation. Rates in the neighborhood are among the highest in Dubai. 

Discovering the traditional souks of the Deira district

Old Dubai. Among the interesting places to visit in Dubai is also the Deira district. It is the oldest district in Dubai. Old Dubai comprises two districts: the Deira district and the Bur Dubai district. The Dubai Creek divides Old Dubai into these two districts.

What to do in Deira in Dubai? Visit the traditional souks of Dubai! Far from the glitz and ultra-modern buildings, this is where you find little streets and the flavors of the souks. Among the most famous souks are the Gold Souk, the Spice Souk, and the Naif Souk. To immerse yourself in this ambiance of old Dubai and learn about its history, traditions, and cuisine, take a guided tour of the traditional souks of Dubai.

Interesting rates. Deira is the district where to stay in Dubai on a budget because this is where you find the most affordable rates in Dubai. 

deira district emirates trip

Experiencing Tomorrow’s Technological Innovations at the Museum of the Future in Dubai

Already in the future? If you are wondering what to do during a 3, 4, or 5-day trip or even a week in Dubai, you can visit the Museum of the Future without hesitation. This place is a true showcase for tomorrow’s technological innovations

What will the world of tomorrow be like? Find out for yourself at the Museum of the Future in Dubai! Here, you will find fully immersive exhibitions that will transport you and engage all five senses. To save time and ensure you have tickets on the day of the visit, you can purchase Dubai’s Museum of the Future tickets in advance. You will love this visit!

museum of the future things to do in dubai

Taking a Boat Ride in Dubai

During daytime. Many companies offer boat tours to explore Dubai from the water. It’s an excellent opportunity to discover Dubai’s must-see sights and view the city from another angle. For example, here is a 90-minute boat tour in Dubai. The city of Dubai will unfold before you from a new perspective!

At sunset. What should you do in Dubai in the evening? Sunsets in Dubai are beautiful, so it’s worth taking full advantage: sunset cruise with unlimited dinner.

what to do in dubai boat

Visiting the Aquaventure Waterpark Theme Park

Have a blast! If you visit Dubai with family for 3, 4, 5 days, or more, Aquaventure is a must-do in Dubai. The place is fantastic. It’s fun for both kids and adults. Simply great!

Good to know! Arrive as early as possible, because from noon there are more people and longer waits. Find here the rates and dates to visit Dubai’s Aquaventure Waterpark. Lockers are chargeable on-site, so keep that in mind to avoid an unpleasant surprise at the last moment (more information about the prices is in the link above). 

Discovering the Al Seef District in Dubai

Away from skyscrapers. If you’re looking for more tranquility and the traditional side of Dubai, take a stroll in Dubai’s Al Seef Street. This pedestrian area is close to the Deira district mentioned above but on the other side of the creek that divides Old Dubai. The Al Seef district runs along Dubai Creek, making it a charming place to visit, for instance, for an evening walk. Here, you’ll find small shops, but also restaurants. 

al seef district to visit see in dubai

Discovering the Dubai Marina District

Sunning in Dubai. Among the must-dos in Dubai, there’s also the beach. The Dubai Marina district, specifically Marina Beach, is perfect for a beach day and to enjoy the sun. 

A nice walk. If you visit Dubai in 3, 4, 5 days, or more, The Marina Walk is a place to explore on foot. It’s a large 7 km promenade waiting for you, so wear comfortable sneakers or do a short section. But in any case, it’s a fascinating place to see in Dubai. 

district to avoid dubai

Discovering the Global Village in Dubai

What to do in Dubai and be amazed? Another extraordinary activity to do during a trip to Dubai to make unforgettable memories! It’s a truly unique experience to have with the family in Dubai. Ultimately, the world is just a big village. Here, you’ll see pavilions representing different parts of the world. The prices are much more affordable than other parks: reserve entrance tickets for the Global Village.

In video. Check out the attractions of Dubai’s Global Village in this video.

Visiting the Dubai Miracle Garden

250 million plants! A visit to Dubai’s Miracle Garden is a wonder. Here, you will see a life-size airplane covered with flowers, a heart-shaped floral tunnel, and simply flowers and plants everywhere you look. It’s a place to see in Dubai if you visit for 4, 5 days, or even longer. The entrance tickets are less than 15 dollars (more info on Miracle Garden tickets here).

Good to know. During your trip to Dubai, you can visit the Miracle Garden in the late afternoon to experience the place while it’s still daylight and in the evening when a whole other magical aspect is presented thanks to lighting.

must-do in dubai

Climbing up the Burj Al Arab Tower

Seven-star hotel. Located on a small island in the Marina district of Dubai, the Burj Al Arab Tower is one of Dubai’s most iconic towers. One of the few seven-star hotels in the world is in this tower: Burj Al Arab Jumeirah! An exceptional place. In addition to the hotel, you can discover one of the tower’s restaurants and enjoy its view of Dubai and the bay.

Some numbers. The height of the Burj Al Arab skyscraper is 321 meters. Inside, there are 18 elevators, including two panoramic ones. So, without necessarily staying overnight (see inside the hotel), you can just come here for the discovery experience.

Take a tour at the Madinat Jumeirah Souk

A luxurious souk. The prices at the Madinat Jumeirah Souk are higher than those in the traditional souks mentioned earlier in the article, especially those in the Deira district. So, this is different from the traditional souk that you might expect. Everything is neatly arranged and organized.

Place for a stroll. If you don’t wish to make any purchases, don’t immediately cross the Madinat Jumeirah Souk off your itinerary. Here, you will find numerous exciting places to eat in Dubai and have a good time. You can also take a boat ride in the souk’s canals, like in Venice.

dubai souk what to do what to see

See the Dubai Frame

What other place to visit in Dubai to mark your trip? The Dubai Frame is one of Dubai’s most famous landmarks. This architectural project stands 150 meters tall. It was created very interestingly: from one side of the frame, you see the new Dubai with its modern buildings, and from the other, you see the Old Dubai. 

To avoid waiting on-site, take skip-the-line tickets

dubai in 3 4 5 days frame

Visit the Jumeirah Mosque

“Open doors, open minds”. That is the motto of the Jumeirah Mosque. Any traveler of any religion can visit this mosque. It was built in the medieval Fatimid tradition. The Jumeirah Mosque invites us to learn more about the local culture and Islam. Moreover, it is the largest mosque in Dubai. 

Visit. Visits are offered in the form of just over an hour of guided tours. The entry fee is 4 dollars. Tours are organized on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 10 a.m. 

Go to the Dubai Mall

Shopping. Many travelers shop at Dubai Mall. It is one of the biggest malls in the world. You may find yourself lost once inside. Located a stone’s throw from the Burj Khalifa Tower, in the heart of the Downtown Dubai district, this mall breaks all records of extravagance. If you are visiting Dubai on a trip of 3, 4, or 5 days, this is a place where you can go to hide from the sun, find chilled air, have lunch, or, of course, shop!

top must-do in dubai

Visit the Dubai Aquarium

Very visited, but not necessarily great. The Dubai Aquarium is among the must-see places often mentioned in travel guides. However, it’s not necessarily the most exciting place to visit in Dubai. Why? Part of the aquarium is visible from the Dubai Mall mentioned just above. The most exciting part is the tunnel, but it’s not very large. Moreover, there are many people and quite a bit of waiting. It’s best to get tickets in advance and come early to avoid queuing: see rates and dates for the Dubai Aquarium.

Conclusion. It is a place to visit in Dubai if you haven’t yet visited an aquarium of this type. The place remains a wonderful place to discover, but compared to other activities in Dubai, it’s not the most incredible. For example, the Aquaventure Waterpark is superior, even if it’s another kind of activity.

Fly over Dubai in a helicopter

Incredible memory. Among the most striking activities to do in Dubai is a helicopter flyover. If you have never done this activity before, Dubai is a perfect place to do it. Flying over Dubai and seeing the Burj Khalifa, the tallest tower in the world, and the Palm of Dubai from the air is a fantastic experience! Learn more here: see helicopter flight rates over Dubai.

take a helicopter tour dubai

Explore the desert

What an adventure! During your 3-, 4-, or 5-day trip to Dubai, you can leave the city to explore the desert and all its magic. Among the options is a quad bike tour with dinner and a dance show in the desert! It is an extraordinary activity in Dubai for a couple or with teenagers: see rates and availabilities for quad tour + dinner + show.

Camels! If you want even more discoveries, add a camel ride and sand surfing! Where else in the world can you do it if not in Dubai? This activity is among the best things to do in Dubai with family or as a couple: quad tour + camel + surf.

what to do in dubai

Visit the Dubai Museum

A fishing village? The history of Dubai is fascinating. From a fishing and pearl diving village to one of the most modern cities in the world. What was Dubai’s transformation like? Discover the history of Dubai and the United Arab Emirates at the Dubai Museum. 

18th-century fort. The Dubai Museum is located in an 18th-century fort, the perfect place to trace the city’s history. The area is one of the oldest in the city, close to the Al Seef pedestrian street.

visit dubai museum with family

Take a hot air balloon ride in Dubai

A unique experience! Among the most extraordinary activities in Dubai is the hot air balloon tour over the desert. It’s not the most accessible activity. However, it’s an activity that leaves lifelong memories: check availability, schedules, and prices for the hot air balloon ride in Dubai (round-trip transportation to the site is included). 

hot air balloon tour with family

Visit Abu Dhabi from Dubai

What else to do in Dubai? If you visit Dubai in 5 days or more, visiting Abu Dhabi is a must-do. You should plan for at least a full day to visit Abu Dhabi from Dubai. Therefore, if you are going for a 3 or 4-day trip to Dubai, this duration is not enough for this visit.

What to see in Abu Dhabi in one day? The essentials of Abu Dhabi are the Sheikh Zayed Mosque and the Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum (yes indeed!). You can visit these two magnificent places on a day trip from Dubai

visit abu dhabi

2. Best Neighborhoods to Stay in to Visit Dubai

What are the best neighborhoods to stay in Dubai? It all depends on the length of your stay, your budget, and what you’re looking for in Dubai.

Stay in Dubai for less than 4 days. If you want to be at the heart of Dubai, and for a stay of less than 4 days, the Downtown area is most suitable. The Burj Khalifa Tower, Dubai Mall, and Dubai Fountain are in this area. It is the heart of what visitors usually expect when going to Dubai. However, the rates are steep. Here is a great place with outstanding value for money: Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Waterfront.

Stay in Dubai for 5 days. Otherwise, Marina or Jumeirah are perfect neighborhoods to stay in Dubai, outside of the Downtown area. Furthermore, this part of Dubai is near the sea, perfect for enjoying the beach and the sun! For instance, DoubleTree by Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Beach is an excellent place for staying near The Walk Marina in Dubai.

On a budget. On the other hand, Deira is the perfect neighborhood to discover more of Dubai’s traditional side and enjoy lower rates. For example, the Swissôtel Al Ghurair Dubai offers rooms with outstanding value for money for a family of 3 people or a couple.

3. What to do in Dubai for free?

If you visit Dubai in 3, 4, 5 days, or more, here are some things you can do for free in Dubai.

  • Watch the fountain show in front of the Burj Khalifa tower
  • Explore the Deira district and its markets
  • Walk on The Walk Marina
  • Stroll around Al Seef pedestrian street
  • Visit Madinat Jumeirah Souk
  • Sunbathe

Save on activities! If you choose to do attractions such as Aquaventure, a cruise in Dubai, or a desert tour, the City Pass Dubai can be an excellent option to save money. However, it is essential to do the math before booking. The City Pass is valid for 60 days. The other option is to take all the activities with a pass valid between 2 and 7 days (see the All-Inclusive pass).

4. Itinerary for visiting Dubai in 3 days

What to do during a 3-day trip to Dubai? Let’s go!

First day in Dubai:

Second day of the trip to Dubai:

Third day in Dubai:

5. What to do in Dubai for 4 days?

If you are going to visit Dubai in 4 days, here are some ideas for the 4th day of your trip:

best place to stay with family

6. Visiting Dubai in 5 days

If you are going on a 5-day trip to Dubai, here are some ideas:

7. How to get from Dubai airport to downtown?

How long does it take to get from the airport to downtown Dubai? Count between 20 and 30 minutes to reach the main neighborhoods of Dubai.

Free shuttle. A free shuttle circulates every 15 minutes, every day, non-stop, to connect all the terminals of Dubai airport and downtown.

Taxi transfer. If the shuttle does not pass near your hotel, for more comfort, you can book an airport transfer that will take you directly to your hotel.

getting around in dubai metro

8. What to do in Dubai when it’s hot?

The best time to visit Dubai regarding temperature and climate is the winter (our article: When to go to Dubai). However, even in winter, especially at the end of March, temperatures can rise. When it’s hot in Dubai, the 4 best places to cool off are air-conditioned spaces:

  • Museum of the Future. In our opinion, this museum is a must-see when traveling to Dubai. It’s a real immersive experience: book tickets in advance.
  • Dubai Mall. Eventually, the Dubai Mall is an ideal place to hide from the heat. You can wander here, visit the Dubai Aquarium, or dine. So it’s a perfect solution when it’s hot in Dubai.
  • Jumeirah Mosque. Visiting the Jumeirah Mosque is an exciting activity in Dubai when it’s hot. However, the mosque is not open to visitors every day.
  • Dubai Museum. Another fascinating place to visit when it’s too hot in Dubai. Here, you can discover the history of Dubai and how this city has become what it is today.
  • Burj Khalifa. You can choose to visit this Dubai landmark when it’s the hottest. Thus, you can enjoy the AC while visiting the most famous monument of Dubai: book tickets for the first platform.

9. How to dress for a visit to Dubai?

The United Arab Emirates is a Muslim country but quite open: 85% of Dubai’s population are expatriates. However, respecting its culture and traditions is essential when visiting any country. So, what should you do during a trip to Dubai?

  • Wearing a veil is not mandatory in Dubai.
  • Avoid wearing very revealing clothes in the city. For example, large necklines, mini-skirts, short shorts, or very open, short, or see-thru tops.
  • At the beach, you can wear swimsuits, but topless is forbidden.
  • In mosques, it is necessary to cover all legs and arms and the head for women.
city view united arab emirates

Now you know more about the best things to do in Dubai in 3, 4, or 5 days, and even more. Dubai is a surprising city. There is an enormous amount to see and discover. Do not hesitate to explore the Deira district and the traditional souks, in addition to visiting the modern center of Dubai. It will allow you to have another perspective on this city.

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