Joren and I had a 19 hour lay over in Doha on our way back from Sri Lanka, we decided to not just stay in our hotel room but to actually go out and explore the city centre of Doha.
We stayed at the Amari Doha Hotel, a lovely hotel with really friendly staff (oh and delicious food too!!). Usually it’s in walking distance to all the main attractions. Unfortunately, there is a lot of construction work going on for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, we would recommend taking a taxi to one of the attractions (and walk to the rest). If you have more time than we did, we would recommend getting the Hop-On, Hop-Off buss pass which takes you out to the Pearl, Katara, MIA, Souq, and so much more!
By the time we landed, went through immigration, checked into the hotel, etc. it was already 15h – not much more time left to explore Doha! So we had to boogie!
First we went to the Souq Waqif. This place is jaw-droppingly beautiful! We wandered around the streets of the Souq during daylight and we’ve never seen anything like it before.
We really wanted to visit the harbour and the MIA in daylight, so we didn’t initially stop for long. On our way back, we decided to explore the Souq more – but now to see what it’s like at night! I must say, my favourite time in the Souq was when the sun had set. All the lights come on, more people are out, etc. the whole place comes to life!!
I feel like no matter how many times you visit the Souq, you will never see everything – there are so many hidden alleys, shops and markets!
MUSEUM OF ISLAMIC ART (MIA)
The MIA is only a 10-minute walk from the Souq! Even though Qatar is very hot and has temperatures up to +40°C, it’s very dry – so you won’t be sweating haha!!
As we were pinched for time, we weren’t able to check out the museum properly, but it’s definitely on our bucket list for next time!!!
When you come into the main entrance hall, turn left and you will come onto this balcony with an amazing view over the harbour and the skyline. This is where we watched the sun set.
On your way to the MIA from the Souq (or vice versa) you will walk past Doha’s harbour. A lot of dhow captains will offer to take out on a 1 hour boat ride, where you will sail around the MIA and see the skyline. The rates they quoted us, were around 100-150 QAR 🙂
We hope to be able to visit Qatar for a longer trip. It’s a mix of new and old, it’s also vibrant and cultural and we would definitely recommend it to everyone! There is something for everyone!
Thank you for reading!
-Katherine & Joren