Qatar is dazzling and rapidly emerging. Its capital, Doha, has grown into a metropolitan city, which is heavily investing in culture, arts, sports and education and I am proud to call this place my second home.
Doha is evolving and aims to be one of the most popular Middle East destinations. Meanwhile, due to its strategic location, the country is a very common layover for international travelers.
If you’re spending a few hours or a day in Qatar, you really need to explore it and experience its local and traditional scents.
What I find interesting in Doha is that it wonderfully blends together the old and the new. You will get to experience both its traditional and modern face.
So, let’s get started!
What to do during a few hours’ layover in Doha
Grab an Uber from the airport and head to the National Museum of Qatar or the ‘Desert Rose’. This architectural masterpiece by Jean Nouvel opened its gates in March 2019 and creatively unfolds the story of Qatar; its past, present and future. Through an interactive journey, the Museum shows the country’s growth and development; its tradition and current state. Once you’ve done exploring, make sure to visit the Gift Shop. Besides its wonderful design, it hosts a lovely variety of well-designed gifts.
Across the street lies the popular Museum of Islamic Art (MIA), one of the country’s most significant cultural landmarks. Its amazing architecture and pan-Arab art collection compose one modern marvel of the Middle East. There is also a coffee shop in MIA park, with truly breathtaking views, which is worth trying if you’re visiting November- May.
Lastly, head to Souq Waqif, opposite MIA. Souq is-in my opinion- the most authentic place in Doha, full of traditional scents. Stroll around the main street and its alleys, so that you get to discover all the market products; spices, clothes, souvenirs. Afterwards, you simply have to experience the local food. One of the best places in Souq to taste authentic and delicious Arabic food is Damasca.
During your way back to the airport (and on your way to the above stops) you’ll drive along Corniche, the coastal road. It’s a wonderful promenade for walking- when the weather allows it- and don’t miss viewing the ‘dhows’, the traditional wooden boats.
This is the end of the short Doha tour if you’re in town for less than 10 hours. I truly believe you’ll enjoy it and maybe you’ll want to come back to experience some more of what the city has to offer!
Stay tuned for more Doha related posts 🙂