Come 2022, Doha would be on top travel destinations – courtesy FIFA world cup but for many business travelers, it will continue to remain as one of the most visited layover destinations.
Doha is the capital city of one of the wealthiest nations of the world – so technically it has to be beautiful and it actually is. The city offers a host of options of urban travelers. Like many of you, I went to Doha on a business trip but on a budget of early stage startup – needless to say on a tight pocket. So, I convinced my CEO to extend my stay for the weekend without allowances.
Since I was all alone, I decided to completely rely on on public transport or my feet, manage all my meals in $20 and stay under $50 and spend full day exploring the reaches of the city. So if your goals are different than mine, don’t read any further.
I managed to get a 4-star stay – Ramada Encore Doha – in my budget. Although the property is pretty neat with decently big rooms and is walking distance (2-4 KM) from major tourist attraction and metro but the locality is not very great. It did not bother me. If you want to save more, there are few hostels where you can get bunkbed in under $15.
Good thing about Doha is that all major attractions are in close proximity. Some the must do things which I covered are:
Getting lost in Souq Waqif
I would rate my experience at Souq as my best experience in Doha. It is a much better version of Souqs of Dubai – cleaner and photogenic. Although it is best experienced at night Souq in the day time is a photographer’s paradise. I loved getting lost in there. Oh did I tell you the Souq is packed with restaurants offering delicious Arabic, Lebanese, Turkish and other popular cuisines
Drinking tea at Doha Skyline viewpoint – old harbour
It was my second favourite thing about Doha. The picnic landscape presents a beautiful contrast to the Doha skyline. If you have time – grab a book and tea and enjoy the sight of the sun going down the skyline
Slow things down at Museum of Islamic arts
Museum of Islamic Art is devoted solely to the art of the Islamic World from three continents over 1400 years. Art lovers will attest that this museum is one of the great things to see in Doha!. Entry used to be free earlier but now it costs 50 QR.
Walk along the bay on Doha Corniche
The sky is clear, the air is fresh, and the view is amazing. So, start your day with a good small run/walk on the necklace road – Doha Corniche, a stunning waterfront commerce spot nestled on the beautifully serene Persian Gulf.
You can also take an evening cruise on the bay. The ships are available for tours around the harbour, which generally cost around 100 QR – haggling is allowed :D.
Experience Pearl Qatar
The Pearl Qatar is a man-made island and symbol of luxury living. The place host popular restaurants, cafes and restaurants along its waterfront promenades.
Things to Note
- Qatar is an Islamic country and so alcohol is prohibited. You can not bring alcohol into the country and try not be intoxicated while passing through immigration
- Its will be best if you avoid speaking to stranger women and avoid taking pictures of locals
- Always carry your own bottle of water and stay hydrated
- Dress modestly – you are in an Islamic country
- Metro is a wonderful way for travelling – maximize on it but at the same time Uber are not that costly compared to cars you will be travelling in.