Marhaba l Doha!
If you want to see an exceptional city in the making these days, then here’s your chance! What once was a small fishing and pearling villa has turned into a buzzing urban metropolis that is soon to rival Dubai. An oasis of luxury scrapers, sprawling malls, and a vibe that oozes confidence, style, and glamor – Doha is the place to be to experience glitz and glamor at its rawest.
Boasting an impressive skyline, Doha is quickly becoming the hub for cutting-edge technology, glitzy hotels, and gleaming skyscrapers. The best thing about it, though, is its raw juxtaposition between the old and the new. Beyond the gleaming skyscrapers and the glitz and glamor, Doha remains true to its Bedouin roots and the Qataris are more than keen on preserving their local culture.
Today – Now
PLANNING & BOOKING
The dreaded part of any vacation - planning! Every savvy traveler knows that it’s always better to plan and book early in advance to bag those irresistible bargains. Not only do you get to save up to 25% on flight and hotel prices, but you also get to never settle for second-best! Lower flight prices, room deals and early bird discounts are only some of the many benefits of booking your tickets, excursions and accommodation early on. We recommend planning and booking 3 to 6 months in advance – a surefire way to have a worry-free pre-holiday buzz when the time to travel is near!
Unforgettable Moments - Doha Highlights
A week in Doha will give you a glimpse into the world-class restaurants, luxurious shopping malls, museums and beautifully-adorned mosques while also taking you on a journey of exploration through the Bedouin culture. Think desert camps and safaris and getting lost in incense-wrenched souk alleyways!
Day 1: Arrival
Ahlan w marhaba l Doha! Welcome! You’ll be arriving at the Hamad Airport and at that point you’re probably going to be aching to start exploring! You can get to your hotel in a taxi (expect to pay around $10) or you can take the bus that leaves the airport every hour. You can buy the QR20 which gives you unlimited travel for 24 hours and costs around $4.
After you’ve dropped your bag at the hotel, have your very first meal in Qatar at Sabah w Masa. Let’s just tell you from now, it will be hard to leave no matter how full you are. This restaurant offers a Lebanese breakfast, and if you want to do it as the Arabs do, have a big breakfast with labneh, olive oil, fresh bread, main course, coffee and dessert. You may or may not be too full to move after, but it’ll definitely be worth it.
After you’re done having breakfast, enjoy a relaxing hop-on, hop-off city tour that will give you a glimpse into the city’s top highlights and major sights. It’ll be a great way to introduce you to the city and shed light on the type of attractions you’ll be checking out on the rest of your trip. Stop off the Pearl Quarter and spend your morning enjoy this man-made island.
This place literally encompasses the meaning of ‘glamour’ and you’ll get what we’re saying when you stroll by the yacht-lined waterfront backed by soaring skyscrapers and towers. Spend your morning strolling around the Pearl Quarter, and then grab some delicious French pastry at Dalloyau.
There is no better way to experience Doha than by taking a traditional dhow cruise on the bay and gliding amidst high rise towers, luxurious hotels, and the quintessential Corniche. On the cruise, you’ll also get to experience the epitome of Middle Eastern hospitality as you sail out the sea and take in the views. Most cruises offer lunch and drinks, so you can enjoy sunset along the Doha skyline.
For the evening, grab a drink at the award-winning Champione for some beer and great food (if you’re still not feeling enough from the food offered on the dhow cruise.)
You can’t go wrong with Eggs Benedict for breakfast, and we guarantee you’ll have the best Eggs Benedict at Eggspectation. Everything there is delicious – from bagels to waggles, to some added beef bacon, just know that whatever you order you will love.
Your first stop for the morning will be the Msheireb Enrichment Center which will give you a beautiful insight into Qatar’s past and complex history. By now, you would have gotten a clear idea of Qatar’s affluent nature, but the center brings you back to the rich cultural heritage of the country.
To keep the cultural theme going, head over to the Dubai Corniche for some gorgeous views in the afternoon. Your next stop will be the Museum of Islamic art. Now before we get to talking about the museum’s incredible collection, let’s first talk about its architecture! It looks like it’s floating on water because the architect wanted it to look like it was built on an island with no buildings obstructing its magnificent design.
As for the collection, well, you’re bound to be in awe! Revel in the centuries-old relics, examples of calligraphy, patterns, jewelry and textile that date back to as far as the 7th century!
After you leave, make sure you look back it to enjoy the effortless mixture between ancient Islamic architecture and modern geometric patterns.
Swing by IDAM for lunch (it's located on the fifth floor of the museum) after to try out some French Mediterranean cuisine fused with Arabic influences and enjoy the gorgeous views of Doha from above.
Spend your evening by Wahm’s pool-seating while enjoying a cocktail or two with some oriental snacks.
abah el khair! Grab breakfast at the hotel today and head northward towards the UNESCO listed site of Al Zubrah. Qatar’s largest archaeological site should be on top of your list for places to visit. Perched between the Strait of Hormuz and the Arabian Gulf, the fort will take you on a journey back in time to the era of merchants and trading. It’s a beautiful echo of Qatar’s history.
For lunch, treat yourself to a sumptuous meal at the Belgian Café where beer flows freely and the Belgian mussels should be nominated for awards. After you’re all filled up, wander towards Doh’a Souq Waqif, our favorite part of the city. This place reflects the sheer beauty of the old world and is the best way to truly immerse yourself in Doha’s local scene. As you walk your way through the different alleyways, you’ll be able to enjoy the architecture, culture and sense of traditional commerce that Doha has long been known for.
Grab lunch at Al Enna Restaurant for some local Qatari food that is to die for. Don’t forget to try out the lavender coffee for the perfect end to your day.
If you still have some energy left in you, visit the Souq Waqif Art Center that houses paintings, sculptures and art pieces and is considered Doha’s creative cub.
Smoke a fragrant shisha at the laidback Al Terrace at Souq Waqif after!
Our favorite thing about Doha is how you can experience so many different cultures and atmospheres in just one day. A French breakfast, a historical afternoon, Belgian beer, and a Qatari lunch all in the matter of a few hours is completely normal. Now you’ll end your day at the relaxing Lincoln Center where some of the best jazz bands perform and great drinks are served at this superb establishment.
Day 4: Desert Safari Day Trip (Khor AL Adaid)
Now get ready for the highlight of your trip. The dunes at Khor Al Adaid are considered one of Qatar’s top gems and for good reason! The picturesque landscape is filled with large sand dunes where you can enjoy an authentic desert safari.
You have to book your desert safari through a tour, but let’s just give you a glimpse of what your day is going to be like!
You’ll probably spend your morning dune bashing on a 4x4 vehicle, sand boarding and quad biking and you can even sign up for paragliding. To sum it up, your morning will be the perfect adventure for all you adrenaline junkies!
For sunset, you’ll go on a camel ride as you watch the sun set into the far horizon and then you’ll enjoy an Arabic BBQ meal as a belly dancer sways to the melodies of Arabian drums. Enjoy some mint tea as you lose yourself in the grandeur of the desert around you.
We can guarantee you one thing: when you go back to your hotel at night, it’ll all feel like a dream – in the best way possible!
You will probably still be exhausted from the day before, which is completely understandable, so spend your morning enjoying a round of golf at the Doha Golf Club or pay a visit to Banana Island.
Spend your afternoon at the Katara Cultural Village where you enjoy a whole day of Arabic delicacies – be it food, tea, galleries or shops. Check out the plethora of different attractions there – from the Katara Mosque to the Katara Amphitheatre.
Seafood lovers, rejoice! L’Wzaar Seafood Restaurant is known for some of the best seafood around town, and you can even customize your meal to fit a different “cuisine” (i.e: Arabic, Japanese, Far Eastern.)
If you haven’t shopped yet, then let’s just tell you, you’re missing out on a lot! The Villaggio mall boasts extravagant Venetian interior (yes full with canals and gondolas that you can cruise on!), and dozens of big brand names.
Spend your evening at Doha’s only nightclub, Crystal at the W Hotel, where you can enjoy some fine R&B hits! Don’t forget to dress to impress.
Your sixth day will be an exploration of all things weird and wonderful. Head over to the Zekreet Film City, an abandoned TV set that looks like a mini city with interesting geological features.
You’ll get to enjoy interesting desert topography, observe wild animals, and then wander through the same set where Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was filmed!
Rising out of the sand is the East-West/West-East installation and art piece by Richard Sierra. This art piece will allow you to create your own sense of space as you stand amidst the soaring edifices.
Once you go back to the city, indulge in some high tea at the St. Regis Doha for fine Arabic tea and staggering views of the ocean.
The Sheikh Faisel Bin Qassin Al Thani museum should definitely be on your bucket-list on your visit to Doha. Built in the form of a fort, the museum houses over 15,000 artifacts including everything from the world’s smallest Quran to pieces that pay homage to the Sheikh’s expeditions. There is an entire aircraft as well inside and a Syrian house that was transported to the museum – so this gives you a glimpse at how huge the museum is!
We recommend taking the last flight out of Qatar so you can get a few more hours of exploration. If you have a few hours to spare, visit the Doha Festival City for some shopping or stroll around Aspire Park for a relaxing morning.