I am sort of ashamed to admit that the only reason I went to Doha was because of a layover (cough Qsuite cough). But, it’s the truth. I really do love seeing the world, but I oftentimes struggle with visiting some places due to philosophy differences. That said, I have come to realize that my travels are not about me and my views – my travels are about truly seeing the world…and with that comes (respectfully) learning about different countries and their views. I always try to approach every place I visit with an open mind and an open heart.
And I am thankful that I did in Doha, because have to say that I really enjoyed my (short) time there and am excited to share more about this special place with you all!
Without further ado, here are my Top 5 reasons to visit Doha:
5. The Desert
While we didn’t have time on our short layover trip to experience this, during my trip planning research I came across so many interesting desert excursions – from dune bashing to desert safaris to sleeping out under the stars!
Warning: it is really freaking hot (and humid) here in summer – like hotter than I have ever been in my entire life. So, perhaps consider visiting during a different season (especially if you’re planning on going out into the desert), unless you love the heat!
Pro tip: Make sure to prioritize getting out around sunset! Desert sunsets are SO dreamy. The temperatures are also much cooler (see above). It’s probably something about the dust in the air that creates the most amazing colors, but I am certainly no scientist…
4. The Markets
This was one of my favorite parts of our time there! We visited the famous Souq Waqif which was a complete maze of shops and restaurants. It was gorgeous, so alive (and a bit chaotic) and made me feel like I was walking through the streets of “Agrabah” in Aladdin!
3. The #LuxLife
There are a LOT of very rich people in Doha – in fact, Qatar has the highest per capita income in the world. As a result, there’s a high demand for the finer things in life. And that benefits us tourists immensely since there are so many luxury hotel experiences that are oddly affordable! For example, we were able to book a room at the Ritz Carlton for about $115 a night. Whattttt!?!
Pro tip: If you ever have the chance to fly through Doha, the airport itself is even spectacular. It cost $17 billion to build and is quite fancy! If you’re flying on Qatar Airways and have status, the airport lounges are also free and amazeballs. If you don’t have status, you can also buy a day pass to experience it all!
2. The Architecture
This was probably one of the biggest surprises for me. Sure, I had heard of Dubai’s amazing architecture and the famous Burj Khalifa (tallest building in the world) but had no idea what Doha had to offer in this space. There are some stunning buildings – and I really feel like I could spend days looking at them (which is something that I don’t think I have ever said before about buildings in my life).
Some of my favorites are below! Not pictured, but I also love the Tornado Tower, National Museum of Qatar and Al Hazm Mall.
Pro tip: Make sure to stop at the Dhow Harbor for one of the most beautiful views of the Doha skyline – day or night! Also, a “dhow” is a traditional sailing vessel in this part of the world and you can take a cruise out onto the water from here, too.
1. The Food!
Holy moly, the food! We took a private tour through Falcon Tours so we knew we’d be in good hands when trying to figure out a spot for dinner. We said we wanted something super local and our Guide gave us just that at the Bandar Aden Restaurant. Can we discuss the size of that bread?!
Pro tip: Qatari food is really an interesting hodgepodge of foods from nearby areas – taking influence from other Middle-Eastern countries, as well as India and Africa. It’s a lot of rice, meat and vegetables. But, my veryyyy favorite is Karak tea – basically a blend of black tea, milk, sugar and cardamom. We got ours from Chapati & Karak and that stuff was next level good!!