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I purposely opted for a long layover, so that I can go out to explore..

Little did I know that the 22 hours I would spend in Qatar would result in me falling in love with the place.

As I was tight on time, I tried my best to maximize my time in Doha.

I left the airport and went straight to my hotel, where I dropped off my bags, took a shower, prayed, and freshened up after my 12-hour flight. Shortly after, I went out for dinner.

Below you may find the stops I added to my itinerary for ideas on what you can do if you ever have less than 24 hours in Qatar, like I did.

1. Katara

I decided to go to Katara Cultural Village at night to explore, and to have dinner. Though it was quite lively at night, with lots of locals eating out at the restaurants (there is quite a handful of options here, which is great!), kids playing in the main square near the water, and people going for a late-night stroll. Here, you can find a Greek amphitheatre, a mosque, an opera house and gardens. There's something for everyone. Ard Canaan is one of the restaurants where you can try authentic Middle-Eastern food.

I would have preferred to visit during the day as I felt that the experience would be more different and it would look nicer for photos. There is also an opportunity to try some watersports at the Katara Beach.

2. Qanat Quartier

I was up bright and early. I took a taxi from my hotel, down to Qanat Quartier. I especially came here because I wanted to see the colourful buildings. I was glad I did, as it turned out to be one of my favourite stops along the way!

The bright neighbourhood is so pretty and full of friendly locals, cute cafes and nice photo ops! Two spots that were on my list in this area were The Drawing Room Cafe and Volume Cafe, but I didn't get a chance to check it out as I was already too full from breakfast ( when it comes to eating out, that's one of the con of traveling solo).

3. The Pearl

I went for breakfast at Karak M Qanes. I ordered their shakshouka and karak chai, both of which were amazing. Simply put, the location was also perfect since it was right by the water and you get a view of the St. Regis Marsa Arabia Island.

I walked around The Pearl for a bit, before moving on to my next stop. It was a relaxing and peaceful walk. It was also at that moment that I felt that Doha was the "sober" version of Dubai.

4. Souq Waqif

My final stop before having to rush back to the airport to catch my flight, was at the famous Souq Waqif. I enjoyed exploring the local shops, checking out the different souvenirs and seeing the contrast between the modern day and ancient times.

Souq Waqif was quite interesting, as it had lots of unique aspects to it, from the falcons to the camel pen, t the handicrafts and rugs! There was a lot of nice knick-knacks that I came across, but none of which I could buy due to lack of space (since I travel mostly with a carry-on only). I did get some sweets to try though.

That's a wrap for my layover in Qatar. I hope this gives you some ideas on what you can do. Below, you may also find some other spots that I wanted to visit, but didn't get a chance to:

  • Museum of Islamic Art (I especially wanted to visit for the architecture)

  • Irani Mosque and State Mosque (though to be fair, I feel like all mosques in Qatar are beautiful, I would stop by whichever one I come across if I am ever there again)

  • Qatar National Library (it's such a nice place to get beautiful shots!)

  • Visit Villagio Mall (a piece of Venice in Qatar, why not?)

Let me know there's anything else you would add to your itinerary for a stopover in Qatar!


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