5 Tips for visiting Souq Waqif with a Baby during the Summer

5 Tips for visiting Souq Waqif with a Baby during the Summer

Whenever we get visitors to Doha the first place they want to go is the Souq Waqif. Why wouldn’t they – the Souq is awesome and gives people a flavour of something uniquely Middle Eastern. Souq Waqif – meaning Standing Market, is located just off the Doha Cornice. A beautiful spot when you can get a real taste for the local culture. It was therefore  no surprise when family came to visit Baby E that they wanted to go to the Souq. Baby E was born as we were heading into summer so was this going to be possible?

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It absolutely was! But there are certainly ways to do it that make it more enjoyable for all so here are my top tips for visiting Souq Waqif with a baby in the Summer!

Souq Waqif at night

Souq Waqif at night

Do as the locals do! 

Embrace the night-time. The souq doesn’t really come alive until the evening anyway so do as the locals do and head down to the Souq after sundown. This will be a more authentic experience, have a better atmosphere and cooler for everyone!

Baby carrier or pram? 

This was a big debate we had. The Baby Carrier would make manoeuvrability a lot easier – The main street of Souq Waqif is cobbled, off which are a series of small narrow alleyways lined with shops and traders which aren’t to be missed for a true Souq experience – but carrying a baby that close to you was likely to make us both hot and sweaty. Given the time of year and the heat we opted for the pram. Yes this was a bit more cumbersome but a decision I am glad we took. When we return in the Winter we would definitely use the carrier but for summer months the pram is a must!

Make sure you dress for summer even at night

Make sure you dress for summer even at night

Dress appropriately

This goes without saying for adults, but follow all the rules and customs about keeping shoulders and knees covered as to not cause offence but remember these rules don’t apply to little ones. Dress your little one in vests only to keep them cool but be sure to have blankets with you as many of the Souq restaurants have fierce air-conditioning.

Ask for Lifts

Some of the restaurants have upstairs with lovely terraces or seating areas. Be sure if you are travelling with a pram to ask if there is a lift. The restaurant we were in had one but it was tucked out of sight!

Avoid Shisha

I personally don’t like taking Baby E to places that are smoky, even with shish smoke (which some people wrongly say isn’t as harmful!), so we tend to visit restaurants where they either don’t serve shisha or where smokers are separated from diners.

These are our top five tips for visiting the Souq Waqif at night with a baby! What advice would you give?

Worried about the Middle East Summer heat? We’ve got you covered with our survival guide



  1. August 18, 2016 / 9:54 pm

    Great tips- I love visiting the souqs whenever I’m in the Middle East and North Africa (any markets really) but I can only imagine how hot Doha gets in summer. If you have to live in a vest, that’s a very cute one too! Thanks for linking up with #citytripping

    • August 19, 2016 / 1:55 pm

      Yes – Souqs are fab, we really love them. Our greatest challenge here is making sure Baby E is cool outside but prepared for the air con on the inside. I am pretty sure the Middle East could be the coldest place on earth inside some malls!

  2. August 18, 2016 / 9:56 pm

    Good tips… Sounds like the perfect introduction to Doha! Thanks for joining #citytripping

    • August 19, 2016 / 1:58 pm

      Thanks for having me. There are some really great posts on #citytripping – privileged to be part of it!

  3. October 13, 2016 / 7:29 am

    Great tips! I always think reading things like this is SO invaluable. Things like knowing where you can and can’t take a pushchair you really just can’t know unless you can talk to someone that lives there!!

    We can definitely relate to the hot evenings here too!! My boys don’t even wear vests to bed just nappies! Always sensible to take warmer things for places with air con though, I think thats something a lot of people forget when they travel to warmer countries!!!

    I would absolutely love to go to the Souq it sounds like such an amazing experience!!!

    Thank you for sharing this post with #myexpatfamily hope to see you again next month!

    • October 13, 2016 / 7:49 am

      Thank you. Exactly, we have made the mistake of taking the pushchair somewhere inappropriate so I think these tips can be really useful to people. You are right about the air con thing too!

      Souqs are a great place to visit and kids are also welcomed. I hope you get to one soon!

      See you next month

  4. October 14, 2016 / 7:39 am

    Great tips. I agree with you a souq at night time is a totally different experience from daylight hours. I love that they are a whole family affair and so atmospheric and so much of the Middle eastern culture. Great to hear from a fellow desert girl #myexpatfamily

    • October 14, 2016 / 8:32 am

      Thank you – am enjoying seeing a different middle eastern expt diary too

  5. October 14, 2016 / 11:28 am

    Great tips! I’ve never been anywhere quite as hot as Doha, but we lived in Milan when my son was a baby and I used to employ many of the same strategies in summer. It’s amazing what you can manage with kids if you go prepared 🙂

    • October 14, 2016 / 1:05 pm

      Exactly – hot becomes normal and you can manage it fine if you use common sense and prepare for it ?

  6. October 20, 2016 / 1:39 pm

    Yes great tips. The AC is not too bad here in KSA and here in the West coast we don’t get quite as hot as you do over there. Lifts are a pain though! Most of the smaller restaurants have the family areas upstairs but no lift meaning that we have to carry the pram upstairs.

    • October 20, 2016 / 1:41 pm

      I hadn’t realised that the west of ksa was much cooler. At least we are nearing winter. It is such a pain when you can’t find a lift with a pram

  7. October 23, 2016 / 3:23 pm

    It sounds really interesting, I’d love to visit a souq some day. Markets are such fascinating places. #MyExpatFamily

    • October 23, 2016 / 4:33 pm

      The souqs are a must see in the Middle East. Would love to visit a traditional Mexican market one day

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