Doha is increasingly becoming a hub for international travelers to make a quick stopover, especially for those on the Kangaroo Route. With many travellers only having one day in Doha to see all the great things that the capital has to offer we ask is it possible to do Doha in a day? While it is never possible to conquer any city in a day, the compact size of Doha means that you are able to see a lot in 24 hours in Doha! In this guide we have put together the perfect 24 hours in Doha itinerary to make sure travellers know what to do in Doha in a day. So if you are on a short stopover, or maybe you are resident looking for a perfect day out then this is the perfect itinerary for Doha in one day!
Updated: July 2019
1 day in Doha – the perfect 24 hours in Doha Itinerary
This guide to Doha in 24 hours covers:
- what to do in Doha for a day
- where to eat during your Doha for a day itinerary
- Where to stay if you have more than 12 hours in Doha
- How to get around during your 1 day in Doha
How to Get Around Doha During Your One Day in Doha
Whenever I am doing a stopover my main concern is what is the best way to get around the city in a short amount of time but with this guide we have you covered!
Taxis in Doha
Taxis are definitely the number one way to get around Doha during your one day stopover! Taxis in Doha are relatively cheap and are definitely the best way to get around the city! From the airport the starting fee is 25QAR but at all other times only 4QAR!
When you leave the arrivals and come through immigration turn left and you will find the Karwa taxi rank! If you are travelling at peak times (Eid, Christmas etc) there may be a line for taxis otherwise you usually will not be waiting long fo a taxi!
Alternatively you can organise a private transfer to take you directly to your hotel or the city!
Getting To Doha from Hamad International Airport via Metro
The first line of the Doha Metro opened in June 2019! However, although part of the red line (the line which will serve Hamad International Airport has opened, the connection to the airport will not open until 2020!
Once this is opened I will provide a further update for those wanting to use public transport to get to and from Hamad Airport!
For a more complete guide on how to get around Doha click here!
What to do in Doha for a day Itinerary
How to Start a Day In Doha
There are loads of great restaurants in Doha from local eateries to five star dining! We recommend starting your day at local Qatari eatery Shay Al Shoumous! Finding places that serve traditional Qatari dishes can be difficult in Doha however Shay Al Shoumous is one of the most authentic eateries you can eat at in the whole country and it specialises in amazing breakfasts.
Shay Al Shoumous is located in the Souq and the Souq is definitely the most popular answer to what to do in Doha for a day but don’t worry about exploring the Souq now we will be back later as the Souq really only comes alive in the evening!
So without further ado we are going to head off on our Doha one day tour!
The first stop on our Doha in 1 day is the
Doha in a Day Stop One – Museum of Islamic Art
If you have 1 day in Doha then the Museum of Islamic Art (locally known as MIA) is a must for any visit to Doha! The museum is an iconic piece of architecture created by the starchitect I.M. Pei (also famed for having created the glass pyramid in front of the Louvre)! The building plays with light and shadows, Islamic design elments and resembles a woman in a batoola (a traditional metal Gulf face cover for females, you may see some of the older female residents wearing one during your stay).
The collection inside the museum is as equally noteworthy as the building it is housed in! Of particular note are the amazing Arabic Carpet Collection and the jewellery!
The interior architect is also stunning and the museum is also a great place to get those perfect holiday instagram snaps!
If you are travelling with children however I would advise that there is not any dedicated children’s interpretation so can be difficult to keep younger children occupied!
Please note: Closed on Tuesdays. Good replacements for Mia in your itinerary could be
- Walk the Doha Corniche – please note this is definitely something to only attempt if you are visiting Doha in Winter
- Visit the newly opened National Museum of Qatar! The National Museum documents the history of this small country and is again housed in a truly magnificent building! This time the building was designed by another starchitect – Jean Nouvel! The building, or series of connected buildings in truth resembles on the most important geology features in Qatar – the Desert Rose! The museum is split into several exhibits covering the geology and geography of Qatar including fossils displays and information on the indigenous animals of the country, the more recent history which covers Qatar’s early industry – Pearling to discovery of oil! The National Museum of Qatar also has a small children’s gallery but I would not advise this for the families visiting Doha with very small children!
- Other options for those travelling with small children could be a visit to Kidzania!
Take a stroll around the Museum of Islamic Art Park
Our next stop on your one day tour in Doha is the Museums of Islamic Arts Park – locally called MIA park! The grounds of the museum are beautiful. Be sure to marvel in awe at the Richard Serra sculpture by the sea or have a cup of coffee and cake at the most beautiful coffee shop in Doha. What could rival this view!
There is also a playground for those travelling with children!
Perfect one day in Doha itinerary afternoon
For your perfect one day in Doha itinerary in the afternoon I thought I would outline two options to cover you for whatever you fancy!
If there you want to know what to see in Doha in one day I would have to say the Doha skyline! For me it is one of the most beautiful skylines in the whole world! And a great way to see this is by taking a Dhow Cruise!
Dhows are the traditional wooden boats of the region! Previosuly the Doha waters would have been filled with dhows that would have been used for the traditional industry of Pearling however today you can see a variety of Dhows on the coast taking tourists for a leisure cruise to get some of the best views of the Doha skyline!
However if you don’t fancy going on a Dhow Cruise then you may want to consider heading to Katara, Qatar’s cultural village!
This is the perfect place to wile away an afternoon looking at the great public art or having a bite to eat at one of my favourite restaurants in Qatar – Mamig!
On top of that there are several exhibition spaces which are worth checking out if there is a temporary exhibition on, a huge outdoor theatre and a branch of one of Qatar’s most popular quick bite places Chapati and Karak! If you have visited the London area of Knightsbridge, there is a branch there and there is always a queue out the door when I have been past!
There is also a public beach at Katara however I wouldn’t advise tourists using this because of the restrictions and code of conduct on Doha public beaches – they are very different to beaches at Doha Beach Resorts!
Perfect 24 hours in Doha evening!
No visit in Doha for a day is complete without a visit to Doha’s Souq! Souq Waqif, meaning the Standing Market, is the number one Doha tourist attraction and it is easy to see why! It is the best place in the whole of Qatar to actually feel like you are in the Middle East and is a must visit in Qatar!
Evening is a great time, actually scratch that evening is the BEST time to visit the Souq as this is when it truly comes alive! The Souq usually has a great mix of locals doing their shopping and tourists interested to see this side of Doha life which creates a really great atmosphere!
It is also my favourite place in Doha to have dinner, especially if you are looking for Middle Easter cuisine! There are lots of great restaurants in the souq but my personal fave is Parisa – a Persian restaurant that has the most stunning restaurant interior in Qatar!
Once you have finished dinner in the Souq then I would advise browsing all the stores and doing some shopping! The Souq is one of the best things to do in Doha for a day and it is a great place to pick up souvenirs or get more of an insight into Middle Eastern life! For a guide to the most authentic things to buy in Qatar check out this post.
Souq Waqif is split into several areas that you should check out
- The Handicraft Souq – the best place to go souvenir shopping
- Gold Souq – very expensive Middle Eastern jewellery! If you are budget conscious you won’t be buying anything here but it is still worth a visit!
- Spice area – this smells amazing and is my favourite spot to wander
- Falon Souq – Falconry is the national sport of Qatar and these birds are expensive! At the falcon souq you are can see these animals up close! There is also an impressive Falcon hospital!
Note: There is also an animal/ pet Souq! I personally avoid this area as I find it upsetting!
Also in the Souq and one of my daughters favourite things to see is the Emiri Guard Camels and Horses! These are used by those guarding the royal palace (the Emiri Diwan) just opposite the souq! It is great to see these animals up close and one of my favourite things on my old commute to work was seeing the camels being walked!
Where to stay a during your Doha one day itinerary
if your one day in Doha includes an overnight stay then check out our definitive guide of where to stay in Doha to pick the best hotel for you!
What to do in Doha on a Friday
If your one day in Qatar happens to be on a Friday you will need to tweak this itinerary as Friday is the holy day and things are often shut in the morning. I recommend heading to one of the five star hotels for a beach morning and heading to a famous middle eastern brunch in the afternoon!
Alternatively you could take a desert safari and go dune bashing!
Doha One Day Tour Packages
Doha is very doable on foot during the Winter months and it is very easy to do all of the above using the very affordable taxis! However if you would prefer to do a Doha Organised Day Tour there is the following tour available:
And if you are looking for some ideas to do a day trip in Doha to see more of Qatar then check out this post!
FAQs About this Doha in one day Itinerary!
Can I use the Doha Metro for this Doha Metro?
The Doha Metro opened in June 2019 – albeit a small section of the proposed lines! Currently you can not use to get to and from Hamad International Airport! To get between the West Bay area, the Souq and Corniche you could opt to use the Red Line on Doha Metro however for the most part of this itinerary I would advise using the state run taxis, aka Karwas!
What Should I Wear in Doha?
Doha has quite a conservative dress code that all tourists, irrespective of how much time you have in the city have to follow! But fear not check out our What to Wear in Doha Guide to make sure you do not make any cultural faux pas!
However I do recommend packing these other non clothing essentials
- Sun Hats
- sun cream – it is hot in Doha all year even in Winter
- aloe vera after sun
- Medical Kit
- Water Bottle
- Universal Power Adaptor
Have you done a 1 day layover in Doha? What did you do?