Answers from Our Experts (1)
The best way to see Doha in one day is to begin by heading straight to the Museum of Islamic Art, the country’s finest museum and most exalted cultural project. Designed by architecture genius I.M. Pei, the museum’s unique geometric exterior makes a stunning background for a family photo, and inside you can explore ancient artifacts from throughout the Middle East, Central Asia and Turkey. This is also the best place to catch a leisurely and satisfying breakfast or early lunch, and the museum’s café offers a picturesque view of the surrounding grounds and park.
Either on your way to or from the museum, make sure your taxi drives along the Corniche, Doha’s popular waterside promenade. Have your driver pull over so you can snap photos of the old royal palace the Amiri Diwan, the pyramid-shaped Sheraton Hotel (Doha’s very first hotel) and the stunning West Bay district skyline. If you have time, catch a ride on a dhow, a traditional Gulf sailboat.
At around 4 p.m., drive to Souq Waqif, the traditional Arabic bazaar and the city’s No. 1 tourist destination. Here you can buy antique jewelry, colorful Bedouin handicrafts, Indian spices, Persian rugs and even exquisite sets of pearls. For dinner, choose from among the souq’s ethnic restaurants — Egyptian, Moroccan, French, Italian and many more. Or if you fancy something a bit more traditional, explore the souq’s labyrinthine interior until you find the Iranian bread baking shop close to the mini pet market. Most of the restaurants offer shisha (flavored tobacco) in a waterpipe for you to puff during your meal.
For after-dinner drinks, Doha’s West Bay district is the place to go. Party it up at either the W Doha Hotel’s posh and sleek Crystal Lounge or head to the InterContinental Doha Hotel’s casual and boisterous Belgian Cafe. Or if you want to be closer to the airport, the Oryx Rotana hotel’s Jazz Club is an equally happening scene, and the club’s four-piece live band will make sure you end your visit to Doha on a high note.