When we arrived at Doha Int. Airport, it was 6.30 am and was very cold. The temperature was below 15 degree because it was winter season. We made our way to the arrival hall despite holding a transfer boarding pass wallet because we wanted to explore Doha city a bit. Check out my post about Transit In Doha for some tips during transit at Doha International Airport.
After clearing with the immigrations, we took a cab outside the airport and headed straight to Souq Waqif area. The cab ride costs us 35 Qatar Riyal(QR). It was still early and we were told that Souq Waqif only opens at 9am. In order kill time, we walked futher until we reached The Corniche area.
The Corniche is a waterfront area which is stretched a few kilometres along the Doha Bay. Here you can have a nice view of the Doha city skyline. As it was still early, not many people were there except some workers doing the landscaping works and a few joggers. The Museum of Islamic Art is also situated at the Corniche area. Unfortunately it is closed on Tuesday so there goes our chance to visit the museum. So we took our own sweet time taking photos around the area.
We continued our walk heading back to Souq Waqif area. We found ourselves entering the Souq from the entrance nearby the Falcon Souq. There was a small café there, so we stopped to have our breakfast. Ordered the cheese chapatti partnered with a cup of chai(tea) and the taste was marvellous!
The clock shows it was already 9am, so we proceed to go inside Souq Waqif. There was a small roundabout where a police officer standing in the middle of it controlling the traffic nearby the entrance. We also saw several hotels in the area but based on my readings, the hotels are small and overpriced.
Honestly I was impressed with the architectural of Souq Waqif. It maintains the old Arabian architecture and structure. You will feel like you are during the historical time and walking through an old exotic Arabian market. The stone walls will give visitors a sense of warmth. Also the police patrolling the area are riding horses.
Souq waqif is home for stalls & shops selling items ranging from old traditional garments, spices, Aladdin lamp shops, shisha lounges, the camel souq, antique shops and many more. The shops are placed in the narrow lanes like the traditional souq. We did not shop much because we had to take into account that we will be traveling to a few more destination for the next 3 weeks before going back to KL. We ended up only buying a few fridge magnets.
The souq is big so if you don’t know where to start and want to know more about the area, head to the information center. They will provide you with a map. As we walked through the restaurant area, we saw a lot of restaurants selling international food ranging from Lebanese, Morrocan, Indonesian and even Malaysian food.
After spending nearly 2 hours there, we decided to make a move and get back to the airport. We head to the side of the road and get on the turquoise cab. The driver didn’t want to use the meter but he said that the charge was 15 QR. Taking into account that we paid 35 QR when we came from the airport, we agreed with the charge. It took us about 15 minutes only to reach the airport and we get ourselves ready for our next destination, Istanbul.
View Souq Waqif in a larger map