A few hours are more than enough to give us an idea of the city, but if you want a real visit, at least you’ll need a day and a half: half for the museum, a few hours for the souk and around, and the rest of the time for the Corniche, the Pearl and of course, its shopping centers.
Personally, since I did not want to change money, I walked from the airport to the West Bay. If years ago, that the old airport was closer to the city, it was a waste of time, today, that the main exit of the new airport is still further, walking would be a complete stupidity, you would have to walk 19 Km, the first 12 in areas without any interest. On the way back, I walked all over the Corniche and took a taxi; before getting into it I warned the driver that he only had American dollars and that I could pay him an amount equivalent to the change, and he kindly agreed. The ride cost me just $ 6, but the fact is that I was lucky, since the demand for official taxis is greater than the offer, I could have had to walk again.
On the other hand, once in the museum, it is indeed recommendable to walk, because from there you can easily get to the souq and the Grand Mosque. Walking all along the Corniche to the West Bay or not would depend on the temperature and how much are we willing for a stroll.
DOHA CITY TOUR
In case our company is Qatar Airways, an interesting option is the Doha City Tour: free guided tours at 8 am, 11 am, 4 pm and 8 pm. There are 33 places on each bus and in less than three hours you will visit the Museum of Islamic Art, the Katara Cultural Center, Pearl-Qatar and the Waqif souk, passing by the Corniche. You can not book in advance, you have to go to the Qatar Airways desks as soon as you get off the plane.
BUSES AND TAXIS
The official public transport company is Mowasalat, which manages city buses and taxis. The information on their routes and schedules is in its official website, although it is not very reliable. Most bus stops have schedules and maps, but some are unattended. Buses:
- Urban buses. You need a Karwa Smartcard to use them, which can be purchased at Mowasalat desks at the airport, along with luggage belts 5 and 6. Tourists will be interested in line 777, from the airport goes through the Museum of Islamic Art and La Corniche. None of the city buses get to the Pearl.
- QR10: 3 $, allows two trips in 24 hours.
- QR20: 5 $, unlimited routes for 24 hours.
- The Doha Bus is a very expensive tourist bus that allows you to hop on and off as many times as you like depending on the ticket; there are 22 stops in the city:
- 24-hour adult pass: 180 QAR.
- 48 hours: 225 QAR.
- Night bus: 95 QAR (included in the previous two).
Main bus station is Al Ghanim Station, next to souq Waqif.
The official turquoise taxis have a minimum rate of 10 QAR and apart from airport, shopping malls and 5 star hotels, it can be difficult to get one; Sometimes you need to call a day in advance. Most taxi drivers do not use the meter, and among those who use it there have been cases of manipulated taximeters. You must agree a price before getting into the taxi; Approximately 1.2 QAR per km (1.8 per night) is recommended, which is actually the official price if you use the meter.
In Doha you can find Uber since 2013.
In the airport there are counters of the main international companies. Driving and parking in Doha is easy. The avenues are wide and modern and the traffic is not particularly dense, although some drivers drive fast and honk in the style of many developing countries.