The itinerary begins at Doha port, where we will arrive by 777 bus or taxi if we come from the airport. I only had half a day, so I could not cover all the areas mentioned here, but apart from the Pearl or the Villaggio, the rest can be visited on a full day.
The first thing we find is the biggest attraction in the country, the Museum of Islamic Art. This strange quadrangular building is home to the world’s best-regarded museum of Islamic art. Since I only had a few hours to visit the city I did not go in, but if I would had had time I would have done so considering:
- That is for free, and…
- People say wonders of it.
And so I could tell you firsthand whether it’s as good as it is said or is just the best of a city that has little to offer. Closed on Tuesdays, the schedules are somewhat confusing, open:
- From 10:30 am to 5:30 pm Monday, Wednesday and Sunday.
- From 12:30 pm to 8:30 pm Thursday and Saturday.
- From 2:30 pm to 8:30 pm on Fridays.
Time for a stroll on the Corniche. This 6-km long promenade provides a pleasant walk overlooking the West Bay skyscrapers, as long as it is not a very hot day, so it is preferable to go at night. Temporary exhibitions are usually installed.
The first thing we will find is a giant pearl-shaped fountain. On the other side of the street is the Souq Waqif, the most important souk of the city and one of its main tourist attractions, and a little further west, the falcons souk and Qatar Grand Mosque, which is not particularly nice either compared to those of Abu Dhabi or Casablanca.
You can find also here the Clock Tower, what should nor be a landmark in this city, neither in any other one, but for some reason it is.
The walk ends up being quite monotonous until you reach the West Bay, the area of bizarre skyscrapers of each city that wants to be considered modern in a very short time. I personally did not found them very succesful. There are projects to build some impressive towers, but the ones I saw, and the ones that there are currently, I think are unattractive compared to those of Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Further north is the Pearl of Qatar, a luxury quarter built on sea-land in Dubai Marina style: modern skyscrapers next to a marina with promenade and many restaurants. It has not yet been completed, and the buses do not get there, that is why I did not visit it.
The most visited and photographed mall is by far the Villagio Mall, a recreation of Venetian canals similar to the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. It is located 15 km west of the port. To go by public transport you can take bus 41 from Al Ghanim central station, it takes about 45 minutes.
Actually, the most exciting thing of the day was that it rained in a city in the desert.