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Posted On: 11 October 2019 09:30 am
Updated On: 28 August 2023 01:21 pm

Places to visit in Qatar on an overnight layover

Vrinda Abilash
Vrinda Abilash
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Overnight layover qatar

Qatar's Hamad International Airport (HIA) is a well-known connecting airport for many passengers. And if you are someone having an overnight layover in Doha, do not leave without exploring this beautiful city and make the best of your time.

An overnight layover in Doha gives you a good amount of time to experience a few things here, and the (ILQ) team lists some of the places and things you can do to make your overnight transit worthwhile.


  • Please consider rearranging the order of the places to see, depending on the time of your visit and the opening hours of each location.
  • Kindly read the terms and conditions listed by your airline and adhere to the airport rules before exiting HIA and check the entry visa rules.


Your guide to public transportation in Qatar: how to get around
Image credit: Shutterstock

From the Hamad International Airport (HIA), you can take a wide variety of transport options, including car rental, limousine, taxi, bus and metro services.


Mowasalat - a state-owned Qatari company, operates all airport taxis. You can board a taxi at the Taxi Pavilion at the left end of the Arrivals hall.

The fare charged is on a "Point to Point" basis, and a minimum flag fare at the airport starts at QR 25 and QR 1.6/km. Within Doha, the flag fall rate is QR 4 and QR 1.6/km, while outside Doha, the fare is QR 1.9/per km, which is also applicable to nighttime fare.

They have special taxis equipped with elevator mechanisms to serve passengers with special needs and can be availed at the airport when required and booked in advance through their Call Center 800-TAXI (8294).

Ride-hailing apps

You could also take other ride-hailing apps like Uber and Careem in Doha.


Mowasalat-Karwa provides frequent, reliable bus service throughout Doha and all major Qatar communities. Mowasalat operates 50 routes starting as early as 4 am, with the last buses timed to depart around 11 pm. Most routes operate from Doha Bus Station, situated near the Gold Souq.

Fares are attractive, starting from as little as QR 2.50 for short trips with a maximum single fare of QR 9 to Al Shamal and Abu Samra on the Saudi border.

Passengers are advised to procure the "Karwa smart card", a cashless, ticketless card. Top-up amount in multiples of QR 10. Buy and top-up Karwa smart cards at ticket vending machines at Hamad International Airport and other partner merchants.

Three types of Karwa smart cards:

  • Classic Card (QR 30): Rechargeable card for the long term.
  • Limited Card, 24hr (QR 10): Good for two journeys within 24-hrs of purchase.
  • Unlimited Card, 24hr (QR 20): Good for unlimited journeys within 24-hrs of purchase.

To check the bus routes and timings, you should download the Karwa Bus app - details below.

Doha Metro

Going around Qatar is easier thanks to the three Doha Metro lines - Red, Gold, and Green. As of 20 December 2022, the Doha Metro schedule is as follows:

  • Sunday to Wednesday: 5:30 am to 11:59 pm
  • Thursday: 5:30 am to 1 am
  • Friday: 2 pm to 1 am
  • Saturday: 6 am to 11:59 pm

Trains run approximately every 5 minutes. The last recommended interchange at Msheireb station is at 11:25 pm (Sun-Wed) and 12:25 am (Thu - Fri). Station doors will close at 11:59 pm from Saturday to Wednesday and 1 am on Thursday & Friday.

Each station has its specific timings for the first and last train if you want to ensure that you will be on time for the train and your destination, scroll down to see the Doha Metro train and Metrolink bus schedules below.

Where to go from the airport and what to do?

Let your layover exploring begin, and here are things you can do. The guide lists a series of things you can do once after the other during your layover, but feel free to change the order based on your timeline.

1. Souq Waqif

Souq Waqif souvenirs
Image credit: Shutterstock

Your first stop is Doha's Souq Waqif. This bustling market is happening day or night and will be a great introduction to the city. Walk around the market and soak in the ambience of all things local!

Note: The timings of Souq Waqif are 10 am to 3 pm and 3 pm to 11 pm. You could still walk around and explore the area outside of these hours.



  • Distance from HIA: 17 minutes (13.9 km)
  • Nearest metro station: Souq Waqif (Gold Line)

2. Corniche

Corniche Boat
Image credit: Shutterstock

Next, head to the Corniche, one of the best spots to look at the magnificent skylike and sip on Qatar's favourite drink - karak! While you're there, take a quick dhow ride to complete your Corniche experience.


  • Distance from HIA: 18 minutes (17.5 km)
  • Nearest Metro station: Corniche Metro Station or Al Bidda Metro Station (Red Line)

3. Go to one of the restaurants

Image credit: COYA Doha

Are you a foodie? You will find a variety of cuisines ranging from Georgian, Azerbaijani, Korean, Peruvian and more! Many other restaurants are open round the clock, too - check out our guide to the restaurants open 24/7 in Qatar and take your pick based on how much time you have!


After doing these, it might be time to go to the airport. We are sure this will motivate you to stop in Qatar for a few days, at least before embarking on your next destination, another time!

RELATED: Your one week itinerary for Qatar

Which of these places do you want to go to during a layover? Let us know in the comments below - do share this article - it keeps us going!