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Posted On: 11 October 2019 09:30 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 10:18 am

Places to visit in Qatar on an overnight layover

Arvin Garcia
Arvin Garcia
Content Writer
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Travelling the world is fun. You get to meet different people, experience diverse cultures and visit places that you never could have imagined. That's when you have the time to explore a place, but sometimes, you are just travelling from one place to the next, and have a layover somewhere in between, like Qatar, maybe. So, what if you had an overnight layover in Doha? How would you make the best out of those hours?

There are many ways to spend those layover hours wisely if you're in Doha. Here are some of the places and things you can do to make your overnight transit worthwhile.

Disclaimer: This layover plan is based on an arrival time of 9 am (Qatar standard time). If your arrival time is different, you may consider rearranging the order of the places to visit depending on the opening hours of each location.


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

Hiring a taxi: All airport taxis are operated by Mowasalat; a Qatari state-owned company. You can board a taxi at the Taxi Pavilion located at the left end of the Arrivals hall. All taxis are metered and the minimum flag down fare at the airport starts at 25 Qatari Riyal (QR) or USD 7 and QR 1.20 per kilometre between 5 am to 9 pm and QR 1.80 per km between 9 pm to 5 am. You can book Karwa taxi services in advance by calling the call center on +974 800 8294 or via the Karwa App available on Android and iOS. To know about other taxi services, click HERE.

Bus service:
Doha’s bus network connects HIA to various destinations across the city, offering a convenient transport option. You can buy or top-up the Smartcard at ticket vending machines located at Arrivals, Ground Floor, Bus Pavilion at HIA. The machine only accepts Cash – QR 1, 5, 10, 50 and 100 currency notes. Since it does not have a refund feature, you are advised to pay using the exact amount. There are three types of Karwa Smartcards to choose from:

- Classic Card: QR 30 (USD 8): rechargeable card for long term / future journeys.
- Limited Card: QR 10 Card (USD 3): two inner-city trips within a 24 hour period
- Unlimited Card: QR 20 Card (USD 5): unlimited trips across Qatar within a 24 hour period

[UPDATE] DECEMBER 2020 - Hamad International Airport Station opened with the rest of the Red Line!

Doha Metro: HIA will be soon accessible to Qatar residents and visitors through Doha Metro’s Red Line. A single journey costs QR 2 for Standard cardholders (including Family Class), while a day pass costs QR 6. A single journey costs QR 10 for Gold Club members, while a day pass costs QR 30. You can top up your reusable cards with Travel Credit, which can be purchased at ticket vending machines in all Doha Metro stations. For information, click HERE and also check if they are operating.

Please ensure you are carrying enough Qatari Riyals to pay for your trip as taxis and buses only accept cash payments in local currency. ATMs are located in proximity to the taxi pavilion for your convenience.

1. Souq Waqif

With limited time in an overnight transit, every minute counts. So, time to hit the road and discover Qatar. Straight from HIA, take one of the transportation modes mentioned above and head on down to your first destination: Souq Waqif. The bustling alleys of Souq Waqif offer visitors an authentic feel of traditional commerce, architecture, and culture. It has a wide array of small shops of Middle Eastern merchandise from traditional Qatari spices, seasonal delicacies such as nuts and fresh dates to perfumes, household items, ornate jewellery, local clothing, handicrafts, souvenir bargains and so much more.

Visitors will surely enjoy Souq Waqif's traditional feel and its historical vibes by just walking around the market place. If you get lucky, you may see cultural shows that sometimes take place along its streets and showcase various Qatari traditions through music and dancing. Fanar Qatar Islamic Centre, also known as the spiral mosque, is also one attraction that you shouldn't miss here. It has become one of Doha's most-loved landmarks, and is located in the Souq area, a stone's throw from the Corniche Street that magnificently enlightens the area at night.


Location: Souq Waqif, Doha - Qatar
Distance from Hamad International Airport: 18 - 20 minutes (14 km)
Average taxi fare: QR 25 / USD 7
Opening hours: 24/7

Nearest Metro station: Souq Waqif (Gold Line)

Places open at Souq Waqif for 24 hours

Tea Time

Tea Time
Image Courtesy: Zomato

If you're looking for the best place to experience Karak tea, delicious sandwiches, and tasty juices at affordable prices, Tea Time is the place to be and a must-try if you're in Qatar. It's located at the heart of Souq Waqif and has been serving tea for many years now. According to the locals, your trip to Qatar just won't be complete if you don't drink this unique tea.


Location: Al Souq St., Doha - Qatar
Cuisine: Karak tea, sandwiches, hamburgers, shakes and juices
Opening hours: Open 24 hours
Average cost:
QR 10 - QR 20 / USD 2.75 - USD 5.50 per person

Zaatar W Zeit

Top Five Places Open 24/7 in Doha, Qatar
Image courtesy: Zaatar W Zeit

There are several cafes and restaurants in Souq Waqif that are open 24/7 and one of them is Zaatar W Zeit. "Bringing goodness closer to you" is their tagline, and they boast of the finest and freshest hand-picked ingredients. Enjoy their french fries, breaded chicken, halloumi sticks, Ceasar salad, whole-grain pasta, ultimate cheese pizza and more. They also serve breakfast all day, so if you're looking for some good wholesome food, then that's also a good way to satisfy your hunger.


Location: Al Souq St., Doha - Qatar
Cuisine: Breakfast, snacks, fast-food and healthy food
Opening hours: Open 24 hours
Average cost:
QR 25 - QR 30 / USD 6 - 8 per person

Tajeen Moroccan Restaurant

Tajeen Restaurant
Image courtesy: Wilfried Thomas

Souq Waqif offers not only the finest Qatari delicacies, but also those from other countries, too. Take, for instance, the Tajeen Moroccan Restaurant. It's a 24-hour restaurant that offers only the best and authentic Moroccan dishes in town. Morocco's diverse culture and rich food traditions are evident in the food they serve here. Their menu includes sweet lamb with prunes, Tajeen fish with vegetables, camel meat cooked in a traditional clay pot, shrimp cooked in spicy tomato sauce and more. So, if you're hungry and want to try something new, this restaurant is a good choice as you wait to take your flight out of Qatar.


Location: Opposite The Old Parking, The Souq, Souq Waqif, Doha
Cuisine: Moroccan delicacies
Opening hours: Open 24 hours
Average cost:
QR 200 / USD 54 for two people (approx.)

2. Corniche Promenade

Corniche Boat

If you're looking for a place to chill after your tour and sumptuous meal at Souq Waqif, there's no other place that's quite like the Doha Corniche Promenade. It's just a stone's throw away from Souq Waqif with the Doha skyline as its backdrop. Truly a must-see attraction if you're in Doha. So if you plan to just take it slow till it's time to go back to the airport, Corniche Promenade is the perfect place to relax.


Location: Corniche, Doha - Qatar
Distance from Souq Waqif: 6 minutes (.89 km = 55 miles)
Average taxi fare: None. Walking distance
Entry fee: Free of charge
Opening hours: 24/7

Nearest Metro Station: Corniche or Al Bidda (Red Line)

If you want to find out what is happening in Qatar during your stay, download the Qatar Events App! Available on Android and IOS and the app is completely free!