Doha's skylines at night

Do you have a long evening layover in Doha and can’t decide what to do or stay inside the airport that is not for you? Well, you were in the right place because you will find out how to spend a long evening layover in Doha, Qatar.

Fly with one of the best airlines in the Middle East is fantastic. But there is one thing to beware of, a stopover in Qatar’s capital is avoidable. You can be lucky if the flight has a shortstop. Unfortunately, we have 10 hours of evening layover on our trip to India. The plane landed at 4:00 pm, and our next flight didn’t leave till 2:00 am.

I booked the lowest price ticket, so we didn’t get a hotel. And I’m debating what to do in Doha in the evening. But after doing some research, there are some things we can do the same as in the day, but limited.

How Safe Is Doha?

We never felt unsafe during our visit to Doha, especially at night. I was, of course, concerned about safety. And that’s why I was hesitant if we were doing the right thing going out of the airport during our long evening layover.
But overall, you read everyone says it is safe for visitors. And no doubt about it, there were times we walked in dark alleys and no problem at all. So in a word, Doha city is safe. But of course, some precaution is needed, the same as in any city.

Choose a backpack than a trolly

Qatar Airways economy class
The best airline with a world of comfort and space

The luggage will tag down to the final destination if you have a connection flight. If you intend to go out of the airport, carrying a small backpack rather than a carry-on trolley is sensible. 

Also, try to get a seat in front for a quick exit from the plane. During online check-in 72 hours before departure, you can choose your seats without extra charges with Qatar Airways.

To plan a trip, you can already check if you’re eligible for a visa-free. Nationals of 80 countries can visit Qatar without a prior tourist visa. You get a stamp on arrival, and the service is free. 



How to get to Doha city

Souq Waqif Mosque
Souq Waqif Mosque

Your best bet is to take the bus, it costs 5 riyals, but you need to have a local currency. So before going out of the airport, you can withdraw cash or change to Qatari riyals. The city center takes about 25 minutes.

Once you’re outside the terminal, you will see five local buses. Search for bus number 747, which runs to the old town Souq Waqif. And the other bus – 777, does the circular route, which goes down to the city center

The disadvantages of the buses cease after midnight. You may need to take a taxi on your return to the airport. Please check the public transport hereA cab in Doha has a meter, and the estimated taxi to the airport costs 55-70 Riyal. 


Getting around the city center

You can take the local buses or the metro to get around the city center. We haven’t used the metro yet, only the buses, which is a bit complicated, but if asking anyone, they’d point you in the right direction. 

However, walking is the best way of exploring the old town. Crisscrossing the alleys at night is a great experience where you meet all the locals. However, it would be best to use a GPS for walking like Maps: me – an offline app. But you never get lost because you always come out to a square, a fantastic place to wander around, especially at night.

Souq Waqif Doha marketplace
Souq Waqif marketplace

Evening things to do in Doha

To emphasize…fewer things that you can do in the evening. I’m glad we could do something on a long layover. Below you see from the start to the last of our city tour. If you’re unsure what to do, you can always seek advice from the tourist information inside the arrival terminal. They were so helpful to visitors.

Museum of Islamic Art

Museum of Islamic Art in Doha
Museum of Islamic Art

The Museum of Islamic Art artificially constructed the peninsula in the Bay of Corniche. Something you can’t miss due to its striking structure, especially at night. Not only beautiful from the outside, but it has a remarkable interior as well. It’s a three-story building; the art exhibits ten thousand works of inestimable value from the Muslim world. You could spend some hours here if you’d like. 

Free admittance.

Note: Entering the museum with a backpack is prohibited, but the guard will store your bag securely at the locker. There’s also a dress code. Remember, you’re in a Muslim country.



The Corniche

Corniche the waterfront promenade
A stroll at the corniche

You get the Corniche answer if you ask anyone what a must thing to do in Doha. You’ll find the exact spots if you go to Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

It’s an excellent place for strolling when it is dark as you have a fabulous view of skyscrapers through the city’s coastline. The individual structures of the buildings and shapes are incredible to see from this point. The area attracts many residents and tourists, also a place to hop on a boat on the West Bay.

The marketplace, Souq Waqif

Doha's market place Souq Waqif
This is how it looks like the market at night

Souq Waqif – is located in the old part of the city. Your trip to Doha will not be complete without visiting the old town.
You can leisurely walk around without any hassles. Qatari people are not pushy compared to the one I’ve experienced in Dubai. I never thought our night in Doha could be pleasant.

The only thing that confuses me is the maze of streets. Wow, we never get lost in Fes Morocco. But the marketplace in Doha is tangled. Everything you need: from gold jewelry and souvenirs to even street food, is available.


Take A Bite

One of Doha's restaurant in the old town
One of many restaurants in the old town

Doha is a country with different nationalities of workers – therefore, the kitchen is a melting pot. Qatar has no authentic national cuisine. So it’s no surprise you can dine around the world and everything in between, and you’ll be confused by choice. However, I’m picky about food; thus, we ended up in a Filipino restaurant. After six hours of flight without a meal onboard (I’m not too fond of food on the plane), I’m starving. In the old town, you’ll find many places to dine.

Doha's city center

Doha City Center Mall
Doha City Center Mall

A few hours earlier, we were standing across the water (the Corniche), beholding Doha skylines. Then suddenly, we were standing beneath. The stark contrast between the city center and the old town is bizarre. It’s like Dubai, packed with impressive buildings and shopping malls.

TIPS: How to get there

Coming from the old town Souq Waqif we took bus number 76 for 5 Riyal. The bus stop in front of the city center mall. From there, you can take the bus back to the airport. Remember to check the schedule of buses, or else take a taxi. So these are a few things you can do on a long evening layover in Doha, Qatar. It isn’t much but something to keep you busy for a couple of hours. A lot better than staying inside the airport.


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