When traveling overseas, organization is key, especially when going to an exciting, bustling place like Doha City, Qatar. Experiencing a strange city, exposing yourself to new cultures, and navigating a new place where few speak English can intimidate even the seasoned traveler. Do your research and follow these tips to get the most out of your trip to Qatar.
Pick a Hotel
Image provided by Jan Venter via Trover.com.
Picking the right hotel can go a long way in dictating the type of experience you have while in Qatar. It may be common sense, but it’s the most important tip. A well-known hotel in a great location is the starting point for each day’s adventures. The InterConinental Doha is conveniently located in the heart of the city. The hotel staff is another valuable resource for tips on what attractions to see or the best places to eat. Traveling in Qatar is a culture shock for most people. A comfortable hotel will feel like an oasis: a place to relax and rejuvenate after a long day of seeing the sights.
Create an Itinerary, but Be Flexible
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No visit to Doha City is complete without spending a day in Sooq-Waqif. A fully restored marketplace, it boasts great shopping and dining. Plan to go early to see the merchants set up and make reservations at one of the many well-known restaurants for a traditional Qatar meal. While exploring, you might lose yourself in the labyrinth of vendor shops. This is where the flexibility comes in. When you need a break, take a seat at one of the outdoor cafe and observe the people and architecture. Not much of historical Qatar exist outside of Sooq-Waqif, so enjoy it.
Visit a Museum
I know what you’re going to say: museums are boring. But trust me. Put at least one culturally significant museum on your travel to-do list. In Doha City, the Qatar National Museum will give you an overview of what makes this city so unique all under one roof. A visit to a museum has another significant benefit in Qatar. Most are air conditioned, which provides a necessary reprieve from the desert-like temperatures outside.
Try Everything, but at Your Own Risk
Image provided by Jamal Tariq via Wikimedia Commons.
I’m an adventurous eater, but I won’t eat something too out there while on vacation. Nothing spoils a great adventure like an upset stomach. And you don’t want to spend your vacation in a hospital. Look at stuff, smell it. If you have an iron stomach or feel like the cuisine is part of experiencing the culture, then by all means, dive in and try some of the local delicacies like Machbous (mutton or chicken dish topped with basmati rice, pine nuts, and raisins) and Mathrooba (a chicken dish with creamy butter porridge). Stick to dishes served at popular restaurants and at the hotel; leave the street vendors to the locals.
Follow these tips, and enjoy your trip to the amazing country of Qatar. It only takes a little planning to have the vacation of a lifetime.