How to Get from Doha Airport to Souq Waqif

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March 25, 2024
6 min read

Ah, the glamorous world of travel: jetting off to exotic destinations, sampling local cuisine, and getting lost in bustling markets with unpronounceable names. Well, hold on to your overstuffed carry-on because today we're diving headfirst into the maze that is navigating from Doha Airport to Souq Waqif. Buckle up (or don't, your choice) as we embark on a journey that takes you from the sterile confines of an airport terminal to the vibrant heart of Qatari culture.

The trip's journey time is approximately 20 minutes and can be done in a taxi or uber and alternatively via Karwa bus and Metro. The best way to get to Souq Waqif is paying for a Karwa taxi fare. I say this because there will be a limited way time and it's seamless. As soon as you have your luggage you can make a left in arrivals and go to the Karwa taxi stand and immediately get a tax and be on your way.

Coming in a close second would be either hiring a transfer or opening your Uber app. For the best rates, aka cheapest route, I would take the public transit system.

Continue reading along as I go in depth of what to expect with the multiple ways to travel to the souq.

Doha's Hamad International Airport, is a bustling transportation hub that connects travelers from across the globe to the vibrant coastal city of Doha in Qatar. With its state-of-the-art facilities and excellent services, Hamad International Airport ensures a seamless arrival experience.

Overview of Doha International Airport

Hamad Int'l Airport, situated around 15 kilometers southeast of downtown Doha, is an architectural marvel that embodies Qatar's vision for innovation and grandeur. This sprawling airport spans over four million square meters and boasts world-class amenities designed to provide comfort and convenience to travelers.

Upon entering the airport, you can't help but marvel at its stunning design featuring flowing roof structures and expansive open spaces adorned with artwork. The Hamad International Airport offers a range of services including duty-free shopping outlets where you can indulge in retail therapy, delicious dining options showcasing both local and international cuisines, luxurious lounges for relaxation or business needs, and even a tranquil spa for ultimate rejuvenation. 

Doha Airport prides itself on efficiency and has garnered several accolades over the years. It has consistently been ranked as one of the best airports worldwide due to its exceptional level of service provided by friendly staff members who are always ready to assist travelers in any way possible.

Find your next adventure in Qatar - explore our Doha city travel guide for insider tips and recommendations!

Souq Waqif

Souq Waqif stands as an embodiment of Qatar's rich heritage and centuries-old trading traditions. Located just a short distance from Doha Airport, this bustling marketplace offers visitors an immersive cultural experience like no other. Stepping into Souq Waqif feels like stepping back in time as you wander through narrow alleys lined with traditional Qatari architecture, vibrant shops, and lively street vendors.

You can easily lose yourself in the captivating sights, sounds, and aromas of Souq Waqif. This vibrant market is a treasure trove for shoppers seeking handicrafts, spices, textiles, jewelry, and traditional garments known as thobes.

The souq is also dotted with various cafes and restaurants serving delicious Qatari and international cuisines, making it an ideal spot to indulge. While exploring Souq Waqif's labyrinthine streets, you can stumble upon cultural spots like the falcon market or the horse stable area where Arabian horses are showcased.

Every corner of this enchanting souq holds surprises waiting to be discovered. Whether you're a history enthusiast or simply looking to immerse yourself in the local culture and traditions of Qatar, Souq Waqif is an unmissable destination that captures the essence of Arabian hospitality and preserves its authentic charm.

Karwa taxis outside

Get from Doha Airport by Taxi

When it comes to getting from Airport to the city of Doha, taking a taxi is undoubtedly one of the most convenient options available. 

Taxis are readily available at the airport, making it easy for travelers to hop into one shortly after landing. Mowasalat Doha taxi services are known for their efficiency and professionalism, ensuring a comfortable and hassle-free journey. You will know them by their blue color.

As for estimating the fare, it is worth noting that taxis in Doha operate on a metered system. The fare is calculated based on the distance traveled and time taken.

When paying for your taxi ride, cash is the most commonly accepted method of payment. However, many taxis now accept credit cards as well.

It's always advisable to carry some local currency with you as a backup just in case. Additionally, remember that tipping is not mandatory but certainly appreciated by drivers who provide good service.

Pro-tip: There are ATMs on the left before you enter the taxi corridor. When you exit the arrivals section, turn left and on your way you will see a sign for the restrooms on the left side (the ATMs are right there located next to the bathrooms).

Communication with taxi drivers in Doha can be a breeze if you keep a few tips in mind. While English is widely spoken and understood by most drivers, having your destination written down or saved on your phone can be helpful to avoid any miscommunication.

Politeness goes a long way too! Being respectful and patient during your interaction will make your journey smoother and more enjoyable.

Use Uber from Hamad International Airport

If you prefer using your app and want a seamless travel experience from Doha Airport to Souq Waqif, using ride-sharing services can be an excellent choice. In Doha, popular ride-sharing apps like Uber are widely available. 

Once you have set everything up, enter your pickup location (Doha Airport) and drop-off destination (Souq Waqif). I would suggest being dropped off from Corniche and walking into the Souq.

There are a couple of benefits I love about using Uber. Firstly, it provides a level of convenience as you can track the driver's location in real-time and know exactly when they will arrive. I’ve never had an issue not being picked up, like in other countries.

Secondly, payment is cashless, with transactions being processed automatically through the app. I like knowing up front what the cost is going to be. Plus I have the receipt in the app for accounting purposes.

Public Transportation: Metro and Bus Routes

To get from Hamad International Airport to Souq Waqif without a car, you have cost-effective options like the Doha Metro and Mowasalat Doha buses. The Doha Metro operates a train system with several lines, including the Red Line and Gold Line, which are convenient for your journey.

From the airport, head to the Doha Metro station at Terminal 1 or 2, and you can purchase a "Metro Smartcard" for your fare. The price for one trip is just 2 QAR per person. The metro operates from around 6 am to 11 pm, and trains arrive frequently, ensuring minimal wait times.

For a hassle-free trip, utilize the Doha Metro app to plan your route and check real-time train schedules. Souq Waqif is easily accessible via the Hamad Airport Metro station, and you can enjoy the local experience of commuting.

If you prefer taking a bus, Mowasalat Doha operates a bus service from Hamad International Airport to central Doha, including Souq Waqif. The Ghanim Bus Station near Souq Waqif is a convenient stop. Buses are comfortable and air-conditioned, offering an affordable option for exploring the city.

Both metro and bus options provide a cost-effective way to reach Souq Waqif, allowing you to interact with fellow passengers and experience Doha's local transportation.

Order a Ride

Similar to Uber, you can book a ride in advance with Get Transfer. Their prices are competitive and less than what it costs to take a Taxi. If you want to arrive at the airport and have a scheduled chauffeur waiting for you, then this would be your best bet for a quick transfer from the arrivals lounge at Hamad International.

Additional Considerations for Traveling from Doha Hamad Airport to Souq Waqif

Local customs while traveling

In order to fully immerse yourself in the cultural experience of exploring Souq Waqif after arriving at Doha Airport, it's crucial to be aware of local customs and etiquette. 

Qatar is an Islamic country with strong religious traditions and values; therefore, it is respectful to dress modestly when visiting public areas such as Souq Waqif.

Additionally, you can try to greet locals with a warm "As-salamu alaykum" (peace be upon you) and respond with "Wa alaykum as-salam" (and peace be upon you too). Respectful behavior towards locals goes a long way in fostering good interactions during your visit.

Safety precautions and general advice

While traveling from Doha Airport to Souq Waqif, prioritizing safety should always be at the forefront of your mind. Firstly, ensure you have a reliable means of communication, such as a fully charged mobile phone with local SIM card or roaming capabilities.

When walking around Souq Waqif, be cautious of uneven surfaces and busy crowds to avoid any potential accidents. Exercise caution when carrying cash or valuables, keeping them secure in concealed pouches or money belts.

Conclusion on Ways to Get from Doha International Airport to Souq Waqif

Making a trip to Souq Waqif in Doha is an adventure in itself. Whether you choose to depart from Doha Hamad International Airport Terminal 1 by taxi, or Uber, there are plenty of options to get you to your destination.

You can also consider the efficient public transportation system. Souq Waqif is connected to Al-Wakrah via the metro red line, a fascinating destination and easy to reach.

Don't forget to explore nearby attractions, such as the mesmerizing Museum of Islamic Art, as you make your way from Hamad International Airport Terminal 1 to Souq Waqif. 

With options like Souq Waqif Hyatt Regency, Oryx Doha, Souq Waqif Marriott Marquis City Center, and St. Regis Doha nearby, you have a variety of accommodations to choose from.

As you begin this journey, immerse yourself in Qatar's vibrant culture and discover fascinating sights along the way, from the Inland Sea to Souq Waqif.


Photo by Mohammed Abubakr:

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Written by:

I consider myself a world-travelling nomad and a foodie at heart. Born in Germany and raised in East Tennessee, my passion for exploration has taken me all over the planet - exploring unfamiliar lands and cultures is what truly inspires my soul!
I live outside of Doha and consider myself an inside expert on all things Qatar. I love exploring all the country has to offer and look forward to giving you valuable insights of where I call home!
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