Sleeping in Airports

10 Things to do on a layover at Doha Airport

If you have found yourself with a layover at Doha Hamad Airport, you may now be wondering what to do with your time….besides sleep! DOH is a major transit hub with flights connecting all continents at all hours of the day and night. After snapping your obligatory selfie with the airport’s giant Teddy Bear for your Instagram, here are 10 more things to do on a layover at Doha Airport:

1. Grab a bite to eat

Airport DiningThe airport doesn’t have an overwhelming amount of food choices, but what’s there are eateries featuring Middle Eastern, international, and Western cuisine. Sample Arabic mezze platters at Qataf Cafe, and follow it up with tea and traditional candies. For a long, leisurely meal with an upscale feel, head to Caviar House & Prunier’s Seafood Bar, Negroni, or Soprafino. To-go options include Burger King for burgers and fries and Red Mango for smoothies and frozen desserts.

2. Lounge

Airport LoungesIf you haven’t spent time in an airport lounge, you may think they’re beyond your reach unless you’re a First Class or Business flyer. Lucky for us, that’s no longer the whole story. Two airport lounges here allow access for any traveller, no matter the airline or flight class flown. To gain entry, simply pre-book a pass online, use your lounge membership program, or pay at the door and you’ll be spending your layover in airport lounge comfort! Lounge details available in our Doha Airport Guide.

3. Tour Doha – for free!

Layover SightseeingWant to check out Doha on your layover? It’s easy! Qatar Airways teamed up with the Qatar Tourism Authority to offer transit travellers a free tour of Doha, which means you don’t have to navigate or put together your own itinerary. Tour highlights include the Pearl Qatar, Katara Cultural Village, the Museum for Islamic Art, and the Souq Waqif. Four tours are offered daily, and you can book at the Doha City Tour desk. For additional details, see our Doha Airport Guide.

4. Visit the desert

If you want to get out and about but skip the city hubbub, check out the sand dunes near Khor Al Adaid. You’ll need at least 5 hours, but many area tour operators will pick you up for this half-day trip.

5. Shop

ShoppingSome travellers say that Doha Airport feels like a high-end shopping mall, so spend your layover window shopping or exercising your credit card. You’ll find everything from newstands and convenience stores to a huge Duty Free selection and plenty of international fashion brands. Stop by Marmalade Market and Chocology for delicious samples of local foods.

6. Shower

A decent shower may be all that’s separating you from a really good layover experience. Freshen up at the shower facilities inside the two airport lounges, or head to the gym and wellness centre at the transit hotel, between Gates A10 and B10.

7. Take in the art

Qatar Museums have set up a airport outpost featuring international and local works of art on display throughout the airport. For the full museum experience, there’s even a museum gift shop and cafe.

8. Hit the gym or spa

MassageWant to squeeze in a work out between flights? Maybe a spa treatment is more your speed? You can go for both at the Vitality Wellbeing & Fitness Centre, located in the transit hotel between Gates A10 and B10. For a flat fee, access a swimming pool, hydrotherapy tub, gym, squash courts (rentals available), and showers. You can also upgrade to a package that includes massage and other spa treatments.

9. Stay connected

Stay connected to friends and family, update your social media accounts or surf the internet courtesy of the airport’s free WiFi. If you don’t have a mobile device, the airport offers free Mac computers for surfing the net; kiosks are located throughout airport.

10. Get some sleep

Airport SleeperChances are good you just flew in from a far-off time zone or you’re heading off to one. So take your layover as a good opportunity to catch up on sleep. In general, you shouldn’t have any problems sleeping here, just plan ahead for a cold, loud, and brightly-lit airport is – a blanket, eye mask, and earplugs will be very handy! Travellers note that there are a decent amount of chairs, though most have armrests. Head to the Family & TV areas at Gates A3, Concourses B and C, and the central terminal for a chance at the couches. There are several Quiet/Prayer Rooms and some offer reclining chairs. They’re often separated by gender and might not exactly be quiet, with all the foot traffic.

If all else fails, some areas are carpeted, perfect for sprawling out. Rather not camp out at the airport? The Oryx Airport Hotel is located inside the transit zone, just a 5-minute walk from Gates A10 and B10. Rent a room for the overnight or during the day (minimum 5 hours). A couple hotels are located a short drive from the airport, and one provides free shuttle service. See our Doha Airport Guide for details on hotels and locations.

These are just a few things to do on a layover at Doha Airport. Visit our Doha Airport Guide for more information about more services and facilities available, such as food, WiFi, mobile charging, luggage storage, nearby airport hotels, and much more.