Planning a trip to Doha has proved to be extremely challenging for me.
I always loved traveling, but due to limited budget, i prefered beautiful countries with reasonable prices, where I could feel like a queen even with Croatian salary, such as Serbia, Egypt…
Moving to Ireland, my financial situation has drastically improved, but old habits die hard – so I still have a Croatian cost system placed deeply in my mind. Seeing that even people from UK&Ireland find Doha expensive, I started to do a to do list, thus the inspiration for this post.
Inspired by this, I am bringing you a “How to be fancy on a budget in Doha”:
1. Act like you are arts enthusiast and visit Museum of Islamic art
In my real life, I visit museums as often as I go to gym, pretty much never. I know this comparison is unfair, as museums are much more exciting and they don’t require you to leave your soul on the ground – but in the life of work, eat, sleep – I just never seemed to find enough time. Being that museums in Doha are generally free, I suddenly found my new passion for art – so I am definitely going to visit Museum of Islamic art.
2. Dieting while visiting Pearl and cry about my miserable life
Pearl, Doha’s most luxurious neighbourhood, is everything I will never be. It’s beautiful, full of richness, fancy cars and expensive restaurants. While I hate being on diet, and when I am, I usually eat more than usual, dieting in Pearl can not only prove to be good for your body and soul, but as well as your pocket.
3. Not look like an idiot while trying to look modest
Dressing modestly in Europe became so rare, that it sort of turned into a myth. While our grandparents might remember of those times, we started to question everything about it. Bare in mind – winter clothes doesn’t go into dressing modestly, as temperatures are going to rise up to 38 degrees end of October.
Figuring out my wardrobe for Doha, I realized I just don’t own the culturally appropriate clothes. When I was visiting Egypt, I would have one big scarf I would wear on top of everything – like a cape, and looked like a weirdo – example picture below, so I am planning to do some shopping to prevent it this time.
Wait for it, it gets better…
P.S. Vast majority of things said in this article is not true and is here for the purpose of humor.
All the jokes aside, I am super excited about my trip and I am planning to endulge in all the things that make me happy! Traveling to Doha, Qatar is not actually as expensive as people would think and is really managable even on Balkan budget.
While Dubai is more famous and exciting for partying and similar, Qatar is a place to be for families and everyone in love with cultural and historical experiences.
This beautiful country offers many amazing sights for free – such as mentioned museums, beautiful old market (souq) – where food is tasty and affordable, and you can find pretty much any souvenir.
Some tips and tricks should you travel there as well:
- It’s cheapest to fly by Turkish airlines, but don’t book from their site. Go to Skyscanner and see for a connecting flights. My flight from Zagreb turned out to be 370 EUR roundtrip, with a small layover in Istanbul.
- Hotels are extremely beautiful, high level of hospitality and affordable – of course, not every hotel, but this would be my recommendation: https://www.sarayacorniche.com/ . For a one week in this hotel for 2 with breakfast, you will spend roughly 400 EUR.
- Best things in life are free – Qatar has many minorities that are contributing to its diversity, and Arabic culture is extremely welcoming. Eat on Souq Waqif (old market) rather than in fancy restaurants – from what i heard, much cheaper and tastier! See museums, they are extremely exciting and Museum of Islamic art holds plenty beautiful artefacts that are hard to come across in Europe.
Qatar is putting a lot of effort to welcome tourists from all over the world, and they even offer free night in a 5 star hotel and tours for people who fly Qatar Air and are having a layover in the city! Thus – many cultural activities are government funded, fun and free! Visa is free on arrival for citizens of many countries (list here).
Should you have any suggestions about what I need to do while I am there, please let me know!
P.P.S. If not stated otherwise, photos are obtained through Pixabay.com, thanks to all lovely artists who share!
I look forward to visiting this amazing country!
Lot of cloudy regards from Dublin,