01. Air Tahiti Nui A340-300 economy class Los Angeles to Paris (CDG)
02. Qatar Airways A380-800 business class Paris (CDG) to Doha
03. 5 Instagram-worthy things to do in Doha
04. Qatar Airways 777-300/ER economy class Doha to Amsterdam
05. easyJet A320 main cabin Amsterdam to London (LGW)
06. Norwegian 787-9 main cabin London (LGW) to Los Angeles
If you’re an Instagram addict looking for things to do in Doha, you’ve clicked on the proper article. I recently returned from a trip to this amazing city feeling overwhelmingly sure that it’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to – and I cannot wait to go back and experience it again!
In my opinion, the 5 most Instagram-worthy things to do in Doha are:
- Walking down Omar Al Mukhtar St at sunset
- Strolling through the grounds of the Museum of Islamic Art
- Enjoying the view from your window seat as you fly in and out of the airport
- Exploring the desert by camel (or Jeep)
- Admiring the beauty of the National Museum of Qatar
I’ll dive a bit deeper into each one of these in a moment, but first, a bit of a back story as to how this trip came together – which will give you a better sense as to why I chose these 5 spots as being the most “Instagram-worthy”:
As embarrassing as it is to admit, I’m the kind of traveler who picks my destinations based on what kinds of flight deals I can find
It’s true. I’ll go anywhere to take advantage of a good deal, as long as I can get there in an way which allows me to create interesting blog and video content. I’m also a really big fan of Instagram, so this trip to Doha was satisfying on so many levels.
My amazing Qatar Airways business class flight to DOH was obtained for only 40k American Advantage miles (a smashing good deal if you ask me), and once on the ground, the beauty of Doha was so overwhelming that I couldn’t resist capturing it and posting the pics to my Instagram account. It was exactly the kind of trip I love so much. And it may have never happened if I didn’t find such a good deal on the flights!
All of this is especially good news for you. How? Well, if you’re looking for things to do in Doha, I’m going to go one step further and list out a handful of ideas which will help make you a hero amongst your Instagram buddies. I love travel, and I love photography (I also love corn chips and salsa, but that’s not exactly relevant so I’ll save that for my next post about Mexico).
The point is that I love to photograph the places I travel to, and I’ve got very strict criteria for doing so. All you need to know is that these 5 Doha photo-spot ideas come straight from the brain of a photo-obsessed travel geek.
Instagram-worthy thing to do in Doha #1: Take a late afternoon walk down Omar Al Mukhtar St
One of the most interesting things about the city center of Doha is how sparkly and new everything is. The architecture is spectacular, and from what I saw, it’s one of the cleanest and best-maintained city cores I’ve ever strolled through.
Omar Al Mukhtar St cuts right through the center of the downtown area, and it’s a spectacular walk in the late afternoon when the sun is low and reflecting off all the glass and metal like a disco ball.
My best suggestion for this walk is to start at the Marriott Marquis Hotel (Omar Al Mukhtar Street, Area 61, Al Dafna, Street #850) and head south towards the waters edge stopping along the way to check out anything that strikes your fancy. Oh, and just so you know: if you’re a history buff who is looking for things to do in Qatar that are especially “old world”, you’re not going to be satisfied with this walk. All you’re going to see is business people yammering and tapping on their mobile phones (as well as beautiful modern architecture). You’ve been warned.
Instagram-worthy thing do do in Doha #2: the Museum of Islamic Art
Unfortunately, my limited time in Doha meant that I wasn’t able to spend very long at some of the most interesting places in the city. Remember that scene in National Lampoon’s Vacation where they stopped at the Grand Canyon for 20 seconds, took one pic, and left? That’s kind of what I felt like as I moved around the city. Not a very fun way to travel, and I don’t recommend it.
However, when it comes to the best (and most interesting) things to do in Doha, the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) is by far one of the most photogenic and Instagram-worthy.
This Museum is worth exploring, so make sure that enough time so that you can properly experience it in and out. I’d recommend at least a half a day, and be sure to plan it so that you can get some pics of the exterior as the sun as setting.
Instagram-worthy thing to do in Doha #3: For the love of all that is holy, get a window seat on your flights into and out of DOH!
This is an airline-specific travel blog after all, so it shouldn’t be of any surprise that I’m recommending a window seat as one of the best things to do in Doha. Technically, this is a “before” and “after” Doha sort of experience, but it’s my list and I want to include it. So there.
Unfortunately, my flight into Doha was under complete darkness, and I was stuck in an aisle seat on the way out. Therefore, I’m going to show you a few examples of the kinds of views that are possible from a window seat if you take the time to plan ahead:
If you’re curious, my personal “things to do in Doha” list puts a window seat as the #1 priority for my next visit. Hopefully I’ll be doing it from the comfort of a Qsuite, but I’d be happy to settle for economy class for Instagram-worthy shots such as these.
Instagram-worthy thing to do in Doha #4: head out to the desert (and try not to die)
Missing out on the opportunity to see the desert is my second-biggest regret from this trip. Everyone kept telling me that a personalized Jeep tour was one of the most interesting things to do while in Doha, and I absolutely would have done it if I had more time.
Even though I live in Southern California and I’m just a short 45 minute drive from the desert, it isn’t the same kind of desert terrain that makes up the Middle East. Here we have rocks and plants covering a majority of the desert floor. In Qatar, it’s nothing but sand dunes for as far as the eyes can see.
How cool would it be to tell your friends and family that you rode a camel through the desert? Better yet, posting a selfie to Instagram from the back of a happy camel is pretty much how to win at life.
Instagram-worthy thing to do in Qatar #5: the National Museum of Qatar
Have you ever looked at a building and instantly felt sorry for the construction crew that had to build it? The National Museum of Qatar is one of those kinds of buildings, and it’s fun to imagine how many eyebrows were raised as the architects presented the concept for the first time. However, it’s such a beautiful structure that I can’t resist adding it to my list of Instagram-worthy things to do in Doha.
As a self-proclaimed photography nut (the good kind), the National Museum of Qatar represents everything I like in a really good photo location. First of all, the structure is so unique and layered that it’s beautiful from any angle.
The second reason I’m so drawn to the National Museum of Qatar is because of how it looks great in nearly any lighting condition. Whether it’s the middle of the night or the middle of the day (when the sun is highest in the sky), it’s always possible to get a photo of it which takes advantage of the current lighting conditions. Because of this, I highly recommend this as one of the very first things to do in Doha for photographers who are short on time. No matter when you visit, you will end up with really great Instagram-worthy pics.
And yes, I realize there are other really good reasons to visit the National Museum of Qatar, but this list is focused on things to do in Doha that are photo-centric. If you’re a photo nut (the good kind!) traveling with someone who hasn’t posted to their Instagram account in years, let them go inside and explore while you work on getting that perfect “it’s gonna go viral” pic of the exterior.
Doha is an interesting place. It’s a city rich in history and culture, yet you’d be hard pressed to see any of it while walking though the downtown corridor in between the glitzy steel and glass skyscrapers. It takes a bit of work to uncover it‘s past, but once you start peeling away the layers, you’re likely to find yourself becoming more and more enamored with Qatar both past and present. It’s fascinating.
However – if I’m being completely honest, there isn’t a whole heck of a lot of things to do in Doha. It’s definitely not a destination where you could spend a week in and feel like you didn’t see anything. While vibrant and energetic, the footprint of Doha is relatively small (at least compared to Dubai) and two – maybe three – days is all you really need to experience it.
It certainly has it’s own style of charm though. I can’t wait to return, phone in hand, bombarding all my Instagram friends once again with the beautiful sights.