Sometimes you feel the need to get out of Qatar and not just out of Doha. While Qatar is a peninsula, sometimes it feels like an island. You run into people you know everywhere you go and you can only go to Fuwairit Beach or the Inland Sea so many times! But you also may not want or can’t take vacation days to get away, so where can you go that’s close. Here are some of my picks for a quick weekend getaway from Qatar!
1.5-hour flight from Doha. Now is the perfect time to visit Kuwait if you can get away quickly. If you need to get away and have children, Kuwait is a great choice as they have The Scientific Center. It includes an aquarium, an IMAX theater and a dhow harbor. It’s even open on Friday afternoons! Be sure to schedule your visit during feeding time of sharks or rays! The shopping is also great and it’s cheaper than Doha!
4.5-hour flight from Doha. The hardest part about this trip will be deciding what to do first! The Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia are not to be missed. They are beautiful and architectural wonders. My other favorite thing was to visit the Harem at Topkapi Palace. There is so much beautiful tile to see. For shopping most people head to the Grand Bazaar, which I recommend for the experience alone, but the real shopping treat is just behind the Blue Mosque at the Arasta Bazaar. It is a bit more expensive, but more authentic.
Jordan is a 3.5-hour flight from Doha (to Amman). While there is tons to see in Jordan, I highly recommend going to Petra first. This is especially true if you haven’t seen Jordan before and have little time. I spent a day and half in Petra and really wanted more time. The ruins just never end. I recommend getting a guided tour for a few hours, as there isn’t much signage. Then you can explore on your own. On your way to Petra you can stop at the Dead Sea. My other favorite stop was at Mt. Nebo. From here you can see the Dead Sea and Israel.
4.5-hour flight from Doha. If you are looking for a relaxing beach vacation, then look no further. Pristine beaches and a variety of price points to suit each budget are to be had depending on which resort you choose. You will have to take a boat from Male to reach your resort, but then you can spend the rest of your trip in your bathing suit! You can go diving, snorkeling or get a spa treatment. Make everyone jealous with your amazing tan.
2-hour flight from Doha. This is very close but about as different as it gets! Mountains and green forests await you as well as beautiful beaches. You won’t believe you are still on the Arabian Peninsula. For the history buff, there is the Museum of the Frankincense Land. At the museum are ruins of Al-Baleed. Al-Baleed was the home to the port of Zafar where frankincense was shipped to India. There are lit walking paths that are open till 8pm. Be aware the museum is closed every day from 2-4 and only open from 4-8 on Thursday and Friday.
I hope this helps you plan your weekend escape from Doha. Is there someplace you have been that you would recommend or want to go? Let us know!