Home » Discovering Qatar’s Capital City Through the Doha Bus: A Comprehensive Guide

Discovering Qatar’s Capital City Through the Doha Bus: A Comprehensive Guide

by Paola Bertoni
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Doha, the capital of Qatar, is a blend of modernity and tradition. The city has a lot to offer, from sky-touching skyscrapers to traditional souqs. One of the best ways to explore the city if you are short of time is the Doha Bus, a hop-on hop-off bus that strolls around the city to explore the different attractions. In this blog post, you can read about my Doha Bus experience, its routes, and the attractions it covers.

Doha Bus: What You Need to Know Before Getting Onboard

Doha Bus covers a wide range of attractions, from the traditional Souq Waqif to modern skyscrapers. It is a hop-on hop-off bus, which means you can stop along the route and get back on the bus whenever you want during the validity of your ticket.

During your trip to Qatar make sure you stay connected by purchasing Airalo eSIM online in advance, and avoid the hassle of buying a physical SIM at the airport.
In addition, remember to purchase Heymondo travel insurance that provides coverage against unexpected events such as medical emergencies, trip cancellations, lost luggage, and more. It offers great value for money and ensures a stress-free and enjoyable trip!

I started my tour at the Souq Waqif, a traditional Arab market that sells everything from spices to birds. Here, there is one of the kiosks where you can collect tickets bought online. The others are at National Museum of Qatar, Katara Cultural Village, and Sheraton Park. You can recognise the kiosks because they are shaped and coloured like the Doha Bus.

If you have a long stopover or are travelling with children, the double-decker bus is a great way to get a panoramic view of Doha. The buses are air-conditioned except for the open top floor, and you will have complimentary water during the tour. The audio guide, available in multiple languages, provides information about the attractions covered.

Skyscrapers seen from the Doha Bus
Skyscrapers seen from the Doha Bus

Route and Attractions Covered by Doha Bus

The Doha Bus has just one line that touches the most famous attractions in the centre of Doha, from the harbour to the artificial island of The Pearl Qatar. You can start wherever you like; you just need to collect your ticket in advance at one of the kiosks.

Below is a list of the stops covered by the Doha Bus:

  • Souq Waqif
  • National Museum of Qatar
  • Rixos Gulf Hotel
  • Sharq Village & Spa
  • Museum of Islamic Art
  • Box Park
  • Sheraton Hotel Park
  • City Center Mall
  • Hilton Doha
  • Intercontinental Doha
  • Katara Cultural Village
  • The Pearl Qatar
  • Lagoona Mall
  • State Grand Mosque
  • Msheireb Downtown

Some of these stops are famous hotels where tourists can get on board. The others are great places to visit and discover Doha.

Doha Bus
Doha Bus

Stops and Sights in Doha Downtown

The Souq Waqif if the main market in Doha, also very close to the Falcon Souq. The National Museum of Qatar is a fantastic museum that tells the story of Qatar’s past, present, and future. I recommend to visit it to learn more about Qatari culture.

The route passes near the old airport, which is now used only for charter and military flights. Nearby, you can see the Stadium 974 made entirely from shipping containers. It was earmarked for demolition after the FIFA World Cup, but it is still standing.

Shipping containers are also used to decorate the Doha Old Port and the Marina. The Sharq Village & Spa is a resort designed to resemble a traditional Arab village.

The Museum of Islamic Art is an architectural masterpiece designed by Ieoh Ming Pei, the architect of the Louvre pyramid in Paris. It boasts a vast collection of Islamic art worldwide, including ceramics, textiles, metalwork, jewellery, and manuscripts.

The Museum of Islamic Art in Doha
The Museum of Islamic Art in Doha

Stops and Sights Along the Corniche

The Corniche is a scenic waterfront promenade and an iconic landmark in Doha. It has undergone significant transformations over the last 50 years,  with the construction of modern skyscrapers and stunning architecture.

The pyramid you can see in the cityscape of Doha is the Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Hotel, one of the first hotels and skyscrapers built in Doha, surrounded by a park. Doha, as you can discover during your trip, is full of greenery: plants are chosen from the more heat-resistant and are irrigated with recycled water.

The Doha Bus route then continues to the City Center Doha Mall, one of Doha’s first and largest shopping destinations. To be honest, it isn’t my favourite, but it is really massive, with over 350 stores. The mall also features a cinema, food court, and a play area for children.

Skyscrapers on the Doha Corniche
Skyscrapers on the Doha Corniche

Stops and Sights in the North of Doha

The next stops of the Doha Bus are in the north of the city. Before reaching Katara, you can see private dwellings of the Royal Family surrounded by high white walls. The audioguide will remind you that it is not allowed to take photos, but you can’t see anything, just the walls. However, it is worth remembering that Lady Diana used to spend her holidays here.

The Katara Cultural Village is a cultural hub in the Katara district that showcases Qatar’s rich heritage through art, music, and theatre. The most prominent sights are the pigeon towers, once used to collect pigeon droppings to use as fertiliser. A short walk away from the Katara Cultural Village, you can visit the iconic Galleries Lafayettes, recognisable from the huge gift-wrapped box just outside the mall.

Pidgen Towers in Katara Cultural Village, Doha
Pidgen Towers in Katara Cultural Village, Doha

The next stop is The Pearl Qatar, an artificial island housing a lovely marina, luxury apartments, hotels, and retail outlets. The architecture of The Pearl Qatar is inspired by Moroccan, Spanish, and Venetian architecture, and each part of the island has its own distinctive style. Still, the most impressive feature is the central cooling system, one of the biggest in Doha.

Paola Bertoni a The Pearl Qatar, Doha
Paola Bertoni a The Pearl Qatar, Doha

You can also stop at the State Grand Mosque, also known as Imam Abdul Wahhab Mosque. Unfortunately, during the Doha Bus tour, I didn’t visit it because the driver told me that I wasn’t able to go inside as a non-Muslim. Actually, entry into the mosques in Qatar is open to all visitors, regardless of religious affiliation.

After that, the Doha Bus returns to the city centre, where you can stop at Msheireb Downton. Here, I recommend visiting the Msheireb Museums, a group of four traditional Qatari houses converted into museums. Each museum explores a different topic, such as oil exploration, slavery, urban development, and traditional architecture.

Exterior of the Company House, Msheireb Museums, Doha
Exterior of the Company House, Msheireb Museums, Doha

Tips to Get the Most from the Doha Bus

The Doha Bus tour is a great way to learn some information about Qatar if you have just very little time to spend in Doha, like during a stopover. However, to make the most of the Doha Bus experience, you should keep in mind a few tips.

The weather in Doha is really hot, so you should dress accordingly. During the winter, the temperature varies around 20-30 degrees; in summer, it can reach more than 40 degrees. It is so hot that just a few people get on and off at the stops, but most prefer to stay on the bus.

Luckily, the Doha Bus has air conditioning, except for the open deck, and you can get complimentary water bottles on board. If you decide to stay on the bus, remember there is no USB charging onboard.

The night bus tour included in the ticket lasts about an hour/an hour and a half, depending on traffic. It has no audio explanations and is on a different route from the day tour. It goes very fast, so it is difficult to take nice photos, but it is a good way to see the Doha cityscape at night.

Doha Bus ticket and route map
Doha Bus ticket and route map


You can buy a 24-hour ticket, that includes a night tour at 7 pm from Souq Wafiq. You can use the ticket for two days, as I did. The Doha Bus has only one line, and you should plan your itinerary according to the attractions you want to see. Consider that buses run every 40 minutes during summer and every 30 minutes during the high season.


Unfortunately, the audio guide, available in several languages, is not very good. First, the track is not continuous but stops after the main sights. It also repeats the same audio tracks twice when the bus passes the exact locations, taking the same road in opposite directions. Sometimes, explanations do not start at the right point and overlap.

Where to stay in Doha

Doha boasts a wide range of beautiful hotels with swimming pools and fitness centers to choose from. DoubleTree by Hilton Doha Old Town is a great modern accommodation in the heart of Doha. For a sea view option, you can choose the Wyndham Grand Doha West Bay Beach. If you prefer to stay in a hotel with an Arabian touch, I can recommend La Maison Hotel Doha, or for a luxurious experience, the incredible Sharq Village & Spa, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel.

The Doha Bus is an excellent way to explore the beautiful city of Doha during a stopover. The route covers the city’s most essential sights, so you can see a lot in just one day. Feel free to comment what you think about the Doha Bus and if you already tried this experience in Qatar.

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