Flying into another part of the world with a short layover at Doha’s Hamid International Airport? I did too when flying from Delhi in India to my first solo trip to Paris. With a 4-hour layover at the Doha Airport, I knew I stand no chance of taking a short trip to Doha. I then tried hard to pass my time which I found the hard way, it’s not easy to do so. The airport is huge, and I almost miss my connecting flight to Paris hanging out on the other side of the airport. So, I’m putting together numerous things to do during your Doha Airport Layover.
What to do during Doha Airport Layover
When my flight plan to Paris came up with a short 4-hour layover at the Doha Airport, I searched a bit but couldn’t find much how to pass time. I knew it’ll be super boring 4 hours because I knew I couldn’t shop at those insanely expensive *duty-free* shops. So, I’m putting together a list of all those things which you can do to kill time on a layover in Doha, no matter if it’s 3, 4, 5 or even 6 hours. If you have more than a 6-hour layover, I suggest taking a ride & go out and explore this beautiful city or stay at some of the wonderful hotels simply to relax –
Get a picture with the Giant Bear
Hamid International Airport was rated a 4-star hospitality & charts under top 10 in the Skytrax World Airport Awards. The very centre of the airport is humanized by placing a giant yellow teddy bear. Yes, you read that right, a yellow teddy bear, which is extremely cute. Go looking for this adorable one after getting past the securities during your Doha Stopover. Layover in Doha doesn’t have to be boring right?
Savour delicious world-renowned dishes
I’m sure you must be feeling hungry in between all those security clearances and hunting for the bear. I remember I was! And not only ravenous but I was craving for a caffeinated drink. After clicking some pictures with the bear, I headed to the food court. I can say with some certainty, it wasn’t easy to find, Doha Airport is quite huge after all. There I spotted Burger King, Qataf Cafe and many more. I grabbed a coffee from the SOHO Coffee, but couldn’t anything vegetarian to eat. I was a vegetarian back then, and thus I thought I’ll have to eat whatever I’ll be served on my next flight.
But I spotted Jamocha Cafe, a European café, with a variety of vegetarian dishes. Although it’s not exactly in the food court, I found it when I was heading for my connecting flight. Also, it was the only café which returned me the balance in Euros. The others were accepting Euros but returning only in Qatari Riyals, which was not much of use for me. Although they did return me an extremely small number in Riyals because cents were unavailable. I happily took the QAR to keep that as a souvenir from my Doha stopover.
The gist here is, go ahead, try some international cuisine at the food court, but don’t be shy at exploring other parts of the Doha airport too.
Relax at The Vitality Wellbeing & Fitness Centre
If you had a long and tiring journey till the Doha’s Hamid International Airport, I’d recommend relaxing at the Vitality Wellbeing & Fitness Centre. They offer some reinvigorating spas & body massages to get rid of the annoying jet-lagged. With entry at 175 QAR, I can say you will find yourself reposing easily. With facilities like Hydrotherapy tub, Gym, indoor swimming pool & also a shower room, the Fitness centre is your best bet for unwinding.
Explore & Shop at those dreamy Duty-Free Shop
Who doesn’t like to window-shop at the *duty-free* shops at the airports? Even when they are insanely expensive, they charm us with their extravagant & lavish decor. I hardly shop at these shops, but window shopping is fun, right? It’s nice to cover the bases 😉 Some airports also host local brands with discounts going on, you might find an amazing souvenir. I remember I bought my first power bank at an International Airport which is still going strong. So, if you still have some time to kill, explore the shop, who knows you might find something amazing.
Unwind at the Activity Nodes
If you’re travelling with your family or children, you’ll find these activity nodes useful. The airport has put up 5 activity nodes in Concourse A, B & C insider the passenger terminal. They have televisions set up, internet & MAC stations, interactive art pieces to help you connect with your loved ones. I remember having a video call with my mum when I was at the airport. It’s best to keep your family informed especially when you’re travelling solo like me.
I would suggest trying some of these things and you’ll not know how promptly these 4 or 5 hours passed. These activities also help you to relax after a long journey & prepare for your next one. So, don’t get bored, now you know how to utilize your time at the Doha Airport Layover.
Liked my tips about passing time during your Doha Airport Layover? Save it for later…
— The Wanderer