Nestled within the bustling town of Doha is the unique Souq Waqif – the standing markets – a visit that has become increasing popular among travellers and tourists from all over the world. Here you can experience the proper atmosphere and feel of Arabian culture and maybe even pick up a few souvenirs along the way!
How and When
The best time to visit the markets is between 4 pm and 11 pm – you can stay for even longer to smoke shisha or visit one of the neighbouring dancing clubs. Although the Souq Waqif is situated in the heart of Doha, getting there involves navigating a series of winding paths, so it might be a good idea to book yourself a guide. Fortunately, most hotels in Doha will include tour packages to the standing markets – the Souq Waqif Boutique Hotels by Tivoli for one.
Taste Spices and Sweets
One of the first things you’ll notice upon entering Souq Waqif is the tantalising aroma of half a dozen spices. You can find everything from cinnamon sticks to rose buds at the markets, along with a myriad of fresh dishes. Don’t worry if you’re more of a sweet tooth though – you’ll find plenty of chocolates, assorted candies and all manner of sugary snacks.
Pets and Pigeons
Strolling through the markets, you’ll come across an array of potential pets – from birds flaunting colourful plumes to dazzling reef fish scuttling around in fish tanks. You can also feed the resident pigeon flocks, just grab some corn, sprinkle it onto the street and watch as dozens of birds fly your way.
There’s all manner of shopping opportunities at the Souq Waqif; you can buy beautiful works of jewellery, browse intricate fabric works and even purchase a camel for yourself! What’s important here is to take your time – there’s always something new interesting just a few steps ahead, so just keep on exploring!