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Doha Airport Layover

Doha Airport Layover

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Our Qatar Airways flight from Rome to Jakarta included a lengthy 10-hour Doha airport layover. There was really no way of avoiding this when we booked the flight.

If we had arrived early in the day, we could have enjoyed one of Qatar Airways complimentary 3-hour tours of the city. However, we would be arriving at 10:30 in the evening, so that option wasn’t available.

Our plan therefore had been to fork out for one of the available comfort lounges, and spend most of our stopover time there.

Since this was our first visit to Hamad International Airport in Doha, we weren’t sure what to expect. As it turned out, the public areas of the airport were comfortable, clean and spacious, with plenty of soft-seating areas.

Doha Airport Layover

Plenty of soft seats, but you won’t find many with leg extensions

There is a wide choice of shops, cafes and restaurants open 24 hours.The food on offer is varied and not overly-expensive considering you’re paying airport prices.

All of the outlets accept credit cards, so there’s no need to take any local cash from the ATMs.

Doha Airport Layover

Doha airport layover

I checked out the 2 pay-for-entry lounges.

Both charge around $55 per person. For this, you can use the lounge for 6 hours. They provide comfortable seats (but not recliners), shower facilities, computer and internet access and snacks and drinks.

The Onyx lounge is the more spacious and comfortable of the two, but only provided cold snacks and non-alcoholic drinks.

The Al Maha lounge is smaller, with less comfortable seating. However, it did provide hot and cold food and alcoholic beverages. The trouble was, it was so busy we would have had difficulty finding 2 empty seats.

In the end, we decided to save ourselves $100, and skip the lounges. That $100 would go a lot further spent on our upcoming travels through Indonesia.

Instead, from the Food Court, we shared a tasty Asian meal of seafood soup and sweet and sour chicken with rice for QAR 95 (€24).

Doha Airport Layover

Doha airport layover – Make your coffee last…

We then hunkered down for a sleep on a couple of quite comfortable padded leather seats.

An hour or so before our ongoing connection, we had breakfast of cappuccinos and turkey cheese and egg sandwiches for QAR 84 (€22).

Doha Airport Layover

Doha airport layover

10 hours is a long stopover, and we were pretty jaded by the time we boarded our connection.

Having said that, Doha airport is probably the most comfortable we’ve experienced, even without using their pay-to-stay lounges.


If you enjoy a Doha airport layover, check out our Central Java Travel Plan. You may also like:

Doha Airport Layover

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If it's Tuesday this must be Belgium

If It’s Tuesday 🤡 This Must Be Belgium

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Funnily enough, it was a Tuesday when we arrived in Belgium. We knew this must be Belgium because of the bicycles and the scary clowns…

For those of you (especially Americans) who aren’t familiar with the movie, If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium is a 1969 romantic comedy film made on location throughout Europe. The title was taken from an American cartoon depicting a young woman near a tour bus frustratedly exclaiming “But if it’s Tuesday, it has to be Sienna”, thereby humorously illustrating the whirlwind nature of European tour schedules.

This concept formed the premise of the film’s plot.

Belgium would be the prelude to our trip to Malaysia. This started with an early morning flight with Ryanair, the low-cost carrier, to the small airport near Eindhoven in the Netherlands. From here we took a shuttle bus to Eindhoven train station.

In Eindhoven we had a little time to wander round the bicycle park, which boasted an impressive number of bicycles belonging to the daily commuters.

If It's Tuesday This Must Be Belgium

This Must be Belgium – Bicycle park in front of Eindhoven train station

What we didn’t realize was that this week was carnival time in Holland. We saw some pretty weird and wonderful costumes, and there must definitely have been some Stephen King convention to which everyone seemed to be heading.

If I’d known in advance, I would have donned my own scary clown outfit.

If It's Tuesday This Must Be Belgium

This Must be Belgium – Early March and it’s Carnival!

From Eindhoven, we took a train to Antwerp central station in Belgium.

Built between 1895 and 1905, this is is one of the world’s most impressive railway stations. Dubbed the Railway Cathedral, it is a major landmark in Antwerp.

The rich interior is lavishly decorated with more than twenty different kinds of marble and stone. Not a single square meter either inside or outside the building is not decorated.

If It's Tuesday This Must Be Belgium

This Must be Belgium – The Splendour that is Antwerp Central Station

It was from a small ticket office in the station that we actually received our KLM airline tickets and boarding passes – which we had ordered online three weeks earlier. With an hour or so to spare, we enjoyed coffee and cakes at a small cafe, before taking the high-speed Thalys train directly to Schiphol airport, near Amsterdam.

The prelude to our trip to Malaysia was drawing to a close, and we were looking forward to exchanging the cold of Europe for the heat of the tropics.

Our next stop would be Kuala Lumpur.


If you enjoyed If it’s Tuesday, this must be Belgium, check out our East Malaysia & Borneo adventures. You may also like:


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Short Breaks – Europe

If It's Tuesday 🤡 This Must Be Belgium
If It's Tuesday 🤡 This Must Be Belgium
Funnily enough, it was a Tuesday when we arrived in Belgium. We knew this must be Belgium because of[...]
Edinburgh City Break
Edinburgh City Break
If you ever need an excuse to enjoy an Edinburgh city break, the availability of some great internat[...]
Rome Hotels & Guesthouses
Rome Hotels & Guesthouses
We often use Rome as our launching pad for long-distance flights to Asia. Many of the bigger airline[...]
New Year's Eve Malta Clifftop Camping
New Year's Eve Malta Clifftop Camping
December 31st - While everybody else was putting on their glad rags and preparing for a Yuletide bas[...]
Valencia Long Weekend - Airport Transfers & Accommodation
Valencia Long Weekend - Airport Transfers & Accommodation
With the budget airlines offering ridiculously cheap flights from all over Europe to a variety of de[...]
Amsterdam Layover Hotel & Activities
Amsterdam Layover Hotel & Activities
Our incredibly low-priced Lufthansa flights from Europe to Panama departed from Holland. We therefor[...]
Gdańsk Poland 4-Day Break
Gdańsk Poland 4-Day Break
If you're based in Europe and are looking for an inexpensive long weekend away, you might want to co[...]
Girona City Stopover: Where to stay & eat
Girona City Stopover: Where to stay & eat
Our Girona city stopover allowed us just one night in Girona, before heading south to Barcelona-El P[...]
Madrid Airport Transfers & Where to Stay
Madrid Airport Transfers & Where to Stay
Arriving late in the evening at Madrid airport, we were keen to discover how straightforward our tra[...]

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