If you fly from Asia to Europe, or vice versa, some of the cheapest flights can be found on the middle eastern airlines. While Emirates may be the largest carrier in the middle East, one shouldn’t overlook Qatar Airways. This is especially true because on many Europe to Asia flights Qatar Airways allows you a free stopover in Doha.
I personally never had an intention of seeing Qatar, especially with their archaic restrictions for women. However Cody decided it wouldn’t hurt to check it out for a one night free stopover. Who knows, maybe we would like it.
The one thing you have to do to get the free stopover is book through Qatar Airways website. This means no third parties like Skyscanner or Vayama. Luckily for us, their website was actually the cheapest way anyway!
One of the best things about the stopover program is the hotel deals. If you book the hotel through Qatar along with your flight, the first night is incredibly cheap. You can get a 4 star hotel for around $22 and a 5 star hotel for just 102 Qatari Riyals, which comes out to be $27.54 USD.
We chose The Crowne Plaza as the location was good and they had two pools (indoor and outdoor). I’d say paying less than $30 for a five star hotel for the night is better than chilling in any airport lounge in the world.
All being said, after visiting Doha I can say that I would come back to stay longer. It was absolutely different from what I expected (much better). The people are very nice and helpful, the city itself is beautiful, each building is a piece of art. It was easy to navigate in the city and I (as a woman) didn’t feel any pressure at all. Of course I followed their dress code, but it wasn’t that difficult and overall I was happy with Cody’s choice to stay 38 hours in Doha, Qatar.
Everything you need to know before going to Doha, Qatar is here