HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! This is our very first blogpost for 2018 and we hope you give it some love in the same way you have supported us in our previous posts. And in line with our newest blog direction – #BLQWEEKENDS, we are doing Travel Blogs every Thursday, thus the theme: TOURS-DAY. This is usually the best day to start a weekend trip somewhere that’s within easy access from Qatar.
And on our first edition, here’s a list of 18 cities that’s only less than 5 hours away from Doha. It is probably some of the most ideal weekend travel destinations for many residents wanting to have alternative getaway ideas.
The parameters i used in ranking these cities are my personal considerations in choosing a travel destination (these are also the usual/common considerations). Kindly find time to go through my disclaimers.
POPULARITY. Personally, i love to travel to places known for all its familiar tourist spots. But given a chance, I would like also to explore the least visited places with promising landscape, culture and history. If for the blog or social media purposes, there’s no more thrill in putting a face on a familiar tourist spot. Readers will somehow find it interesting to discover new places that they’ve never imagined to be possible.
TRAVEL TIME. For this post, our focus is short term travel suggestions, probably a weekend or a short holiday getaway for solo travelers, families or group of friends. In this case, we don’t want to go to a place where travel will eat-up much of our time. Also, we are considering those with direct flights via our very own flag carrier – Qatar Airways (this is not a sponsored post by the way).
|4 HRS UP||1|
VISA REQUIREMENT. One of the major considerations when traveling is the requirement for VISA. In this case, a PHILIPPINE PASSPORT HOLDER was my reference (a category that may also be the same for most Asians). While there would be special privileges for other countries (based on their passport index), it is still best to double check with the Embassy offices for visa requirements as this may change from time to time.
|VISA UPON ARRIVAL||2|
AIRFARE. This is based on Qatar Airway’s economy class fare online. As all travelers should know, fares change and may vary depending on the season, day, and demand. Since usually, the fare constitutes the bulk of a traveler’s expense, one must be wise in booking in advance or during promo period and/or use earned Qmiles to get all possible savings and privileges.
After checking on these parameters, i came up with MY OWN RANKING of the top 18 cities that we can visit that’s within 5 hours (or less) flying distance from Doha. The city with the highest accumulated points are ranked at the top spot.
MUSCAT. Only about one and a half hour flight from Doha, Oman is one that is good to visit this 2018. While it requires visa that costs around QAR 190, the fare is relatively cheaper and can be visited even during the weekend.
(Photo from the instagram account of Oman Ministry of Tourism)
YEREVAN. Following the popularity of their neighboring country – Georgia, Armenia is also fast becoming a destination of choice because of the Visa-On-Arrival privilege given to GCC residents. The inexpensive cost of living and a laid back lifestyle also attracts many budget-conscious travelers.
(Photo from the instagram account of Armenia Travel Official)
BAKU. A former member of the Soviet Republic, Azerbaijan can also be another popular tourist destination for Qatar residents. With direct flights via Qatar Airways, this nation bounded by the Caspian Sea and Caucasus Mountains surely gives a relaxing getaway for weekend travelers.
(Photo from the instagram account of Azerbaijan and Travel)
KOCHI. Also known as Cochin, is a city in southwest India’s coastal Kerala state. Being the hometown of many of our colleagues and friends here in Qatar, it is interesting to visit their place and explore their wonderful landscape that is very similar to most Southeast Asian countries.
(Photo from the instagram account of Kerala Tourism)
NICOSIA. Cyprus is one of the least popular destinations in our list. But i believe that it offers many picturesque landscape that will leave any travelers in awe.
(Photo from the instagram account of Cyprus Tourism Organization)
ATHENS. Mention Santorini and there’s no denying that this is one of the “must-visit place before you die”. A postcard perfect scenery is almost always instagram-worthy. However, there’s more to explore in this Greek nation with their culture, their passionate music, inspired cuisine and thrill-seeking adventures.
(Photo from the instagram account of Greek National Tourism Organisation)
Here is a summary that may be useful when deciding on which city to travel first. They are only suggestions and the list may go on….
|CITY||POPULARITY||TRAVEL TIME||VISA REQT||FARE||TOTAL|
|MUSCAT||2||1 HR||35 MINS||REQUIRED||1295||10|
|KUWAIT||2||1 HR||35 MINS||REQUIRED||1295||10|
|DHAKA||3||4 HRS||45 MINS||VOA||1385||9|
|TEHRAN||3||2 HRS||5 MINS||VOA||3535||9|
|DELHI||2||3 HRS||30 MINS||VOA||2025||8|
|KATHMANDU||2||4 HRS||20 MINS||VOA||1665||8|
|BAKU||3||3 HRS||5 MINS||REQUIRED||2495||8|
|KOCHI||2||4 HRS||30 MINS||VOA||1445||7|
|TBILISI||1||3 HRS||25 MINS||VOA||2485||7|
|LAHORE||2||3 HRS||15 MINS||REQUIRED||2745||7|
|AMMAN||1||2 HRS||55 MINS||REQUIRED||1895||7|
|ISTANBUL||1||4 HRS||10 MINS||REQUIRED||1955||6|
|NICOSIA||3||4 HRS||35 MINS||REQUIRED||3755||6|
|BEIRUT||2||4 HRS||30 MINS||REQUIRED||2215||6|
|ATHENS||1||4 HRS||45 MINS||4005||4|
HAVE A SAFE AND PURPOSEFUL TRAVEL THIS 2018!
All photos used herein are taken from the official instagram accounts of the respective Tourism Agency of each country. For presentation purposes only (this is not a sponsored or commissioned post).