Doha’s Souq Waqif recreates the romance of a bygone era: The vast maze replicates a traditional market much like the one that stood on that very site for centuries. These days, it remains an integral part of Qatari life, and for visitors, it’s the perfect place to get lost for a few hours. You’ll find yourself browsing gold and pearls one minute, then fresh coriander and chillies the next. Indulge in some good-natured haggling over scarves, tea sets, fragrant oud incense, and other finds that make for good souvenirs, or splurge a bit on a local work of art. There are plenty of nods to Qatari traditions—don’t miss the Falcon Souk for a tour of the falcon hospital; and be sure to keep your eye out for the policemen, dressed in 1940’s-era uniforms. When wandering through the labyrinth gets tiring, pop into one of the shisha cafés for a break with tea, a kunafeh pastry, and maybe a pipe.
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