Travel, lifestyle, family.

Doha Metro with (and without) kids – everything you need to know before taking your first trip!

24 October, 2021
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This post was inspired by the very many people who don’t travel on Doha Metro only because they don’t know how to go about it, and the misconceptions they have about the experience! I’m a great advocate of traveling on the metro, especially now when traffic inside Doha gets crazy! It’s easy, comfortable, and hassle-free. Granted, it does sometimes get crowded during the rush hours, but it will still take you from point A to point B without a delay, even if it means you will have to stand instead of sitting.

I’ve been getting lots of questions on my social media pages about how to start using the metro and whether it’s suitable to travel with small children. In this post, I’ve gathered the information which you will find useful if you’re new to Doha metro, in the form of Frequently Asked Questions. I will also recommend certain Metro routes which are fun to take with your kids!

Inside the Doha Metro train.

WHERE WILL THE METRO TAKE ME?

As it is right now, Doha Metro consists of three lines: Red Line, Green Line, and Gold Line.

Red Line

It will take you from Lusail all the way to Al Wakra or Hamad International Airport (every second train).

Some places worth mentioning along this line are:

— Qatar University

— Katara

— 5/6 Park (get off at Al Qassar station)

— Gate Mall & City Center Mall (get off at DECC station)

— Al Bidda Park

— Msheireb Downtown

— Hamad International Airport

Green Line

It starts in Mansoura and runs to Al Riffa, which is more commonly known as Mall of Qatar station ๐Ÿ™‚

Some places worth mentioning along this line are:

— Msheireb Downtown

— Al Bidda Park

— Hamad Hospital

— Qatar National Library

— Mall of Qatar (get off at Al Riffa station)

Gold Line

It runs from Ras Bu Abboud to Aziziya.

Some places worth mentioning along this line are:

— National Museum of Qatar

— Souq Waqif

— Msheireb Downtown

— Villaggio Mall (get off at Aziziya station)

There is one main changing station between the lines (located in Msheireb), and one small one between the Red Line and the Green Line (located in Al Bidda).

Doha Metro Map

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST? WHERE TO BUY & TOP UP A METRO CARD?

Since the pandemic, one-time-use paper metro tickets are not available anymore (which is also great for the environment!). Instead, travelers need to buy a metro card which comes in two different variations: a standard card and a Gold Club card. The standard card will grant you access to the standard carriage (or family carriage if you’re a single female, or travel with a family), while with the Gold Club card you can access the VIP section with fancy seats ๐Ÿ™‚ You can top up your card at the station (in the machines or in the customer service office), or online (via the mobile app or on the Qatar Rail website).

Standard Card

If you’re buying a new card, you need to pay a one-time fee of 10 QAR. Then you top it up with 5 QAR minimum (a maximum amount of 500 QAR can be held on one card). Cards are available for purchasing in offices located inside metro stations, as well as in Carrefour, Jumbo, Al-Meera, Lulu & Family Food Centre branches around Doha.

Each trip in a standard carriage costs 2 QAR (but if you take more than 3 trips a day, you will only be charged 6 QAR in total – kind of a daily pass, which is applied automatically). The good news is that children younger than 5 travel for free!

Gold Club

Gold Club travel card is a much bigger expense. The card itself will cost you 100 QAR, and can be only purchased in the dedicated offices on the metro stations (not available in the supermarkets like the standard cards).

Each trip in the Gold Club will cost you 10 QAR, and the “daily” pass will be applied once you travel 3 times (30 QAR).

Duration of the trip

Something that not many people taking the metro in Qatar realize: once you pass the gates, you have 90 minutes to complete your journey! It’s more than enough to get you to your destination, but it’s definitely useful to know that you’re not allowed to stay “inside” the metro indefinitely ๐Ÿ™‚

What else should you know?

Your metro card can be registered in Qatar Rail mobile app! This app is awesome in general because it provides you with a route planner. By registering your card you can top it up online, as well as check how much credit you have left, and what trips have you recently taken. The app will also provide you with general updates regarding the metro service.

Metro card

WHAT ARE DOHA METRO’S MOST IMPORTANT RULES & REGULATIONS?

— Because of the current pandemic situation, you will only be able to travel on the metro if you have green/golden Ehteraz (children are excluded). Your temperature will also be measured before the gates.

— Children below 9 years old are not allowed to take Doha Metro alone – they must be accompanied by a person aged 16 years or above.

— You should behave yourself while on a train ๐Ÿ™‚ Annoying other passengers can get you in trouble. That includes activities such as: singing, dancing, distributing brochures, eating, smoking, spitting, etc. Fun fact: per the rules, even chewing gum is not allowed! Not sure if anyone would enforce that though.

— You can travel on Doha Metro with luggage free of cost, but you have to make sure it doesn’t disturb anyone or block any entrance.

— Bicycles are NOT allowed on the metro UNLESS they’re the folding type and are folded during the duration of your trip.

— Animals are also not allowed on the metro, with an exception of service dogs (assisting visually impaired passengers, etc.).

— Photography is allowed inside the carriages and stations, provided that it’s for personal use and it respects the privacy of other travelers.

Changing station in Msheireb

WHAT IF THERE’S NO STATION NEAR ME?

Not all hope is lost! ๐Ÿ™‚ There are two ways that can get you to the nearest station free of charge! (Apart from walking, which is always free ๐Ÿ˜‰ ).

MetroLink

MetroLink is a network of free buses connecting Doha Metro stations to nearby areas. It’s been shut down last year due to the pandemic, but has since started resuming its operations! MetroLink is operated by Mowasalat and you can find a detailed schedule of the buses HERE. Most of the lines start operating before 6am and run until past 10pm, every 12 minutes.

MetroExpress

It’s like a free taxi service which will take you to the nearest metro station. It operates on-demand and can be booked through a mobile app by registered users. Take note though that it only operates around certain designated metro stations, so it’s best to download their mobile app & check in advance if the station near you is included! Similar to MetroLink, MetroExpress starts operating before 6am, and finishes around 11pm.

Lusail Metro Station

IS IT EASY TO TAKE KIDS ON THE METRO?

YES! I can’t highlight this enough! I’ve received countless messages from parents who said they know that their kids would enjoy a metro ride, but they’re afraid it will be too difficult to travel on Doha Metro with children. On the contrary – it’s super easy and convenient. If your child is below 5 years old, they won’t even need a metro card ๐Ÿ™‚ All stations are stroller friendly (equipped with elevators, wide gates and wide passages), and the carriages have designated seats for parents with babies and parents with strollers. There’s also plenty of staff around the stations ready to assist in case of any difficulty.

Depending on where you’re headed and what your child would enjoy, you can follow one of the routes which I’ve outlined below.

Inside the Metro with kids

WHICH ROUTES ARE BEST TO MAKE THE KIDS HAPPY?

Here’s a selection of routes which I personally tried and tested with my kids:

  1. The easiest route: travel the Red Line from one end to another (Lusail to Wakra or Wakra to Lusail). In my opinion, Red Line has the most fun elevated parts, especially one between Lusail and Legtaifiya. You can see the skyline and take some great photos!
  2. Get on the Red Line in Lusail or Wakra, travel all the way to Msheireb and switch to Gold Line (changing trains is fun for the kids too!). Get off on the last station (Aziziya). This won’t take a long time, but will allow you to take your child for a treat in Villaggio Mall afterwards ๐Ÿ™‚
  3. If you have plenty of time, get on the metro (Red Line) in Wakra or Lusail. Change in Al Bidda to the Green Line and travel all the way to Al Riffa! This is the Mall of Qatar station which is super convenient because the station is connected to the mall directly with a tunnel and you won’t have to step outside even for a bit! We like to take this route and then take our eldest son to the cinema in Mall of Qatar ๐Ÿ™‚
  4. Get on any station along the Red Line or Green Line and get off in Al Bidda for a hassle free trip to the park! ๐Ÿ™‚

Detailed route inside the train

ANYTHING ELSE I NEED TO KNOW?

If you’re planning to travel on Doha Metro with kids and don’t live near a metro station, I suggest you choose one of the stations with Park&Ride facilities available. This way you can conveniently drive your car to the station and leave it there on free parking. The Park&Ride which I’ve used are located in: Lusail Station, Qatar University Station, Al Qassar Station, Wakra Station.

It’s also good to know the operating hours of the metro – many people make the mistake of trying to travel on Friday morning hoping it won’t be crowded. It won’t because it’s closed. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Below are the timings of Doha Metro:

Saturday to Wednesday: 6 am to 11 pm
Thursday: 6 am to 12 midnight
Friday: 2 pm to 12 midnight

For the most fun experience, don’t head straight to the family carriage. Instead, go to the opposite side of the train. There are two seats there where your child can pretend to be driving the train! Those seats have the best view and if you get on one of the early stations, chances are you’ll find them empty.

The best seat!

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Those were the FAQs. I hope they gave you a general idea about Doha Metro and encouraged you to try it! ๐Ÿ™‚ I know that you might still have questions about the Metro. If you do – I would recommend you head to an amazing article on hapondo.qa (click HERE!), it’s the most comprehensive source of information about Doha Metro that I managed to find online ๐Ÿ™‚

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