A unique country in the north of Eastern Arabia, Kuwait is gradually climbing up the list of tourist destinations. With the extension of its coast over 500 kilometers, Kuwait is situated at the tip of the Persian Gulf. This rich country borders several other countries, such as Iraq from the north, Saudi Arabia from the South, and maritime borders with Iran.
In this article we’ll get to know a bit more about Kuwait, what you can see and do there, some interesting facts about the country and perhaps a bit about the customs and traditions there.
A bit of history about Kuwait
The current State of Kuwait has an ancient history dating back to 8,000 BC, as evidenced by artifacts found near an oil field in Burgan, which signify that Kuwait’s inhabitants were fearsome sea farers. The flooding in the Persian Gulf Basin, led to the formation of the unique shape of Kuwait as it is today. During the ancient times, Kuwait has always been at the heart of Mesopotamian trade routes.
As part of the Dilmun civilization, for almost 2,000 years between 4,000 BC and 2,000 BC, the most important island of Kuwait was Failaka, which flourished greatly. Many other civilizations came after that, from the Babylonians, the Achaemenids, the Greeks, the Parthians, the Sassanids, up until the Rashidun Caliphate.
Under the Rashidun Caliphate, Kuwait prospered greatly, the fertile port city was not only a key trade route, it was also one of the resting places for pilgrims, making their way from Iraq to Hijaz. Trader caravans between Persia and Mesopotamia found their rest at Kazma as well. Even one of the Arab’s renowned poets, Al-Farazdaq, was born in Kazma.
Starting from the 1520, Kuwait came under Portuguese control, and the city became more of a fishing village. However, the city was always governed through a system of Sheikhs. Sheikhdom bounced between several tribes, until it settled with the Utub tribe, before the city came under Ottoman control and one of Great Britain’s de facto protectorates.
The maritime city of Kuwait greatly proposed throughout the 18th century. The city’s importance as a trade route increased with merchants fleeing Ottoman persecution in Basra, Iraq. Kuwaiti ships were the most famous vessels to break through the seas, until the city was known as the Marseilles of the Persian Gulf.
Despite the initial boom following Kuwait becoming a British protectorate, it eventually suffered from great depression due to several economic blockades, the most important of which, was the one forced by the United Kingdom itself, against Kuwait, for supporting the Ottoman Empire during the First World War.
Through the first half of the 20th century, the deterioration only continued as interference from the neighboring Saudi Arabia with the intention of annexing as much of the Kuwaiti lands as possible, leading to war and tens of deaths. It was not until late 1930s, that oil was discovered in Kuwait, and the odds began to shift.
Kuwait became an independent country in 1961, and the British protectorate ended. However, Iraq was unsatisfied with this newly achieved sovereign status, and has picked problems, even wars such as the Iraqi Invasion in 1990 and the Gulf War. Years of instability plagued the Kuwaiti nation, problems with Iraq were the tip of the iceberg, with lower oil prices, the Kuwaiti economy suffered greatly.
Since the 2000s and Kuwait has been suffering from a fluctuating political situation due to the disagreements between both, the government and the parliament. This further hindered investment in the county. Despite this, Kuwait was the highest among Arab countries regarding the Human Development Index.
Oil prices began to decline starting from the 2010s, and the belt has become a bit tighter for Kuwait, as with many countries around the world. Investments had to be reshuffled in order to continue major infrastructure projects, to continue the development of several areas in the country. The country’s increased relations with China have helped in giving the Kuwaiti economy a push.
The Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah Causeway, the Kuwait National Cultural District, comprising the Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Cultural Center, Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Cultural Center, Al-Shaheed Park and Al-Salam Palace, were among the infrastructure and cultural projects inaugurated throughout the country in the past years.
When is the best time to visit Kuwait?
Since summers in Kuwait can be unbearably hot, the best time to visit would be during late autumn, winter and spring seasons. The country enjoys a colder winter than the neighboring Gulf countries, it is also less humid than countries in the Arabian Peninsula.
The sand-filled and infused with thunderstorms summer season is over by November. Temperatures during the summer are amid the 40s degrees Celsius, of the hottest on earth, drop during the winter season, to 20s degrees Celsius.
How can you visit Kuwait? Visa Information!
Through the website of the Ministry of Interior of Kuwait, you can check the countries which residents can apply to obtain an electronic visa to visit the State of Kuwait. You can apply to obtain the e-visa and pay for the application as well. The website also allows you to check the status of and follow-up on your application, answer time to the application is between a day and three work days.
Things to see and do in Kuwait
The State of Kuwait has been taking pride in its unique heritage among the Gulf countries, with developments of different heritage locations, to reshape the way the country is seen. There are many landmarks, museums, parks and fun and entertaining games to enjoy.
Kuwait City is the capital of the State of Kuwait, located in the heart of the country, it’s also the largest of Kuwait’s cities. Most of the Kuwait’s population live in Kuwait City, which is also home to government offices as well as most of the headquarters of banks and corporations. Here are the most significant things you can do in this city.
Landmarks and Historical buildings in Kuwait City
1. Grand Mosque:
Construction of the official mosque of Kuwait, and its largest one, began in 1979 and the mosque opened to worshippers in 1986. The mosque’s main prayer hall is 72 meters wide on each side and it can accommodate up to 10,000 men and 950 women in their own prayer hall.
The mosque has one minaret and one dome, that is decorated with the 99 names of Allah. However, the most distinctive feature of the Grand Mosque is the 144 windows on all sides, which help illuminate the interior with natural lighting. Beneath the eastern courtyard of the mosque, there’s a five-floor car parking that can accommodate up to 550 cars.
- Cost: Free.
- Opening Hours: Weekdays from 9:00 to 11:00 am, and from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm.
2. Kuwait Towers:
These interesting looking towers are considered a symbol of the State of Kuwait. The three towers are in fact a part of the system of the Kuwait Water Towers, which comprised of six groups of towers. Overlooking the Persian Gulf, Kuwait Towers were inaugurated in 1979 and underwent restoration works in 2012 and reopened in 2016.
The tallest tower has two spheres, the lower half of the first sphere is a water tank, while the upper half is home to a restaurant, lounge, a café and a reception hall. The second sphere finishes a complete turn every 30 minutes and is home to a café overlooking the city from above.
While the second tower merely acts as a water tower, the third tower isn’t a water tower, but holds illumination equipment for the other two towers. The three towers are known to the public just as Al-Abraj or The Towers.
- Opening Hours: Every day from 8:00 am to 11:00 pm.
3. Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Cultural Center:
In honor of Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad, Emir from 1977 to 2006, this cultural center was built from 2013 to 2016. Combining expressionist architecture with traditional Islamic architecture of using two-dimensions, the result was an unusual four-building cultural center.
This cultural center is also known as the Kuwait Opera House, which is the largest in the Middle East and is part of the Kuwait National Cultural District. The center is basically a cultural complex comprising of theaters, music centers, concert halls, cinemas, conference and exhibition halls, libraries, a public park and a center for historical documents.
- Opening Hours: Every day from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm.
- Location: Arabian Gulf St., Kuwait City.
4. Sadu House:
To celebrate and conserve the weaving heritage of the Kuwaiti people, Sadu House is where you get to see, learn, and educate yourself about one of the most important industries of this country. Youssef Al-Marzouk built Sadu House in 1936, which at the time had Indian decorations in four main open courtyards.
The government represented by the Ministry of Information purchased the house in the 1970s and the National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters acquired the house afterwards. In 1980, Sadu House opened as a center dedicated to Sadu, or the weaving traditions of the Bedouins.
Sadu House currently hosts weaving workshops, events and programs. The House also has a museum showcasing antique works of weaving, there’s a gift shop and a library.
- Opening Hours: From 8:00 am to 1:00 pm, and from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm.
- Location: Al-Sadu Society, Arabian Gulf Street, Qibla, Kuwait.
5. Mirror House:
This private museum is the only in the world that is covered, completely, in mirror mosaic by a single artist. Established and decorated with the works of both artists Khalifa and Lidia Qattan, it is also their private residence. Lidia Qattan gives private tours herself of the house and takes visitors on an unforgettable journey through its masterpieces.
Since it is a private residence and museum, tours are only available through prior booking through their website. After filling up a form, the museum’s administration contacts you regarding your visit. Also, for further sanitary reasons, shoes are not allowed inside the museum.
- Opening Hours: From 10:00 am to 12:00 pm and from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm, from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm.
- Location: Qadisiya block 9, street 94, House 17, 35809, Kuwait.
6. Tareq Rajab Museum of Islamic Arts:
This museum is home to over 30,000 artefacts, collected over the last 60 years by Tareq Rajab and Jehan Rajab. They started the museum back in 1980 and through the years, they collected Islamic and pre-Islamic pieces including ceramics, glass, Islamic armors, costumes, accessories and jewelry. Almost 10,000 pieces are permanently displayed at the museum including some of the extensive ceramics’ collection.
The Tareq Rajab Museum is one of two entities founded by Tareq Rajab, the other being Tareq Rajab Museum of Islamic Calligraphy. This museum’s collections are mainly divided across several exhibition rooms, Manuscripts and Calligraphy, the Gold Room and Ceramics.
- Cost: KWD2 (€5.95)
- Opening Hours: Weekdays from 9:00 am to 12:00 and from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm, Fridays from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm.
- Location: Block 12, Street 5, Building 22, Jabriya, Kuwait.
7. Al-Qurain Martyrs Museum:
This museum tells the story where Kuwaiti nationalists fought off the invading Iraqi forces in the 1990 invasion. The nationalists had simple guns and were able to hold their stand for hours against the heavily armed Iraqi forces. Some were able to escape and eventually, the house was stormed and all were killed, considered as martyrs.
- Cost: Free.
- Opening Hours: Every day from 10:10 am to 11:55 pm.
- Location: 3WC+Q6H, Daher, Kuwait.
8. Kuwait National Museum:
One of the best places to learn about the history of the country is this museum. The first establishment of a national museum goes back to early 60s, it only opened its doors in 1986. Like almost all cultural entities in Kuwait, the national museum suffered great damage during the Iraqi Invasion. However, restoration works got underway quickly and the museum reopened its doors.
The museum is divided into four sections, Kuwait Heritage, Archeology, Planetarium and Al-Muhallab Dhow. The diverse collection on display inside the museum reflect the diversity of the Kuwaiti nation. Al-Muhallab Dhow is a historical ship with a long history of sails across the seas, it eventually settled in the middle of the museum as a gift after its last trip in 1949.
- Cost: Free.
- Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm and from 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm. Fridays from 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm.
- Location: Arabian Gulf Street next to the Seif Palace and Kuwait’s National Assembly, Kuwait City, Kuwait.
9. Tareq Rajab Museum of Islamic Calligraphy:
Inspired by his grandfather, a collector of Islamic calligraphy including handwritten copies of the Quran, Tareq Rajab took on calligraphy and made the decision to start his own collection of calligraphic writings. Rajab co-founded this museum and hosted the British Ambassador to Kuwait at the time to open it in 2007.
The museum is part of the Tareq Rajab Museum and is divided into three rooms, Calligraphers and Scientists, Holy Coverings and The Chinese Room. The rooms display a huge number of mediums with Islamic calligraphy such as art, manuscripts, glass, metalwork and textile. Of the most prominent pieces are works by Chinese calligraphers and what is known as burqa or curtain used to cover the door of the Holy Ka’aba.
- Cost: KWD2 (€5.95)
- Opening Hours: Saturday to Thursday from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, and from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Fridays from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm.
- Location: Block 12, Street 1, Building 2, Jabriya, Kuwait.
10. Dickson House Cultural Center:
Harold Richard Patrick Dickson was a British colonel stationed in Kuwait as an administrator, during the 1920s and 1940s. He moved with his family in 1929 into a house, once built for a Kuwaiti merchant back in 1870. The family lived in the house until Dickson passed away in 1959, and his wife continued living there until she had to be evacuated during the Iraqi Invasion.
The Dickson House suffered great damage during the Iraqi Invasion, however, it was restored to its former glory by the Kuwaiti National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters. The now cultural center building is a prominent example of Kuwaiti architectural style of the 19th century with the building’s whopping 30 rooms.
The beautiful and bright blue and white colors of the building are very inviting. Inside the center you can learn more about the Dickson family, the ties between Kuwait and Britain and more about the writings of Dickson about Kuwait and his travels as a British envoy.
- Opening Hours: Sunday to Thursday from 8:00 am to 12:30 pm, and from 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm. Friday and Saturday from 8:00 am to 11:00 am and from 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm.
- Location: Arabian Gulf St, Kuwait City, Kuwait.
11. Modern Art Museum of Kuwait:
This modern art museum was once a school, built in 1939, where many notable Kuwaitis graduated from; housing the Eastern School or Madrassa Al-Sharqiya. Since 2003, the building hosts the Modern Art Museum of Kuwait, with a wide collection on display of Kuwaiti, Arab and international artists.
- Cost: Free.
- Opening Hours: Sunday to Thursday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, and from 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm. Closed on Fridays and Saturdays.
- Location: Ibraheem Al Mudhaf St, Kuwait City, Kuwait.
12. National Library of Kuwait:
The foundation for a national library in Kuwait goes back to 1923, with the working efforts of several Kuwaiti writers. The first collection of the library back then came from the Kuwaiti Charitable Society. In 1994, an Amiri Decree ordered the establishment of the current national library, which is responsible for the collection, organization, preservation and the documentation of the national Kuwaiti heritage, as well as Kuwaiti cultural and artistic production.
The library accepts visitors, however, it doesn’t offer borrowing services.
- Opening Hours: Sunday to Thursday from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm, closed on Fridays and Saturdays.
- Location: Block 15, Qibla, Arabian Gulf Rd., Kuwait City, Kuwait.
13. Holy Family Cathedral Parish:
Serving as a house of God for over 50 years in the State in Kuwait, the Holy Family Cathedral Parish is warm-colored building with a backdrop of deep sea water. The sandstone church is the work of Italian architect Emilio Tenca in 1956, on the land allocated for the service of Christians in Kuwait by the Amir and the Kuwaiti government.
A distinguishable feature of the parish is the alter of Our Lady of Arabia, which is seen by many a pilgrimage site. Services in the church are conducted in several languages, English, Arabic, Latin, French, Tagalog, Tamil, Malayalam and Konkani, which is an evidence of the diversity of the Christian community in Kuwait.
- Location: Soor St, Kuwait City, Kuwait.
14. Al-Salam Palace Museum:
Once the official guesthouse of all prominent personalities from around the world, presidents, kings, diplomats and high profile visitors, this palace stands today to tell the history of Kuwait. The idea of the palace was the dream of Amir Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, who wanted to have a palace built for his family and commissioned Egyptian architect Medhat Al-Abed to bring his vision into reality.
Construction works began in 1960 and the palace was inaugurated in 1964, the same year, the palace received its first guests. Since its inauguration and until it was destroyed in the Iraqi Invasion, the palace received about 166 world leaders.
After its destruction during the Iraqi Invasion, the palace remained in ruins until Sheikha Mona Al-Jaber Al-Sabah suggested the restoration of the palace to its former glory and turning it into a museum. After years of restoration work, Al-Salam Palace was opened in 2019 as a museum telling the history of Kuwait through the 15 rulers of the country.
The circular design of the palace is something to marvel upon both on the outside as well as on the inside. Currently, the museum tells the modern history of Kuwait through a collection of rare artifacts and the museum has been equipped with interactive technology to suit modern generations.
- Cost: Starting from KWD8 (€23.79)
- Opening Hours: Every day from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.
- Location: Shuwaikh, Kuwait City, Kuwait.
Fun Activities in Kuwait City
1. Al-Shaheed Park:
Part of the Kuwait National Cultural District, this park is the largest urban park in the State of Kuwait. The park is full of pathways, outdoor theaters, two museums, venues for theatre performances, art exhibitions, music concerts and all cultural events and performances you can think of. This is in addition to a skating park, a parkour area, spaces for interactive games and board games for youth.
The two museums at the park are the Remembrance Museum, telling the story of the Kuwaiti nation, with four of the most important battles represented in the center of the museum. Through “Story Booths”, visitors can record their own experience which will be added to the museum’s records.
The other museum is the Habitat Museum, which gives visitors an overview of the seed and habitat native to Kuwait. Through a “Seed Ticket” the administration gives visitors at entry, the chip inside the ticket, gives visitors information about the seed and use the interactive facilities available at the museum. There are two tours available at the park, one is a general tour and the second is a tour for kids.
- Opening Hours: Every day from 5:00 am to 12:00 am, the park outside the available facilities is open 24 hours.
- Location: Opposite Al Tijaria Tower, Soor Street, Kuwait City.
2. Kuwait Zoo:
Kuwait Zoo started back in 1968, and many of the previous efforts went to waste when the Iraqi Invasion took place in 1990 and many of the animals were looted or killed in the invasion. After that, the rebuilding began and the zoo reopened its doors in 1993 with new animals joining the family of the zoo.
- Cost: KWD0.5 (€1.49), children are free.
- Opening Hours: Temporarily closed due to Covid-19.
- Location: Omariya on Route 55 just after the 5th Ring Road, towards Farwaniya.
3. Al-Kout Beach:
If you feel like taking a walk along the beach, work out, go for a swim or just chill by the shore, then Al-Kout Beach is the perfect spot for you. The beach is a part of an entire Kout development project, including a mall, market, a five-star hotel, marina and beach.
- Opening Hours: Anytime.
- Location: Coastline C, Fahaheel district, Al-Dabbous St., Kuwait City.
4. Bayan Botanical Garden:
This is like a small rainforest in the middle of the desert, Bayan Botanical Garden opened in 2014. The garden presents four different climate zones that host 6 different gardens. Inside, there are plants from various parts of the world as well as plants native to Kuwait. The place is great for the entire family to enjoy.
- Cost: Free.
- Opening Hours: Thursday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. Closed on other days.
- Location: Road 22, Bayan, Al Asimah, Kuwait.
5. Kobar Island:
This small almost-circular island in the middle of the Persian Gulf overlooked by Kuwait, is a popular location for scuba divers to explore the diverse and colorful coral reefs surrounding the island. Kobar Island is 30 kilometers from the south coast of Kuwait and is known as a breeding colony for the white-cheecked terns.
- Opening Hours: Daytime.
- Location: Kubbar Island, Kuwait.
6. Mindmaze Kuwait:
Fancy a bit of excitement and a mind-buzzling puzzle? You can try one of the escape rooms here at Mindmaze Kuwait. You can book one of the themed rooms and test your skills as a group for 60 minutes. Through their website you can book several rooms together at the same time and even challenge your friends who breaks out first.
- Cost: Starting from KWD28 (€83.26).
- Opening Hours: Every day from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm.
- Location: Al-Tilal Commercial Complex, Jahra Rd, Shuwaikh Industrial, Kuwait.
7. Trapped Inn:
This different kind of escape games takes place in a haunted hotel, where you need to solve puzzles, mysteries and riddles. Every room in the hotel has a different theme and puzzles to solve to test your communication, logical thinking and analysis skills, and there 8 different rooms in the hotel to enjoy.
- Cost: Starting from KWD20 (€59.47).
- Opening Hours: Every day from 12:00 pm to midnight.
- Location: Symphony Mall, Salem Al-Mubarak Street, Salmiya, Kuwait.
8. Pro Kart:
This huge karting arena will allow you to enjoy your time with friends and family. There’s even a track for kids where they too can join in the fun, since children from age 5 are allowed to enter. Recently, there’s a new track at the arena and a new arcade game room. The arena holds several championships every now and then, which they announce on their official website.
- Opening Hours: Every day from 11:00 am to 11:30 pm.
- Location: On The 6th Ring Between Road 55 And 50, Dhajeej, Kuwait.
Shopping in Kuwait City
1. The Avenues:
The largest shopping mall in Kuwait, it is said if you’ve visited Kuwait and haven’t paid at least one trip to The Avenues, then your trip is never complete. With over 800 stores, including retailers, high-end shops, top brands, games’ shops, restaurants, cafés and even a great kidzania, you will surely have a great time here.
The mall opened its doors in 2007, with its different phases completed over the years. One of the best features in the mall is the Grand Avenue, which was designed to be like an outside area. The Grand Avenue’s roof is transparent to complete the outdoor experience.
- Opening Hours: Some shops open at 8:00 am but all retailers open from 10:00 am. Closing times vary but all closes by midnight.
- Location: Ghazali St, Al-Rai, Kuwait.
2. Souk Al-Mubarakiya:
This historic souk in the Kuwaiti capital was once a trade center before oil discovery in the country, making the souk one of the oldest in the country. The 200-year-old souk suffered great damage during the Iraqi Invasion and with great efforts, the market regained its traditional feel.
At Souk Al-Mubarakiya you can find everything you can think of. From spice stalls, dates, honey, oud and musk, Persian carpets, traditional clothes and costumes, accessories shops, even gold and silver shops, all at great prices. You can also find grocery items, meat, fish, vegetables and sweets.
There are two museums in the vicinity of the souk, Sheikh Mubarak Kiosk and Kuwait’s first pharmacy, admission to both is free. You can have some traditionally-made tea, over coals, near Masjid Al-Bahar or the Sea Mosque, you can also enjoy a traditional Arab or Persian meal in the open air.
- Opening Hours: Weekdays from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm, Friday from 2:00 pm to 11:30 pm, Saturday from 9:00 am to 11:00 pm.
- Location: Between Abdullah Al-Mubarak, Abdullah Al-Salem and Palestine Streets, behind McDonalds, Kuwait City.
3. 360 Mall:
Although not as big as The Avenues, 360 Mall has many high-end shops between its alleys, as well as restaurants, cafés, cinema, a bowl room and a Carrefour hypermarket. Opened in 2009, the mall has been seeing more visitors every year with their constant efforts so the mall can accommodate the increasing number of visitors.
- Opening Hours: Stores are mainly open between Sunday and Wednesday from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm, and from 10:00 am to 11:00 pm between Thursday and Saturday. Other facilities have their own opening times.
- Location: Sixth Ring Road, South Surra Al Zahra’a Area, Kuwait City.
4. Marina Mall:
With a view over the Marina Yacht Club, this mall is one of the biggest in the country after The Avenues. Marina Mall opened its doors in 1997, making it one of the oldest in the country. There is a great variety of stores, restaurants, cafés to enjoy in the mall as well as an interesting bridge to cross to get to the Crescent Marina.
- Opening Hours: Weekdays from 9:00 am to 11:00 pm, Friday and Saturday from 9:00 am to 12:00 am.
- Location: Salem Al Mubarak St, Salmiya, Kuwait City.
Murouj is not much of a shopping area, as much as it is an experience. This outdoor area offers visitors a unique dining experience, surrounded by an eighteen-hole golf course, and with their neighbors being the Hunting and Equestrian Club. With a great variety of restaurants, cafés and cuisines, the ambiance at Murouj is definitely one not to be missed.
- Opening Hours: Sunday to Wednesday from 6:00 am to 11:00 pm, Thursday to Saturday from 6:00 am to 12:00 am. Restaurants and cafés have different opening times than Murouj.
- Location: Off 6th Ring Road, Near Hunting & Equestrian Club 29930 Kuwait City, Kuwait.
6. Souk Sharq:
With its beginning as a traditional market, Souk Sharq became one of the biggest shopping centers in Kuwait, along with the modernization efforts after the discovery of crude oil. The Souk has two floors with lots restaurants, cafés and high-end shops native to Britain, such as The Body Shop, Boots, GNC, River Island, Debenham’s and more.
- Opening Hours: Every day from 10:00 am to 11:00 am.
- Location: Persian, Arabian Gulf St, Kuwait City, Kuwait.
7. The Fish Market:
Located beside Souk Sharq and the Dhow Harbor, the central Fish Market gives you a taste of the local life. All fish in the market is fresh and caught daily, and well, it smells like a fish market. However, the market is squeaky clean, fully equipped with restaurants and bathrooms as well. There are guiding signs inside, in both Arabic and English and the market is beautifully decorated as well.
- Opening Hours: Every day from 5:00 am to 12:00 am.
- Location: Arabian Gulf St, Kuwait City, Kuwait.
8. Al-Raya Shopping Center:
This shopping center is part of a complex by Arraya Center. If you would like to find all the latest, high-end pieces from top brands around the world, this is your destination. Al-Raya Shopping Center might not be as massive as several other malls in Kuwait, but it promises to give you a fashionable time and a quiet one as well.
- Opening Hours: From 10:00 am to 10:00 pm.
- Location: Block 7, Kuwait City, Kuwait.
9. Harvey Nichols:
The name Harvey Nichols is known to many as the name of a luxurious department store chain. This chain opened its branch at The Avenues Mall in Kuwait back in 2012, providing visitors with collections from many world renowned brands, all under one roof. It’s true the items might still be expensive, however, always aim to visit during discount times, when prices are much lower.
- Opening Hours: Sunday to Wednesday from 10:00 am to 11:00 pm, Thursday to Saturday from 10:00 am to midnight.
- Location: Grand Avenue, The Avenues, Al-Rai, 5th Ring Road, between Ghazali Street and Mohammed Bin Alqasem Street, Kuwait.
Relaxation in Kuwait City
1. Talise Spa:
Get away from the hustle and bustle of the city craziness and enjoy a long relaxing treatment at this luxury spa. There are separate 17 treatment rooms for men and women with different sessions such as the Water Walker, a majlis-style hammam and even facelift with no surgery.
Talise Spa has the first Himalayan salt treatment room in the Middle East, only using the purest natural salts. The spa recently incorporated fitness classes into its services, offering Yoga, Pilates and even Zumba classes.
- Cost: Starting from KWD45 (€133.81).
- Opening Hours: Every day from 10:00 am to 11:00 pm.
- Location: Al Ta’awun Street, Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel & Spa, 13036, Kuwait City.
2. Ten Spa:
Ten Spa offers you several treatments to choose from that are specifically designed to make you feel relaxed and ease physical tension, such as the Balinese Massage. A couple of their other two treatments are the Relaxing Massages and Aroma Therapy. You are surely to forget about your worries and emerge to the outside world, with lighter burdens.
- Cost: Through website.
- Location: M2, Sanabil Tower, 26 Jaber Al-Mubarak St, Kuwait City.
Where to stay in Kuwait City
1. Ramada Encore by Wyndham Kuwait Downtown (113 Jaber Al Mubarak Street, Kuwait City District, 32026 Kuwait):
This hotel offers you great views of the capital city, with Kuwait Towers being the centerpiece of the city view, there are also rooms available with a garden view. The warmly-decorated rooms are featured with floor to ceiling windows so you can enjoy the experience to the full! Al-Shaheed Park and Souk Al-Mubarakiya are a couple of the nearby places to check.
A Standard Room Non-Smoking, with a large double bed, plus taxes and charges is KWD30.94 (€92) a-night, with an additional KWD5.04 (€15) for breakfast. A Standard Room Smoking, with a large double bed is also the same price. These two include payment in advance but with free cancelation.
2. Adams Hotel (Bneid AlQar, Block3, St. 64, Building 12, Kuwait City District):
Highly praised for its location, cleanliness and the friendliness of its staff, this hotel offers you a business center and a garden to enjoy as well. There are rooms available with a view of the sea and some have a terrace where you can sit and have a break during the day and enjoy the view outside.
A Standard Room, with one extra-large double bed, will be KWD36.99 (€110) a-night plus taxes and charges, this also includes breakfast, free cancelation but payment is in advance. A Junior Suite with an extra-large double bed, will be KWD42.37 (€126) a-night, plus taxes and charges.
3. Grand Majestic Hotel Kuwait (Abdulla Al Mubarak Street, Mirqab, Kuwait City District):
Here at Grand Majestic there are rooms with a city view and others with a sea view and a delicious variety of cuisines to enjoy. You can also enjoy whichever breakfast you want, American, Continental or choose your pick from the buffet. There are many attractions and malls to check nearby as well, with the hotel’s central location.
A Deluxe King Room, with an extra-large double bed, with both a city view and a sea view, with breakfast and free cancelation, will be KWD45.74 (€136) a-night. The same offer applies to the Deluxe Twin Room with a sea view and a city view, with two single beds.
4. Residence Inn by Marriott Kuwait City (Abdullah Saleh Almulla Street, Kuwait City District, 15460):
This hotels rooms are clean, simple and modernly-furnished with amazing views of the city and the nearby beach. The Kuwait Towers and the Kuwait National Museum are some of the nearby attractions you need to check out at some time. Residence Inn is highly rated by visitors for its comfort, friendliness, cleanliness and the facilities it offers.
A Deluxe Studio, with an extra-large double bed, which has sea, landmark and city views, with breakfast, free cancelation and payment at the property, will be KWD55.83 (€166) a-night. The same room with the same features except for the free cancelation; non-refundable, will be KWD50.38 (€150) a-night.
5. Holiday Inn Kuwait Al Thuraya City, an IHG Hotel (Airport Road, Farwaniya, Kuwait):
With high ratings for the hotel’s location, staff, comfort and cleanliness, Holiday Inn is a mere 5-minute drive from Kuwait International Airport. One of the hotel’s best features is the free transportation to and from the airport and the Avenues Mall, 12 times a day. Here, you get to enjoy the 8 different choices of dinner, a fitness center which has a hot tub, a kid’s pool, ladies’ gym, a spa and an Aqua-tonic swimming pool.
A Standard King Room – Non Smoking, with one extra-large double bed, with a balcony, a view over the city and the inner courtyard, with taxes and charges, will be KWD54.82 (€163) a-night, with an extra KWD5.04 (€15) to enjoy breakfast at the property. If you’d like to book a Standard King Room as a smoker, the price will be the same, as well as the features.
6. Courtyard by Marriott Kuwait City (Al Shuhada Street, Kuwait City District, Kuwait):
Smart rooms, two restaurants that serve Indian and International cuisines, an outdoor pool, Al-Raya Mall and the Kuwait Towers nearby, Courtyard by Marriot promises to make your stay unforgettable. The hotel also offers smoking and non-smoking rooms, a free airport shuttle and excellent breakfast.
A Deluxe Room, with an extra-large double bed, free cancelation, payment at the property, will be a total of KWD74.32 (€221) a-night, with an additional KWD8.07 (€24) for breakfast. A Deluxe Room, with two twin or single beds, with taxes and charges, will be the same price, as well as the additional KWD8.07 (€24) for breakfast.
7. Al-Kout Beach Hotel (Mangaf, Block: 5, Building No. 17, Street: Salem Sabah Al Salem Al Sabah):
The hotel by the famous Al-Kout Beach, this hotel is a mere minute from the beach. There are rooms with a sea view and terraces to enjoy the atmosphere. The hotel is highly rated for many of its services, the cleanliness, the staff, the facilities offered, comfort and of course, location.
A Deluxe Twin Room with Partial Sea View, with two single beds, with breakfast and free cancelation, is a total of KWD74.32 (€221) a-night, plus taxes and charges. A Deluxe Twin Room with a Courtyard View, with the same features of bedding, breakfast and free cancelation, is a total of KWD68.60 (€204) a-night.
8. Al-Salam Hotel (Port Said Street Block 1, Kuwait City District):
With high ratings for its location, comfort and the facilities available, Al-Salam offers its guests beautifully decorated rooms with their choice of a sea view, quiet street view or a pool with a view. The delicious international buffet is not to be missed either.
A Deluxe Double Room with Sea View, with an extra-large double bed, a sea view, a garden view, city view and pool with a view, free cancelation and payment at the property, will be KWD35.65 (€106) a-night. The same room’s cost will increase to KWD39.68 (€118) with the additional of continental breakfast.
Where to eat in Kuwait City
1. Jamawar Crowne Plaza Kuwait (Street 103 Block 3, Kuwait City 81006):
Nothing says warmth and flavor like Indian food. You can try the best of this unique cuisine here at Jamawar, they even offer vegetarian friendly, vegan, halal, gluten-free options. The place is highly favored for their unique flavors such as the Bamboo Biryani and perfect cooking.
Price Range: Between KWD12.11 (€36) and KWD24.89 (€74).
Opening Hours: Every day from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm.
2. Olio Trattoria Italiana (Al Ta’awun Street, Kuwait City 13036):
You will find little Italy here at Olio, with fresh home-made pasta, traditional Italian pizza made with love, and all the Italian deliciousness you can think of. You can choose to complete your Italian experience by sitting amidst the Venetian decorations inside, or adding a Middle Eastern feel by sitting on the terrace overlooking the Arabian Gulf.
Price Range: Between KWD4.250 (€12.64) and KWD36 (€107.05).
Opening Hours: Every day from 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm, for dinner only.
3. Al-Boom Steak & Seafood Restaurant (Al Bida’a Road Radisson Blu Hote, 13122):
As the name suggests, you get to eat inside a massive Boom or Dhow, where you can enjoy the sea beside you and indulge in the feeling of adventure. Here, you will find a variety of steak, seafood and vegetarian friendly, halal and gluten-free options as well. Since, the outdoor seating is not to be missed, it’s better to visit during the winter season when the weather is cooler.
Price Range: Between KWD3.03 (€9) and KWD18.16 (€54).
Opening Hours: Every day from 2:00 pm to 11:00 pm.
4. Sakura Japanese Restaurant (Farwaniya Block 3 – Street 103 Crowne Plaza Kuwait Al Thuraya City):
Japan’s sumptuous dishes, with vegetarian friendly, vegan, gluten-free and halal options, all await you at Sakura. The restaurant is not only praised for its perfect food, but also for their great hospitality, service and friendliness. Their Salmon platter is a must-try.
Price Range: Between KWD9.08 (€27) and KWD30.27 (€90).
Opening Hours: From 12:00 pm to 10:30 pm.
5. Mais Alghanim (Gulf Road, across from Kuwait Towers Sharq,13012):
Our recommendation for enjoying Middle Eastern with a focus on Lebanese cuisine is Mais Alghanim restaurant. They also offer vegetarian friendly, vegan, halal and gluten-free options. With a beautiful table-setting and the option of eating on the terrace outside, you’re sure to enjoy your meal.
Price Range: Between KWD4.37 (€13) and KWD9.08 (€27).
Opening Hours: Every day from 12:00 pm to 11:30 pm.
6. P.F. Chang’s (1st Avenue, The Avenues Mall, Rai 13052):
If you’re up for some Chinese deliciousness, P.F. Chang’s is the place for you. The Chicken Dumplings and Dynamite Shrimps are many visitors’ favorites here. The restaurant is open for all meals of the day and offers vegetarian friendly, vegan and halal options as well.
Price Range: Between KWD1.500 (€4.46) and KWD9.750 (€28.99).
Opening Hours: Sunday to Wednesday from 11:00 am to 11:00 pm, Thursday to Saturday from 11:00 am to 12:00 am.
7. Al-Noukhaza Seafood Restaurant (Crown Plaza Hotel, Airport road 55, Farwaniya 81006):
Enjoy the unique mixture of seafood and the Mediterranean together here at Al-Noukhaza. With a 2021 Traveler’s Choice badge on TripAdvisor, their perfectly grilled seafood is guaranteed to please you. They offer vegetarian friendly, vegan, halal and gluten free options as well.
Opening Hours: Every day from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm and from 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm.
8. Shabestan Iranian Restaurant (Airport Road, Crowne Plaza Kuwait, Al-Thuraya City, 81006):
Iranian cuisine is an inspiration for Kuwaiti cuisine and the local dishes gather elements from the Persian and Middle Eastern cuisines. At Shabestan, you get to try one of the main sources of inspiration for the local cuisine and see the similarities between the two. Shabestan also incorporates Lebanese, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines, as well as vegetarian friendly, vegan and halal options.
Price Range: Between KWD11.77 (€35) and KWD24.89 (€74).
Opening Hours: Every day from 12:00 pm to 11:00 pm.
9. Sultanchef – Turkish Steakhouse (Al-Tijariya Tower, Kuwait City, Kuwait Al-Tijariya Tower):
At Sultanchef, you can enjoy your favorite steak with a touch of Turkish excellence! This restaurant serves Steak, Barbeque and Turkish cuisine, what a great combination! Their steak is highly praised for the level of cooking and perfect seasoning.
Price Range: Between KWD2 (€5.95) and KWD65 (€193.28).
Opening Hours: Every day from 12:30 pm to 11:00 pm.
10. Asha’s (Arabian gulf Street, Kuwait City 13002):
Asha’s offers you Indian food with an Arabian twist, or less spicy to be exact. The restaurant is greatly praised for their great dishes, variety, hospitality and service. They also offer great vegetarian friendly, vegan and halal options.
Price Range: Between KWD14.80 (€44) and KWD19.84 (€59).
Opening Hours: Sunday to Wednesday from 12:00 pm to 11:30 pm, Thursday to Saturday from 12:00 pm to 12:00 am.
This governorate by the sea in Kuwait is considered the ultimate hub for electronic-based goods in the State of Kuwait. Hawalli was initially built around ancient fresh water wells, all the way back to the 7th century. The governorate derives its name from the Arabic phrase “Fresh water hawalli” meaning “Fresh Water Around Me.”
Landmarks and Historical buildings in Hawalli
1. Sheikh Abdullah Al Salem Cultural Center:
This cultural complex is the world’s largest museum center, seeing as it consists of 6 museums. The Science Museum, the Natural History Museum, Space Museum, Fine A
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