Kuwait is a small country in the Middle East that borders Iraq and Saudi Arabia. It may not be on your radar for a tourist destination but Kuwait has a lot to offer tourists who make a trip there. From beautiful beaches, excellent galleries, museums, amazing restaurants, and welcoming people, a trip to this Arab country will be worthwhile.
I recommend visiting Kuwait if you’re looking to venture beyond the popular vacation hot spots. Here’s all you need to know about Kuwait.
KEY FACTS ABOUT KUWAIT
As mentioned before Kuwait is a very small country. Compared to the US it is 552 times smaller. The population of Kuwait is estimated to be 4.25 million with expatriates accounting for 70% of the population. The country’s capital Kuwait City is home to 83% of the population.
Other popular cities in Kuwait are AL Ahmadi, Hawalli, As Salimiyah and Sabah as Salim. Oil-rich the country is ranked as the 7th richest country in the globe by the World Bank. It also has a very strong currency the Kuwait Dinar which fetches the world’s highest value in foreign exchange.
WHAT YOU NEED TO TRAVEL TO KUWAIT
Most tourists planning to visit Kuwait must apply for a Kuwait visa. You can apply for one by filling a Kuwait eVisa form online, a process that takes about 10 minutes. Once approved, your eVisa will be sent to your inbox within 3 business days. Your passport must also be valid for 6 months for you to gain entry into the country.
Read this guide on how to get your Kuwait evisa
WHERE TO STAY WHILE IN KUWAIT
Kuwait has many hotels and where you choose to stay will largely depend on your preferences and budget. Some hotels you could consider are;
Royal Inn Hotel
This is a budget hotel in Al Salmiya. It is within close proximity to the beach and hotels rooms are air-conditioned to keep you cool and protect you from Kuwait’s heat.
This four-star hotel has a complimentary shuttle service that can pick you once you land at Kuwait International Airport and take you to the Hotel. Le Royal offers residences scenic views of the Gulf state, free Wi-Fi, room service, and also air-conditioned rooms. An outdoor pool and gym are also available for guests to use.
The Regency Hotel
This luxurious hotel is 15 minutes away for Kuwait International Airport. Its rooms have modern Italian furniture and marble bathrooms. The five-star hotel stands on a private beach, has several restaurants offering fine dining and is minutes away from top Kuwait tourist attractions.
What to Do in Kuwait After settling in at your hotel it’s time to see Kuwait. Depending on how fast you move you can see Kuwait in 2-3days. So what is there to do in this Gulf State?
WHAT SITES TO VISIT
There are several places anyone who travels to Kuwait should see. These are;
This is a major landmark in Kuwait and a top tourist attraction. It should be one of your first stops when you start sightseeing. The towers are made up of two large towers and a smaller. On a clear day from the top of the main tower, you can see most of the country.
That will give you an idea of how small Kuwait is. The main tower also has a restaurant where you enjoy some Kuwaiti dishes like Machboos, a rice-based speciality prepared with basmati rice seasoned with spices, and chicken or mutton.
The Grand Mosque
Kuwait is a Muslim country and if you want to know more about their religion you’ll learn a lot when you tour the Grand Mosque. They are daily guided tours around the mosque which is imposing and beautifully decorated. Tours are free but you have to call in advance to get a guide to take you around the mosque.
This is one of the Islands in Kuwait. It was once inhabited but about the Gulf War in 1991, it was deserted. Tourists who tour the island get to see firsthand the horrors of war with many homes, schools, office destroyed during the war on display. Guided tours to Failaka Island is available daily and to get there you will use a ferry or private boat. Using a private boat, however, will cost you more.
Visit the desert
You cannot go to Kuwait and not make a trip to the desert. In the desert, you’ll see camel herds and you can try some camel milk or pet baby camels. If you’re up for some adventure you can spend a night in the desert. A guide with good knowledge of the Kuwait Desert can take you deep into it to camp there. The temperatures are extreme so be sure to carry some sunscreen, UPF clothing, hats, and sunglasses.
Camel racing sport
After a night in the desert visit the races. This time, not to see horse racing, which you’re used to, but camel racing at Kuwait Camel Race Club in Kabd. Watching the camels racing will be entertaining more so when you see how they are guided to speeds up to 60 km/h not by jockeys but robots mounted on their backs.
House of Mirror
This is another top tourist attraction in Kuwait. The House of Mirrors is an art museum centred on mirrors. Created by an Italian artist Lidia and her late husband this attraction will leave you in awe. To get a tour from no other than the lady of the house Lidia you’ll have to make an appointment.
After the tour, you can enjoy a cup of tea with her and ask her what inspired her to create the spectacular House of Mirror.
Go Shopping at Avenues Mall
Kuwait has one of the largest malls in the Middle East, Avenues Mall. The mall located in Kuwait City has more than 800 shops. Whatever your budget you will find a store that is within your spending reach for you to buy souvenirs for your trip.
Avenues Mall has both local and international brands some of which include H&M, Forever21, Prada, Dior, Chanel, IKEA, and Starbucks. Avenues Mall is not only great for shopping it also has many restaurants and cinema halls you can enjoy a movie.
If you are interested in a more traditions shopping experience visit Mubarakiya or traditional souq (market). At this market, you can get to interact more with the locals and try Lebanese, Egyptian, Iranian or Kuwaiti cuisine. Soak Up Some Sun on the Beach Kuwait has some very beautiful public and private beaches for you to just lay back and relax.
Some public beaches are neglected and full of rubbish so be sure to ask how clean a beach is before you head there. For a great beach, experience tries out the Hilton Kuwait Resort or Al Corniche Club.
FINAL TIPS ON VISITING KUWAIT
Kuwait is a safe destination so you shouldn’t be worried about travelling there. Being a Muslim country you’ll be required to adhere to Islamic laws and customs. In particular, be extra careful about how you dress. Women, for example, should not wear shorts or revealing clothes as this will draw unwarranted attention to them.
Public display of affection is also frowned up and any homosexual behaviour will land you in jail. Alcohol, narcotic and pork are not allowed in Kuwait and being in possession of any of this will also land you in trouble. Avoid travelling to Kuwait during summer the temperatures during this time are crazy and will confine you to your air-conditioned room.
The best time to visit is during winter or fall when temperatures are bearable and you can enjoy outdoor activities. I hope this guide is helpful and will make your trip to Kuwait more pleasurable.