Things To Do in Kuwait

Kuwait, one of the wealthiest nations in the world, is famous for its abundance of oil exports and the affluent Sheikhs who call it home. It may not be a country that you’ve considered visiting but I spent 6 nights solo in Kuwait and loved it. If you like the Middle East and are open to a new destination, here my recommended things to do in Kuwait.

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Things to do in Kuwait

About Kuwait

Nestled between Iraq and Saudi Arabia, this country has a rich and fascinating history dating back to at least 2000 B.C. when it was first inhabited by Mesopotamians. Greek ruins bear witness to this fact.

However, the country suffered greatly from the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, which resulted in visible scars like the debris on Falaika Islands. Nonetheless, the Kuwaiti people have shown resilience by building magnificent monuments throughout the city to honour the courageous soldiers who sacrificed their lives during the conflict.

Nowadays, Kuwait is a safe and welcoming destination for tourists from all over the world. With a scorching hot climate, Kuwait is an ideal winter getaway. You can relax and unwind on exotic beaches, spend a night under the stars in the desert, or go bird-watching on any of the nine breathtaking islands.

Whether you're looking for adventure, relaxation, or a glimpse into an intriguing culture, Kuwait is a great destination to visit and you don't need that long to see everything it has to offer. 

Things To Do In Kuwait

Kuwait Customs

Kuwait is a Middle Eastern country with a rich cultural heritage. Kuwaiti culture is deeply rooted in its Islamic heritage and its close-knit community values. It is a blend of modern and traditional customs and traditions that have been passed down through generations. The official language is Arabic, and Islam is the predominant religion. The traditional dress for men is the thobe, a long white robe, while women wear the abaya, a long black robe.

Kuwait is also known for its pearl diving heritage, which is celebrated during the annual Pearl Diving Festival. The country is home to several museums, including the Kuwait National Museum, which showcases Kuwait cultural history and art.

Kuwait celebrates several national holidays, including National Day, Liberation Day, and Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, which are Islamic holidays. One important point to note is that the weekend in Kuwait is Friday and Saturday not Saturday and Sunday.

Social gatherings are a significant part of the customs of Kuwait and their culture, with coffee and dates often served to guests. Kuwaiti cuisine is influenced by the region and the country's trading history. It features dishes such as Machboos, a rice-based dish with meat or seafood, and a range of desserts like Luqaimat, a really sweet dumpling. So make sure to try some of the Kuwait famous food when you’re here. 

Things to do in Kuwait

Places To Visit in Kuwait

Kuwait’s Grand Mosque

Kuwait offers several tourist attractions, and one of the must-visit places is the Kuwait Grand Mosque, which is both the largest and official mosque in Kuwait. Known locally as Al-Masjid Al-Kabir, it covers an enormous area of 45,000 square meters and was constructed in 1986.

The mosque's design draws inspiration from Islamic architecture, featuring a large dome and stunning woodwork and engravings that showcase intricate detail. For those unfamiliar with Islam or Urdu, you can take a guide here to learn valuable insights. The tours last up to 2 hours and you are given a headscarf if you don't have one with you. Tours take place on Sundays to Thursdays from 8.30 am to 10.45 am and from 4.45 pm to 6.45 pm. 

* Discover more about the Grand Mosque Kuwait

Things to do in Kuwait

Seif Palace

Seif Palace, located opposite the Grand Mosque, is a must-visit destination in Kuwait for history solos. This magnificent palace, also known as Al-Seif Palace, was constructed in 1904 by Sheikh Mubarak and has been the original seat of the Government of Kuwait since the late 19th century. The palace's Islamic-style architecture is truly a sight to behold, with traditional elements such as rocks, clay, and limestone used in its construction.

Although civilians are not allowed beyond the entrance gate, visitors can still appreciate the exterior of the palace, including its watch tower. Seif Palace spreads over 16,000 square meters, featuring an artificial lake, helipad, dock for yachts, museum, art gallery, and government offices. Even though access is restricted, it is still worth visiting as you can view the palace en route to the Grand Mosque.

Things To Do In Kuwait

Make sure to go inside the Kuwait Towers for fab views of the city and its coastline

Kuwait Towers

Kuwait's iconic Twin Towers is one of the most popular Kuwait tourist attractions, mainly for the breathtaking panoramic views of the city that it offers. Designed by a Danish architect in 1979, the Kuwait Towers have become a landmark and a symbol of Kuwait. Whilst you’re taking in the stunning views, you can grab a snack and drink at the revolving cafe and enjoy the changing scenery.

It’s the perfect place to visit when you first arrive in Kuwait as it definitely helped me to get my bearings of the city and know which area was where. To fully appreciate the beauty of the city, I recommend arriving in the late afternoon to witness the day's views, sunset, and the city lights as it twinkles in the darkness. You can walk along the coastline from here to the Grand Mosque too. The Towers are open from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. and there’s also a gift shop there too. I paid KD3 to enter the viewing platform. 

* Find out more about the Kuwait Towers

Things to Do In Kuwait

See the Liberation Tower lit up at night

Liberation Tower

The Liberation Tower, a telecommunications tower standing 372 meters tall, is a significant landmark in Kuwait. It was built in 1993 to commemorate Kuwait's liberation from Iraq. Although it currently serves as a government office, visitors can still tour the tower with prior booking and completing certain formalities.

To secure your spot, you need to book your tickets in advance, as they restrict the number of visitors, and tickets tend to sell out fast. In addition to the fantastic views, you can also dine at the restaurant. Make sure to look at the artefacts that are displayed in the gallery too. Even if you decide not to go inside, it’s worth seeing it from the exterior to take a photo.

* Book your ticket for the Liberation Tower

Things to Do In Kuwait

Take a stroll through Al Shaheed Park

Al Shaheed Park

I really loved this park. Spanning over an area of 55,000 square meters, it's the largest green roof project ever undertaken in the Arab world. But Al Shaheed Park is more than just a park. The park boasts an impressive collection of over-structured green roofs and it also houses two magnificent monuments, museums, and an amphitheatre.

The park's name, “Park of the Martyrs,” is in honour of those who gave their lives for the nation. The seven-meter-high glass Martyr Monument is dedicated to these brave souls, while the Constitution Monument celebrates the 50th anniversary of Kuwait and its first Parliament members.

Inside the complex, you can explore the Remembrance Museum and the Habitat Museum, and if you’re lucky, you may be there at the same time as one of the music concerts that are being held at the amphitheatre. There’s also a 26-meter-long audio-visual projection that displays the natural beauty of various habitats in Kuwait.

I walked through the park but there is also a jogging area. Plus there are cafes to stop at and admire the landscape gardens and a gift shop too.

Things to do in Kuwait

Tareq Rajab Museum

The Tareq Rajab Museum boasts an impressive collection of over 30,000 pieces of Islamic art, ranging from jewels, musical instruments, weapons, and ceramics to Arabic books and clothing. This impressive venue provides a unique opportunity to learn about the history of Islam and various Islamic countries.

What makes the museum even more interesting is that it is a private collection of Tareq Sayed Rajad, and the artefacts are organised by country. Originally, the Museum's antique and calligraphy sections were located together, but they have since been separated into two distinct locations. Make sure to visit both sections, as each has its own charm.

* Check opening times for Tareq Rajab Museum

Things to do in Kuwait

Sadu House

Sadu House is not your typical museum. It is situated in a historic Kuwaiti house adjacent to the National Museum and is dedicated to the little-known Bedouin tribe, renowned for their weaving methods. You can learn about the tribe and their weaving techniques by watching an informative video and can even participate in workshops to learn their style of weaving.

The museum also features a collection of artefacts and handicrafts that belonged to the Bedouin tribe, allowing you to gain insight into their lifestyle and history. And if you need some souvenirs for your home, you can purchase various items such as home decor, rugs, wall hangings, and bags from the gift shop. It’s definitely worth a visit if you want to learn more about the Bedouins. 

* Check opening times for Sadu House

Things to do in Kuwait

See the cool design of Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Cultural Center

Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Cultural Center

If you're looking to delve into Kuwait's cultural scene, the Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Cultural Center is a must-visit destination. This popular theatre is beloved by locals and tourists alike, and it's named after the late Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salam, a beloved ruler of Kuwait.

While the centre is primarily devoted to the performing arts, it also boasts a range of other attractions. You can explore the Kuwait Heritage Museum to learn more about the country's rich history or gaze up at the stars in the Planetarium. For those interested in archaeology, the Archaeological Museum is a fascinating stop.

Outdoors, you can enjoy the dancing fountains and take in a performance in the amphitheatre. And if you're feeling peckish, there are plenty of options for delicious meals and drinks at the on-site cafes and fine dining establishments. Just seeing this building from the outside is worth a visit. Opening hours are 10 am to 8 pm. 

* Discover more about Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Cultural Centre

Things to do in Kuwait

Souq Al-Mubarakiya

Souq Al-Mubarakiya is a unique blend of cultural immersion and shopping experience, reminiscent of a modernized medieval Middle Eastern Bazaar. It's a must-visit destination in Kuwait City for anyone looking to indulge in the local culture or do some shopping. As you wander through the souk, you'll encounter a plethora of shops selling traditional wares, including antiques, clothing, jewellery, herbs, and perfumes, among other items. Persian silk carpets, Arab antiquities, and perfumes are some of the top-selling items.

Whether you're in the market for a souvenir or just browsing, Souq Al-Mubarakiya offers something for everyone. Additionally, the local restaurants serve up delicious Indian, Arabic, and Persian cuisine, making it the perfect place for a bite to eat whilst soaking in the atmosphere. The souq is very traditional and I loved wandering around there. You do find ex-pats and tourists dining here too. 

Things to do in Kuwait

Souq Sharaq

If you're looking for more shopping options, one of the things to do in Kuwait is to indulge in a shopping spree at Souq Sharaq. This contemporary shopping centre spans two floors and features various international high-street brand outlets, a cinema, and an arcade. While there are several great cafes and fast food options available, there are no fine dining options.

Unlike other malls, Souq Sharaq is not too flashy or glamorous, but it's a great place to relax. It's not overly crowded, which is a major advantage, allowing you to shop at your own pace. The mall offers stunning views of the Arabian Gulf on one side and the beautiful marina on the other, with skyscrapers in the background, making it an ideal spot to admire the views and catch a sunset in Kuwait. It's a lovely place to walk along the coastline too. 

Things to do in Kuwait

The Avenues Mall Kuwait

If you're a shopping solo, then you simply cannot miss out on visiting the Avenues Mall – one of the country's most popular attractions. As the largest mall in Kuwait, it is a sprawling complex with impressive architecture. As you step inside, you'll be greeted with a vast array of shops – from local brands to high-end international labels. Some of the world's most famous luxury brands, such as Chanel, Armani, and Louis Vuitton, have their own dedicated retail outlets here.

But the Avenues Mall is not just about shopping – it's also a food lover's paradise. The mall boasts a range of award-winning restaurants offering different cuisines. Whether you're in the mood for some traditional Middle Eastern fare, or something more exotic like sushi or Italian cuisine, you're sure to find a restaurant that suits your taste buds. And there's also a cinema so you can watch a film (check it's in English first) after a long day of shopping and dining. 

* Check opening times for The Avenues Mall

Things to Do In Kuwait

Kuwait Beaches

Something that I really like about Kuwait is its beaches. Messilah Beach and Egaila Beach are the most well-known Kuwait beaches and both are at the southern end of Kuwait City.

They are private beaches but you are allowed on them. Messilah Beach is a quiet beach whereas Egalia has an upbeat vibe and lots to do. At Egalia Beach there are gardens, barbeque pits and cafes plus an open theatre and swimming pool.

Al Kout is another beach that is similar to Egalia. Other beaches to venture to are Marina Beach, Abu Alhasani Beach and Anjafa Beach. All of these beaches are clean with good facilities and places to eat. Marina Beach is meant to be popular with the workers so you may feel more comfortable at one of the other beaches if you are here alone. 

Remember that wearing a bikini on the beach in Kuwait is not allowed as Kuwait is a conservative Muslim country with strict dress codes. If you want to sunbathe in your bikini, there are resorts with hotel pools where it’s acceptable.

Things to do in Kuwait

Kazmah Desert

Located in the Middle East, one of the top attractions in Kuwait is its desert. The Kazmah Desert in Kuwait is well-known for its stunning views and adventure sports. You can enjoy a bird's eye view of the entire city from the top of the desert cliffs, especially during the breathtaking sunset or under a sky full of stars.

During the day, you can take part in extreme sports such as sand gliding and dirt racing through 4DWs and jeeps, or opt for a desert safari on a camel or a quad bike. Bear in mind that safaris are only available from November to March and make sure to dress appropriately for the hot climate, wear sunglasses and apply sunscreen, and carry lots of water with you. It is the desert.

Things to do in Kuwait

Green Island

Green Island is a man-made island located off the coast of Kuwait City. It offers a range of recreational activities, including walking and cycling tracks, playgrounds, and a small amusement park. The island is a popular destination for families and tourists seeking a break from the city.

With its lush greenery and stunning views of the Arabian Gulf, it is an ideal spot for picnics and relaxation. The island also features several restaurants and cafes, making it a perfect place to grab a bite and enjoy the scenery. It’s a great place to visit if you’re walking along the Corniche.

Things to do in Kuwait

Failaka Island

Failaka Island stands out as one of the best among all the islands. Its history dates back to around 2000 B.C. when the Mesopotamians called it home, and it remained prosperous until the Gulf War, which led many residents to move to mainland Kuwait. Today, only remnants of its once-thriving civilization can be observed, with an open-air monument erected to commemorate the war's impact, and scattered debris still visible in some places.

Failaka's historical sites include ancient Greek ruins, a temple, and a citadel from Alexander the Great's era. In addition to these, there are heritage villages, camel farms and the scenic Wanasa beach to explore, providing a refreshing break from city life. It is still being developed as a major tourist attraction but there is a hotel here if you want to stay overnight and places to dine. You can also rent a paddle boat to row on the island’s artificial lake.

The island is located approximately 20 kilometres away from mainland Kuwait, and ferries depart from two ports – Ras Al Saliyah and the Marina Crescent – with a travel time of less than an hour.

Things to do in Kuwait

Boubyan Island and Warbah Island

Boubyan Island and Warbah Island are a pair of picturesque gems located in the serene waters of the Persian Gulf, beckoning nature lovers and ocean solos. Despite being only 1.5 kilometres apart, each island boasts its unique charm.

Nestled at the “crossroads” of international bird migratory routes, these islands are a haven for bird enthusiasts. Both Boubyan Island and Warbah Island are home to diverse bird species, including migratory and water birds, that can be easily spotted throughout the year. The islands' serene and untouched environment provides a peaceful refuge for these creatures, making it an ideal place for birdwatching and photography.

Boubyan Island's crystal-clear waters are home to some of the most spectacular marine life in the Persian Gulf. Dolphins and sharks are often spotted in the waters around Boubyan Island, adding to the island's already magical atmosphere.

On the other hand, Warbah Island is a breathtaking picture-perfect island, with pristine waters and sandy beaches that look like they have been pulled straight from a postcard. The island's untouched beauty and tranquillity provide a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life, and a day trip to either of these islands is the perfect opportunity to reconnect with nature and make you forget that you are in Kuwait.

Things To Do in Kuwait

Kuwait Accommodation 

Kuwait has a wide range of hotels, from budget-friendly options to luxurious five-star hotels. Hotels generally have a restaurant, swimming pool and a gym. There are no bars in the hotels as Kuwait is a dry country.

You can also find serviced apartments within hotels too. These have a kitchen and are a good option if you prefer cooking for yourself. You do need to pay taxes and charges on the room rate when you check in at the hotel so the price quoted isn’t the final rate of the hotel.

If you’re unsure of the best area to stay in Kuwait and want to explore the city's cultural and historical landmarks, stay in Kuwait City. Being the capital city, it offers a wide range of hotels, restaurants and shopping malls.

If you're looking for a more relaxed and tranquil setting, you may want to check out some of the beach resorts located on the Arabian Gulf coast, such as the Fintas or the Jumeriah Messilah Beach Hotel & Spa. These resorts offer beautiful views of the sea, luxurious amenities, and easy access to the beach.

All of the accommodations below have been recommended by our solo community. For all other accommodations in Kuwait, click on the link below.

* To book, check prices or availability for all Kuwait accommodation

Things to do in Kuwait

View from my toom at the Ramada Encore

Recommended Accommodation

$ – Ramada Encore. I stayed at the Ramada Encore by Wyndham Hotel and it was my first time using this international chain. I loved this hotel and the view of the skyline was amazing. The restaurant was great too and I didn’t feel awkward dining alone. Prices from £54/$63 p/n. * Check prices and availability

$$ – Radisson Blu Hotel Kuwait. A modern 5-star hotel in the heart of Kuwait City in a good location. The staff are really friendly and the rooms are spacious plus you can enjoy seafood in a traditional Kuwaiti Dhow or sushi on the rooftop lounge. Prices from £157/$196 p/n. * Check prices and availability

$$$ – Sheraton Kuwait, a Luxury Collection Hotel. If you’re missing English tea, there’s an English Tea Lounge! The rooms aren’t that well insulated so take some earplugs if you’re a light sleeper. Prices from £212/$265 p/n. * Check prices and availability

$$$ – The Regency Hotel Kuwait. This stylish 5-star hotel located on the beach offers a ladies-only sanctuary in Kuwait with a lounge area, pools and a private beach! Great if you don’t want to mingle. Prices from £250/$311 p/n. * Check prices and availability

Things To Do In Kuwait

The Citibus is a cheap way of getting around

Kuwait Transport

As with most countries in the Middle East, most people have a car to get around but there are other alternatives if you don’t want to drive yourself. 

Buses – The buses in Kuwait are easy to use. As well as walking around the city, I took one of the buses. City Bus Kuwait is cheap but you do need to know where you’re getting off especially if you find yourself the only one on there as the bus driver didn’t seem to stop at any bus stops if people weren’t waiting. There did seem to be a section at the front for women and the back for men so I sat at the front. * Find the Kuwait bus route here 

Walking – Depending on where you're staying, walking may be a good option for getting around. Some areas, such as Kuwait City's waterfront, are pedestrian-friendly. Some of the roads are difficult to cross or don’t have a pavement so just check your walking route on Google before you set up. There are some really lovely places to walk here. Walking from the Kuwait Towers to the Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Cultural Centre is a lovely walk along the coast and also past Green Island along the Scientific Center Walk to Messilah is lovely.

Taxis – Taxis are widely available in Kuwait and are a convenient way to get around, especially if you're not familiar with the city. Taxis in Kuwait are metered and fares are regulated by the government but just check the price when you get in and make sure they have their ID showing in the cab. You can just put your hand out on the side of the road and if they are free, they’ll stop. I had several pass me when I walking.

Uber or Careem – If you feel more comfortable with a taxi app, Uber is available in Kuwait. I prefer these to a taxi as you put in your address and location that you wish to get picked up and can pay through the app on your card. There’s another service called Careem which you can download. I use Careem in Dubai and it’s cheaper than Uber so it’s a good alternative.

Rental Cars – If you prefer to drive yourself, there are several car rental companies in Kuwait. You'll need an international driver's license to rent a car and be aware that traffic in Kuwait can be heavy and chaotic and the driving can be erratic. I recommend Discover Cars that I’ve used in the past. * Check car rental prices

Kuwait International Airport

Kuwait International Airport is located 15 km outside of the city. The Kuwait airport code is KWI and there are several ways to get to and from the airport.

Taxis are available at the airport and located just outside the arrivals area. Expect to pay approximately £70/$87 into the city. A bus is the cheapest way to get to and from the airport. There are several bus lines such as Line 13, Line 99 and Line 501. Check buses here 

If you prefer to drive yourself from the airport and also around the city during your stay, there are several car rental companies located at the airport. You can book a car in advance with Discover Cars. I have personally used this company and recommend them. * Check car rental in Kuwait 

There are also airport shuttles such as Hoppa that you can pre-book if you don’t feel comfortable taking a taxi but they may be more expensive than a taxi fare. I arranged a transfer through my hotel accommodation which was easier. * Check Hoppa shuttle prices

Things To Do in Kuwait

Best Time To Visit Kuwait

If you're thinking of visiting Kuwait, the best time to go is during the winter months from November to March. That's when the weather is really nice and comfortable. But if you're planning to visit during the summer months from June to August, be prepared for some intense heat and humidity. I visited during May and allow it was hot, I was able to walk for hours in the heat. 

Make sure to drink plenty of water and avoid being outside during the hottest parts of the day. You may want to avoid Ramadan here where you can’t eat and drink during the day. The chart below shows the temperatures in Kuwait from January to December to help you plan your trip.

Things To Do in Kuwait

Standing in front of Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Cultural Center

Solo Travel in Kuwait

I spent 6 nights here solo and really enjoyed it. I found it very safe. I’ve given it 3 stars due to the tourism infrastructure and that I didn’t meet any other women here alone. If you don’t mind your alone time and either walking or taking taxis to see the sights, then Kuwait is great. Do bear in mind that it is a dry country where it’s not permitted to drink.

If you’re wondering how should a woman dress in Kuwait? You don’t have to completely cover up here but anything revealing such as bikinis and swimsuits aren't acceptable on public beaches. 

I wore a scarf for the whole time as I felt more comfortable but I met other tourists that were wearing jeans and t-shirts and had their hair showing. It was also hot so the scarf protected my head from the sun.

FAQs

  • Can I drink the water? It’s advised not to drink out of the tap so take a water filter flask with you instead. 
  • Is tipping expected? If you had good service it is polite to tip at least 10%
  • Fixed price or barter? You can barter in the souks.
  • Any ATMs? Yes, there are plenty of ATMs.
  • Which side of the road do they drive? They drive on the right-hand side
  • Good for vegetarians? There are several vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Kuwait
  • Any Seven Wonders of the World? No.

Plan a Trip To Kuwait

Current Time in Kuwait City

Capital  Kuwait City

Population – 4.25 million

Language spoken – Arabic and English

Local CurrencyKuwaiti Dinar 

Tourist Visa to Kuwait – British Citizens can receive a visa on arrival which allows you to stay for 30 days. Check visa requirements for your nationality 

Vaccinations Required 

Useful Info

Airlines to Kuwait 

Which Plug Do I Need? 

UNESCO Sites in Kuwait 

Events and Festivals in Kuwait 

Local Cost Guide 

Local Customs & Etiquette 

Things to Do In Kuwait

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