Kuwait is gradually climbing up the ranks in the popularity charts of hot travel destinations in the Gulf area. With Nasair operating flights to Kuwait on a more regular basis than before, this destination is becoming a global pick over the last few years. While Kuwait is small and still an emerging hub, when you compare it to Saudi Arabia, it is beautiful beyond expectations. Compared to the more popular and funkier UAE, Kuwait has a quiet and pristine ambience. It has interesting attractions that aren’t much advertised, unlike many other countries in the Gulf region.
When planning a travel itinerary, you can easily spend 2-4 days here. That being said, you can rest assured that Kuwait is a very safe destination, even for solo travelers. Around the late 80s and early 90s, the political climate there was not very healthy. However, since the end of the war with Iraq, the country has been stable. Kuwait has a large population of expats from various Western countries. The overall standard of life in the country is comfortable too. You can book airline deals in advance for the best offers.
As a traveler, you will find it reassuring to know that Kuwait is a little more relaxed than other Islamic countries in the Middle East. Even in terms of clothing, female travelers need not necessarily cover their heads. In fact, fashion awareness among native Kuwaiti women is high. Alcohol isn’t allowed across the country though. As a traveler from the foreign land, this is an important tidbit to keep in mind.
The heat gets to a peak point during summers, across all countries in the Gulf. Kuwait isn’t an exception. Therefore, winter or fall season is the best time to visit. This is because you get milder temperatures that make outdoor activities and sightseeing easier to engage in!
For transport within the country, you won’t find Uber. Therefore, relying on the traditional cab service is your best bet.
For social events, check the social media pages of Kuwaiti organizations and places.
Kuwait has a number of beaches but what appeals to you depends on your preferences. There are public beaches that are good and some that are dirty. Make sure to ask around or just look around to make a choice. Private hotel beaches are expensive but luxurious. Therefore, keep the budget in mind. There are a handful of female-only beaches too, if you are a woman looking to travel solo.
If you are art scene enthusiasts, there are loads of Islamic art-related activities and exhibitions open for travelers to see. The hubs that are must-visit spots are Dar al Athar al Islamiyyah and the private collection at Tareq Rajab Museum of Islamic Arts. There are even workshops available for serious travelers at Liwan Kashida and Grand Mosque of Kuwait. From Arabic calligraphy to Islamic art-based pattern workshops, there are a number of options available.
When in Kuwait, shop at the souks. The Souq Mubarkiah is a hot hub that is popular even across Western countries. It is also a great place for photography, shopping around and eating local food. The hack to great shopping is good haggling at the souks in Kuwait. However, this doesn’t mean that Kuwait lacks upgraded malls. There are ample malls around the country, and extremely huge ones as well. Many restaurants and cafes dot these malls.
When in Kuwait, ensure that you check out the Scientific Centre. It comes with an IMAX hall and aquarium. The shows are available both in English and Arabic. If cinema is your thing, then the rooftop cinema Cinemagics is a good place to visit.
Once you are done exploring the Kuwaiti cities, find time to book a tour by ferry to the Failaka Islands around Kuwait. Tickets are available at the waterfront offices. You can walk around and lazily explore the places. There is also an option to ferry a car or bike. The offices out there will be able to direct you better.
You can also check out the Kazmah Cliffs that offer a superb view of the bay from up the desert cliffs. Driving up this elevated land using a heavy-duty vehicle is a favourite local pastime.
Other popular things to do in Kuwait include scuba diving, swimming, boating and checking into the sea cafes.
Tip: Do check on the visa sanction rules when planning a trip to Kuwait. Most countries offer visas on arrival. In that case, you need to queue up for a visa before visiting the immigration department, and after landing at the main airport in Kuwait. Additionally, check for information about e-visas or advance visas if these are applicable too. This is one important thing to sort out while making travel plans for Kuwait.
Have you been there? What are your favourite things to do in Kuwait ?
This is a guest post.