Kuwait — Attractions
Surprisingly, there are enough attractions in Kuwait and its capital to keep even the most curious visitors on their toes. The country is a fascinating mix of old and new, with a few heritage buildings set in the capital and the Old Souk district giving a taste of the region’s desert culture and long history. Around Dhow Harbor are several reconstructed villages with homes built using mud bricks and seashells in a traditional manner.
Known as the Masjed al-Kabir, Kuwait City’s Grand Mosque sits spectacularly on the tip of the peninsula facing out to sea. Its massive dome dominates the cityscape and the interior can hold 10,000 worshippers. An imposing, modern building, it’s decorated with traditional Kuwaiti calligraphy quoting the Koran. Non-Muslim women can borrow the proper attire and get advice on how to behave.
Address: Mubarak al-Kabir, St Sawaber, Kuwait City
The unofficial symbol of the city, the three Kuwait Towers are the capital’s best-known landmark for their elegant shape and spheres set with colored tiles. The Viewing Sphere is found at almost 400 ft from ground level, and gives a magnificent vista over the capital and the desert. In the lower sphere is the Ofok Restaurant, serving buffet dinners along with the best view in town.
Address: Kuwait city center
Kuwait National Museum
Although restoration of the damage caused during the first Gulf War is not yet complete, the museum gives an informative overview to the history and modern development of Kuwait, as well as the country’s heritage and culture. The exhibits are traditionally presented, and the restored buildings themselves are interesting.
Address: Gulf Road, Kuwait
The Dhow Harbor is a must-see for visitors interested in the pre-oil times of Kuwait, during which coastal trading, pearl diving and fishing were the main occupations. You can board the largest surviving wooden dhow, the Fateh el-Kheir, and see how the crew lived on the long journey between trading ports.
Address: nr Scientific Complex, Al Ard, Kuwait City
Located offshore just a short ferry trip from Kuwait City, Failaka Island is at the heart of the ancient land of Kuwait. Archeological sites dating from 5,000 years ago reveal the civilization which first settled here and practiced sun worship and human sacrifice. The ruins of a Greek settlement dating back to 324 BC can also be explored, as can the interesting, albeit small museum. The island boasts glorious beaches with water sports and sailing.
Address: offshore from Kuwait City
Tareq Rajab Museum
Even if you’re not a history buff, the fabulous collections at Tareq Rajab are not be missed and have been shown in museums around the world. Over 10,000 artifacts from a superb private collection are displayed, and include Islamic calligraphy, ceramics, miniatures, metalwork, ivory carvings, jade, wood and wood stone, rare books, textiles, jewelry, and traditional costumes.
Address: Street 5, Jabriya, Kuwait City
One of Kuwait’s most fascinating ethnographic museums, Sadu House is set in a charming, traditional building and showcases the exquisite weaving arts and ethnic handicrafts of the nomadic Bedouin tribes of the region. It’s a major cultural stop for its work in preserving heritage, and Bedu women can be seen weaving the exotic, traditional patterns on wooden looms as they have for centuries.
Address: Arabian Gulf St, Qibla, Kuwait City
Entertainment City is Kuwait’s answer to Disneyland, set 32 miles from the city center and rated one of the world’s top theme parks. Its three sectors are Arab World, Future World and International World, with all three outfitted with spectacular attractions including the City of Dreams, the City of Sinbad and Ali Baba and the City of Thunder and Hurricanes. Over 40 thrilling rides, games, and stage shows keep kids happy all day long.
Address: Doha, nr Kuwait City
If shopping is at the top of your to do list, the Old Souq is the place to go. Renovated to preserve the culture and heritage of the region, it’s a treasure trove of silk carpets, Arab and Bedouin antiques, spices, perfumes, exotic clothing, gold and silver jewelry, and hand-woven goods. Behind the main souq is a food court lined with little eateries serving traditional Arabic and Iranian dishes, great for lunch and a perfect spot for people-watching. Bartering is expected and can be a long process.
Address: Kuwait City