The 6 Best Places to Visit in Kuwait

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6 Best Places to Visit in Kuwait

Kuwait, a gem nestled between Iraq and Saudi Arabia along the Persian Gulf, has evolved far beyond its oil-rich reputation. Often dubbed the “Hollywood of the Gulf,” this coastal nation boasts a diverse array of attractions that appeal to history buffs, shopaholics, and foodies alike. If you’re planning a visit to Kuwait, here are some top destinations that showcase its unique charm and first-class offerings.

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1. Discover Historic Treasures at the Tareq Rajab Museum

For history buffs, the Tareq Rajab Museum in Kuwait is a must-visit. This museum features an extensive private collection showcasing Islamic civilization from its earliest periods to modern times. Highlights include 12,000 pieces of Silver Folk jewelry and over 30,000 items such as calligraphy, ceramics, costumes, and musical instruments. It is one of the must-have things to do in Kuwait.

The Gold Room is a standout, with rare gold jewelry dating back to the pre-Islamic period. Additionally, the museum boasts a significant collection of Qur’ans and manuscripts from across the Islamic world. Opened to the public in 1980, the Tareq Rajab Museum offers a captivating glimpse into Islamic art and history.

2. Reflect at the Mirror House

Visit the Mirror House, the world’s only home adorned with mirror mosaics. Italian artist Lidia Qattan began this unique transformation in 1966, creating themed rooms like Sea World, Planet Earth, Zodiac, and the Corridor of Nations. The first floor features art galleries from Lidia and her late husband Khalifa Qattan, showcasing themes from art therapy and recycling to evolution and the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.

Tours are by appointment only, with tickets priced at 3 KWD (about 10 USD) for adults and 2 KWD (about 7 USD) for children two and older, and students. A tour includes tea, cookies, and a personal meet-and-greet with Lidia.

3. Souq Al-Mubarakiya: A Morning of Treasures

Begin your Kuwaiti adventure at Souq Al-Mubarakiya, a historic market brimming with treasures. Haggle for silks, carpets, and jewelry, or indulge in the aromatic spices and delightful sweet treats. Visit the Sheikh Mubarak Kiosk and Kuwait’s first pharmacy for a glimpse into the past. Enjoy the vibrant energy and friendly banter between vendors and customers. Refuel with qahwa (coffee) and local snacks for an authentic, immersive experience.

4. A Beacon of Grandeur: Unveiling the Grand Mosque

Kuwait’s Grand Mosque, the largest in the country, is an architectural marvel and cultural gem. Its central dome, towering 141 feet high, showcases Persian design influences, while the interior features intricate arches, elegant pillars, and expansive prayer halls. Free guided tours offer insights into the mosque’s history and Islamic traditions, making it more than just a sightseeing spot.

Beyond its stunning aesthetics, the Grand Mosque provides a peaceful retreat and a profound glimpse into Kuwaiti culture. Observing worshippers in prayer highlights the mosque’s spiritual significance. A visit here is a journey through history and faith, blending architectural beauty with cultural depth. Dress modestly and embrace the respectful atmosphere as you explore this remarkable landmark.

5. Failaka Island: A Journey Through Time

Failaka Island offers a unique blend of history and natural beauty just a short ferry ride from Kuwait City. As the site of a Mesopotamian settlement dating back to 2000 BC, it is one of Kuwait’s longest-inhabited locations. The Gulf War forced its evacuation, leaving behind poignant reminders of war’s toll with empty homes and abandoned buildings.

Despite this somber history, Failaka Island is rich with archaeological treasures like the Hellenistic-era Greek temple. Visitors can relax on pristine beaches and enjoy water activities such as kayaking and swimming. A trip to Failaka Island is a step back in time, offering a deeper understanding of Kuwait’s history amidst its natural splendor.

6. Embrace Adventure: A Kuwaiti Desert Safari

Escape the city and dive into the heart with a thrilling desert safari, available from October to March. Charge across vast sand dunes in a 4×4, feel the adrenaline rush, and witness awe-inspiring landscapes contrasting sharply with urban Kuwait. Catch glimpses of the country’s famed oil fields, highlighting its economic significance.

The adventure extends beyond the ride. Experience the thrill of sand-boarding or explore the desert on a quad bike. As evening falls, gather around a campfire, enjoy a delicious Kuwaiti feast, and listen to stories passed down by Bedouin nomads. Spend the night under a starlit sky or cozy up in a traditional Bedouin tent. This desert safari reconnects you with nature, embraces adventure, and reveals Kuwait’s soul in its rawest form.

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