The islands is a local entertainment hub for summertime activities such as fishing, swimming and water sports. The Failaka Heritage Village is also located here (accommodation in traditional-style housing, horse and camel rides, water sports facilities, access to beaches and much more). The Museum Palace of Sheikh Abdulla Al Salim Al Sabah is one of the village's many highlights.
KidZania is a unique venue where children enjoy a mix of education and entertainment by trying on "adult" roles and jobs inside a tiny mock-city constructed for them. Kids even receive "paychecks" in KidZania's artificial currency, which gives them a chance to learn about handling money early on.
The museum details the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, and the war crimes committed against its citizens in the course of the tragic events of the early 1990s up until the country's eventual liberation. The unique insight into this dark period of the country's history is made possible by multi-media installations and a selection of war artefacts.
Al Boom Steak and Seafood startles with its unbeatable location inside a large dhow (local fishing boat). Starters are abundant and an absolute must-try, main dishes being primarily meats and seafood. The restaurant has maintained its spotless reputation in the region for over 35 years.
With made-to-order burgers and shakes, Shake Shack is a hip, casual eatery whose dessert speciality is frozen custard - a thicker, denser take on regular ice cream. Orders are to be picked up by the counter. There are several locations across Kuwait, including one at the airport.
Celebrity Indian performer Asha Bhosle pursues her culinary passion via five Asha's locations across Kuwait (and more beyond). Inspired Indian cooking served here includes signature specialities such as murgh malai kebab, Keralan chilli garlic prawns, and Omani cuisine-influenced lamb kesar biryani.
The Cheesecake Factory is a celebrated American chain, which - apart from its world-renowned cheesecakes - serves quite a few savoury dishes (Western-style fare such as burgers and fries, with an oriental twist). Located inside the luxurious Avenues Mall and multiple places across town.
Beit Ahmad is an oriental wonderland located inside a traditional interior decor shop in Kuwait's central Souk Mubarakiya. Once in, expect to be treated to some authentic Arabic coffee or one of the many tea varieties on offer. Foods to go along include falafel, kebab, and a variety of desserts.
Originally from Belgium, Le Pain Quotidien has taken its organic enterprise far beyond its home country borders, and now boasts several locations across Kuwait. The chain is a breakfast and brunch favourite, serving up some of the frothiest cappuccinos around, along with great omelettes, soups, salads, and bakery.
The wildly popular breakfast spot entices with a plethora of breakfast meal options, ranging from savoury omelettes and eggs to syrup and sauce-smothered pancakes and delectable waffles. The Mahboula Breakfast Club branch (Aliah & Ghaliah Towers) operates 24 hours on a daily basis.
The largest mall in Kuwait and one of the largest in the world, The Avenues will easily occupy shoppers for a full day or longer. More than 800 international brand boutiques, entertainment centres (children's KidZania and Magic Planet both located here), restaurants and cafes all await visitors under one roof.
Marina Mall impresses inside and out - located next to a scenic bay and in the Marina Crescent area, it offers a wide selection of stores and boutiques along with a whole variety of cafés and restaurants dotting the Marina Crescent. Shoppers may also take in the skyline of Abu Dhabi which is visible from the mall's top floor.
There are several places to shop for gold in Kuwait, and purity of the noble metal in the Middle East is believed to be superior to those elsewhere. Mind that starting prices are often high and can be significantly brought down by haggling (although will not go lower than making value). Most locations will provide a certificate of authenticity upon request.
Prior to visiting Kuwait, travellers are advised to familiarise themselves with the social norms and legal regulations in place in the country. Modesty in behaviour and clothing is generally advised, and women are discouraged from wearing tight-fitting and/or short garments anywhere in the country. Bikinis may be acceptable at hotel pools, but conservative swimwear is expected in public places. Alcohol sale and consumption is illegal, and attempts to import alcoholic beverages (as well as drugs, pork products and pornographic material) may lead to fines and imprisonment. Public displays of affection of any kind (especially by same-sex couples) are not allowed and must be avoided. Co-habitation between unmarried partners is also considered illegal. Travellers must be especially careful when photographing local landmarks - taking pictures of government buildings, including military and industrial complexes, is punishable by law (this applies especially to anything that concerns oil production). During the month of Ramadan no eating, drinking or smoking in public is allowed to anyone regardless of religious convictions. Fines and imprisonment may follow for violating any of the above mentioned restrictions. There is an ongoing terrorism threat in Kuwait. Travellers must exercise precaution in public places.
Citizens of Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates do NOT require an entry visa. Citizens of an additional 52 countries may obtain a three-month visa on arrival (by air only) or an electronic visa prior to arrival. These include all countries of the European Union (with the exception of Croatia), Andorra, Georgia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, San Marino, Vatican City, Turkey, Monaco, Switzerland, Australia, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Swaziland, United States, Vietnam. A passport with a validity period of 6 months is required for entry. Those arriving by land or sea are required to obtain a visa in advance, as do nationals of countries not listed above. Nationals of some countries may be entirely barred from entry (Ethiopia and Israel), or have significant difficulty obtaining a visa.
The Kuwait International Airport is the only civil air hub in Kuwait, with several local and international carriers connecting the country to destinations worldwide. Visitors requiring visa on arrival should obtain one before exiting into the baggage claim area (get a ticket and wait in line till your turn is called). The airport has its own taxi service, and regular cabs operating in the city are not allowed to pick up passengers for fear of hefty fines. Some hotels arrange shuttles for guests, but reaching the city by public bus is possible, too - route number 501 connects the airport to the main bus station of Kuwait City and makes several stops along the way (bus stop outside the arrivals area).
The summer months between April and September can get extremely hot and humid (August especially so), so a trip to Kuwait is best made somewhere between September and May (ideally, September to October and March to May), when temperatures are comfortable but some rainfall is to be expected.
There are two public transportation authorities: the KPTC (Kuwait Public Transport Company) and the City Bus (and KGL operates long-distance routes to neighboring countries). There is a fairly extensive bus route network covering the metropolitan area, buses run at regular 10-minute intervals and stop at designated bus stops. Tickets are fairly inexpensive and may be bought on board. Even though the public bus system was established primarily to fit the needs of residents rather than visitors, most Kuwaiti landmarks may be reached by walking 10 to 20 minutes from the bus stops. Consult the website for routes, or pick up a schedule from the main bus station. Ferries circulate between Ras Al Ard in the district of Salmiya and Failaka Island (operated by the KPTC). There are also water routes connecting Kuwait to Iran and several other Gulf nations.
Taxis are a convenient way of getting around, with a few different varieties currently in operation. Taxis often do not use meters, in which case it is recommended to agree on the fare prior to boarding, but general pricing is in place depending on the distance and area. "Call taxis" are often found at hotels, and are usually white. As the name suggests, they can be ordered via phone. Fares for these taxis are usually announced by the taxi dispatcher during the call. Another type of cabs, orange in color, usually runs along specific routes, and can be shared with anyone going in the same general direction. These taxis are allowed to drop off and pick up passengers along the way, which can make the journey longer, but prices are normally lower than those of call-taxis. The airport has its own taxi service, with fixed fares that are usually indicated inside the vehicle. Kuds Taxi +965 241 3414 British Taxi +965 2391 2282 +965 2239 1229 Emirates Taxi +965 2474 5006 +965 2474 5007
There are a few post offices in and around Kuwait City, but most are difficult to locate due to the lack of exact address. Like most government establishments, post offices open and close early (7:00 to 14:00). Main Post Office Fahad Al-Salem Street, Kuwait City Salmiya Post Office Al-Salmiya, Kuwait City +965 2574 5171
Pharmacies are widely available and marked by a green cross. Hospitals often have 24 hour pharmacies on their premises. Hawally Center Pharmacy Humoud Al Nasser Street, Salmiya +965 2561 4895 AAW Abyaar Sharq Pharmacy Ahmad Al Jaber Street, Kuwait City +965 2243 2642 Al Fahad Pharmacy Ground floor, 59 Bahrain Street, Salmiya +965 2574 7476