Kuwait Travel Guide: All you need to know to visit Kuwait in 2022

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Welcome to Kuwait

Kuwait is one of the most welcoming countries in the Arabian Gulf, region of the Middle East. The small country offers arid weather, but very hospitable citizens. While visiting you’ll experience exceptional Arabian food, coffee, and cultural traditions of a Muslim country. At the same time, you’ll find a lot of US influence here and can even find local spots such as Applebee’s, Starbucks, McDonald’s, and Five Guys restaurants in major cities.

COVID restrictions

Available Visas to Travel to Kuwait

  • Kuwait eVisa

Travel Requirements Checklist

  • Valid visa - electronic copy and/or printed

  • Valid Passport (at least 6 months of validity)

  • Passport Personal Details Scan

  • Last Page of Passport (if applicable)

  • Birth Certificate (if applicable)

Key Information

  • Currency 1USD (relevant currency)/( amount in KWD) - [Currency exchange calculator tool]

  • Daily budget for 1 person - 36 KWD (116 USD)

  • Language - Arabic (Modern Standard Arabic in formal communication and Kuwaiti Arabic in daily life)

  • Top 3 cities to visit - Kuwait City, Hawalli, and Salwa

  • Top 3 landmarks/monuments - Souk Al-Mubarakiya Market, Abdullah Alsalem Cultural Center, and the Grand Mosque.

  • Socket type - G, 240V supply voltage/50Hz

  • Time zone - Arabia Standard Time (AST) : ET +7

Kuwait Visa Information

You’ll need a visa to enter the Kuwait International Airport, just like in any other Gulf countries. But the good news is that US passport holders traveling for tourism purposes can apply for a Kuwait eVisa. In a few clicks, you can apply online, wherever you are, and then receive the document in your email inbox.

All travelers who wish to enter Kuwait need a visa unless they are citizens of one of the member countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Citizens from countries including the US, Canada, Australia, Japan, and all of the EU countries are eligible to apply for a Kuwait eVisa. In case you need another type of visa or are not eligible for the Kuwait Online Visa, you must check the options at your nearest Kuwait embassy.

Kuwait eVisa

The eVisa is an electronic facility, introduced by the Kuwaiti government in 2016. The visa is mandatory to travel to this Persian Gulf country. More than 40 countries can apply for a Kuwait eVisa, and it doesn’t require going to an embassy to complete the visa application. Read more about the eVisa and check all nationalities eligible here.

You’ll complete the application online and receive the document via email, then you have to print it out to present to the immigration officers upon arrival. The Kuwait visa is valid for 30 days after being issued, so you must enter Kuwait during that period. The Kuwait eVisa allows for a Single Entry and a maximum stay of 90 days in Total.

This visa is valid only for tourism purposes, so if you are traveling for business or any other reason, you should check the requirements with Kuwait’s embassy.

Typical costs and budget for Kuwait

In this Kuwait travel guide, you’ll discover the average expenses to explore this Northern part of the Persian Gulf. Kuwait utilizes the average Kuwaiti Dinar (country's currency). Here is an example of the daily amount you'll spend traveling through the major cities on a budget.

Daily spending - Around 36 KWD (116 USD) per person/per day on a travel budget vacation. Which includes:

  • Meals - 3.30 KWD (11 USD) average

  • Transport - 1.20 KWD (3.90 USD) average

  • Hotel - 17,48 KWD (57 USD), average for person

A trip for one week will cost on average 250 KWD (816 USD) per person.

The prices are based on Kuwait City expenses and they can vary from one city to another. The cost can be more expensive if you prefer to stay in a regency hotel or beach resorts and dine in finer restaurants, for example.

Transport and the best ways to Travel in Kuwait

The best way to enter the country is using Kuwait airways. Once you are there, you may find that public transportation is not the best option to explore this Arab world. There is a bus system, but there are very few vehicles and extremely restricted routes, with no scheduled timings, so you may have to spend a long time waiting for buses and planning can be difficult. The best choice for transportation in Kuwait City and other major destinations in the country is taking a taxi or hiring a private car service. The service is inexpensive, the only advice is to not get in a taxi without a meter, or if the driver refuses to switch it on.

Another possibility is renting a car. Especially if you’ll visit different cities in Kuwait, this may be the more economic, reliable, and comfortable option.

Safety in the Middle East

Kuwait is located between Iraq and Saudi Arabia, so the conflicts in this area may cause you to think that there is increased risk and that it's not safe to visit the country. But, in general, Kuwait is one of the safest territories in the region, since it has a low risk of crime, such as robbery or pickpocketing.

Here is some useful advice for your trip:

  • Public transportation isn’t the safest option, the most recommended is using taxi services or private car hire.

  • Always choose a licensed taxi to avoid problems.

  • For women, it’s recommended to avoid walking alone in isolated areas at night.

Weather Kuwait and the best time to travel

Kuwait has arid weather, with long and hot summers. During most parts of the year, you’ll find elevated temperatures and a few rainy days.

From March to May, it is spring season in Kuwait, while the temperature varies between 109.5°F (43.1°C) and 76.5°F (24.7°C). Rainy days are very rare during these months. You should pack light, summer clothes and be sure to carry sunscreen with you.

June to August isn’t a good time to explore the country, because it’s the summer season: there’s 0 precipitation rate and the temperatures are highly uncomfortable, between 111,2 ºF (44ºC) and 91,4 ºF (33ºC).

From September to November, you’ll find more pleasant temperatures. It’s the fall season, and temperature highs are between 110.2°F (43.4°C) and 72°F (22.2°C). You’ll find more humidity and windy days, but also low precipitation.

December to February is winter in Kuwait and, even in this arid country, you can experience some cold days. Usually, the temperature ranges from 76.5°F (24.7°C) to 63.7°F (17.6°C) in this season, but carry warm clothes in your luggage, because it's possible to experience as low as 10ºC (50ºF).

Popular Cities and Towns to visit in Kuwait

Kuwait is well known because of its oil production. But you’ll see that in terms of tourism this amazing country has a lot to offer. Arabian hospitality, modern architecture, peaceful beaches, and rich culture. You should include these 5 cities in your Kuwait itinerary:

  • Kuwait City - Both Arab traditions and modernity share space in this diverse capital.

  • Hawalli - The city is a melting pot of cultures, most populated by non-Kuwaitis, which offers a possibility to get in touch with different traditions.

  • Kubbar Island - Known as the ‘Ibiza of Kuwait’, is an amazing beach destination.

  • Salwa - A city with shopping opportunities and amazing beach landscapes.

  • Salmiya - A great spot to enjoy some time shopping, with a lot of malls and arcades.

Must do and see in Kuwait

  • 1. The Kuwait Towers and Grand Mosque of Kuwait in Kuwait City.

  • 2. Visit the Mirror House in Hawalli.

  • 3. Enjoy the calm beaches of Kubbar Island, a great spot to practice snorkeling.

  • 4. Spend an evening in the Salwa, enjoying the sunset by the beach.

  • 5. Visit the vast green areas of Al Shaheed Park in Kuwait City.

Typical Kuwaiti food dishes

  • Harees - A special recipe to bring people together during Ramadan. The plate is a thick porridge-like serving of mashed wheat and meat (usually chicken or mutton), garnished with cinnamon sugar and sometimes cumin and cardamom.

  • Jireesh - This classic comfort food in the Arabian Gulf is usually cooked by first mashing wheat or lentils along with meat (mutton or chicken). In addition, Kuwaitis put on bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, raisins, dried lemon, onions, and tomatoes.

  • Machboos - This plate is a rice-based delicacy that mixes saffron, rosewater-infused rice, and layers of meat. It’s often served with fried onions, raisins, and split chickpeas. Usually, Kuwaitis use a tomato-based gravy cooked with garlic and cilantro, also known as dakkus or dakoos.

  • Quozi - The dish is a whole lamb stuffed with vegetables and nuts, with a variety of fresh herbs and aromatic spices. The plate is slowly cooked in a closed oven and then served with rice and spices.

  • Tashreeb - Usually served in winter, the Tashreeb is prepared with meat, chickpeas, and various spices. It is served over a plate with pieces of bread or khubz.

Read more here about the most popular foods in Kuwait.

Fun Facts about Kuwait

The Kuwaiti Dinar (KWD) is the highest currency in the world. The average value of 1 KWD is 3,26 USD.

Kuwait's population consists of 70% of expatriates. The country is home to Egyptians, Indians, Pakistanis, Syrians, Iranians, Palestinians, Filipinos, and Turks.

The country has the world's 6th largest oil reserve, holding 8% of the world's oil. In 2006, Kuwait became the first country to introduce the sport of camel racing, with remote-controlled robot jockeys.

Eating, drinking, playing loud music, and dancing during daylight hours in public are against the law in Kuwait during the month of Ramadan.

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