Kuwait Travel Guide: All you need to know to visit Kuwait in 2022
Welcome to Kuwait
Kuwait is one of the most welcoming travel destinations in the Arabian Gulf, and a cultural center of the Middle East. The small country offers arid weather, but very hospitable citizens. While visiting, you’ll be sure to experience exceptional Arabian food, coffee, and cultural traditions.
At the same time, you’ll find a lot of U.S. influence here, and can even find establishments such as Applebee’s, Starbucks, McDonald’s, and Five Guys restaurants in major cities. Read our ultimate Kuwait travel guide to find out all you need to know before you travel.
COVID restrictions in Kuwait
Document checklist for Kuwait
Valid visa: electronic copy and/or printed
Valid passport (at least 6 months of validity)
Essential Kuwait travel information
Currency - Kuwait dinar (KDW). $1 is equivalent to approx. KWD 0.31.
Daily budget for 1 person - Allow a daily budget of 36 KWD ($116).
Languages - Modern Standard Arabic in formal communication and Kuwaiti Arabic in daily life. English is widely spoken.
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 - Type G, 240V supply voltage, and 50Hz.
Time zone - Arabia Standard Time (AST) : ET +7.
Kuwait visa Information
You’ll need a visa on arrival at Kuwait International Airport, just like in any other Gulf country. But the good news is that US passport holders traveling for tourism purposes can apply online for a Kuwait eVisa. In a few clicks, you can apply online, wherever you are, and then receive the document in your email inbox.
Kuwait eVisa explained
The eVisa is an electronic product, introduced by the Kuwaiti government in 2016. The Kuwait 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.
You’ll complete the application online and receive the document via email. Print it out to present to the immigration officers upon arrival. 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 only, 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 - Allow around 36 KWD ($116) per person/per day on a travel budget vacation. Which includes:
Meals - A meal at a mid-range restaurant costs around 3.30 KWD ($11).
Transport - Allow a small budget for public transport, around 1.20 KWD ($3.90 USD) per day.
Hotel - A decent hotel will set you back about 17.48 KWD ($57).
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.
Transport and best ways to travel around 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. There is a bus system, but there are very few vehicles and extremely restricted routes, with no scheduled timings.
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 Kuwait
In general, Kuwait is one of the safest territories in the Middle East, and has a low risk of crime, such as robbery or pickpocketing. Also note that Kuwait is a Muslim country, and local customs should be respected. Here is some useful advice for your trip:
Public transportation isn’t the safest option, instead use 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 in Kuwait
Kuwait has arid weather, with long and hot summers. During most parts of the year, you’ll find elevated temperatures and few rainy days. From September to November, you’ll find pleasant temperatures.
From March to May, temperatures vary 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. In summer, from June to August, temperatures are highly uncomfortable, between 111.2ºF (44ºC) and 91.4ºF (33ºC), especially in the Kuwaiti desert areas.
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 also has a lot to offer, such as the dazzling Kuwait Towers. Arabian hospitality, modern architecture, peaceful beaches, and rich culture. You should include these five cities in your Kuwait itinerary:
Kuwait City - Both Arab world traditions and modernity share space in this diverse capital. From shopping malls to desert plains, find it here.
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 resorts and beautiful coastal landscapes.
Salmiya - A great spot to enjoy some time shopping, with a lot of malls and arcades.
Must do and see in Kuwait
Kuwait has a lot to offer, whether you’re touring the country, or wanting to do some sightseeing on your business trip. Here are a few of the must-sees 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 to try
Harees - A special recipe to bring people together during Ramadan. The meal 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 - This dish consists of 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, Tashreeb is prepared with meat, chickpeas, and various spices. It is served over a plate with pieces of bread or khubz.
Vaccine information for Kuwait
Check the routine vaccines needed for Kuwait, and visit your doctor at least a month before your trip for anything you may need. For further info about which vaccinations you need, please check the CDC health advice for Kuwait.
Fun facts about Kuwait
Get to know Kuwait better on your visit by learning these fun facts:
1. The Kuwaiti dinar is the most valuable currency in the world. The average value of 1 KWD is 3.26 USD.
2. Kuwait's population consists of 70% of expats. The country is home to, among others, Egyptians, Indians, Pakistanis, Syrians, Iranians, Palestinians, Filipinos, and Turks.
3. The country has the world's sixth-largest oil reserve, holding 8% of the world's oil.
4. In 2006, Kuwait became the first country to introduce the sport of camel racing, with remote-controlled robot jockeys.
5. 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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