48 Hours in Kuwait

Post by Mark

A reader recommended I put together a list of places which visitors to Kuwait could check out on a short trip. It was pretty difficult to put the list together since I didn’t want to make the list too long but also struggled with places like Al Shaheed Park (Would tourists want to visit a park?). With that in mind, below is the list of my recommendations. If you have better suggestions which I’m sure you do, let me know in the comments and I might add it to the list.

Places to Visit

Kuwait Towers: I like standing under the towers and looking up more than I like going up to the towers. The observatory deck might be worth checking out if you’re interested in seeing the Kuwait City skyline although I personally don’t think it’s that great of a view. The windows are also usually dirty and at night you can’t see anything outside because the observatory deck is too brightly lit on the inside. The restaurant in the Kuwait Towers isn’t that bad, but there are better places to have a meal.

Water Towers: I recommend the water towers in Adailiya since they’re located inside the park and so you can walk up to them very close. They were also recently painted so they’ll look good in photos (pictured above).

Maritime Museum, Modern Art Museum, Dickson House and the Amricani Cultural Center are all located right next to each other so you can cover them all in 2-3 hours easily since neither of them is that big. [Link]

Souk Mubarkiya: A must visit place if you’re looking for an old traditional market.

The Avenues Mall: I know its a mall but it’s a great one and in the summer it’s probably the best place to go if you want to shop. You’ll find everything there from high end designers to IKEA and a ton of different places to eat at.

Al Shaab Gate: There are a few old city gates left but I’d recommend visiting the one adjacent to Al Shaheed Park since the area around it was recently renovated.

Jaber Al-Ahmad Cultural Centre: Beautiful architecture and a large garden with an animated musical fountain to check out. If you’re lucky there might be an event or show taking place during your visit so check their website for tickets. There are also restaurants located at the centre in case you want to have a meal there.

Restaurants

Cocoa Room: My favorite breakfast place and is usually always busy.

Street by Al Makan: Good food, gets pretty busy at night mostly with a younger crowd, located in a trendy area. Also walking distance to Souk Mubarakiya. Pass by Vol.1 located under it for coffee after dinner.

Solo PN: A very popular pizza place thats always busy. Recently won an award for the 3rd best pizza in the world.

Al Shemam: Located right in the middle of Souk Mubarakiya next to the vegetable market. Has great grills (fish, meat and poultry) but is also a pretty ghetto looking place so not for the squeamish (pictured above).

Freej Suwaileh: A very popular and affordable Kuwaiti cuisine restaurant that’s open till 5AM.

Dar Hamad: A high end Kuwaiti cuisine restaurant with a beautiful interior.

Events

There are always events taking place so if you’re looking for one to go to during your visit, make sure you check out the events page [Here]

Off the Beaten Path

Friday Market: A large flea market that takes place on Fridays, usually gets really packed and you can find lots of random things for sale there from old gaming systems to washing machines and furniture. Although you might be tempted, avoid the animals section.

Salem Mubarek Street: A street stretching out around 2KM filled with shops on both sides. Used to be extremely popular in the 80s and early 90s (pictured above).

Al-Rehab Complex: If you’re into video games you’ll love this complex since the mezzanine floor and basement are filled with video game shops. By filled I mean every single shop there is a video game shop, easily over 50 shops.

Ice Skating Rink: Popular in the 80s and early 90s but not very popular nowadays. Worth checking out if you’re looking to cool off during the hot summer months.

House of Mirrors: The House of Mirrors belongs to Lidia al-Qattan, the widow of Khalifa al-Qattan, a renowned Kuwaiti artist. She started decorating one small wall with mirrors and through time more and more walls were decorated until the whole house inside and out was covered with mirrors.


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35 comments, add your own...


  1. Ned says:

    Thanks Mark – this is excellent!

  2. Blueelephantintheshroom says:

    Uh yes, tourists would want to visit a park, particularly a big and well-maintained local one. Central Park, Jardin du Luxembourg, Hyde Park constantly appear on city guide lists.

    Thanks for this list! And for including personal favourites like the Towers and Salem al Mubarak street.

    • Mark says:

      you’ve got a point but you can’t really compare Al Shaheed Park to Central park and if you’re only here for a weekend not sure if a park would be a priority. But I could be wrong.

  3. Raz says:

    Places to visit:
    1. Al Kout market for the evening fountain show and the beach
    2. Looong drive from Kuwait City to Doha to Mutla Ridges
    3. Al Hamra sky deck (better view than the observatory of Kuwait Towers)

    Off the Beaten Path
    1. Camping in the desert

  4. A says:

    Great list, but maybe also include more things to do in the area.

    Example: SAM Street, start at Mcdonalds at the end of the 4th ring road and walk down all the way to Marina, Fanar, Symphony Mall, Scientific Center, etc. Then take a cab down to Al Bedaa for a meal. Recommended restaurants: Ora at Arabella, Radisson Sas Rooftop Lounge, etc.

    Kuwait City: Grab a bite at St. Al Makan then head down to coffee at Vol.1, grab some frozen yogurt at Pick, then cross the durwaza to Mubarikiya and Al Seef Strip.

    I feel like something like this would be more beneficial if tourists are only reading this post and unaware of our popular and not to be missed places. I would hate to visit Kuwait City only to be disappointed by a meal from Fogoda and coffee from Dose.

    • I think Haleeb W Heil, which is across the street from the places you listed is also a must for tourists! It’s a quintessential Kuwaiti coffee shop. Gors ogaily and haleeb w heil are strictly Kuwaiti and they’re delicious.

      Mark remember the time I told you about my American friend who was in Kuwait for 10 hours on a layover? The places you listed above are the exact same places I took her to! Kuwait Towers, Souk Mubarakiya, St., Vol. 1 and lastly, Freej for dinner. Freej was her absolute favorite stop.

      Took her to Kalha for breakfast though because she lived in Jordan and Palestine for a while and misses their cuisine. Plus, Kalha breakfast is pretty solid.

    • Mark says:

      I just updated the post slightly to mention Vol. 1 after dinner at street. wouldn’t want them to end up at Pause for example either.

  5. Did you take that last shot?

    It’s so dreamlike. It looks like a still from Days Of Heaven or La La Land.

  6. Fatima says:

    The mirror house

  7. Ksenija says:

    Sadu House? Wonderful story behind it,always an interesting exhibition inside and a permanent collection in the museum. Lovely shop where you can buy something both traditional and contemporary Sadu inspired. Great cafe inside the House..

  8. mo says:

    Grand Mosque
    Fish Market

  9. A Proud Kuwaiti says:

    In addition to the above, I do take our international guests to Al-Othman House Museum, Qurain Martyrs Museum, Shate’a Al-Wattya and Al-Boom restaurants.

  10. Halyoosha says:

    What about the Scientific Center? For those unfamiliar with Kuwaiti culture it serves as a good base to become acquainted with Kuwait’s maritime history.

    Radisson Blu is also a nice place to check out the old ships and booms, has a nice museum there too. Ah, and the sky lounge there is a chill place with great views.

    Continuing with hotels, Jumeirah Messilah Beach hotel is also an idyllic spot to enjoy next to the Arabian Gulf.

    The Kuwait National Museum is also a must. As a Kuwaiti I visited for the first time only a couple of years back and I learned a lot of new stuff. It takes you through the footsteps of old Kuwaiti life with life-sized replicas of people and their homes, really enjoyed that place.

    Perhaps mentioning some cultural activities would be nice too.

  11. Mohammad says:

    Mark, would be amazing if that list was made for someone who was there for a week, interested to see what you would’ve included if you had more time!

  12. aaa says:

    Couple of things:

    Shmam has a less ghetto option right outside of the souq with parking, it’s a separate building. That’s usually where I take people

    Shaheed Park does have a nice little museum with some Kuwaiti nature stuff, as well as nice restaurants and it’s become a real hub for events (in the winter there’s something to do there every other day) so I think it is worth it especially if you’re mentioning events.

    Also it is a war memorial at the end of the day and a lot of people like visiting those when they go to other countries.

  13. zaydoun says:

    I take issue with the use of the word “ghetto”

  14. Tarek J says:

    That photo with Jamil optics on the right is the coolest photo I’ve seen on your blog ever. Did you take it?

  15. Ali says:

    Dickson House


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