Situated in Western Asia between Iraq and Saudi Arabia, the State of Kuwait is firmly established as one of the powerhouse nations in the region.
Primarily famed for its lucrative oil industry, Kuwait is a little less commercialised than several other Middle East countries, which makes it an intriguing proposition for overseas visitors.
While it undoubtedly boasts plenty of modern elements inside its borders, Kuwait has retained much of the Arabian charm for which it is noted for.
With that in mind, read on as we offer our essential travel guide for any Europeans thinking of visiting Kuwait over the coming months.
Nationals from the United Kingdom and European Union can obtain a three-month visa to visit Kuwait via the Ministry of Interior website.
Local immigration authorities may ask to see evidence of return or onward travel, a sponsor’s letter and hotel confirmation when you arrive in the country.
For visit visas, obtained in advance or on arrival, your passport should be valid for a minimum period of six months from the date of entry into Kuwait.
If you have an Israeli stamp in your passport from previous travels overseas, you may be refused a visa or entry into Kuwait.
Local laws & Customs:
When visiting Kuwait, it is important to note that it is a Muslim country and you must respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times.
You should dress and behave modestly whenever you are in public, and avoid displaying body art that may be perceived as being offensive.
Possession or abuse of drugs can result in up to ten years in jail, while drunken behaviour in public can also lead to lengthy imprisonment.
Intimate displays of affection in public between men and women are also frowned upon, while sexual intercourse between men is punishable by law.
Land-based betting is illegal in Kuwait, but players can circumvent this by visiting any of the reputable online gambling sites that operate in the region.
Respected brands such as 888 casino allow existing players to easily access their accounts, while new sign-ups can play the vast array of games once they make a real-money deposit.
When choosing a gambling site in Kuwait, make sure you use one which is fully licensed and regulated by respected authorities such as the UK Gambling Commission.
By using reputable offshore companies of this nature, you will stay on the right side of the law while you are within Kuwaiti borders.
Where to stay in Kuwait:
Kuwait City is one of the central hubs for visitors to the nation and naturally boasts a vast array of hotels to suit every budget level.
Adams Hotel, New Park Hotel and Ghani Palace Hotel are among the most affordable options that welcome European visitors throughout the year.
If you are looking for something a little more luxurious, the Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait At Burj Alshaya receives rave reviews on several leading booking sites.
The Grand Majestic Hotel Kuwait, City Tower Hotel and Ramada Encore by Wyndham Kuwait Downtown are also well worth checking out.
How to travel around Kuwait:
Kuwait offers several public transport options including buses and taxis, but neither network is particularly noted for its reliability.
Many people use taxis to get around the main destinations as these are much more reliable and tend to be fairly reasonably priced.
Car hire is also extremely popular with many visitors, but you will need a valid International Driver’s Permit to rent a car.
However, it is worth noting that driving standards in Kuwait leave a lot to be desired, with many local motorists lacking basic road skills.
What to do in Kuwait:
Kuwait’s unique mix of traditional and modern attractions make it the ideal place for European travellers to visit. Here are some of the best things to do in Kuwait.
Kuwait National Museum:
The Kuwait National Museum comprises five imposing buildings built around a central courtyard and connected by elevated walkways.
It is divided into four different parts – Kuwait Heritage Museum, Archaeological Museum, Boom Al Mouhallab and the planetarium.
This stunning house is the only one of its kind in the world, offering visitors the opportunity to see some of the finest mirror-themed art on the planet.
Concepts include the Corridor of Nations, Planet Earth, Sea World and the Zodiac, while the collection depicting Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait is heartbreakingly powerful.
If you want to enjoy a traditional shopping experience in Kuwait, look no further than Souq Al-Mubarakiya – one of the oldest markets in the country.
Locally-made jewellery, silk carpets and authentic antiques are among the items you can buy in a place that will keep you occupied for hours on end.
Grand Mosque of Kuwait:
When it comes to stunning Islamic architecture, you would be hard-pressed to find a more beautiful building than the Grand Mosque of Kuwait.
Featuring a 141-foot central dome and spanning over 220,000 square feet, the sheer scale of the mosque has to be seen to be believed.
If you want to get a bird’s eye view of Kuwait City and the Persian Gulf, take a deep breath and head up to the top of Kuwait Towers.
The revolving main tower of the trio is almost 400 feet above sea level. If you are afraid of heights, you should probably give this one a miss!
Tareq Rajab Museum:
Take a trip back in time at the Tareq Rajab Museum to see some of the finest ceramics, calligraphy, costumes and jewellery Kuwait has to offer.
There are thousands of different pieces on show, making this one of the most comprehensive collections of Islamic art in the Middle East.
Kuwait’s largest mall features more than one thousand stores including iconic names such as Tiffany & Co, Pottery Barn and Charlotte Tilbury.
With cinemas, spas and numerous world-class restaurants, you will probably need at least a couple of days to enjoy everything Avenues Mall has to offer.