Looking for your next unique family vacation in the Middle East? It’s time to get Kuwait on your destinations list!
Most famous for its abundance of oil fields, Kuwait is probably the least well-known Middle East destination for tourists. You may be surprised, however, just how much has been invested in tourism in the last few years. While many of Kuwait’s foreigners are there for business, there are many attractions in Kuwait suitable for travellers with children.
Whether you find yourself in Kuwait for a few hours during a layover or planning a visit to explore new places, there’s something for you and your family to enjoy in amongst the shiny skyscrapers of Kuwait.
How to Get Around in Kuwait
The transport system in Kuwait is up to international standards with good roads and traffic signs available in both Arabic and English. There are four major ways to get around:
- Ride-Hailing Apps – This is the most comfortable and reliable way to get around especially if you do not speak the local language. Careem is the most reputable ride-hailing service in Kuwait. Download the app and add your international credit card or debit card to get connected to local drivers. To hail a ride, simply key in your pick up location and destination, and the driver will use the in-built GPS.
- Car Hire – you can hire a family minivan at the airport upon arriving at Kuwait International Airport. All you need is an international driving license. As a foreigner, you will also need to pay for temporary insurance.
- Taxi – Kuwaiti taxis can be hailed from the roadside. They can be identified by their yellow plate numbers. Be sure to negotiate the fare before beginning the ride even if the taxi has a meter.
- Public Transport – three major public transport companies operate in the city: City Bus, KGTC, and KGL.
Best Time to Visit Kuwait
The best time to visit Kuwait is between December and March. It provides perfect balanced weather, festivities, and tourism.
Temperatures rise as high as 46c (115F) in the peak summer months. But from December to March, the temperature are between 19c and 22c (66 to 72F) which enables you and your family to engage in all the coolest things to do in Kuwait City.
Visiting in February allows you to experience the biggest festival in Kuwait called Hala Febrayer. It’s a month-long festival filled with carnivals, music concerts, street parades, and lots of free activities for kids. Hala Febrayer is one of the major annual Kuwait tourist attractions.
Top 9 Places to Visit in Kuwait
These are some of the best Kuwait tourist spots we recommend for visiting families:
The Kuwait towers should be the first place you visit in Kuwait City. It’s a group of three towers situated near the Persian Gulf, east of mainland Kuwait. They are one of the newest and most popular landmarks in the city.
There is a viewing platform on top of the tallest sphere giving 360-degree panoramic views and a restaurant, under the viewing platform. Enjoy a delicious Kuwaiti dinner at 82 meters in the sky with your family.
The main Horizon restaurant is open from Sunday to Thursday for breakfast ladies-only and for families on weekends. Open daily for lunch and dinner with free viewing platform entry. Otherwise, a fee of 3.000 KD is payable for the observation deck, under 4’s free.
Visit the island of Failaka located 20km off the coast. A significant historic site in Kuwait, Failaka island was said to once be an army base for Alexander The Great. Kuwaitis once lived on the island before the Gulf War but after the war, they never returned and so the island was never rebuilt.
Today it serves as an open-air monument, exhibiting the effects war can have on a community. As well as a heritage village, there are now accommodation facilities on the island from reclaimed buildings as well as a small children’s zoo and village pool.
A ferry operates as well as speed boat services by privately owned Ikarus.
Learn more here
Grand Mosque Kuwait
Covering an area of 45,000 square meters, Grand Mosque Kuwait is the largest mosque in the country. It can hold over 11,000 worshippers in the main praying area. It is a magnificent building with teakwood doors and marble floors. Its 144 windows provide natural lighting during the day.
You can join a guided tour for free as you learn about the main religion of Kuwait. If you are looking for some quiet time, the mosque serves as the perfect escape from the bustling city of Kuwait.
Entry is free but reservation is mandatory. Tours in English run at 9am and 5pm on weekdays, not available during Ramadan. Ladies can hire head scrafs and abayas.
The Avenues Mall
Take an afternoon to go shopping at the Avenues Mall in Kuwait. The Avenues is a mini indoor city that serves as an escape from the scorching heat during summer. There are more than 1000 shops spread across 12 districts, making it the largest mall in the region.
One of Kuwait’s modern icons, you can find almost all major international brands and local brands. There are several food courts and play areas for kids. There are also two major cinemas – VOX, which has a dedicated playroom for kids, and Cinescape, which offers the latest 3D and 4Dx viewing experience.
The Avenues is far more than just a regular shopping mall – one of the most spectacular in the world!
At quite the opposite end of the scale to the Avenues, Souk Al-Mubarakiya is the most popular traditional market in Kuwait City and the oldest. From carpets to Kuwaiti coffee pots, this is where you’ll bag your traditional bargains.
Here you will get meals prepared with local spices using traditional ways. All the food sold in the souk is cheap and served for large groups, perfect for sharing with the family. It has an atmosphere filled with various aromas, vendors calling on customers, and lots of movement. A great way to experience the more traditional side of Kuwait. Entry is free.
House of Mirrors
For something truly unique in Kuwait City, visit the House of Mirrors. The private residence of the Italian artist, Lidia, and her husband, the entire house was transformed into an art museum using mirrors.
It is reported that over 77 tons of mirror were used for this creation. Dazzle your kids with enchanting mirror mosaics on a guided tour by Lidia herself.
Entry is for a small fee, reservations are mandatory but can easily be made by Whatsapp or online.
The Scientific Centre
This 80,000 square metre complex is the city’s best edutainment centre. Situated in Salmiya, you will find Discovery Place, an IMAX theatre, Mijbil Almutawa Aquarium and a dhow harbour. With over 50 permanent exhibits as well as monthly events and daily Starship shows in the planetarium it’s a great hot weather reprieve.
The Aquarium runs daily feeding times, a shark show and behind the scenes tours.
Ice Skating Rink
This is a popular adventure spot for families – and a perfect reprieve from the heat if you are visiting during the hottest months, located in Kuwait City.
There are two major rinks – a large one for adults, and a smaller one for kids. There are support frames for beginners and children that can be rented at the rink. You can bring your skates or rent on-site. The rinks are kept frozen by hidden giant ice generators – you can even take a guided tour behind the scenes.
Escort entrance is 0.500 Kuwaiti Dinar while skating is 3.000 Kuwaiti Dinar.
Spend a day by the beach on Kubbar island (also called Kobar Island). It is famed for its colourful coral reefs, white soft sands, and clear waters. Kids can build castles by the beach while adults can explore the ocean floors and sea life by joining the scuba diving guided tour.
There are also speed boats for rent per hour. You can take the boat out and anchor between Kuwait City and the island to sunbathe, swim, or simply enjoy a sunset. There are no food vendors on the island so be sure to bring your food and refreshments.
You can join the ferry from Adudhal Harbor to get there.
These are some of the best things to do in Kuwait. All the activities listed above are suitable for families with children. You don’t have to have a large budget to explore the beautiful places in Kuwait. By simply booking well ahead of your trip and planning the trip around the weather you can enjoy an incredible family getaway to Kuwait.
Have you visited or lived in Kuwait? Any other favourite places to share?
More information for planning your trip to Kuwait & around the Middle East
- Your complete family guide to visiting Kuwait
- The best time of year to visit Kuwait
- How to dress as a tourist in Kuwait
- Our favourite autumn adventures in the Middle East