While in Kuwait, you will not have to spend your weekend pondering over what to do and where to visit. There are several sightseeing locations, and other activities organized for adults and kids throughout the city, and you just have to choose what suits your lifestyle the best. Listed here are some popular weekend getaways, and other activities organized in Kuwait which you could choose to relax with friends and family over the weekend.
1. Grand Mosque
Although malls and shopping centres are the major attractions in Kuwait, if you are the sort of traveller who likes to visit and experience something other than what you usually get to see in your hometown, then, this could be the destination for you. Ladies are expected to wear the abaya before entering the Mosque, and all are expected to remove shoes before entering prayer rooms. There is no fee for visiting the Mosque. You may be provided with some literature to help you understand the parallels to Christianity. If you are the open-minded sort of person, and not hesitant about experiencing a different culture rather than from your own, then this is the place to visit.
Grand Mosque is the largest Mosque in the country, and guided tours take place here on daily basis. This imposing and beautifully decorated building is busy and warm from outside, but, you are sure to experience the bubble of peace and rest here, in an otherwise vibrant city.
Location: 25, Kuwait City, Kuwait
Tel: +965 2298 0800
Hours: Open 24 hours
2. Kuwait Towers
A renowned landmark of Kuwait, recently renovated, it is best to catch a view of Kuwait city from here, especially at night-time. The main tower has both a viewing platform and a restaurant, from where you can have an overview of the entire country, or at least the inhabited parts of it. You could also plan a dinner at the top of the Kuwait Towers.
Location: Arabian Gulf Street, Kuwait City, Kuwait
Tel: +965 2496 5500
Hours: 8am to 11pm
3. The Scientific Centre
The Scientific Centre of Kuwait is a gift from Late Amir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to people of Kuwait. The Scientific Centre aims to improve sciences and cultural heritage of Kuwait. The main attractions here are the IMAX theatre (screens 3D films including blockbusters on giant screen), The Aquarium and the Discovery Place.
Location: Ras Salmiya, Gulf Road, PB 3504, Kuwait
Tel: +965 1848888
Hours: Closes at 10pm
4. Tareq Rajab Museum of Islamic Arts
More than 30000 items collected over a period of more than 50 years are displayed in this private museum belonging to Tareq Sayed Rajab and his English wife. You can find several interesting collection of artefacts from all over the Islamic world, Asia and Far East. The museum located in the residential area of Jabriya is worth a visit.
Location: 1 St, Jabriya, Kuwait
Tel: +965 2531 7358
Hours: Opens at 4pm
5. Kuwait National Museum
It is the National Museum of Kuwait. This simple museum is worth a visit, as it holds within its walls a lot of history and insights on how Kuwait was in early days, and the present. It is a must-visit for first-time travellers. The entry to National Museum is free. The modern Planetarium forms a part of the museum complex with shows at around 18:00 daily. The museum has heritage and archaeology exhibits and a dhow sailing boat.
Location: Arabian Gulf Street, next to the Seif Palace and Kuwait’s National Assembly, Kuwait City, Kuwait
Tel: +965 2245 6534
Hours: 8:30am to 12:30pm, 4.30pm to 8.30pm
6. House of Mirrors
The House of Mirrors is a landmark in Kuwait, and just as its name suggests is almost totally covered by mirror mosaics. It is the only place in the world to be covered by mirror mosaics. Each room in the house has a story to tell, starting from representation of mother earth and ending with true marks of Kuwait history. The Italian artist Lidia, together with her late Kuwaiti husband, turned their private residence into an art museum centred around mirrors. It is not just a few mirrors, but the entire house is covered with mirrors! It is indeed a wonderful place, where, the gifted artist, Lidia, tours by appointment, which includes tea, home-made cookies and good conversation!
Location: Qadisiya Block 9, Street 94, House 17 Kuwait, 35809, Kuwait
Tel: +965 22518522
Fee: Adults KD3, Kids KD2, Kids below 2 years of age are allowed free entry
Hours: The tour is conducted by the artist herself, and takes about 2 hours to visit the ground and first floor. Tours are only by appointment.
In the oil-rich Kuwait, there are plenty of malls and shopping centres that can be explored one after the other on weekends, for those who love to go on a shopping spree.
7. The Avenues
The Avenues is the biggest and best mall in Kuwait, without doubt. The huge mall has all major brands and restaurant chains, and you can shop till you drop dead. There are coffee bars and kids play area too. The mall is very well planned and built, and suits most budgets. However, when visiting on weekend, parking may be a little difficult.
Address: Ghazali Street, Al-Rai- 5th Ring Road، Kuwait
Tel: +965 1810 004
Hours: closes at 10pm
8. Souk Al-Mubarakiya
Located amidst Mubarak al-Kabir, Ahmad al-Jaber & Ali al-Salem streets, the Souk Al-Mubarakiya, the shopping area, shows how the old Arabian market looks like. The whole area has been restored and divided into rows of shops, with each row of shop displaying their speciality like spices, deserts, vegetables, fish market square and butcher’s square. You can also purchase clothing and souvenir from the market. There are money exchange tellers too. The place also includes traditional tasty snacks and restaurants.
Location: located in Kuwait City, between Abdullah Al-Mubarak, Abdullah Al-Salem & Palestine Streets.
Tel: +965 6694 1006
Hours: open 24 hours
9. The 360 Mall
The 360 mall is a large luxury shopping mall in Al Zahra area, with some branded stores like The Geant Market, Marks & Spencer, Toys R us, and several other departmental stores and supermarkets. It has everything a person needs, including electronics and decent pricing. The decor of the mall is elegant too. It is the third biggest mall in Kuwait
Address: Jassem Mohammad Al-Kharafi Rd, Zahra 13151, Kuwait
Tel: +965 1800 360
Hours: Closes 10pm
Apart from these, there are several other popular shopping destinations in Kuwait like Marina World, Villa Moda, Souq Sharq, to name a few.
Other weekend activities/ideas
10. Visit the Fish Market
This is an air conditioned fish market and is an added attraction for visitors and fish buyers. The place is clean, with different varieties of fresh catch being sold at reasonable prices, which fluctuate based on catch and demand. Your choice can range from barracudas, snapper, nuawibee, and zubaidee to many more. There is also a vegetable and meat market in the same building, and so your lunch will fit any pocket.
Address: Seafood Market, Arabian Gulf Street
Tel: 965 2244 8200
Hours: 4am – 12am
11. Spend a night in the desert
Visit to Kuwait is incomplete without a visit to the desert. If you plan to spend an evening/night in the desert, your first stop should be at one of the many camel herds. Here you get to drink camel milk, pet the baby camels or if you are lucky, you may even get invited for a ride. Thereafter, you can drive further into the desert and stopover for a short quad ride, and then decide where to camp for the night. Here, you are sure to feel truly alone in the world, experiencing the vast emptiness and silence. You can enjoy some grilled meat or drinks and enjoy a night under the stars. But, please ensure that you do all this only with a guide by your side, as the desert is a dangerous place for visitors without local knowledge.
12. Learn Bedouin arts and crafts
Bedouin women teach traditional Bedouin weaving to locals and tourists at the Sadu House at the National Museum Complex. This centuries-old technique produces some of the most interesting textiles in the world. Yu can also consider learning traditional Kuwaiti crafts, poetry and visual arts at Beit Kothan, a traditional Kuwaiti house. Workshops are also conducted regularly in drawing, painting and crafts for those interested.
Address: Sadu House, near Kuwait National Museum complex
13. Visit Kuwait Bookshop
For those who love reading books over the weekend, the Kuwait Bookshop at Al Muthanna Centre, Safat Basement, offers a wide selection of bestsellers, books on current affairs and local interest, and this could be your right destination to look for English language books.
Address: Muthana Complex, Al Shuhada Street, Kuwait City
Tel: +965 2241 4088
14. A stroll through the Friday Market
Take a stroll through the Friday market (also known as Souq Al Juma) during weekends. Located in Shuwaikh, a prime industrial area of Kuwait, the market is a huge open air space, where you can stroll through sipping a hot cup of tea, or just enjoy the several simple things there, such as some attractive Iranian and Pakistani antiques. The market is especially crowded in the evening as the weather is more favourable then. The place also contains second hand merchandises of everything under the sun, and brand new pets, kitchen ware, vehicles, furniture, antiques, hardware, makeup, clothes, shoes, food, sun glasses, and more.
Sports and games
Kuwait City, being in proximity to water, there are various water sports for both locals and visitors to enjoy. If you are a sports-lover, you consider one such activity on a weekend.
You can also plan a boat trip across the beautiful Kuwait Bay. Kuwait is home to various boating clubs with marinas. These clubs host boating activities, races, and other types of recreational boating excursions. There are reefs that lie off-shores of Kuwait which are home to all sorts of marine life. Water taxis run regularly and boat trips to Failaka Islands and other locations are organized by several touristic enterprises and organizations. Water taxis serve the coastal cities of the region, and they are cheaper. If you wish, you could take your camera along, to catch the amazing city views from the water.
16. Ice-Skating Rink
The Olympic-size Ice-Skating Rink in Kuwait is one of the best in the region, with a seating capacity of 1600. It is home to the Kuwaiti Falcons, the official ice-hockey team, and the only Arab team to win membership of International Ice Hockey Federation. When the rink is not used for Falcon games the skating facilities can be used, which also helps escape the desert heat.
Address: Al-Soor St, Kuwait City, Kuwait
Tel: +965 2241 1151
Hours: Closes 10pm
17. Enjoy your evening at the beach
All the way along the Arabian Gulf Street, there are wonderful beaches, and the water tends to be on the shallow side for serious swimmers, but can be considered for a weekend visit with family. Marina beach, Egaila, Wanasa beach, Fintas, Messilah and many more such options are available in Kuwait.
18. Diving & Snorkelling
Diving in Kuwait’s warm, shallow waters is a pleasant way to spend time. The warm and shallow waters of Kuwait Bay may be the perfect beginning for starters and expert divers and snorkelers alike. Some diving centres can even take you diving to the islands of Kubar and Umm al-Maradim, which is home to several interesting ocean wildlife species, or to the Donkey Reef.
There are several companies that offer dive outfits, for day trips or half-day trips. You can try the Dive Caroline at Messilah Water Village or the 5-star PADI at the KIM Center for diving and snorkelling trips to outer islands of Kubar and Umm al-Maradim. If you have not taken a dive before, you can even obtain certification from one of the several diving schools in Kuwait city.
19. Center Kayaking
The KIM Centre organizes kayaking tours for beginners and experienced kayakers. The sites that you are likely to visit may be the same as divers, but you can stay warm and dry over the water. The region has plenty of birdlife to be observed and kayaking may be the best way to reach those far-off islands in the bay.
Location: KIMS. Salmiya, Kuwait
Tel: +965 9911 1300
Weekend Ideas for Children
Kuwait has several parks of varying standards for children, and in most residential areas, you can find green play areas. When walking along the Corniche, there are several slides, swings, climbing frames and inflatable slides and soft play areas in the malls for smaller children to play in. Here’s a list of ideas that children of all ages can enjoy.
Magic Planet - This is a fun-packed indoor area meant for children, located within The Avenues Mall. There are several rides and amusements and games, situated right beside the Food Court on the first floor.
Infinity - Located on Level 3 within the 360 degree Mall, Infinity and the Family Entertainment Centre in the mall offers an array of entertainment activities including roller coaster rides, rope course, drop tower, video games, rock climbing, bowling, flight simulator experience and more. There is also the Freeze Club meant for teens with a wide range of games and simulator experience.
Colour Me Mine - This is a ceramic design and painting cafe that appeals to children and adults alike. Located in Marina Crescent in Salmiya, the prices depend on the piece that you choose to paint, apart from additional charges for the paint. A second branch is likely to open in the Avenues too. For details, call 22244604.
Entertainment City - Located 20km from Kuwait City near Doha along the northern side of Kuwait Bay, there are a range of amusements based on themes from the ‘Arab’, ‘International’ and ‘Future World’. The park is considered to be one of the best for family entertainment.
The Scientific Centre - This fantastic facility at Arabian Gulf Street houses world-class aquarium, IMAX Theatre, and Discovery Area. There is a Dhow Harbour too outside and food and beverages are available, apart from a shop selling a variety of gifts for children.
Musical Fountain and Discovery Mall - The musical dancing fountain is one of the largest and has a garden with green spaces and family seating situated off the First Ring Road. The Discovery Mall is located is specially designed for children and features toy and clothes shops, play facilities, food court and indoor football pitch called ‘goal’.
Sea Clubs - There are sea clubs located within Fahaheel, Ras Al Ardh and Shaab. Each of these has variety of facilities such as indoor and outdoor swimming pools, beaches, parks and tennis courts and marshal arts.
Zoo - Located in Omarrya on the airport road, the zoo covers 180,000 square metres of park land. There are several animals here, and opening times from 8am to 8pm.