Visit Kuwait City, the glittering oasis in this fascinating desert country.
Kuwait International Airport (KWI)
Situated only 16km from Kuwait City, the KWI Airport is the hub of Jazeera Airways and services Kuwait’s capital. As the major airport for the country the facilities at KWI are pretty comprehensive. You will find banks, mobile phone hire counters, internet access, a nursery, first class and business lounges, duty free shops, restaurants and cafes as well as a variety of hotels just off site.
Airlines to Kuwait
Though KIW is an international airport there are no direct flights to Kuwait City from Australia, as all flights involve at least one stopover at a Middle Eastern international hub. These are usually in Doha (DOH), Abu Dhabi (AUH) and Dubai (DXB).
There are lots of carriers that fly into Kuwait City, these include, but aren’t limited to, Etihad Airways, Emirates, Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines, Jet Airways, Virgin Australia and British Airways.
Getting into Kuwait City
Taxis can be picked up right outside the Arrivals area, with a fare into the city centre costing around 5-6KWD ($20-26), though you are advised to agree a price with the driver before setting off.
By public transport
There is a bus—Route 501—that operates to and from the airport into Kuwait City. It takes half an hour and only costs 0.25KWD ($1).
If you’d rather drive yourself, then you will find Avis, Budget, Hertz and National all operate out of KWI.
What can you do in Kuwait City?
The capital of Kuwait, is a slick and sparkling metropolis that is consistent with rich Gulf cities. However, do not discount Kuwait City as a cardboard cutout of other famed centres in the Middle East, like Dubai and Qatar. Beyond the Kuwait and Liberation Towers, Kuwait has its own speed and flavour, and is rich with culture.
If you can, start your tour of the city by visiting the many museums, as they will give you a look into this unique society and add context to many of the sites of the city. The best place to begin is in the National Museum where you can learn the history and heritage of the Kuwaities, the Sadu House, just next door to the museum is also worth a look in. Then go to the Failaka Heritage Village where you can see for yourself how a traditional village stood in the days of yore. Make some time for Seif Palace where it still serves as a royal residence, and is one of the city’s most popular attractions. There is also of course the fantastic Grand Mosque, which you can find right in the middle of the city, and a wonderful example of traditional Islamic style and architecture.
For a little time outside, go to the Dhow Harbour, where you will see the old might of the port’s past, glimpse the moored dhows and old sailing ships that were once used for pearl diving and trading. However, for pure, unadulterated relaxation you can’t go wrong with spending some time on Al Kout beach where you can swim in the waters and enjoy the local eateries nearby, or even head to the luxurious Green Island, a man made lagoon.
When should you go?
Kuwait is a desert country and so has a hot, dry climate. Usually the rule of thumb for visiting Kuwait is to avoid the hottest months between April and October where it can soar to 45°C, and enjoy the averages in November through to Feb which sit around 25°C. Though keep in mind that in January it can sink as low as 8°C.
What do you need to know?
Currency: Kuwaiti Dinar (KWD)
Visa: A fair amount of foreign nationals are granted entry on arrival into Kuwait, and these countries include Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the UK. However, it is important to check your individual requirements for the most up to date information on travel to this country. You can check the Kuwait tourism page, or their government page for more information.
Please note all information is current as of March 2016.
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