layover in kuwait

If you are connecting through Kuwait City on your way to Europe, Asia, or Oceania, don’t confine yourself to the airport if you have a ton of hours to kill. With plenty of attractions in the city, it is worth your effort to stamp yourself into the country and go exploring for a few hours. With Kuwaits pivot to tourism it is a very interesting destination in its own right, so make the most of your layover in Kuwait and enjoy the sights! Since it is not possible to simply visit Kuwait on a cheap weekend getaway the layover offers you the perfect opportunity to get a taste for a unique modern city you might otherwise not have had a chance visit. 

Below, we’ll share several attractions worth experiencing during your time here.

1) The Avenues Mall

Love to buy stuff on vacation? After landing at Kuwait International Airport aboard Kuwait Airways, quickly pass through security, grab a cab, and tell your driver to take you straight to The Avenues Mall. Surrounded by fountains and with over 800 stores, it is a beautiful place to drop a couple hundred Kuwaiti Dinar on something truly luxurious.

When you have finished shopping dozens of established international brands, have a meal at one of many familiar restaurants, including favorites like the Cheesecake Factory.


2) Souk Al-Mubarakiya

Seeking out a retail experience that’s just a tad more authentic? If you have a really long layover (12 hours or more), head downtown to Souk Al-Mubarakiya. The oldest trading place in Kuwait, this was where business was conducted before oil completely transformed this country’s economy.

From fine Persian carpets to foodstuffs including goods like dates, honey, and exotic spices, it is a fascinating place in which to wander aimlessly. If you have a say in the matter, though, be sure to drop by during the evening, as the sun can be punishing during daylight hours, especially during the summer.


3) Grand Mosque

Easily the largest mosque in Kuwait, the Grand Mosque is where adherents of Islam in this country come to worship. It is a spacious place, with 220,000 square feet giving those arriving for Friday prayers plenty of space to connect with Allah in comfort.

If you find yourself at Kuwait International Airport in the early morning hours, plan to arrive at the Grand Mosque at 9:30 am, as it is during weekdays (Sunday to Thursday) when tours are led. Be sure to dress appropriately: no exposed shoulders or knees, and women should wear a headscarf (a hijab will suffice). If you don’t have the appropriate coverings, they are usually provided, but come prepared in the event they don’t have enough to go around.


4) Kuwait Towers

A must see on your layover in Kuwait! The series of three freestanding towers located on a small point of land sticking out into the Persian Gulf. the Kuwait Towers are an iconic sight in Kuwait City that avid photographers and sightseers shouldn’t miss.

Consisting of a left tower with one blue globe, a right tower with two blue globes, and a shorter center spire with no globes, it is an interesting sight to behold.

The right tower’s lower globe is a water tank, but also has a restaurant built along the top, while the smaller upper globe is home to a cafe and observation deck. Definitely worth the visit even if you come here just to snap a picture of this curious sight.