The Kuwait You Didn’t Know In 10 Photos

Have you ever considered taking a trip to Kuwait? Nadia Amer shares a few top travel tips

This might surprise many, but Kuwait City is definitely a city that's best appreciated when you're walking through its streets. Photo: Nadia Amer

by Nadia Amer

Lifestyle 27 May 2019

Kuwait City is rich with hidden gems. It doesn’t have the infrastructure you’d expect compared to more popular tourist destinations in the Gulf like Dubai. But what it lacks in modernity it makes up for in artisanal coffee cafes.

Kuwait isn’t a city of ooh-aah skyscrapers that look great from a taxi or bus. The city is small and the best way to appreciate it, is on-the-ground, walking. But just in case you need it, Careem operates in Kuwait too.

Kuwait may be the fourth richest country in the world (per capita), but this is a cityscape that boldly wears the scars of war. Much like Beirut, bullet-riddled and bombed-out buildings crumble away undisturbed, and shiny-new homegrown eateries pop up and thrive within the old city’s shell.

If you appreciate graffiti, there are some fantastic artists to be discovered, so keep your eyes peeled for public art.

Go in winter. The heat in summer is dry and Saudi-like and it burns. If you really want to appreciate the cafe culture, go in a cool month when you can sit outside without melting.

Go to the Avenues. This is the only mall you need to visit in Kuwait. Period.

If you like your food concepts strange and unique, Kuwait is the spot.

Kuwait is a dry country (no alcohol) and my husband and I think they’ve done an amazing job of compensating for the lack of bars and clubs by turning cafes and restaurants into a wonderfully experiential situation for tourists and residents alike.

Go local, explore the old souk, and do taste traditional Kuwaiti cuisine at an authentic restaurant.

You won’t regret it.


I originally thought Q8 was a cool, colloquially abbreviated alternative to ’Kuwait,’ but Google says this is also the logo for Kuwait Petroleum International. Kuwait is fossil fuel rich, so I’m not sure if this is graffiti, or a subtle homage to petrol.

The Coffee

Kuwaiti people take coffee seriously. This joint will latte art your face onto your flat white like it’s nothing. We were creeped out and impressed. This is my husband and/or Charles Manson. Coffee shop” His Majesty The Coffee @hmc_kuwait

Graffiti Walks

We stumbled across all kinds of weird and wonderful graffiti on our walks.

Calligraphy Graffiti

The National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters. Love a bit of Arabic calligraphy.

Art in the Park

Lush, green spaces are pretty rare across the GCC, but Al Shaheed Park is a triumph and a blessing that made us forget about the macaroni-beige desert for a while!

Also, keep scrolling, because I promise this shot is awesome and not a pile of crap.

See? Perspective art is a winner.

Kuwaiti Food

Highly recommended visiting Table Otto in Al Shaheed Park for breakfast. Kuwaiti chef Faisal Al Nashmi is the mastermind behind this hidden gem and the food is truly delicious.

Also this…

Al Shaheed Park

Views from Ves Vas Cafe in Al Shaheed Park.

Newspaper Boxes

The Mirror House

Mirror House aka The Khalifa and Lidia Qattan Art Museum is the only house in the world covered entirely in mosaic glass and it’s worth a visit.

Lidia Qattan herself gives tours of the home and takes you on a two-hour journey into a world of whimsy and existential reflection that will leave you feeling like you’ve dropped a tab of acid.

Scroll down to see more photos from the amazing Mirror House.

The artist behind the house herself, Lidia Qattan – anyone else getting major Harry Potter vibes?

Lidia Qattan, 30 or so years ago when she was creating the mirrored mosaics on the walls

It’s literally like a mirror wonderland.

Yes, even the toilet.

Ceiling details

Nadia Amer is a word-slinging copywriter, blogger and personal development coach, when she grows up she wants to be J.K Rowling. Nadia is currently working on her first novel; Harry Botter and the Bhilosober’s Stone. It’s a story about magic and the voiceless bilabial stop.

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