Bordering the Persian Gulf and sitting between Iraq and Saudi Arabia, Kuwait City is the capital Kuwait. Tourists travel to the city to experience the true Middle Eastern culture, but be aware that this means that you will have to follow the city's strict customs and laws. U.S. citizens must have a visa to enter the country.
Liberation Tower (no website; Ahmed Al Jaber Street and Hilalli Street, Kuwait City) is the most recognizable and impressive building in Kuwait City's skyline. Built as a telecommunications tower, this 1220-foot structure can be seen from the whole of Kuwait City, and it represents Kuwait's resurgence as a nation. Travelers visiting the Liberation Tower, known locally as Tahrir Tower, can take advantage of a panoramic view from a revolving deck approximately half way up the tower. Here, visitors can also sample local Kuwati foods from the Liberation Tower's restaurant.
The Middle East is replete with religious structures. Visit Kuwait City's religious buildings and view the architecture and history, including the Grand Mosque (islam.gov.kw), which is Kuwait's largest. Witness the mosque's large main hall, which features the Asma al-hosna, or 99 names of God, and can accommodate up to 10,000 men -- women have a separate, smaller hall. Travelers looking for an impression of modern-day Kuwaiti Islam can visit the pyramid-shaped Fatima Mosque (no website; Abdulla Al-Salem, Al Asimah, Kuwait City). One of the most Fatima Mosque's features, the stained glass windows, cast significant shadows on the mosque floor.
Kuwait City also plays host to the Kuwait National Museum (darmuseum.org.kw). The museum's guided tour offers information about Kuwaiti relics, Islamic art, pearl diving artifacts and archaeological material excavated from Failaka Island. The museum also has a large planetarium. The Tareq Rajab museum (trmkt.com) features some of Kuwait's calligraphy, ceramics, glass, jewelry and costumes.
Failaka Island is part of Kuwait City, but located across Kuwait Bay. Travelers must get a boat across to the island, which is now used to house soldiers in the Kuwaiti army. The island has private sandy beaches. Activities include guided tours of Failaka's historic archaeology and settlements, some from the Bronze Age. The island has wide range of eateries near the Failaka historic village area (failakaheritagevillage.com)
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