Kuwait National Museum

Kuwait City

It was the pride of Kuwait and contained one of the most important collections of Islamic art in the world until the 1990 Iraqi invasion. Sadly, the National Museum remains a shadow of its former self and reconstruction works are still nowhere near completion. Only two rooms containing a few archaeological finds are currently open. Among the items are ancient coins, pots, a detailed Bedouin tent and a 17th-century chess game, plus ancient Qurans and a full-sized carved doorway.

The museum was ransacked and largely emptied during the invasion, and it has been under almost complete reconstruction for the past decade. Things here can only get better.

The quaint Heritage Museum is in Building 2, at the rear of the museum complex. It illustrates daily life in pre-oil Kuwait by means of a diorama of full-size figures going about their business – be sure to see the bead maker and what the museum booklet describes as the ‘men’s over-robe tailor’.

Buses 12 and 16 stop around a 15-minute walk from the museum.

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