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Getting around Kuwait City

Public transport

The main bus station is near the intersection of Al-Hilali and Abdullah al-Mubarak Streets in the Safat district of Kuwait City. On printed timetables the station is referred to as 'Mirqab bus station'.

Buses are operated by Kuwait Public Transport Company (KPTC) (tel: +965 2232 8501; www.kptc.com.kw) and run from approximately 0500 to 2200. Route maps are available on the ground floor of the KPTC building at the main bus station. Buses are usually only used by local workers.

A new light rail system, using driverless trains, is expected to come into operation in 2020.

Taxis

Most visitors get around by taxi, most of which offer flat-rate city tours. Ask the hotel to recommend a safe driver or take your chances by hailing a cab from the kerb. The following taxis services have been recommended by a Kuwait government agency: British Taxi (tel: +965 2391 2282), Mishwar Taxi (tel: +965 2572 9727) and Middle East Taxi (tel: +965 2572 6644).

Driving

Driving in Kuwait City is an alarming exercise with fellow-road users determined on pushing less aggressive drivers off the road. Unless you have a death wish, it's better avoided.

Car hire

Car hire firms operating in Kuwait City include Avis (tel: +965 2474 5528; www.avis.com) and Europcar (tel: +965 2473 5626; www.europcar.com), both of which have offices at the airport and in the city. Drivers must be at least 21 years of age.

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Mövenpick Hotel and Resort Al Bida'a Kuwait

An elegant, contemporary hotel just 2km (1.2 miles) from the city centre, this lively chain stay provides the perfect antidote to a hot day downtown. With an excellent spa, five swimming pools, two restaurants, landscaped gardens and a private beach, it's a relaxing place to unwind in 5-star indulgence.

Le Méridien Kuwait

With views of the Arabic Gulf as well as the iconic Kuwait Towers, this hotel has a flavour of the French Riviera about it, including rococo furniture and brass-rimmed mirrors. Rooms are sleek and modern, with huge luxury bathrooms, and the service is excellent. The onsite restaurant is decent and free Wi-Fi is available throughout.

Luxury Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel and Spa

With the utmost luxury in mind, this beautifully refurbished 5-star hotel feels like an Arabian palace. Its spa has hydrotherapy baths, plus drift and salt rooms, while palm trees line the swimming pool. Other perks include yoga, pilates and reiki classes, its seven stylish restaurants and its private beach.

Marina Hotel

For this price, don't expect the Ritz. Overlooking Mutrah fish market, this is a simple, harbourside hotel offering great views of Muscat's famous corniche. It's basic, and its basement bar can be a little noisy, but its location is within walking distance of Mutrah Souk, making it convenient for sightseeing.

Ghani Palace Hotel

It could do with a bit of a facelift, but the Ghani Palace is one of the few hotels in the city where you don't have to check the address to remember you're in the Middle East. The quirky Arabian-style hotel sports Syrian furniture, Moroccan lanterns and local stucco, plus local-style hospitality to match.

Sheraton Kuwait Hotel and Towers

Jutting out of the commercial centre, this iconic Sheraton is a steal for those on a moderate budget. With 5-stars on its chest, guests can expect everything from king-sized beds and fast Wi-Fi to five fine restaurants and an English tea lounge. Mixing Arabic lavishness with European furniture, it also has a health club and a swimming pool.