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By Jesse 31 July 2019

Things to Do in Nairobi

Here, Kenya-born and -bred YZ expert Jesse tells us what there is to do in Nairobi, Kenya’s buzzing capital city, from the best museums and art galleries to the finest hotels, bars, and restaurants:

Nairobi is one of the biggest hubs in East Africa. It has the busiest major airport on the eastern coast of Africa, and the past two decades have seen the city increasingly bustle with life and develop extensively in terms of its culture. Today Nairobi’s population is estimated to stand at 4.5 million strong, with a range of attractions that has grown in tandem with the number of people living – and visiting – the city.

So here’s my pick of things to do in Nairobi! For everything listed below, I highly recommend using a driver guide and a private car as this is the most affordable way to get around to all the attractions. It’s also the best way, as driver guides know exactly where they are going. You could use Uber, but if you’re in Nairobi for just one day, for example, you might not be able to carry out all the activities you were hoping to enjoy during that day, as the drivers generally don’t know where they are going – this can lead to wasted time. I also don’t recommend using any of the public transport services in Nairobi.

1. Top attractions, activities, art galleries, and museums

I’ll start off by suggesting a few of the best-known attractions in Nairobi. The Giraffe Centre and the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust are two of the city’s most popular tourist spots. Being able to feed giraffe and elephant and take selfies with them seems to be a massive attraction for a lot of people –  I mean, where else in the world can you take a selfie with these immense mammals? You’re also supporting a great cause through your role in conserving elephant and giraffe, as both are endangered species! 

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2. Top hotels

There are a lot of hotels in Nairobi – in fact, on almost every corner there’s a hotel. This of course gives rise to a lot of questions about where to stay. I recommend hotels that are away from the city centre and closer to the main airport and Wilson Airport (Wilson operates flights out to Kenya’s safari areas). This is because these hotels have good accessibility to all the attractions that I recommend in Nairobi, while being very convenient for travel to the two airports. Traffic in Nairobi has been known to be extremely bad around the city centre, so making flights and connections can be tricky! Here are my top eight suggestions for where to stay in Nairobi:

3. Top restaurants

As for the food, visitors to Nairobi are spoilt for choice! From fine-dining restaurants to local Nyama Choma (BBQ meat), there really is a lot on offer here. Also, as the city has a large Asian population, there are a lot of amazingly good eateries cooking up Indian cuisine! Here’s my list of some of the best places to eat in Nairobi:

4. Top bars

A lot of travellers might not know where to have a drink In Nairobi, so here’s my list of must-visit bars – all are perfect for having a cocktail and enjoying the Kenyan ambience and the local drinks. A signature Kenya cocktail that everyone should try is the Dawa!

  1. Brew Bistro
  2. Hemingways Bar & Lounge
  3. Alchemist
  4. Talisman
  5. J’s bar Karen

5. Top clubs

 

6. Top shops and malls in Nairobi

You might not have time to spend on shopping, but if you do there are some amazing little places that have a lot of small gifts and trinkets on offer. There are also the big malls, with their exciting variety of shops and restaurants! Both are a must if you’re a keen shopper.

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All in all, if you’re in Nairobi and looking for something to do, there’s plenty to keep you occupied. From shopping malls to the city’s park, from the small local restaurants to fine dining, from museums to art galleries, there’s so much to enjoy here. And if you want to be immersed in nature, you can go for a game drive in Nairobi National Park and have a very high chance of seeing some great wildlife!

If you are interested in spending some time in Nairobi before your Kenyan safari, please don’t hesitate to contact our team of experts here for their top tips and advice. Alternatively, if you’d like some more inspiration, just take a look at our selection of blogs and favourite destinations below: