Things to do in Nairobi are organized into these main categories:
- Animal Attractions in Nairobi
- Eating in Nairobi
- Shopping in Nairobi
- Places to Visit
- Parks and Green Space
Animal Attractions in Nairobi
1. Nairobi National Park
The city of Nairobi boasts it’s very own national game park where lions and buffalo’s roam free! It is located just moments away from the city center and is one of the best Nairobi attractions. Don’t miss a safari at Nairobi National Park!
2. Nairobi Safari Walk
Nairobi Safari Walk, funded by the Kenya Wildlife Service is a great way to learn about the animals of Kenya and to view the various natural environments Kenya has to offer. It is located at the headquarters of Nairobi National Park.
3. Nairobi Animal Orphanage
The Nairobi Animal Orphanage is a shelter of abandoned or injured wild animals. The Nairobi animal orphanage offers visitor a chance to see wildlife up close and personal and even pet a cheetah!
photo credit Craft*ology
4. Visit an Elephant at Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage
Orphaned baby elephants and rhinos are cared for and offered a chance to survive at the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage. The roly polly baby elephants are fed with monster baby bottles and run around the compound gingerly.
Open: 11am-12pm daily, 500 KES donation or more
5. Stand as Tall as a Giraffe at Nairobi Giraffe Centre
Nairobi Giraffe Centre, you can see these magically cumbersome animals up close and personal. Feed lanky giraffes from a platform and even touch a giraffe tongue! A popular activity in Nairobi, Kenya!
Langata Rd Nairobi 00509, Kenya, Tel: +254 20 891658
6. Nairobi Butterfly Centre
The Nairobi Butterfly Centre is a sanctuary for beautiful butterflies from around Africa. Seeing thousands of butterflies is a great Nairobi attraction!
Note: At the time of writing this, the butterfly centre is closed for renovation, check to see if it is open!
7. Nairobi Snake Park
Not only can you see black mambas and puff adders at Nairobi Snake Park, there are also lizards, birds, crocodiles, turtles and fish! The Nairobi snake park was recently renovated and if you enjoy snakes or reptiles, this Nairobi attraction can’t be missed!
Located at the Nairobi National Museum compound, Museum Hill, Nairobi, Kenya
8. Nairobi Mamba Village
Nairobi Mamba Village is a giant resort park, including activities, a hotel, restaurants, opportunities for relaxing in gardens and a crocodile farm! It’s a great place to escape the city and enjoy Nairobi’s beautiful green scenery and fresh air!
The Nairobi Mamba Village
Lang’ata North Road
P.O Box 74760, Nairobi, Kenya
9. Ride an Ostrich and Eat It at the Maasai Ostich Farm!
Maasai Ostrich Resort is located on the outskirts of Nairobi in a town called Kitengela. For 200 KSH, adults can ride around on an awkward ostrich with spotters.
Afterwards, don’t forget to indulge in a plate of excellent grilled ostrich or a juicy ostrich burger!
Eating in Nairobi
10. Eat Kenyan Nyama Choma
Feasting on nyama choma, grilled meat, is the pride and joy and easily one of the best things to do in Nairobi. Chunks of roasted goat sliced on a cutting board before you and accompanied by a pile of salt, some pili pili (chili) and kachumbari (tomatoes and onions) is simply phenomenal!
Eating Kenyan style nyama choma should make the top things to do in Nairobi on anyone’s list!
11. Nairobi Ethiopian Food
Outside of Ethiopia, Nairobi boasts some of the best Ethiopian cuisine in the world. Most Ethiopian restaurants in Nairobi are concentrated around the Yaya Center area.
I would recommend the famous Habesha Restaurant or the heavenly Smart Village restaurant Nairobi.
12. Snack on Bajias
Originally bajias are an Indian snack, but they have evolved by African flavored influences to create a sensational treat in Nairobi.
Try the best bajias at either Diamond Plaza or Slush Bajias located at Village Market.
13. Burger Hut Nairobi
Claimed to be the best burger in East Africa and living up to all expectations, the greasy Double Hut burger from Burger Hut Nairobi in Westlands is pure pleasure!
14. Carnivore Restaurant Nairobi
It’s unfortunate that the famous Carnivore Restaurant in Nairobi doesn’t serve game meat anymore, however, it still serves a bountiful array of delicious tender roasted meats.
The meats are grilled over coals on a sword and carved directly onto your plate. Eating at the Carnivore has long been one of the most popular things to do in Nairobi. The next door Simba Saloon Restaurant is also a great!
Photo credit nickfarnhill
15. Kenchic Inn Nairobi
Nairobi’s finest fast food chain is known as Kenchic Inn. They serve some fantastic fried chicken and great chips (French fries) to go with it! There are locations scattered over Nairobi city.
16. Eat Indian Food
Indians have blended into Nairobi for centuries bringing with them their culinary masterpieces. Along with Kenyan food and Ethiopian food, Nairobi has a wide selection of excellent Indian restaurants. Parklands and Diamond Plaza are fantastic areas to eat Indian at.
For higher end Indian restaurants consider:
17. Kenyan Street Food
18. Grilled Maize
Mature field corn grilled over coals on makeshift grills and then rubbed with chili salt and lime is a filling and appealing Nairobi snack! As far as Nairobi attractions go, eating grilled maize is high up there!
19. Smokey Cart
Cooked by the sun in a farmers choice push carts, and swimming in their own greases, Smokey’s (similar to Nyama Bites) are some of Nairobi’s unhealthiest treats!
20. Have a Tusker
21. Micro Brewery at Brew Bistro Nairobi
Brew Bistro Nairobi is a recently opened micro brewery located near Nakumatt Junction. It serves a variety of micro brewed ales, stout beers and optional food.
22. Stoney Tangawizi Soda
If you like spicy and burning (I do), drink a Stoney. Stoney tangawizi is the absolute strongest ginger soda I’ve had anywhere in the world, it sometimes gives the wasabi effect on the nose. I highly believe that Stoney is the most superior soda in the world, making it in the top things to do in Nairobi!
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23. Drink Kenyan Coffee
Kenya is famous for coffee, though most of the good stuff is immediately exported. For quality Kenyan coffee, head to the Nairobi Java House chain, with locations all over the city.
24. Drink Kenyan Chai
Kenya is not only famous for coffee, but tea as well. Kenyans like to drink there tea with lots of sugar and lot of milk, calling it chai.
25. Eat a Samosa
There’s no better snack than a Nairobi style samosa. Samosas are meat or vegetable triangles, lightly spiced, placed in a pastry wrapper and deep fried. Find samosas all over Nairobi!
- Here’s some more information of eating out in Nairobi.
Shopping in Nairobi
26. Utamaduni Arts and Crafts Center Nairobi
27. Art Gallery Watatu
28. Kenyatta Market
Filled with an assortment of hair salons and market stalls, Kenyatta Market is a great place to do a little people watching and shopping in Nairobi. There is also a row of some of Nairobi’s best nyama choma grilled meat!
29. City Market
City Market in downtown Nairobi is mostly filled with African souvenirs, but also includes a local meat and fish market and a flower market.
30. Kazuri Bead Factory
The Nairobi Kazuri Bead factory is home to Kenyan hand made ceramic beads as well as pottery and fine leather bags. It is a great place to look around or purchase a few very high quality authentic Kenyan gifts.
31. Kitengela Glass
Kitengela Glass is located on the outskirts of Nairobi on the edge of Nairobi National Park. It is home to a creative mixture artists who create intricate glass sculptures and abstract glass creations.
Photo credit rachelhamada
32. Banana Hill Artists
Banana Hill is a local Kenyan village located just outside of Nairobi. The small town has a few art galleries and is also a great place to get a better feel for local Kenyan life. Check out the Banana Hill Artists for more information.
33. City Park Hawkers
City Park Hawkers is a huge fresh fruit and vegetable market in the Parklands area of Nairobi. In the back of the market, there are a number of others businesses and a few smoking nyama choma joints that get packed at lunch time hours.
A visit to City Park Hawkers market is one of the greatest things to do in Nairobi!
34. Maasai Market
The epitome of Kenyan curio and souvenir shopping all comes down to Maasai Market. The market is located at different shopping centers around Nairobi on different days of the week. Purchase anything from wood carvings to antiques to pieces of cloth.
For more information of where the Maasai Market is located on different days, take a look at this forum.
Nairobi Maasai Market is so famous that it is definitely included in Nairobi guides as a shopping attraction.
35. Spinner’s Web
The Spinner’s Web showroom in Nairobi is another place to get high quality Kenyan handicrafts and souvenirs. Purchase great home decor and useful pottery at Spinner’s Web.
36. Gikomba Market
Gikomba Market is one of Nairobi’s largest local style markets where shoppers rummage through bundles of clothing in a chaotic mess that bursts with surging energy. There are extreme deals and great things waiting to be found! If you are searching for clothes or an off the beat Nairobi attractions, Gikomba is one of the most energetic things to do in Nairobi!
Note: Due to it’s crowds and action, it’s best to go with a a few Kenyan friends.
Photo credit man pix
37. Toi Market
Toi Market is Nairobi’s largest second hand markets, offering great clothes, music, dvds, salons, and a selection of fresh produce!
Toi Market is located just off Ngong road, not far from Kibera slum.
38. Triangle Market (Blue Dukas)
Triangle market is located in the Westlands area of Nairobi, opposite the roundabout from Sarit Center. The market is stocked full of Kenyan handicrafts and souvenirs with some great bargaining deals!
39. Sarit Center
Sarit Center, known as the “city within a city,” is located in the Westlands area. With tons of stores, a theater, food court, and a huge supermarket, Sarit Center is one of East Africa’s largest shopping malls.
40. Village Market
The Village Market is a sprawling shopping center and recreational complex that boasts over 150 stores, a glorious food court, Friday Maasai Market, a bowling alley and a theater.
If you are in the mood for a little Westernized entertainment and setting, visit Nairobi’s Village Market. There are all kinds of things to do and see at Village Market!
41. Yaya Center
Yaya Center is yet another shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya that consist’s of over 100 stores and offices. The trendy shopping center has a vast array of stores to suit all your needs.
42. Diamond Plaza
Diamond Plaza is Nairobi’s Indian shopping plaza. Looking for Indian clothes, perfumes, Bollywood films, or some of Nairobi’s cheapest yummy Indian food? Diamond Plaza, known as DP, has you covered!
43. Shop at a Duka
Duka’s are the tiny convenient stores located and each and every corner of Nairobi. Buy something of just have a coke at one of the many dukas littering Nairobi.
44. Biashara Street
Biashara Street, which means business in Kiswahili, is located in downtown Nairobi. The street is lined with fabric stores, making it the best place to shop for cloth in Nairobi.
45. Panari Sky Center
Located out on Mombasa Road, the Panari Sky Center is a sleek modern shopping center and hotel in Nairobi. It houses a number of boutiques, banks, and an entertainment center that includes East Africa’s first ice skating rink!
The Nakumatt chain of mega stores located throughout Nairobi is a grocery and everything else combined super store. From groceries to household item, Nakumatt will have you covered!
Uchumi Supermarkets are the only competition for Nakumatt, and they don’t seem to be doing nearly as well. That being said, Uchumi is also a great grocery super center store with locations around Nairobi.
48. Search for Antiques
As a trading and international hub, Nairobi has it’s share of authentic African antiques coming from all over East and Central Africa. Searching for authentic antiques can be a challenge, but an entertaining and adventurous challenge! For more information on authentic African antiques contact Jones and Key.
49. Bata Safari Boots
Pick up a fresh pair of authentic East African Safari boots at Bata. “Hair on,” is the most recent edition to these timeless classics!
Entertainment in Nairobi
50. Ride a Matatu
Matatu public minibuses in Nairobi are notorious for their hazardous driving skills and their lack of consideration for other motorists. Bass thumping music, tv screens and shouting touts adds to the thrilling matatu culture in Nairobi.
Here is and awesome matatu guide to help you ride a matatu wherever you need to go on your route of things to do in Nairobi!
51. Ice Skating
Believe it or not, Nairobi has it’s very own ice skating rink. The ice rink, located at the Panari Sky Center was built as a Nairobi attractions draw for people from all over East Africa. Don’t worry if you are not too confident of a skater, there are plenty of first timers!
52. Nairobi Nightlife
The nightlife in Nairobi is complex and always changing. Hotspots transfer from place to place depending on the crowd and the scene tends to change rapidly. That being said, there are plenty of places for a night out in Nairobi. Here are some suggestions:
- Pavement Nightclub – Techno upscale Euro disco
- K2 – Klubhouse – Large outdoors style club and lounge
- Red Tape / Black Diamond – Local clubs
- Brew Bistro – Upscale brewery
- Florida Kenya (F2) – Local club
Do some more research on the latest Nairobi night scene to find out where to go.
53. Safari Cat’s Dancers and Acrobats
The Safari Cat’s and Acrobats put on one of the most magnificent shows Nairobi has to offer. The performance is held at the Safari Park Hotel on the outskirts of Nairobi. Check out their website for more information and reservations.
54. Learn to Speak Sheng
Sheng is Nairobi’s very own form of street slang, combining mostly the hippest lingo from Swahili and English. Get ready to start saying things like “sema you guy,” and “is how?” Ati (sheng expression…you’ll soon figure it out).
Check out the very cool sheng dictionary.
55. Top of Kenyatta Conference Center
For a thrilling view of Nairobi’s skyline go to Kenyatta International Conference Center (KICC). For 400 KSH the guard will lead you to the top of Nairobi’s tallest building for an incredible view!
photo credit olelepish
56. Watch a Football Match
Kenyans are passionate about football, local clubs and the Kenya National team. Try to attend a local football match at a stadium, but if not, a show down between Manchester United and Arsenal on TV somewhere in Nairobi is always a good time!
photo credit tylerprieb
57. Latest Kenyan Music Scene
Many Africans seem to be born with natural skills in music and rhythm. There are quite a few musical artists from around Nairobi and East Africa that produce their latest tracks of hip hop and reggae in Nairobi. Some accommodate to the bling bling lifestyle and others poetically talk about the realities and hardships of living in Nairobi. Check out Ken Tunes.
58. Swim in a Muddy Ravine
Nairobi has quite a few muddy ravines where boys strip down naked and skinny dip! One of the more daring things to do in Nairobi!
Note: Not recommended
59. Ngong Racecourse
Ngong Racecourse is home to Nairobi’s only horse races and jockey club. The racecourse is operated by the Kenya Jockey Club and is located adjacent to the Ngong Forest near Karen, Nairobi.
photo credit kenyaairways
60. Play a Round of Golf
There are many green golf courses located throughout Nairobi. Shoot a round of golf and escape the clogged traffic streets of Nairobi! For more information on the many golf courses in Kenya see golf today.
61. Go to a Nairobi Style Bash
A Nairobi bash is usually some form of night party with a great atmosphere. Often a big sponsor will put together a bash celebration that features a number of local musical artists and a flow of beverages. When in Nairobi, keep an eye out for a Nairobi bash!
62. Aga Khan Sports and Food
63. Nairobi Safari Sevens
The Kenya Safari Sevens is a fast paced rugby tournament that is held in Nairobi annually. The atmosphere buzzes with excitement as fans crowd the bleachers with Tusker to watch Kenya battle against some of the toughest teams in the world. The Safari Sevens is among the most entertaining things to do in Nairobi!
photo credit whiteafrican
64. Run the Nairobi Marathon
Kenyan’s are famous for their long distance running ability. The annual Nairobi Marathon is a great activity to maximize your exercise and run along side some of the best runners in the world.
photos credit mechathomas
65. Nairobi Casinos
If you are feeling lucky, there are quite a few casions in Nairobi to choose from. Take a look at the list of Nairobi casinos here.
66. Get a Hair Cut
Sanitary conditions are up for consideration, but Nairobi street side barbers can give you a shave and cut to suit whatever style you can point out in a magazine!
67. Treatment at Spa Cleopatra or Chen-Ally Spa
68. Get Your Shoes Shined
Nairobi’s red dirt and mud comes with nightmares for anyone wearing shoes. Luckily there are scores of shoe shiners throughout Nairobi, ready at a moments notice to get your shoes looking fresh again!
69. Gym / Sauna
As Nairobi becomes more developed and more modern, more and more facilites arise and are offered. Completely nonexistent a few years ago, there are now quite a few options for fitness gyms and heath clubs in Nairobi.
70. Water Park Splash
Splash is Nairobi’s largest water theme park, full of entertaining water slides and shallow pools. On those hot days in Nairobi, Splash is a great place to cool off for the entire family! It is located out by the Carnivore restaurant.
71. Walk Around Downtown Nairobi
These days Nairobi is becoming safer as a walking destination during the daytime hours.
Start at the Hilton Nairobi and stroll around downtown Nairobi, visiting all the interesting sites along the way. If you prefer walking around in a group tour take a look at Nairobi urban tours.
72. Nairobi Mountain Biking
You can either rent a bike of go on a specific Nairobi bike tour, but either way, Nairobi has great weather for outdoor activities!
Places to Visit in Nairobi
73. Nairobi Jamia Mosque
The Jamia Mosque is the largest Islamic Mosque in Nairobi, built under Arab influence with 3 domes and 2 minarets.
Banda Street (Next to McMillan Library)
74. All Saints Cathedral
Not far from Uhuru Park close to downtown Nairobi, All Saints Cathedral is one of Nairobi’s original Anglican churches. Services are still held on Sundays. Located on Kenyatta Avenue
75. Nairobi Chapel Church
Nairobi Chapel is a huge and lively Christian church in Nairobi, Kenya.
Sunday Services: 10.30 – 12.15 noon, Jamhuri Road, near Nairobi Showground, off Ngong’ Road
76. Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Hindu Temple
Constructed of traditional supplies and carvings shipped from India, Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Hindu Temple in Nairobi, is a stunning sight!
Located in Parklands area of Nairobi of Forest Road.
77. McMillan Memorial Library
Built in 1931, McMillan Memorial Library is the oldest library in Nairobi and houses a great selection of books and classic literature.
Banda Street (Next to Jamia Mosque)
78. Railway Museum – Home of the Lunatic Express
At Nairobi’s railway museum, learn about the history of the East African Railways.
Located next to the Nairobi Railway Station in downtown Nairobi.
79. Nairobi National Museum
The Nairobi National Museum is a great museum exhibiting displays from tribal Kenya, early human findings, and the flora and fauna from all over Kenya.
Located at Museum Hill, P.O. BOX 40658 Nairobi Kenya 00100
Open: 9:30am am to 6:00 pm, Monday – Sunday (including Public Holidays), Adults- 800/-, Below 16 years- 400/
80. Kenya National Archives
The Kenya National Archives is a museum in downtown Nairobi displaying traditional culture, antique artifacts, and Kenyan historical information. Within the museum is the former throne of Jomo Kenyatta and an interesting collection of African weapons.
Located on Moi Ave. in downtown Nairobi, close to Ambassadeur Hotel
81. Karen Blixen Museum
photo credit maggs12
82. Kenya Parliament
The original Kenya parliament building is characterized by it’s clock steeple in downtown Nairobi. An interesting attraction to visit in Nairobi.
Located in the City Centre of Nairobi on Parliament Rd
photo credit CokeeOrg
83. Kenyatta Mausoleum
The mausoleum of Jomo Kenyatta, Kenya’s first president is adjacent to the Kenya Parliament building.
84. August Memorial Park
In remembrance of the US Embassy bombing that took place on the 7th of August, 1998, the August Memorial Park in downtown Nairobi was built. It is a small, quiet park in the midst of the downtown Nairobi hustle and bustle. Look at a map here.
Located at the corner of Moi Ave. and Haile Selassie Ave.
85. Bomas of Kenya
The Bomas of Kenya is village exhibition showing cultures and traditional tribal practices of the tribes that make up Kenya. The aim of the center is to preserve, maintain, and educate people about Kenya’s diverse range of tribes.
86. Riuki Cultural Center
The Riuki Culture Center offers an opportunity to learn more about Kenya’s largest Kikuyu tribe through the demonstration of traditions, customs and a homestead. The Riuki Cultural Center is a great place to learn more about the people of Kenya.
87. Kiambethu Tea Farm
Kiambethu Tea Farm is located just outside of Nairobi in the town of Limuru, Kenya. A tour of the Kiambethu Tea Farm provides an opportunity to see the process of growing tea as well as a delicious meal in the tea garden!
photo credit skateyb
88. Windsor Golf and Country Club
Even if you aren’t in to playing golf, the British prestigious Windsor Golf and Country club offers beautiful views of lush lawns and a wonderful place to relax and drink afternoon tea!
89. Kibera Slum
Kibera is Nairobi’s biggest and one of the world’s largest slum villages. It is an entire city made from mud and tin. Visiting Kibera and observing life there, is a sober reminder to be thankful for what we have. It is possible to organize safe tours to Kibera and also get involved with volunteer opportunities.
- Interested in a tour take a look at Kibera Tours
For volunteering, here are a few sources, but I would highly advise you to do more research and ask around once in Nairobi
90. Mathare Slum
Over 500,000 people are crammed into the Mathare Valley of Nairobi, in an extremely poor slum area. There are places for you to visit and opportunities to volunteer with groups. I would advise you to do some research and make some connections once you arrive in Nairobi.
91. Volunteer with Orphaned Children
New Life Home is an orphanage home for kids who have been abandoned or have no where to go. It is an encouraging place to be yourself, hang out with kids who are in need, and offer a little love to the kids.
92. Hilton Hotel Nairobi
93. Kimathi Statue
Dedan Kimathi was a Mau Mau Kenyan leader who fought against the rule of the colonial power of Britain. A statue in remembrance of Kimathi stands in Nairobi, Kenya, adjacent to the Nairobi Hilton hotel.
94. Stanley Hotel Nairobi
The Stanley Hotel Nairobi is a 5 star hotel with a lot of history in downtown Nairobi. Built in 1902, the Stanley has hosted Ewart Grogan, Ernest Hemingway and Edward Prince of Wales.
Photo credit monbulktravel
95. Dandora Football Club
In one of poorest and most dangerous neighborhoods in Nairobi, youth find hope through the sport of football. Dandora Youth Football Club offers a soccer academy and a safe and healthy environment.
Dandora is dangerous, but improvements are being made.
Parks and Green Space
96. Uhuru Park
97. Uhuru Gardens
Uhuru Gardens is Kenya’s largest memorial park, located in the quiet suburbs of Nairobi. The beautiful lush grounds are an excellent place to spend a day relaxing and having a picnic. For more information visit the Kenya National Museums website.
98. Nairobi Arboretum
Nairobi Arboretum is an area of Nairobi set aside as a forest reserve, displaying the beautiful plant life and scenery of plant life in Kenya. There have been a few recent security concerns, so use your own discretion before going there. The best way to visit is with a local tree walk tour. For more information click here.
99. Paradise Lost Park
Paradise Lost is a private nature reserve on the outskirts of Nairobi and is one of the most popular picnic and leisure areas Nairobi has to offer. Caves, ancient trees, boating on a late, a waterfall and bird watching are a few of the available activities and Paradise Lost. On the weekends, picnicking at Paradise Lost is one of the more popular attractions in Nairobi! More information available here and here.
100. Ngong Hills
The Ngong Hills is a forest reserve or rolling hills located just outside the city center of Nairobi. The forest sanctuary is a great place for outdoor activities like nature hiking, biking and hose riding. For more information of how to get to Ngong Hills check this site out or there are various tour agencies that offer group tours.
Photo credit flowerbeetle
101. Relax in a Garden
In the suburbs of Nairobi, the yards and landscapes are simply beautiful. An afternoon tea in a lush lawn shaded by a blooming Jacaranda tree is a highlight in Nairobi.
If you made it to the end of this massive list of 101 things to do in Nairobi, Congratulations! Hope this guide gives you a few ideas of what to do in the incredible city of Nairobi, Kenya!