The city under the sun has much to offer regarding activities and visiting places. Whether looking for adrenaline-packed activities or just chilled time with friends and family, you can always find something to do in Nairobi.
This article will give you a round-up of activities you can do, no matter your budget. You will find some things you can do for free and some activities that require cash. Ready? Let’s start.
15 Things to Do in Nairobi
List of things to do in Nairobi
1. Picnic at the Nairobi Arboretum
The Nairobi Arboretum is in the Kilimani area along State House Road. It is in the city’s heart, so it is quite convenient to get there. If you are taking an Uber or Bolt, the average cost is Ksh 200 from Westlands. Nairobi Arboretum was preserved to study trees so that you will find all tree species in the area.
Carry your picnic basket and enjoy the serene environment in the middle of the city. Please note that it tends to get crowded during the weekends, so you might want to choose a less busy day if you want quiet time.
Entry Fees: Adults Ksh 67 and Kids Ksh 27
Photography and videography: Ksh1,322 and Ksh3,306, respectively.
2. Exploration walk at Kararu Forest
If you are tired of busy city life, Karura Forest is where to go and retreat. It is 1041 hectares of forest surrounded by major neighborhoods such as Limuru and Kiambu. The Kenya Wildlife Service manages the forest and has at least 605 animal species.
It is ideal for nature walks and cycling and has a picnic area. You can rent a bike at the gate and enjoy cycling on the paths. If it is your first time visiting Karura, I recommend taking a friend. However, the paths are marked, and you will not get lost if you follow them carefully.
Entry Fees: Adults Ksh100 and children Ksh 50.
Parking Fees: Car Ksh 100
Picnic: Adult Ksh 150 and child Ksh 100
Bike: Ksh 500 for 2 hours
3. GP Karting off Lang’ata road
GP Karting is a fun activity, especially for couples or groups of friends. If you want adrenaline-packed activities, go racing with friends and family. First-time racing might be scary or intimidating, but it is all the fun you need.
If you have kids, they will be accompanied by an instructor, but they will enjoy the activities. You will get a helmet and racing suit, so you are safe.
Hourly rates: 5 – 8 years – Ksh 900
9 – 12 years – Ksh 1000
13 – 16 years – Ksh 1100
17 to adults – Ksh 1300
4. Play games at the village market
The Village Market is a one-stop shop for different types of indoor games. It is located in the village market’s second-floor wing along Limuru Road and is accessible from the CBD.
The village bowl is popular for bowling, although other interesting indoor games include a pool table, air hockey, and foosball. Visiting with friends or family is advisable to have some company when playing. However, you might meet people in the gaming space and join their time.
Here is a breakdown of some of the games:
Air hockey – Ksh 200
Bowling – Ksh 500
Foosball – Ksh 200
Pool table – Ksh 200
5. Learn History and Culture at the Kenya National Archives
The Kenya National Archives is a hidden gem to many Nairobians. It is located downtown in the central business district and is always open to the public at a small fee. The government keeps records here, so it can be a great place to learn about history.
Apart from records, you will also find a display of artifacts and exhibitions. It is a great place to learn cultural history without visiting the museum. Historians, cultural enthusiasts, and researchers will enjoy visiting Kenya National Archives.
Entry fee: Residents Ksh 50 and Non-residents Ksh 200
6. View the city from the KICC rooftop
The KICC is one city landmarks hosting some top government and international offices. It is one of the tall buildings in Kenya, and the rooftop is used as a view tower for guests who want to admire the city.
You can see the rest of the city from the roof tower and enjoy the beautiful view. On weekdays, the management allows visitors to access the rooftop from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm and during weekends until 6:00 Pm.
Entry fees: Ksh 150
7. Watch Local Plays – Kenya National Theater, Alliance Francois, and Phonex Theater
Watching local plays on stage is a great way to spend weekends and evenings in Nairobi. If you do not want to spend time in traffic, you can visit one of the theatres and watch a local play before you go home.
You can always find the plays scheduled by checking online. Some of the plays are acted in local languages, so you need to take note of that. The plays are diverse, from comedy to political satire.
Entry fees: Ksh 100 to Ksh 2000, depending on the theater and play.
8. Watch the 7D cinema in Thika Road Mall
If you have already experienced 3D cinema, it is time to take it to the next level and get the 7D experience. The experience is real, and you will feel every effect, sound, and sensation in the movie.
To enhance your experience, the cinema hall and comfortable seats, seat belts, and even bars to hold on to. The cinema does not show full movies, but you get 15-minute clips with all the intensity you would ever experience.
Fees: Ksh 350 per person for 15 minutes
9. Visit the Nairobi National Park
When traveling in Kenya, Nairobi National Park is always the starting point. Nairobi is one of the cities that prides itself on having a National Park. The park only covers 117 sq km, but it is abundant in wildlife. Although the park is in the city, you still get the safari experience from visiting other national parks.
The park has lions, hyenas, and different bird species. The park has three gates; Magadi road, Athi-river, and the city gate. You can use a 2wd vehicle touring the park, but it is advisable to have a 4wd in case of rain.
Entry fee: Kenyan residents Ksh 430
10. Admire art at Banana Hill Art Gallery
The Banana Hill Art Gallery is a place to visit for art enthusiasts. It is a contemporary African art gallery where artists and collectors meet. The art gallery is in the middle of a slum, so you must be careful and go during the day.
It is a small art gallery packed with a lot of art. This is not a fancy art gallery, so the display is not up to standard, and you might have to dig deep to find art pieces. However, the artists are extremely talented; you will be spoilt for choice.
11. Tour Kibera Slums
Kibera is one of the largest slums in Africa. However, Kibera is not just about sad stories. There are very many opportunities and fun things to do. People living in the slum are very talented and involved in different projects.
You should take a tour to see what it is like to live in the slums. It is an excellent way to avoid the myths and misconceptions that surround slum life. Local tour companies can give you a tour at a fee. Paying the tour companies is a good way to support the local communities by giving them employment opportunities.
Tour fee: Ksh 2500
12. Visit Uhuru Park
Uhuru Park is a recreational park along Lang’ata Road. It is a place where families and friends meet for fun. It has a nice place to relax and enjoy a picnic, but it also has an artificial lake for kids to enjoy boat rides.
Since the park is in the middle of the city, many people underestimate it and think it is a place for idle people. This is an excellent place to relax whenever you are in the middle of the city and want to take a break.
Entrance fee: Free
13. A nature walk in Paradise Lost
Paradise Lost is located in Kiambu, about 10km from the middle of the city. If you like taking nature walks, this is a serene place to visit. It is a little bit far from the city, so it is a great place to visit if you want to escape the noise and pollution.
While in Paradise Lost, you will enjoy the caves, streams of water, birds chirping, and nature at its best. It is a place where you finally reconnect with nature and enjoy some fresh air. Apart from nature walks you can picnic, camp and bird watching.
Entry fee: Ksh 400
14. Paintball Furry in Lang’ata Road
Lovers of adrenaline-packed activities will love this one. Paintball furry is becoming a popular game, and if you want to take time off with a group of friends, this is something to consider. The game will bring out your inner child by allowing you to run around hitting your friends with paintballs.
If you go with many friends, you will be grouped into two teams and compete against each other. The paintballs are not painful, and you will not hurt anyone using the paint gun. You will be given a protective apron so your clothes will not be stained.
Cost: Ksh 1000 for 100 paintballs
15. Visit Nairobi Safari Walk
The Nairobi Safari walk gives you a unique experience. It is a controlled zoo with path areas for people to walk as they enjoy animals. When visiting Nairobi Safari Walk, you can take a van or walk.
I prefer walking because this is when you get a unique experience with the animals. If you are scared of walking alone, you can pay a local tour guide to take you around. The zoo has almost all the animals you can find in Kenya, but you might not see them on the same day.
Entry fees: Ksh 250