Known for its vibrance aura, Nairobi’s social scene continues to advance and prosper. Kenya has an incredibly diverse community, celebrating different ethnic cultures within the country. Its cultural diverse approach has an incredible impact on the social activities the city of Nairobi provides. The top five locations named in this article perfectly aligns with the deep traditional culture of Nairobi but also embrace the modernity and cosmopolitan feel of the vibrant city. Read about my top 7 best things to do in Nairobi.
Mama’s Fine French Patisserie
One of the top patisseries for pastries and other baked goods in Nairobi, this Parisian inspired cafe is loved by many. With very fine Parisian inspired interior decor, you have a little bit of Paris in Nairobi. Most commonly known for their crisp croissants. I simply had to indulge when it came to these because the nice buttery smell from the croissant and it’s glossy appearance made it hard to resist.. With a nice ice coffee to cool you down when the weather is hot, paired with a buttery crisp croissant, how could you say no to that? This patisserie also provides amazing cheesecakes their salted caramel and strawberry cheesecakes are simply to die for! They taste like a bonbon only in an actual dessert.
The staff is always inviting, attending your every need whenever you like. Always providing the best service for their customers! You can find Mama’s Fine French Patisserie at ABC Place, Waiyaki Way, Nairobi.
Visit the Kenyan National Museum
The National Museum has always been a favorite for tourists and locals. The National Museum provides a rich history of not only traditional aspects within the Kenyan culture but also, a modern approach to showcasing the progression in Kenyan lifestyle over the years and fossils collected from million of years ago of our ancestors the Homo Erectus.
The museum portrays Kenya’s diversity with tools that the Swahili along the coast used in their daily lives, right until the musical instruments Luo tribe used like the Abuu.
The best part about the museum has got to be their animal exhibition. They have over a thousand different type of animals (not live animals) you can find all around Kenya! How amazing?! An even more amazing fact is that they even have some of the remains of animals that have extincted, but were present in Kenya such as the Marsabit (a really old type of Elephant). No matter what age you are, the Museum is a perfect spot to visit on your visit to Nairobi, as you’re never too old to learn, especially about culture, traditions and even lifestyle. The museum is open on all 356 days throughout the year from 8.30 am -5.30 pm.
Find stunning clothes at KikoRomeo
KikoRomeo was established in 1996 by Ann McCreath. One of the most renowned fashion houses in Africa, this brand exudes a mix of Kenyan culture with a modern touch. The brand is incredibly colorful and lively. It is everything Kenyan, from the colors of the clothing, to even the materials used. Also not to mention all their clothing is in fact manufactured in Kenya.
The store lightens up with the beautiful colors exuding from the clothes, the staff is always accommodating and even if you are just passing by, I am so sure you’ll list this store as one of your favorites! KikoRomeo shop is on 1st Floor of the Yaya Centre, Kilimani, Nairobi
Climb Blue Sky
Climb Bluesky came up just recently and has been a favorite of anyone who likes physical activity and adventure! Climb Bluesky is the perfect spot for absolutely anyone, whether you’re advanced in rock climbing or have no experience in rock climbing at all! I think it is a perfect activity to do in Nairobi on a cloudy Saturday or Sunday morning or afternoon.
This was my first time rock climbing indoors (previously done rock climbing in the past but in an outdoor setting) and the experience was just as fun as being out in the nature rock climbing.
The staff is so incredibly accommodating as soon as you walk in, they provide you with tips, how to put the harness and seem to always have a smile on their face. Of course the staff will ask if you have any previous experience in rock climbing so that they are able to assist you when you do start climbing. This activity is so much fun that you could actually lose track of time because it is so exhilarating and so much fun! A few of the climbs can be quite intimidating but the amazing thing is that there is always a guide there to assist you in terms of where you need to go and also to give you support, really pushing you to know that you can do it! Push yourself this year and do something new!
Visit Karura Forest
One of my most favorite things to do in Nairobi, especially early morning, is visiting Karura Forest. It is a wonderful green oasis in the middle of bustling city Nairobi that covers an area of about 1,000 ha (2,500 ac). The forest sits on million-year-old late tertiary volcanic rock and is home to over 200 bird species and a variety of other animals.
It is a perfect hideaway if you want to relax and take in some fresh air. It is perfect for jogging, walking, cycling or picnicking. Visit the beautiful waterfall and see the many butterflies flying around. When finished your exercise or walking round grab a coffee or a bite at River Café. It has a great outdoor setting overlooking the forest. It can be busy so make a reservation of you want to be assured with a seat, especially in the weekends.
Eat the Best Ice Cream in Town
I found out about this place as I used to live just a 2-minute walk away. It is actually an Italian restaurant with some very decent Italian food, but the hidden gem is their little ice cream shop at the parking area. Their scones are freshly made and one of the best ones I have eaten. Flavor options can differ, but their famous vanilla and yoghurt ice is always on offer. Go and try some of their freshly made Italian ice cream at Osteria Del Chianti, Lenana Road, Nairobi.
Stroll Around the War Memorial Cemetery
Last but certainly not least is Kenya’s war memorial cemetery commemorating the late soldiers that fought in the World War under colonial rule. This location is probably one of the most naturalistically beautiful spots in Nairobi. The sun perfectly hits the green grass and the beautiful flowers.
The cemetery is filled with lots of big beautiful trees which give you a very calm and relaxed atmosphere. The cemetery looks over the Ngong forest, capturing a beautiful essence of the rest of Nairobi. Located at the cemetery are a few guides who can give you a brief history of the soldiers fighting in the war and also history of the cemetery. A place not to miss while in this green beautiful city.
As most travelers quickly go in and out of Nairobi going for their safaris, Nairobi is definitely worth spending one or 2 full days in order to soak up some Kenyan culture. The city is developing fast with some great restaurants, cafe’s, hotels and great activities to do.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE THINGS TO DO IN NAIROBI?
Petronella Risita, is a blogger, film student and globetrotter! From the moment she was born, she was constantly traveling, mostly because of her parent’s background in diplomatic services but also because of her family’s love to travel. You can read more on her own blog www.petronellarisita.com.