Top 15 Things to Do in Nairobi, Kenya | Hub of East Africa

During my first visit to Nairobi, I had no idea what I was going to do. I booked a stay at a lodge and that was all the plans that I had! Fortunately I met many amazing people on my solo travels who gave me some wonderful ideas of places to visit in the amazing city of Nairobi. From wildlife to forests to waterfalls to horse back riding to hiking, the list in Nairobi is endless.

1. Karura Forest

A lovely little surprise in the middle of the city, Karura Forest is a gem of Nairobi. With over 50 kilometers of walking, biking, and nature trails, this is one of the best places to visit for a taste of nature while still staying in the city. There are orange waterfalls, picnic areas, walking and biking trails, and the most adorable, quaint café.

Karura Forest Nairobi Kenya


2. Elephant Orphanage

One of the main tourist attractions in Nairobi is the elephant orphanage of Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. The highlight being the ability to see orphan baby elephants come out for a milk feeding and a mud bath in the morning. Visiting times are very limited and therefore it is always quite busy. They are only open to tourists from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm so be sure to plan accordingly!

3. Giraffe Center

Have you ever been kissed by a giraffe? Now is your chance! Or for the less adventurous, you can at least feed the giraffes from your hand at the Giraffe Center in Nairobi. It is certainly quite the experience. Unfortunately you cannot sit down and eat in the restaurant with the giraffes peaking in unless you stay the night in the (very expensive) hotel.

4. K1 Market

Did you imagine Nairobi to have an upscale flea market? Well they certainly do and it’s called K1 Flea Market. A hip and popping place to sit for a drink or lunch, K1 will give you a great feel for the vibe of Nairobi. The flea market, which features traditional Masai goods, handmade items, and second hand goodies, is only on Sunday’s although the market itself is open all week.

K1 Flea Market Nairobi Kenya

5. Skyline of Nairobi – Kenyatta Tower

It would be a shame to visit any city without getting a good glimpse of it’s skyline. And Nairobi, the hub of East Africa certainly has a skyline to boast of. If you travel to the CBD of Nairobi, located near most of the government offices, you’ll find Kenyatta Towers. An elevator ride and a short climb later and you’ll be gazing with a bird’s eye view of Nairobi.

Kenyatta Tower Skyline of Nairobi

6. Ngong Hills – Horse Ride or Hike

If you’re looking for a hike near Nairobi, Ngong hills are just about your only option. A guide is usually recommended as there are no paths and you pass through Masai land. Even if you’re not looking for a hike, these hills are a truly beautiful sight. There are also options to go for a few hours of a horse back riding through the red and fertile hills. Malo stables offers amazing rides if you’re up for the adventure!

Ngong Hills Nairobi

7. Nairobi Arboretum – Picnic

Although it is lesser-known among tourists, the Nairobi Arboretum is a lovely place to spend the day. Take along a book, a picnic blanket, and a picnic and you’ll be set! Shaded by trees and flowers, you may even be visited by a monkey or two (or 15).

Nairobi Arboretum

8. Village Market/Two Rivers Mall

If you want to experience a bit of Nairobi’s fancier side, Village Market is the place to go. A semi-outdoor shopping area located right near most of the city’s embassies and the UN, it is quite a beautiful place to visit. Extremely safe and secure, you’ll see many expats and tourists roaming the fountain-lined paths. Filled with cafes and shopping areas, it’s a wonderful place to relax during the night or also have a fancy dinner at night.

Village Market Nairobi Kenya

Two Rivers Mall, the largest mall in East Africa, is only a few minutes drive away. Containing all the best shopping opportunities in Kenya if you need western goods, Two Rivers is a great place to know about. They even have a small amusement park connected to the mall!

9. Rooftop Swimming – Trademark Hotel

Sometimes all you need is a relaxing day by the pool! As most of Nairobi’s natural streams or waterfalls are not clean enough to swim in, a little bit of clear water can be a comfort. Trademark Hotel, adjacent to Village Market, offers a stunning pool with lovely views of the city and delicious dining options. There are many hotel rooftop swimming pools in the city, but this was by far my favorite. A lovely place to relax!

Trademark Rooftop Hotel Nairobi

10. Masai Market

Experiencing the local and native cultures is one of the most important aspects of travel. Especially when the culture is as unique and well preserved as the Masai Tribe in Kenya. There are over 40 tribes within Kenya but the Masai are by far the most famous as they have preserved their warrior tribe with most of it’s traditional aspects. Bright, colorful clothing, unique handmade products, and endless bangles and jewelry. Nairobi offers Masai Markets in multiple places throughout the city. The best are at Village Market on Fridays or the CBD on Sunday.

 Masai Market Nairobi Kenya

11. Kibera Slum Tour

Kibera is known as the largest and poorest slum in all of Africa and among the largest in the world. With no electricity or running water for it’s over 250,000 dwellers, it is an incredibly humbling experience to take a tour through the area and learn from the people who live there and hear their stories. A family of 8 will live normally in a 12×12 mud home, bringing a bucket of water per day from the communal center. My guide, Winnie, was born and raised in Kibera and she runs a school in the slum while also trying to bring awareness to the community.

Kibera Slum Tour Nairobi Kenya

12. Paradise Lost

This place isn’t called paradise for nothing! A beautiful little oasis around 15 minutes outside of the city, Paradise Lost should certainly be on your list! A stunning waterfall, Mau Mau (anti-colonial freedom fighters) caves, picnic spots, a zipline, and more! A magical little haven just outside of the city!

Paradise Lost Waterfall Nairobi

13. Tigoni Tea Farms

Tigoni Tea Farms Nairobi

If you want a little excursion into the countryside while still not wandering too far from the city, Tigoni is perfect for you! With endless fields of green tea farms (tea is Kenya’s second largest export) it’s certainly a stunning place. Horseback riding, picnic spots, and of course some hidden waterfalls adorn this almost untouched area.


14. Karen Blixen Museum

If you have ever read the book or seen the film Out of Africa, this museum is a must. Karen Blixen who lived in Kenya from 1914-1931 and wrote her famous autobiographical book about time in colonial Kenya, has an entire suburb of Nairobi, “Karen” named after her. The museum sits on her original farmland “at the foothills of Ngong” as she was known to write and her original home. Although just a short visit, most history lovers will enjoy!

Karen Blixen Museum Nairobi

15. Nairobi National Park

Did you ever consider doing a safari within a city? And not at a zoo! Nairobi has an entire national park within its borders. Lions, cheetahs, leopards, giraffes, zebras, rhinos, and more all just a few minutes drive from the city itself! Although it certainly is not as extensive and full of animals as some of Kenya’s more famous safari parks (Masai Mara, Amboseli, Tsavo, etc) it’s still a great place to get a taste of Kenya’s incredible wildlife.

Have any more questions about traveling to Kenya? Check out our ULTIMATE GUIDE TO TRAVEL IN KENYA | TIPS & TRICKS FOR FIRST TIME TRAVELERS.

Looking for more fun things to do in Kenya, outside of the city? 11 AMAZING THINGS TO DO ON YOUR TRIP TO KENYA – NOT JUST A SAFARI

Lots of Love and Safe Travels,

Danielle and Brooke, Colorful Sisters


  1. Wow would love to travel there. One day…..😊

    1. I hope that you’ll be able to!! 🙂

    1. Thanks!

      1. You are welcome.

  2. Nairobi is more beautiful than I expected, but that slum breaks my heart. I’d love to visit Kenya someday.

    1. Yess there are many very very beautiful areas of the city, but sadly some struggling sections as well 🙁

    2. Africa is so beautiful!

      1. It really is 😍

  3. Wonderful content as usual. Don’t know how you do it, but you guys run an awesome blog for sure.

    1. Oh wow thank you so much!! So kind of you 🙂

  4. Kenya wasnt on my list before but it is now. The tea fields and waterfall pictures were 👌. The hotel looked excellent. You can get a mix of city rural. Well done!

    1. That’s so great to hear! I’m sure you’d love it there 🙂 Nairobi is a wonderful mix of the two for sure!

  5. Ooh that pool looks so good. It reminds me of the new apartments near our Head Office in Belgium where there are deep swimming pools instead of balconies.

    1. Oh wow that sounds so amazing!!! And the pool really is lovely 🙂 And has a great view!

  6. Good coverage, Nairobi is a unique City.

    1. It truly is!

  7. Love this post and hope to travel there one day 😊

    1. Thank you! I hope that you are able to travel there someday as well 🙂

  8. Thank you for following my blog. I look forward to reading yours.

    1. Thank you so much! Likewise 🙂

  9. This looks so beautiful! I can’t wait until we can travel again. Not blowing your entire shopping budget in that market must have been an epic feat of self control.

    1. Hahaha it was certainly quite the challenge!!!

  10. Wow I love all the colours and vibrancy. It looks incredible. Also, special shout out to your hair in the first Karura Forest photo – it looks incredible 🙂

  11. Wow! Loving the pics! What interesting places to do these shoots! ;-)))

    1. Thank you so much!! SO happy you enjoyed 🙂

  12. the photos are really nice!

    1. Thank you so much!

  13. Such a beautiful place 😍😍😍. Lovely photography.

    1. Thank you so much!!

  14. Excellent post. Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage is a wonderful orphanage – I haven’t been there unfortunately but sponsor an elephant from here in Australia. Thanks for the great post.

    1. Amazing! Yess it is really a great place, hopefully you’ll be able to visit someday 🙂

  15. […] Looking for more amazing things to do in or near Nairobi: TOP 15 THINGS TO DO IN NAIROBI, KENYA | HUB OF EAST AFRICA […]

  16. […] Looking for more amazing things to do in Nairobi? TOP 15 THINGS TO DO IN NAIROBI, KENYA | HUB OF EAST AFRICA […]

  17. I think this is the best blog I have seen until now. Wonderful!!!

    1. Oh wow thank you so very much!!! That really means the world to us 😍😍

  18. Thank you for sharing tthis

  19. […] And don’t forget the long list of incredible things just in Nairobi: TOP 15 THINGS TO DO IN NAIROBI, KENYA | HUB OF EAST AFRICA […]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: