Nairobi climbed the ranks of the “most expensive cities” list released this year. This means that the cost of living in the city is undeniably on the rise. But, I don't think Nairobi is that expensive, it has a high-end reputation. Besides, you can still find several affordable things to do in the capital city that won’t leave a sizable hole in your wallet.
So, what can you do in Nairobi for $15 or less? Don’t be troubled, we’ve got your back! Whether you’re a tourist or local, there are numerous activities to do and places you can visit without spending much. Here are several things you can do in Nairobi for 15 dollars or less:
1. Explore Uhuru Gardens
Uhuru Gardens, the largest memorial park in the country, is one of the best picnic spots in the city. There are numerous things you can do at the park such as boating in the artificial lake, face painting, and skateboarding. You can enjoy a picnic with your family or take a stroll around the park.
Entry fee: Free but you’ll pay for some activities such as boat rides.
2. Visit the Nairobi National Museum
Nairobi National Museum is an important historic and cultural institution in the country. It hosts an extensive collection of relics that interprets the rich heritage of Kenya. You can explore the museum and learn more about the history and heritage of the country. The museum has botanical gardens with peaceful ambiance for a relaxing afternoon. You can also visit the dining and shopping facilities, although you may have to spend more if you decide to dine or shop.
- Tourists from outside East Africa is Sh1, 200 ($12) adults, Sh600 ($6) children;
- Tourists from within East Africa pay Sh600 ($6) adults, Sh400 ($4) children.
3. Enjoy Panoramic Views of the City at KICC Helipad
Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) is one of the popular and notable landmarks in Nairobi. Located in the city center, the building is 105m tall and has 28 floors with a helipad. For a bird’s eye view of the city, the helipad is the place to be.
- Adult: Sh400 ($4)
- Student: Sh200 ($2)
4. Take a walk through Karura Forest
If you love nature, Karura Forest is a great place to visit. The forest has several nature trails, rare indigenous wildlife, tranquil rivers, and waterfalls. You can take a walk through the nature trails and enjoy the serene environment. There are several picnic sites around the forest, where you can enjoy some fun time with your family.
- Non-resident Adult: Sh600 ($6)
- Non-resident Children: Sh300 ($3)
- For use of picnic grounds, adults pay Sh150 ($1.5) and Sh100 ($1) for children
5. Pet and Kiss a Giraffe Center
Located about 20 km from the city centre, Giraffe Center is the place where you can stand eye to eye with Giraffes. You’ll also get a chance to feed the Giraffes with small pellets. There is a small nature walk across the street, where you will see two other giraffes and a wide variety of birds and plants.
- Non-resident Adult: KSH700 ($7)
- Non-resident child: KSH250 ($2.50)
6. Go Rock Climbing at Climb Blue Sky in Diamond Plaza
Visit the indoor rock climbing gym at Climb Blue Sky in Diamond Plaza for some fun and adventure. You can also liven up your spirit with full-fledged gym experiences here.
Entry fee: (Day Pass)
- Without shoe KSH800 ($8)
- With Shoe rental KSH1200 ($1.20)
7. Have a Taste of Tusker and Locally-Brewed Beers at Brew Bistro
Visit some local bars for a taste of Tusker – the Kenyan signature beer, brewed by Kenya Breweries Limited. For locally-brewed beers, you can visit Brew Bistro for a wide variety of beers and cocktail drinks. With $15 or less, you can enjoy a 2-litre glass of a brewed beer here.
8. Eat Nyama Choma
A visit to Kenya is not complete without a taste of Nyama Choma, a popular delicacy loved by all. There are several hotels and restaurants around Nairobi, where you can enjoy the delicious Nyama such as Maxland Restaurant. It’s available per measurement at different prices but you can still enjoy a plate of Nyama Choma for less than $15.
9. Go see a movie
Nairobi has some cosy and warm cinemas that screen the best new releases, from Bollywood to Hollywood movies in atmospheric theatres with honeyed or salted pop-corn and soda. You can see a movie at Fox Cineplex, Sarit Centre in Westlands for less than $15.
10. Have some Coffee at Java
If you need a fix while in town, you can visit Java House. There are several outlets around the city; you can stop by at the nearest one to you for a coffee break. You’ll find some of the best coffee here, from tasty lattes to cappuccinos. If you’re just looking for a place to hang out, Java House is your best bet.
11.Go Paintballing at Paintball Fury – Bonus tip
If you’re looking for a fun activity to indulge in during the weekend, you should go paintballing. This fun game is played between two teams with paintball guns. You can go with your friends and play for an hour or two for KSH800 ($8). You’ll be given paintball guns, protectors, safety goggles and paintball markers.