As part of my Kilimanjaro Lemosho trek, I visited Nairobi. These are the best tips for Nairobi according to me.

Why you’ll love Nairobi

Nairobi’s polarising character ensures that the city is reviled and loved in equal measure, and even those who love it might well admit that it’s the kind of place many rave about only once they’re away from it. For those who call it home, the city’s charms include a vibrant cultural life, fabulous places to eat and exciting nightlife. Its detractors point to its horrendous traffic, poor safety levels (‘Nairobbery’ is a common expat nickname) and its less-than-gorgeous appearance.

However, with a fabulous national park on its doorstep, some wildlife-centric attractions, the excellent National Museum and a series of quirky sights, Nairobi’s reality – like that of so many places with a bad reputation – will often come as a pleasant surprise.

My best omakase experience in Nairobi

The Japanese habit of omakase (お任せ) when you’re ordering at a restaurant pretty much means, “I’ll leave it up to you”, inviting the chef to be innovative and surprising in the selection of dishes. I try to do it in every city I visit, and apply the idea behind to everything between how I pick my runshow I pick my foodhow I plan activities with my kidshow I explore cities and how I travel in general. So, I tried this in Nairobi as well.


The best hotels in Nairobi – according to me

Intercontinental Nairobi pool
Intercontinental Nairobi pool

I stayed two nights in Nairobi, one night in the Hilton Nairobi (part of Hilton, duh) and one in the Intercontinental Nairobi (IHG), which also has an airport shuttle.

A general remark about Intercontinental hotels

I guess the key problem with Intercontinental hotels I have developed over the years is that Intercontinental hotels (as well as Crown Plazas and for the majority, Hilton hotels) are pretty much the same everywhere. They’re slightly outdated, service is ok and above all – it really really feels like a hotel. And I have to pay for breakfast (which is free with higher tiers in Hilton and Marriott). It is why I moved much of my loyalty nights to Marriott, who have way more different and different-style brands with their Design Hotels and Autograph Collection, for example. Same goes for this Intercontinental Hotel in Nairobi. It has seen better days, service is ok, not perfect and it above all, really feels like a hotel.

The best bars in Nairobi – according to me.

  • Bar/Club (outside): The Alchemist

The best restaurants in Nairobi – according to me.

  • In Karen, one of the best restaurants in Nairobi: Talisman
  • In Nairobi town: Mama’s burger

The best coffee in Nairobi – according to me

The best things to do in Nairobi – according to me

Going to Nairobi city center would mostly be to see how it looks like and get a bit more into the city and African city vibe…nothing in particular to recommend, but nice to take a Uber and travel a bit around. But you need to know where to go…basically, nothing is really done walking in the city. You could decide to go to a given bar or restaurant and take this as an opportunity for a visit

  • Nairobi National Park (if you have never done a Safari before, possible to do one easily, close to the airport. Not so many animals (compared to the Masai Mara or Amboseli), but still nice to go
  • Giraffe Center in Karen (and possibly Elephant orphanage center also in Karen), although a bit touristic…
  • Karen Blixen house in Karen as well
  • Muthaiga forest, if you feel like taking a walk…but don’t expect something very special aside from walking in a forest 😉 You can also have lunch outside there, it is nice, especially when nice weather

The best place to go out for a run in Nairobi – according to me.

So, what are the best tips for Nairobi – according to you?

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