Best things to do in Kigali – Rwanda

JUAN MARTINEZ

August 30, 2022

Best things to do in Kigali – Rwanda

From elegant cafes at the hillside to colorful markets full of crafts, Kigali is one of these cities that quickly grows on you the more you spend time here.

Risen from the ashes at the beginning of the 90s, Kigali has evolved since then and is now a place like no other in Africa. The war is over, and Kigali is now full of trendy cafes, exciting art galleries, and great nightlife.

Need some help in planning your trip to the Rwandan capital? These are the best things to do in Kigali.

suburbs Kigali - Best things to do in Kigali
View of the suburbs in Kigali

Explore the Muslim Quarter

Take your time for a long walk through the Muslim Quarter, about 3km from the center of Kigali. There is a lot to discover here, and there is always a lot going on; it is hectic but full of energy, diversity, and joie de vivre.

Visit the local market where you can buy fresh groceries for little money. You will find delicious food in the Nyamirambo area. There are mainly local specialties that you can enjoy outside when the weather is nice.

After this refreshment, visit the Nyamirambo Women’s Center, which offers many great souvenirs, some of which are handmade. The mosque, with its green and white painting, is also worth a visit. Here you will learn many interesting facts about the religion and the local people.

Muslim Quarter Kigali
View of the main mosque in Kigali

Hike to Rebero for city views

For incredible views of the city, a hike is the best option. You can hike to Rebero on your own, but if you prefer the safer option, then the WAKA Gym Walk is for you.

This walk takes place every first Saturday of the month and leads you in a group to the top. You don’t have to be a member to join the walk. Simply drop by and go for it. While hiking the path, enjoy the views of Rwanda’s fascinating hilly landscape.

Rebero view in Kigali - Best things to do in Kigali
The view from the Rebero viewpoint is one of the best places to see in Kigali

Enjoy the multicultural vibe of Kigali

There is always something going on in Kigali. From unforgettable parties to delicious food, you’ll find everything here. Every Thursday, a salsa party takes place in the Chillax Lounge. Here the service is excellent, the drinks are not expensive, and the atmosphere will blow you away. Perfect for a long night of dancing and meeting people.

For Asian cuisine, Tung is the place to be. The staff will treat you like family while you eat through Asian delights. Even though Africa is not the place to go when it comes to Asian cuisine, Tung can be the surprise you have been waiting for.

Additionally, If you really want to party, the Mamba Club should not be missed during your stay in Kigali. There are regular disco and reggae parties here, where the atmosphere is guaranteed to sweep you away. You can even find a bowling alley here.

To meet many travelers worldwide, a visit to 1000 Hills Distillery is a must. Enjoy local drinks and delicious food here. If you are interested in how the spirits are made, here is an exciting tour you should take part in. Great expat parties take place regularly, and the vibe is worth visiting.

Mamba Club Bowling Kigali
You can play bowling at the Mamba Club for 4 USD a game

Party with locals

Enough of places where expats hang out. To party like the locals, you should visit Kisimenti. This place is perfect for bar hopping and meeting new acquaintances. Here you will find one bar next to the other, all of which impress with their fresh drinks and great atmosphere. The area is also known as the car-free zone because no vehicles are driving around, and people can party carefree until the early hours.

Looking for a club? Cocobean is one of the best places to party. You shouldn’t miss a subsequent after party in the Envy Club.

Be sure to watch for your valuables when partying, as pickpockets are more common at night.

Read more: These are the best things to do in Bujumbura, Burundi

Car free zone in Rwanda's capital - best things to do in Kigali
The car-free zone is the place to go on weekends.

See Rwanda’s new art

Rwanda is known for its many young East African artists who conjure up great works of art with their unique style. The Kunda Eco-Art Space is perfect for admiring their work and hanging out with them. Kunda Eco-Art Space is open every Thursday and Sunday. In addition to the exhibitions, fun events such as silent parties and sporting events often occur on Saturdays. Keep your eyes peeled because these events are not to be missed.

The Imema Art Center also includes a large gallery, in which workshops are offered in addition to food and art.

The famous Art Museum of Rwanda displays contemporary art from Rwanda and abroad – a must when in Kigali. Local souvenirs are also sold here.

Read more: How To Cross Overland The Border Between Rwanda And DR Congo

Imena Art Center  - Best things to do in Kigali
The Imena Art Center is one of Kigali’s most popular attractions.

Learn about the coffee culture in Rwanda

Rwanda is probably the country with the best coffee culture I’ve seen – Sorry Ethiopia! The number of great cafes is excellent, and for someone who enjoys a cup of coffee early in the morning, Kigali is paradise.

Do you already know the typical African coffee? It is served with ginger and milk. Sounds unusual at first, but tastes surprisingly good.

The best cafés, where you can also find European coffee specialties if ginger is not to your liking, are Inzora Rooftop Cafe, Question Coffee & Baso Patissier. Be sure to stop by!

Read more: How to plan a trip to Akagera National Park in Rwanda

African Coffee in Kigali
Travelers can find African coffee in almost every cafe.

Walk around the city center

To get a more personal perspective of Kigali’s life, take a closer look at the city center. It’s super safe here at night, and during the day, so you can drop by any time. It is easy to reach on foot and has a metropolitan but relaxed atmosphere.

While you stroll through, go to the many restaurants where you can grab a quick bite or a little refreshment. There is a lot to see here, so you are guaranteed to get your 10,000 steps.

Read more: Best things to do in Windhoek

Kigali is one of Africa's safest cities
Rwanda is one of Africa’s safest countries – if not the safest.

Visit the Kimironko market

The largest market in Kigali is a must-do and a perfect way to see what life in the city is like. In addition to delicious fruit and vegetables, many fabrics and even sewists will sew you a unique piece of clothing. You will also discover souvenirs, pottery, hygiene items, and building materials. Plan a few hours for this market visit, because the atmosphere and the many offers will enchant you.

Read more: Best things to do in Nouakchott

Kimironko market is perfect for finding everything you need
Kimironko market is perfect for finding everything you need

Learn about Kigali’s past

Rwanda’s past is marked by terrible acts of violence. In 1994, a four-month genocide was the most horrific crime committed in Rwanda.

It is estimated that up to 1,000,000 people lost their lives here. About 75 percent of the Tutsi minority living in Rwanda were brutally killed by the Hutu majority, the military, and the police. Learn about this atrocious time at Camp Kigali Memorial, Campaign Against Genocide Museum, and Kigali Genocide Memorial. Prepare to learn horrifying facts and see images that will cloud your mood. Expect to feel sad after this visit and want to avoid going out in the evenings. However, visiting these places is a must in Kigali.

Read more: Best things to do in Hargheisa

Visit the Genocide Memorial in Kigali
Visit the Genocide Memorial in the city center of Kigali

Where to stay in Kigali

With accommodation in all price ranges, finding something that suits your budget and taste is not difficult. From simple guesthouses to luxury hotels, Kigali offers variety.

Book your accommodation in Kigali using Booking.com and support the blog and the creation of more amazing content!

Read more: Best things to do in Niamey, Niger



Booking.com

Where to go next?

Are you planning to stay longer in Rwanda Check out which tours Viator is offering. They have not only the best quality of service worldwide, but they also offer the most secure payment methods, as well as organization service.

Additionally, by booking a tour with Viator, you will be supporting the blog and helping me generate more great content.

How do I find cheap flights to Rwanda?

Finding a cheap flight anywhere around the world is not always easy. It’s about comparing platforms, selecting the right routes and booking at the right time. Fortunately, platforms like Skyscanner became known as an all-in-one tool for booking flights at the lowest cost possible.

They analyse every potential company and sub-contractor in order to find the lowest price available for you. Not only that, but you can also select the option “Travel Anywhere” and let Skyscanner find the cheapest place to travel at any selected date.

I check all my flights first at Skyscanner, and in 90% of the cases, I find the best option for me to book.

Also, by booking here using Skyscanner, you will support my blog and help me create more amazing and useful content.

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