Lifestyle in Nairobi

Nairobi is a vibrant city filled with plenty to keep anyone entertained in their spare time. Many of the expats who have relocated to Nairobi for work find that they can easily afford luxuries thanks to lucrative packages offered by their employers. There are excellent shopping malls, bars and restaurants to explore, not to mention the seemingly boundless natural wonders within easy reach of the city – all of which make for an enviable lifestyle in Nairobi.

Eating out in Nairobi

Populated by people from all over the world, all types of cuisine are offered in Nairobi. Luxury restaurants, bustling markets, and small local eateries provide interesting dishes to suit any palette or budget. All the usual multinational food chains can be found, along with restaurants serving up authentic Kenyan fare. Coffee houses are also becoming increasingly popular. 

Shopping in Nairobi

Many new shopping malls have appeared in Nairobi in recent years, and some older ones have had upgrades to serve the growing middle-class and expat communities. Various independent arts and crafts businesses offer an excellent selection of goods, and buying from local artists is a good way to support the local economy. 

Nairobi has numerous large supermarket chains and gourmet food shops. However, expats should not overlook local produce markets for the best deals on fresh fruit and vegetables bought directly from farmers.

Local craft markets are set up around major shopping centres, offering an excellent choice of handmade items such as clothes, art, jewellery, and footwear. 

Nightlife and entertainment in Nairobi

It would be impossible to list the number of bars in Nairobi as there is always something new on the scene. Every neighbourhood has a local establishment where people meet socially or for business, so regardless of where expats live in Nairobi, they won’t have to travel far to find a suitable drinking spot. 

Champagne and cigar lounges are becoming increasingly popular to serve the growing affluent population of the city. There is always an opportunity for a nightcap, easily available as most clubs are open until the early hours.

Nairobi even has an IMAX theatre, and most large shopping malls have cinemas. Also on offer are art exhibits, concerts, live theatre, and cultural events. 

Outdoor activities in Nairobi

Nairobi National Park is an excellent excursion for animal lovers, while Karura Forest offers various daytime activities and a large network of walking trails. The Nairobi Arboretum is a lovely forested area, with pathways and trails for cyclists, joggers and walkers. Uhuru Park is a beautiful place to spend an afternoon and, come the weekend, fills up with families relaxing and enjoying picnics.

Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, expats don't have to drive far for exquisite views of the Great Rift Valley. Day trips to Mount Longonot or Hell’s Gate National Park are popular with hikers and rock climbers, giving expats a chance to see the Kenyan countryside.

Jerry Riley Our Expat Expert

Jerry Riley is a Canadian freelance photographer based in Nairobi, Kenya. He has worked in Asia, Africa, South America and Europe. While in East Africa, he has contributed to Adam, TN, the Nation Media Group, The Africa Report, Farafina (Nigeria), Kwani, Storymoja, Wajibu and Awaa. He regularly exhibits in North America and Europe and recently celebrated the launch of the first East African exhibition of his fine art photography in Nairobi.

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