Top things to do in Kigali – Places to Visit, Kigali city tour Guide, Fees and Prices
Kigali is the gateway into Rwanda and that’s all most travellers know about it yet it deserves more time in a visitor’s itinerary than simply a one-day stopover bookending gorilla or wildlife safaris. This City has enjoyed both bitter and sweet history, gradually emerging into a vibrant and beautiful City teeming with Art, cultural, events and delicious cuisines. Do you know Kigali is one of the cleanest and safest Cities in the African Continent? Regardless of how many days you wish to undertake your Rwanda safari, you will not regret devoting a day or two to explore the beautiful City of Kigali, thanks to its phenomenal attractions. We bring you the Kigali City bucket list with some of the best things to do in Kigali and they include;
Tour of Kigali Genocide Memorial Center
It is difficult to understand everything present-day Rwanda has gone through until you visit the sites that describe their devastating past. 1994 was the year when this country suffered 100 days of agony and terror resulting from the Genocide where about 800,000 people (mainly of Tutsi ethnicity) lost their lives and over 2,000,000 were displaced. A visit to Kigali Genocide Memorial Center gives an insight into this painful past that involves opening unhealed wounds. For visitors who tour this place, you are advised to properly prepare yourself to let your emotions loose while watching the documentary about the genocide or walking around the displays of historical information, artifacts and timelines, sometimes with skulls and torn victims’ clothing.
Known for being the biggest and most vibrant market in the City, Kimironko is where the real City hustle can be seen as sellers of foodstuff, bed sheets. Fresh fruits, bespoke clothing and many other items haggling with different sellers for the best deals. Are you interested in custom, made-to-measure clothes to wear for your entire Kigali City excursion, then worry not because within an hour or two, your outfit will be ready.
Make stop at Inema Arts Center
Inema Arts Center was established in 2012 by two brothers who were self-taught painters as a way of tapping into the country’s rich talent. It has gradually become a site to see modern Art within the City Center and teems with traditional African crafts, descriptive portraits, different forms of media works showcasing typical African/Rwandan life as well as crème de la crème of artwork in the country. Besides the visual art displays at this Center, visitors are entertained in dance performances (done weekly), gallery tours, yoga classes with inspiration from art as well as musical concerts with different displays of Art.
Tour the remarkable Rwanda Art Museum
The fascinating thing about Kigali City is the abundance of Art Centers and with the existence of Rwanda Art Museum (formerly known as Presidential Palace Museum), you are bound to remain open-mouthed. As part of the country’s eight National Museums, expect nothing below magical and magnificent in this contemporary Art Museum.
Rwanda Art Museum opened its doors in 2018 and has since then received all kinds of visitors, ranging from local tourists (school children) researchers and foreign visitors to admire the depth of local creativity as well as skills of International artists. Interestingly, there are over 100 art pieces in form of paintings, ceramics, sculptures and experiential pieces. During your tour, you will see the remnants of the Presidential Plane that crashed in 1994 and sparking the genocide.
Savor some of Rwanda’s delicious cuisines
A Rwanda safari is incomplete without savoring some of Rwanda’s delicious dishes that include brochettes. This is probably the country’s most popular dish and is usually served with mashed potato, Ugali (posho), plantain (matooke) and can be spiced with Chilli.
Shop for souvenir at Nyamirambo Women’s Center
Nyamirambo Women’s Center is an all-women member Organization established in 2007 as a way of addressing gender inequality as well as empowering local Rwandan women. Besides free education, vocational training and financial advice provided, the organization also employs women and pays them fair wages. If you are interested in buying crotched door mats, rugs, locally-inspired fashions and beaded jewelry, the Nyamirambo Women’s Center is where you need to go. Besides souvenirs, tourists can also learn how to prepare local Rwandan food.
Visit a milk Bar
There are a number of milk bars in Kigali City where travellers can always stop to watch the pasteurization process. During your Kigali City tour, just look for a place with phrase “Amata Meza” meaning fresh milk in the local dialect.
Ride on a motorbike
Nothing described Rwanda best like riding on a motorbike to get around different areas of the City.
Have a meal or drink at Hotel des Milles Collines (Hotel Rwanda)
Hotel des Milles Collines holds a significant historical value but is also a stop point to relish a cold drink by the outdoor swimming pool or hot meal at the spacious Le Panorama Restaurant.
Other incredibly rewarding things to do in Kigali City are tours of Amahoro Stadium, tour the popular Kigali Convention Center and birding tours through top sites such as Umusambi Village Nature Reserve, Nyabarongo wetlands and many others.