Attractions in Kampala – Places to visit in Kampala, City Tours, Costs, Price and Guide
Kampala is one of Africa’s most vibrant and exciting Cities, where historical and cultural marvels like Kasubi Tombs, National Museums peppered with historical monuments such as the Independence Monuments, Art and Craft Markets, World-class theatres, religious sites like Uganda Martyrs Shrine at Namugongo take visitors’ breath away. Beautiful and busy streets wind their way around awe-inspiring attractions such as Kabaka’s Palace at Mengo, Uganda National Mosque, Bahai Temple, Ndere Cultural Center, Namirembe Cathedral and Kabaka’s Lake, making tourists to gape at their unmatched beauty as well as exhaust phones’ storage with many photos.
With a long list of spectacular attractions, it is not surprising that Kampala City is one of the most explored places in the East African region. Uganda’s vibrant largest and Capital City offers something for every tourist, including historians, foodies, adventure seekers, shopaholics, birders, nature lovers, culture fanatics and children. This even makes it challenging to choose what attraction to visit first. However, make use of our list of top attractions in Kampala to help you in deciding what places to explore in this spectacular City and trust us you will want to visit again and again.
Uganda National Museum
From musical instruments to vintage cars, cultural huts to archeological symbols, the spectacular Uganda National Museum has fulfilled numerous roles over the years since establishment in 1908. This mesmerizing tourist attraction offers minutes, if not hours of excitement for travellers that are curious about Uganda’s diverse history. Other exciting highlights of this magnificent tourist site include natural historical samples, items explaining the country’s pre and post colonialism, archeological artifacts and musical instruments among others.
Uganda Martyrs Shrine at Namugongo
Nothing screams “Kampala” more religiously than the Uganda Martyrs Shrine Namugongo, a spot where over 26 young Christian converts were burnt to death on 3rd June 1886 on orders of Kabaka Mwanga for refusing to denounce their new-found faith. This site was constructed in honor of the innocent lives that were lost and was first celebrated by Pope Paul VI in 1969.
One of Uganda’s iconic human-made Lakes, Kabaka’s Lake is another magnificent tourist attraction in the City of Kampala. This Lake has existed since 1880 (during Kabaka Mwanga’s reign) and is about 60 meters deep. While it has become a top tourist site in the country, it was originally built as an escape route for wars in the Kingdom and it took combined effort of all the 56 clans of Buganda to make it happen. Known as the largest human-made Lake in Uganda, it is also an excellent birding spot with species such as weavers, little and cattle egrets as well as Hadada Ibis in addition to being a popular relaxation spot.
Uganda National Mosque
One of Kampala’s best known religious sites, Uganda National Mosque (Gadhafi Mosque) is unmissable during City Tours. Enjoy 360 degree views of the City while at the 65-meter Minaret. Opened in 2006, it is known as the largest Mosque in the country with the a seating capacity of about 20,000 worshipers.
Displaying some of the extraordinary architectural designs and collection of cultural artifacts, Kasubi Tombs on Kasubi Hill is another unmissable tourist attraction in Kampala. It is about 5 kilometers from the City Center, along the Kampala-Hoima road and is known for being the burial place for four former Kings of Buganda Kingdom. These former Kings include Kabaka Mutesa I who ruled from 1856 to 1884, Kabaka Mwanga (who reigned from 1884 to 1897), Daudi Chwa who reigned from 1899 to 1939 as well as Mutesa II who ruled from 1939 to 1966. There are also spectacular huts surrounding the main Hut (Muzibu Azaala Mpanga) where caretakers live.
Read more about it here: Kasubi Tombs
Kabaka’s Palace (Lubiri) in Mengo
Make it a must to tour Kabaka’s Palace (Lubiri) in Mengo each time you visit Kampala City. The iconic Palace is set within Mengo, Rubaga Division and is the resident of the King of Buganda. Just from lion symbol at the entrance, architectural designs, artifacts and other remarkable places at the site make this spot one of the best tourist attractions in Kampala City. It was constructed in 1885 and currently stands as a significant cultural site in the country.
Since it opened in 1922 as a humble technical school, Makerere University has taken its place as one of the most recognizable and popular Institutions of Higher learning but also a significant tourist site. Sitting on Makerere Hill, this University boasts of riveting architectural designs, beautifully lush gardens as well as renowned Alumni.
Other unmissable attractions in Kampala are Bahai Temple, Lake Victoria, popular markets (Owino, Wandegeya and Nakasero), Monuments, Rubaga and Namirembe Cathedrals, Craft Markets and Art Galleries, Mulago Hospital and many others.