With much to see and do in Kigali, it’s hard to decide where to start when visiting this exciting and vibrant city. While many tourists visit Rwanda and skip Kigali entirely, read our guide to all the epic places in Kigali every local is proud of, and get ready to see a whole new side to the capital.
Mt. Kigali looms over the rest of the city, providing a mountainous and hilly backdrop for residents. This beautiful mountain can be hiked, biked, or driven up, and the views from the top, on a good day, stretch on for miles.
As Rwanda works to establish itself as a bourgeoning economy and country worthy of foreign investment, the recently built Kigali Convention Centre sleekly shows off Kigali’s new prowess and promise for the future. Located in the Kacyiru neighborhood, people from all over the city and region flock to see this futuristic looking structure that symbolizes country-wide growth, and participate in the many conferences and meetings the centre hosts.
This bustling market, located in the Kimironko neighborhood, is one of the most dynamic spaces in Kigali. Locals from all over the city pour in to hawk their vegetables, fabric, and wares, or make their weekly purchases. Kinyarwanda, Swahili, English, and French can be heard throughout the winding pathways, and it’s hard to leave without purchasing swaths of colorful Kitenge fabric, ripe avocados as big as two fists, or the sweetest (and cheapest) of pineapples.
With the help, leadership, and assistance of Kurema Kureba Kwiga, an arts-oriented organization dedicated to spreading public and community art in Rwanda, beautiful murals have been popping up all over the city. Community members and students in Kigali’s Kimisagara neighborhood assisted in making murals on their own stores, homes, and buildings, so walk through the neighborhood and check them out.
This might sound strange (as in, who’s proud of a bus terminal?!), but Nyabugogo is a classic Kigali spot. Buses from all over Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, and Tanzania meet up here, making the terminal chaotic, diverse, absurd, and ultimately, amazing. You never know who you’ll meet at Nyabugogo!
Amajoro Stadium, located in the Remera neighborhood, remains one of the most accessible, fun, and exciting places in the city. It is the largest stadium in Rwanda, and with a capacity of 30,000, Rwandans from all over come to watch soccer matches and support their teams. Police FC and Armée Patriotique Rwandaise FC (called APR) are the two most popular teams in Kigali, and events at the stadium always feel like the beating heart of the city.
Located right next to the Kigali Convention Centre and at the intersection of KN 5 Road and KG 7 Avenue, the wedding roundabout is a Kigali must. A physical roundabout, the garden and fountain at the center is where many local Rwandans go to take wedding photographs. It’s not uncommon to see several couples and wedding parties lining up and waiting their turn at the roundabout, and it’s undoubtedly a spot in the city beloved by all.
Nyamirambo, one of Kigali’s most colorful neighborhoods, is known throughout the city as one of the loudest and interesting areas in town. The neighborhood is historically Muslim, and the plays host to the famous Gaddafi Mosque, as well as a series of fantastic restaurants (check out 10 to 2 Panorama and Green Corner for a classic big fish and brochette meal). Many locals around the city either live in Nyamirambo, or visit for a fun night out.