Where to Stay
The heart and soul of Nairobi is the city centre, so if you want to go to bed and wake up amid it all, look no further. The main budget area is between Tom Mboya St and River Rd, where you’ll find dozens of small hotels and guesthouses. Staying in this area is something of a budget travellers’ tradition, but remember that these are some of Nairobi’s meanest streets. The area west of Moi Ave is generally fine and has a range of options, although it empties after dark and at weekends.
The eastern districts of Nairobi Hill and Milimani host a clutch of reliable business hotels and upmarket lodges, as well as some backpacker spots, all pleasantly removed from the congestion of the city centre. If you want to be a bit further out, there’s expat-friendly Westlands and Parklands.
For a decidedly different take on Nairobi, consider heading right out into leafy Karen, Langata and Nairobi National Park, which puts you pretty far from the city centre, though that’s precisely the point, offering as they do welcome respite from the grit of the centre. For the most part, accommodation out here is at the top end, though the charm exuded by many of these properties is worth every shilling and you're within striking distance of some of Nairobi’s top tourist attractions. If that’s out of your price range, however, there are a couple of campsites and other options worth checking out.