Nairobi is a wonderful place for shopping in general. The city is flooded with cosy little markets, family stores selling everything under the sun and a selection of huge shopping malls. Today we will have a look at the best 5 shopping malls in Nairobi. Of course, such things are entirely subjective and you might already be yelling in anger that your favorite piece of shopping heaven in Nairobi didnt even make the list – but if so, simply put your recommendations in the comments!
Here goes, the top 5 shopping malls in Nairobi:
5. Yaya Centre – Kilimani
Actually I love Yaya Centre. It has this market square atmosphere and vibrancy that makes shopping an interesting and enjoyable experience. Instead of big brand stores the majority of shops at Yaya Centre appears to be family businesses and outlets, which make for a more interesting choice and stock than offered elsewhere.
So, why oh why is Yaya centre demoted to fifth place? Well, Yaya is wonderful once you FINALLY get inside. But that part can be an outright pain in the arse. The roads leading to the mall are all crazy crowded and the mall itself is severely lacking in parking spaces. It can literally take an hour to find a place to park near Yaya Centre making those of us born without patience fume with anger and frustration before even getting inside.
Yaya Centre Opening Hours: Mon to Sat: 9:00am to 7:00pm Sun 10am to 6:00pm
Find your way to Yaya Centre: Access from Argwings Khodek Road and Ring Road Kilimani
4. Galleria Mall – Karen-Langata Road
A small but classy little mall on the outskirts of the Karen area. Galleria has all the usual shops and facilities expected in a mall, but is furthermore favored by a couple of very cosy outdoor cafés and restaurants. Galleria Mall in Karen is an ideal place for a refreshingly tranquil shopping experience away from the rush of the bigger malls in the city.
Dont forget to check out the events listings for Galleria Mall by the way, they have live music and many other themed events ongoingly that you might enjoy.
Galleria Mall Opening Hours: Mon to Sat: 9:00am to 7:00pm Sun 10am to 6:00pm
Find your way to Galleria Mall Kenya: Junction of Langata & Magadi Road, Nairobi, Kenya
3. Westgate Shopping Mall
Westgate shopping mall used to be the market leader of Nairobi Shopping centers until the dreadful terrorist attack in 2013. The mall was closed for 2 years after the attack but reopened after lengthy renovations and refurbishments in summer 2015.
The new Westgate is sligthly smaller than the original, though it seems work is in progress at the time of writing to re-expand it. Despite the blights on its history the mall still stands out as classy shopping arena with plenty of high-end shops for connoisseur shoppers.
Westgate Shopping Mall Opening Hours: Mon to Sun: 9:00am to 8:00pm
Find your way to Westgate Kenya: Westlands along Mwanzi Road, Nairobi, Kenya
2. The Junction
The junction mall is placed in, yes you guessed it, a major junction. It makes it a bit of a challenge to actually get to the mall during busy traffic times of the day, however, the trouble might well be worth your while. Junction sports several interesting shops found nowhere else in Nairobi including specialized electronics store, a huge furniture department and several excellent jewelry outlets.
Aside from the actual shopping Junction mall has a nice selection of indoor and outdoor restaurants to fill your belly and rest your feet during days out shopping.
The Junction Shopping Mall Opening Hours: Mon to Sun: 8:00am to 10:00pm
Find your way to The Junction Kenya: Junction of Riara Road and Ngong Road, Nairobi, Kenya
1. Sarit Centre – Westlands
Yours truly might be slightly biased when awarding Sarit Centre the best mall of Nairobi award. As it happens, Sarit has no less than an excellent cinema, a lively pub and an incredibly well stocked candy store. How else could a mall really steal a mans heart?
Some might argue that the Sarit Centre cinema doesnt have all the fancy features of downtown movie theaters, however, it is never crowded, always has the latest releases at pretty low prices and theres a nice candy store at the door!
Beyond those wonders of the Sarit Centre what really stands out about the place is the food court and attached stall market. There are perhaps 20 restaurants to choose from with everything from fast food over traditional Kenyan food to specialties from India, Ethiopia and elsewhere. Whilst waiting for your food you can check out the stall market areas with an ever changing range of interesting spices, health foods, new gadgets and much else.
Sarit Centre Shopping Mall Opening Hours: Mon to Sun: 9:00am to 7:00pm
Find your way to Sarit Centre Kenya: Karuna Road, Westlands, Nairobi, Kenya
Tiny Treasures Round Town
The huge shopping malls are obviously your first choice for big shopping trips. However, you might wanna try some of the smaller places too as you can sometimes find excellent bargains, unrivaled service or simply an entirely different experience. Such options are way too many to even try and list, but a couple of little gems deserve a mention here:
Kasuku Centre, Kileleshwa
This mall is tiny – but it is cosy and nice. You can pull up and have a fresh smoothie and a kebab in your hand whilst seated pleasantly outdoors in just 5 minutes. No mad dashing about long corridors or standing in line, at Kasuku centre its all right there and the crowds are never unmanageable.
The supermarket itself in Kasuku centre is a bit of an experience. It seems to be run by a very elderly Indian couple who are always arguing either with each other or their staff, whilst running around frantically trying to make sure all customers are happy. You just cant help but laugh when you walk in on a big 5-way row between owners and staff, and then when they see you, it all stops and everyone smiles and laughs….
Among the family run stores the Rangers Supermarket in Kahawa is a real gem. It isnt the largest supermarket in Nairobi by a long way, though they seem to be expanding, but it is just one of those family businesses that makes it a real pleasure to walk around filling your basket. And if anything isnt on the shelves, its the kind of place where you can simply ask and if at all possible it will be found for you. Such individual customer service and friendly atmospheres are often lost in the bigger places, making it a must to at least sometimes go and experience old school shopping in a place like Rangers Supermarket.
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