nest-rooftop-lounge-nairobi

A thriving music scene and an array of colourful bars mean that Nairobi really comes alive at night. Here’s where to party when you’re in town.

Sarabi at the Sankara

Nairobi’s best rooftop bar, the Sarabi at the Sankara has a shimmering rooftop pool, glittering views over the traffic and city beyond and a creative drinks menu that make it a classy little find. It’s a grown-up yet relaxed space, with pool loungers, leather sofas and lights casting a blue and gold glow.

  • 254 202 490 210
  • Woodvale Grove
    Westlands

Live at the Elephant

This is a great live music spot in central Nairobi, set in a garden with an outdoor bar and hay bales to sit on. There’s a regular programme of events and a wide range of music genres year round but bigger artists tend to sell out so be sure to book in advance.

Choices

This Kenyan pub in the industrial area of town has live acts on Thursday evenings and a brilliant crowd of locals getting jiggy to it. It’s a dark place with a reddish glow and couple of levels of seating, plus a stage for the musicians. The bar is always busy but a waiter will come and take your drinks orders if you don’t mind waiting.

J's Fresh Bar & Kitchen

Expat-haven Juniper will appeal to those whole like to drink cocktails out of jam jars. It’s actually a pretty cool set up: the bar and loos are in the house (and it still looks very much like a house), while outside there are long wooden benches and wine barrels to prop yourself up on. At the weekend it’s the place to go for a dance, and they have regular events and themed nights.

Gipsy

Expats and locals mingle in this loud open-air bar in Westlands, which is always packed on a weekend thanks to the blaring tunes. There’s a couple of indoor areas and two bars, plus high stools and several tables – but you don’t come here to sit and chat, you come here to dance.

  • +254 733 730 529
  • Woodvale Grove
    Westlands

Nest at Tribe

This funky little rooftop bar at Tribe Hotel has Moroccan lamps, shisha pipes and wicker seats. The bartenders are both creative and cheeky, concocting an inventive menu to get you started, but if you have a favourite drink you don’t see advertised they’ll be more than happy to whip it up for you.

Artcaffe Oval

Artcaffe is a Nairobi chain serving coffee, pastries and main meals, but the Oval branch do a salsa night every Thursday on their large terrace. It feels somewhat Mediterranean thanks to cocktails, sunshade umbrellas, a mixed crowd and vibrant music. It’s always busy so call in advance to book if you’re a large group, or be prepared to sit on a stool at the outdoor bar.

Brew Bistro

This brilliant and very popular Nairobi haunt has a daily happy hour from 5-7PM. They regularly have live music here and, when they do, locals aren’t be shy about having a good old boogie. Their solid drinks menu has nice cocktails and wines and a great range of beers.

Waterhole at the Ole Sereni

When your Nairobi adventure finally comes to an end break up the journey back to the airport with a stop off at the Ole Sereni’s Waterhole bar. The hotel overlooks the National Park and is just off the main highway leading to the airport making it a convenient stop off. There’s no better way to finish your trip than with an ice-cold G & T in hand watching impala leap through the long grasses into the beyond.

Mezze on the Deck

Rooftop bar Mezze on the Deck has a great view over the CBD skyscrapers and is an ideal spot for an early evening drink as the sun goes down. They have shisha pipes, a selection of mezze plates to snack on and a small rooftop pool. The drinks menu isn’t extensive so opt for a dawa, a Kenyan cocktail made with vodka, lime, honey and finished with a stick of sugar cane.

Mezze on the Deck

Sarabi at the Sankara

Live at the Elephant

Choices

The Juniper Kitchen

Gipsy

Artcaffe Oval

Brew Bistro

Nest at Tribe

Waterhole at the Ole Sereni

You May Also Like

City Guides

You know how you have that one incredible friend who knows their city inside out? Yeah, that’s us. We take the world’s most dynamic destinations, hand-pick the best parts and give them to you in one place. This is the kind of guide that you don’t need to run by a local. Eat your heart out, shop ‘til you drop, drink like a fish, dance your socks off, sleep – then repeat.

Bundles

Enliven your senses through travel. Get stuck in to the culinary delights of Tokyo, discover the pioneering art scene in Marrakech, dance the night away in Jaipur and listen to the beat in Ghana in the new Magazine Bundle – Senses.

Download Suitcase App
Learn More