Last updated on May 19 2020

Nairobi nightlife

When you think of Kenya, clubbing is probably not the first thing that pops in your head. But just as there are many amazing things to do during the day, Nairobi by night gives you one of Africa’s best partying experiences.

As soon as you befriend Nairobians, you’ll undoubtedly be invited for some drinks or dancing at one of the very many bars and clubs. If you haven’t befriended any Nairobians yet (it must be your first day in town), the easiest way to do so is to join them in one of the very many bars and clubs!

In this Nairobi nightlife guide I’ve listed the best bars and clubs but, most importantly, when it’s the best time to visit them. The most popular place to be on Friday night can be completely empty on a Saturday night.

Prices and crowd of the best bars and clubs in Nairobi

There’s a steadily growing middle class - more and more Kenyans can afford to spend money on leisure time. Going out to socialize, drink and dance until the morning hours are very popular and there’s an ever-growing supply of places to do so.

Because of the enormous competition in the nightlife industry, the standards are very high. Every spot is trying to pull in the customers by fancy decor and stylish furniture. In Nairobi at night, you could be rubbing shoulders with the richest, the politicians, famous artists...

Of course this comes at a price. In the most popular places you’d spend about Ksh 300-400 ($3-4) on a beer, Ksh 300-600 ($3-6) on wine, and anywhere between Ksh 500-1000 ($5-10) on a cocktail.

But there’s something for everyone. There are also places where you can lounge and just catch up with your friends, there are “locals” (your local neighborhood bar), where you usually don’t find foreigners and pay a fraction of the price for the same beer you have in one of the clubs.

It can help to try to figure out which crowd is targeted by a specific place, as prices, music, and clientele will vary. But don’t worry too much about deciding where to go for the night, because if your Nairobian friends are anything like mine, there’s hardly ever a night you’ll stay in just one place.

Different days and different times of the night attract different crowds, and while blood alcohol levels rise, people move from spot to spot.

Safety in Nairobi at night

Going out in Nairobi at night is generally safe. Just make sure you have transportation, as it’s not a good idea to walk around after dark, especially when drunk or otherwise intoxicated. Uber and other taxi apps are very affordable and it’s easy to get a ride from any nightclub.

Kenyans are one of the most friendly people you’ll ever meet, and while Nairobi is generally safe, pickpocketing in nightclubs has become a big problem. Don’t make yourself an easy target by getting too drunk or keeping your phone in an easy to reach spot. While moving through a crowd, keep your hand on your phone.

Also, keep an eye on your drink, definitely don’t leave it unattended. While it is not common, spiking of drinks does happen, to both men and women. Don’t accept already opened beers from strangers, or other drinks you haven’t seen being made. The goal is generally to separate you from your possessions but worse things could happen. 

Something you might not immediately think about in terms of safety but is something to consider - a lot of Kenyans, unfortunately, don’t mind drinking and driving. If offered a ride, think twice if you’ve just done 3 shots with your chauffeur. And in general, if you’re partaking in traffic at night, wear your seatbelt!

The best bars and nightclubs in Nairobi for all days of the week

Sunday Flea Market at K1 Klub House Nairobi
Sunday Flea Market at K1 Klub House - © Africa Originals


  1. K1 Klub House (Every day)

    Known simply as “K1”, this spot along Ojijo Road in Parklands attracts a very wide variety of people. It’s a compound holding a very interesting layout of different buildings and wooden constructions, even a carwash.

    There are 5 bars, amongst which a sports bar and a cocktail bar, a big pool table area, a daytime market area, and many seating areas. It has an outdoor feeling, though almost everything is covered in case it rains. Decent food is offered in all areas.

    There’s something going on every day of the week, the most notable being Flea Market on Sundays. Taking off from early afternoon, it fills up with families and friends looking for a relaxing spot to enjoy themselves. There’s a corner for kids to do arts and crafts and there’s a market that gave this event its name, where (homemade) art, jewelry, food, and beauty products are sold.

    The evening is then taken over by live music performances and the families start to disappear, giving way for a young crowd. Afterward, a DJ takes over as blood alcohol levels keep rising. This generally goes on until midnight.

    Jazz Nite Tuesdays are particularly good for catching live performances by talented artists and One Love Thursdays are there for the reggae music lovers.

  2. J’s Fresh Bar and Kitchen (Thursdays)

    For many locals and foreigners, this is the place to be on Thursdays, when the evening starts off with a few live performances, continued by a DJ. It’s one of the most popular bars in Westlands (on Muthangari drive off Waiyaki Way) and it’s generally packed but if you come early enough you’ll be able to grab a seat at one of the tables and enjoy some good food.

    J’s is spread out over 2 separate covered areas and an outdoor seating and bar area. In the main section the DJs will generally play African club music but in the section at the back you can find (afro)house DJs all night. If you’re a house music fan, check the section for house music lovers below for some more places to go.

  3. Milan (all weekend)

    After J’s on Thursdays, there’s a good chance some of the party will move to Milan. This popular club in Tower 3 of The Mirage Building is one of the newer clubs in Westlands. It’s usually not the place where Kenyans start the night but after midnight it gets packed, sometimes a bit too packed though and it will get hard to move around.

    The crowd is classy though and it’s nicely decorated. The music of choice is African club music. If you’re not up for a party but you want to check out the interior, they do late (Sunday) brunches as well.

  4. Mercury Lounge (Saturdays)

    Located at ABC place, off Waiyaki Way, Mercury usually attracts a more upmarket crowd (prices are on the high end of the scale) and the vibe is usually very mellow and friendly. The type of music varies per night (Kenyan/African club music, old school, sometimes R&B) and I have found the music quality can differ significantly based on the DJ.

    There’s a covered outdoor area, connected to a more indoor area. On Saturdays, it can get very crowded and you’ll usually find a mix of Kenyans and expats.

  5. B Club (all weekend)

    Located on the first floor of Galana Plaza in Kilimani, B Club (aka Billionaires Club) is definitely a very curious place. It is known as a decadent, flashy and extravagant place, attracting equally extravagant Kenyans and other African nationalities.

    If you feel like you’re sitting on too much money, you can get some $200 champagne and have it brought out to you over the crowd, in a race-car with sparklers. Or maybe you want to get rid of your money even faster and shoot it into the crowd with a money gun. It’s all possible.

  6. Kiza Restaurant and Lounge (all weekend)

    Seven floors up from B Club you’ll find Kiza (on the 8th and 9th floor of Galana Plaza), which hosts a stylish and mature crowd. It’s less flashy than B Club. They serve traditional Kenyan cuisine and play African club music. Kiza Nairobi is part of the international Kiza brand, with another location in Dubai.

  7. The Alchemist (all weekend)

    The Alchemist is located in Westlands, just next to Unga House. One of Nairobi’s best cocktail bars is upstairs, so on weekend afternoons this is a great spot for a cocktail and some excellent food from the food trucks at the entrance (including the famous Mama Rocks burgers). You might also catch a market or live music event.

    On weekend nights the dancing crowd can be quite young, unless there’s a specific event that requires tickets. The cocktail bar attracts a more mature audience. The music differs per night but it’s usually a mix of hip hop, r&b, and African club music.
    Saturday afternoon at The Alchemist
    Saturday afternoon at The Alchemist - © Africa Originals
  8. Gipsy Bar (all weekend)

    Just by observing the strange mix of customers, you’ll agree that Gipsy’s is an interesting place to check out at least once. It’s located on Woodvale Grove in Westlands.

    It’s roughly divided into 3 areas that share a big patio. There’s a side where you’ll generally find an older (Indian) male clientele enjoying a drink. Then there’s the middle section, generally dedicated to women of the oldest profession and their clients to come to a business arrangement. And then there’s the last section that is generally known to be a male gay bar, or at least they are very gay friendly.

  9. 1824 Whiskey Bar And Lounge (Sundays)

    Generally busy all weekend, 1824 is definitely packed on Sundays. The spot on Langata Road, opposite Carnivore Junction is great for lunch and having a relaxing afternoon drink while enjoying live music or a DJ. The music varies between African, reggae, old school hits, etc, sometimes all in 1 night.

    If K1 is coming to an end on Sunday but you’re not ready to go home yet, you’ll almost certainly still find a good crowd at 1824, even after midnight.

  10. Havana Bar & Restaurante (all weekend)

    Havana is located on Woodvale Grove in Westlands and is visited mostly by business types and expats. They have outside seating and a lounge area and serve great cocktails and food. You’ll have to love very loud music though.

  11. 40Forty Lounge (all weekend)

    This lounge is located on the Crossroads Plaza rooftop in Westlands and has great views of the city. It’s a nice place to catch up with friends while having some drinks and food. They also have a big screen for sports fans.

  12. Brew Bistro (all weekend)

    Both locations, one along Ngong Road (Piedmont Plaza) and one in Westlands (Fortis Towers rooftop), are great spots to lounge, eat and enjoy their home-brewed beers.

    Both places have an outside terrace/rooftop and live music or a DJ. The vibe goes from more laid back early in the night, to more of a dancing spot later at night.

  13. Deja Vu (all weekend)

    To many Nairobians known as The Vineyard, Deja Vu was redecorated and rebranded to once again become a very popular Westlands spot for food and drinks. It’s a collective of bars on Raphta Road that share the same outdoor patio, so there’s plenty of out- and indoor seating to enjoy the music and your cocktail from the dedicated cocktail bar.

    Deja Vu was the first place in Nairobi where I tried a glass of white wine that I actually liked. And even if you don’t feel like stepping inside, the vendors at the entrance selling choma (meat) sausages are the best around. I have detoured on my way home, just to get one.

  14. Kengele’s Bar & Restaurant (all days)

    This (sports) bar and restaurant is located in Lavington Green mall and is a great place to catch up with friends and enjoy live music or DJs. Cocktails aren’t cheap but of good quality. You’ll generally find a mix of Kenyans and foreigners enjoying (after work) drinks.

  15. XS Millionaires Club (Thursdays)

    If you want something different, something more along the lines of seeing women (and men) dancing without many clothes on, XS Millionaires, one of the best strip clubs in Nairobi is the place for you. Located in Baricho Road, just before Mombasa Road, Thursdays usually get quite busy and they invite some good DJ’s to take care of the music.

    Though technically not a strip club - there is no full nudity - the shows and quality of dancing are very good. Contrary to what you might expect from a strip club, the crowd is pretty classy and you’ll find couples, groups of friends (women too) enjoying the shows. Drinks are affordable and the service is good.

For the (afro)house and techno music lovers

DJ Vidza - One of the best Kenyan house DJ's
DJ Vidza - one of the best Kenyan house DJ's - © Africa Originals


The majority of bars and clubs in Nairobi play African club music but electronic music is becoming more and more popular. Check out the following events if you’ve been missing your dose of house or techno.

  1. Gondwana (every last Sunday of the month)

    Gondwana is a monthly (afro)house party with the absolute best view in Nairobi. It’s held at The Captain’s Terrace on Mombasa Road and gives a wide outlook over the National Park. My last time there I was looking at a rhino while sipping my cocktail and dancing to the best national and international house DJs. The crowd is a mix of upper-class Kenyans and expats.

  2. Temple (once a month on Saturday)

    Held every month on the rooftop above The Crooked Q, just next to Havana (on Woodvale Grove). It’s mostly a techno party and not completely surprisingly, the crowd is about 50% foreigners.

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