You’ll know that we are doing our best to keep you updated on the ways to have fun in Rwanda, however budget is something that concerns many of you. Kigali tends to be an expensive place to live in and with the rising gas prices, it is getting harder to spare money just to have some fun. I have put together for you a short guide on how to enjoy this great city and not spend a lot of money. So here are some affordable things to do and have a GREAT time.
TIME TO DINE
We all know that fun starts with good food, right? Well, being on a tight budget should not be the reason to deny yourself the chance to indulge in delicious meals. It might not be a fancy brunch at the Radisson or Marriot but you can get a wonderful meal for cheap! There are grill bars in Kigali for those who can’t get enough of BBQ, cafes, and restaurants with buffet options.
Up first, you would love to have a meal at Envision Cafe! It is everything you can expect to have in Kigali. Good vibes, great food, good music, and of course great people! Envision Cafe serves some of the best burgers in Kigali! If you happen to be into art, painting, photography, music, and the likes, this place is for you, the interior is embellished with some great drawings that allow your mind to wander. Moreover, opposite the Cafe, there’s the Envision gallery, where beautiful pieces of art are exhibited all year long and entrance is free. If ever you want to get into the kind of vibe that Rwanda has to offer, this place is a must.
I know this might be surprising to include Java but affordable doesn’t mean basic and Java is one of those places. Located in one of the upper-class neighborhoods in Kigali, you should expect a high-end experience and a bargain price. Relish in their milkshakes, all the while soaking in the rooftop views overlooking most parts of Kigali.
Green Corner is a local culinary experience that you have to explore. With some of the best brochettes in town served with a cold beer or soda, this place has gained a reputation of its own among the Kigalians. It comes as an advantage that it is located in Nyamirambo, the most vibrant, fun neighborhood in the city.
Camelia is probably not a place you were expecting to be on this list but this is the place to go when you are looking for a laid-back experience at an affordable price. They have been able to establish multiple branches at nearly every corner of the city, and they deliver their absolute best in each one of them. Word is that their coffee is incomparable, and after tasting it, we agree. It takes you to places, you too need to taste it to believe it.
Afrika Yose has it all good food, great service, good value for money, name it. Afrika Yose is a restaurant located in a busy commercial neighborhood of Kigali called Kisimenti. The name of the restaurant translated to English means “the whole of Africa” and they understood the live-up to the name. Afrika Yose has African traditional dishes that will give you a trip around the whole African continent without taking a flight. Their dishes come with a touch of authenticity that only a few places can offer. Oooh and if ever you are looking for a calm place where you can have that lunch all the while catching up with a friend, Afrika Yose, offers a buffet option.
WHAT ELSE CAN I DO?
As you might already tell from the nickname, Land of 1000 hills, the landscape here is very conducive for hiking. You might have already come across different hiking excitations online that are out of the comfort of your budget. Well, am here to tell you that you can hike for free and all you need is the right shoes, a few snacks/ drinks, and a group of friends to hike in Kigali. In Kigali, the best place to go for a hike is at Mont Kigali where there is no shortage of trails. I don’t think I can fully describe the stunning views you get once your closing in on the summit but they are just unforgettable.
CONCERTS AND LIVE PERFORMANCES
Kigali is truly a city of creatives and you will notice it around every corner you turn since there will be a local or upcoming artist performing in a bar or club. And if you want to turn things up a notch, Kigali hosts A-list stars from all over the globe, and getting into these venues is quite cheap, to be honest. Tickets will range from 5000rwf for ordinary to 20000rwf and above for VIP seats which are very affordable and great value for money.
CAR-FREE ZONES (GISEMENTI & BIRYOGO)
The car-free zones in Kigali are the true definition of a city coming alive and the best part of it is that it’s affordable. These areas have the most vibrant energy and are buzzing with life all night. The experience here is enhanced by the people who come since they all radiate positivity and are looking forward to having a great night. There is everything from the best music to an endless variety of street food all at an affordable price.
There is something for everyone in Kigali and no excuse to deny yourself the chance to enjoy this great city. The cherry on top is that most places are accessible by public transport which makes getting around that much cheaper. And as a bonus, you don’t need to worry about walking alone late at night since this is one of the safest cities in Africa.